Montauk’s venerable Keeshan Real Estate will join Compass, an emerging powerhouse in the home-sales market, the companies announced this week.
“We have been in the business for 40 years. It is great to have the company move up into the modern age,” John Keeshan, who runs the six-person Montauk mainstay with his daughter, Nancy, said on Tuesday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Mr. Keeshan visited Compass’s New York City office twice and was impressed by its support staff and what he said was cutting-edge technology. “We are going to be able to do a much better job of marketing and selling. It’s the computer age,” he said.
“Underneath all of that, they are really people-oriented,” he said of his new partners at Compass.
Mr. Keeshan said he had a good feeling about the market in 2017, following a rough period last year. “Rentals were a disaster in 2016,” he said. Factors in the drop included bad publicity following the rowdy summer of 2015 and worries about a new East Hampton Town rental registry requirement. Concerns about both have subsided, he said.
By contrast, this season’s rentals have perked up, and Mr. Keeshan said he thought that home sales would follow.
“Montauk has become the Malibu east,” he said. “New people are coming in, and all the original people are going to remain.”
About 85 percent of listings in Montauk are above $1 million, he said. These are drawing the attention of younger buyers, some millennial professionals interested more in the surfing culture centered on Ditch Plain than in the fishing scene that might have drawn their parents and grandparents.
The Keeshan office at 37 Carl Fisher Plaza will become Compass’s fifth South Fork storefront. The company now has 44 agents on eastern Long Island, with the inclusion of the Keeshan team.
Mr. Keeshan said that he would hold on to the advertising space on the back of the Suffolk Transit S92 buses, where the company’s white-on-red “Still more lobsters than people” slogan has been seen by drivers for years. The message will likely change, he said.
“We are going to continue to flourish under another banner,” Mr. Keeshan said.