Unveiling Luxury Real Estate Insights: A Deep Dive Into The Hamptons Market With Meka Brown

On the East End, where opulent properties grace many corners and discerning buyers seek the epitome of coastal living, Meka Brown of Douglas Elliman stands as a beacon of expertise in the realm of luxury real estate. With a rich background in the region and a passion for crafting unforgettable living experiences, Meka shares her insights into the dynamic landscape of Hamptons real estate.

Meka Brown. Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

Meka, how long have you been in real estate? What got you into it?

Coming from a family of builders, it feels as if I’ve been in real estate forever, but technically, since 2012. After changing my major more than a few times in college, I tried my luck with some careers not quite connected to real estate. Inevitably, I landed a job working for a real estate-based private equity firm in Manhattan. 

Once I accepted that every career that interested me was indeed relative to real estate, things became a lot easier to navigate. Working a traditional office job wasn’t exactly the career that married my lifestyle, so in 2016, I got back into development, moved back to the Hamptons, and officially became a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman.

Are you local to the region?

Yes, I was born and raised in Long Island. I’ve always lived between the Hamptons and New York City. The majority of my life has been in the Hamptons; it will always feel most like home. It’s where I hope to get married and raise a family one day. It’s also probably where I will retire.

You have experience in building. Can you explain how you are/were involved with the development side of things?

Finding the land to build is the area of development that I give most, if not all, of my attention to. The lot and location determine what will be built and how much it will likely list for. The Hamptons is land-driven, so a lot goes into securing a great land deal, especially in this market. Outside of selling the newly constructed property, finding the land is where knowing development and also being a real estate agent work in my favor most!

What sets luxury real estate in the Hamptons apart from other markets?

It’s a secondary market where, post-Covid, it has become even more desirable. The majority of homeowners and/or visitors in the Hamptons are New Yorkers. In contrast to needing a passport or booking a flight, you can just get in your car and get here. I’ve watched the Hamptons go from a summer weekend getaway to a full-time situation for many of my clients and friends. It has become so multifaceted. In the summer, you enjoy the Hamptons for the social scene and beaches, while in the off-season, it gives a cozy countryside escape.

How has the demand for luxury properties in the Hamptons evolved over the years?

Having become such a multifaceted destination, you have buyers who are looking for homes with more than just summer in mind. Aside from certain factors such as interest rates, war, or election year, the demand for both buying and renting homes continues to increase drastically.

What are the key factors that buyers in the luxury market look for when considering properties in the Hamptons?

Buyers want resale value; they want to purchase a property that will not only appreciate but will also make them money while owning. A lot more buyers are not only purchasing properties for personal use but to add to their rental portfolio.

What specific amenities or features are highly sought after in luxury homes on the East End?

Tennis courts have always been desired and add to the value of a property tremendously. Recently, both pickleball and padel have become extremely popular. Alternatively, to tennis, clients are now asking for pickleball or padel courts. I recently decided to get padel lessons after having a court installed for a client. I learned just about everything one could possibly know of the sport while organizing the installation, so much so that I felt obligated to actually learn how to play!

Meka Brown. Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

How do you navigate the unique challenges of selling luxury properties, such as pricing and marketing strategies?

Finding comps these days to support pricing properties or land has changed a lot since Covid. Sellers are still a little high on the pandemic prices, and buyers are long overdue for a deal. I spend a lot of time reminding both to reside in the present. I do my best to read and stay on top of almost everything that trades in the Hamptons. Whether it’s an oceanfront modern or a small cottage in Springs, I like knowing exactly when a deal closed and for how much. Whenever someone asks me how the market is, and they always do, I love giving them an accurate answer!

What neighborhoods or areas in the Hamptons are currently experiencing increased buyer interest?

The dividing lines between north and south of the highway are really becoming blurred. So many properties north of the highway are trading at prices that make me blush. Due to land availability, a lot of neighborhoods that were less desirable have now become the best option. In the last two years in both the Shinnecock Hills and North Sea area in Southampton, I’ve sold over three new development homes and have three more coming to market.

How do you establish and maintain relationships with high-net-worth clients in the luxury market?

I’m the definition of a people person. I love connecting and meeting new people every day with no intention of making them a client. Naturally, having a lot of high-net-worth individuals around me, whether family or friends, I’m continuously in spaces where I’m introduced to everyone. Many of my clients are people I networked with outside of real estate or simply met at a friend’s dinner party. So much of my business comes from personal referrals, and I love that for me. I credit it all to truly being personable. I rarely tell people what I do for a living and I think that goes a long way once they find out!

Meka Brown. Courtesy of Douglas Elliman

Can you discuss any notable luxury property sales or transactions you’ve been involved in recently?

I just closed on a property built by Hamptons Building Group in Southampton yesterday — 66 Shinnecock Hills Road — last ask was $4,495,000. I also went into contract this week on an amazing property in Bridgehampton — 279 Mitchells Lane, which was this year’s Hamptons Real Estate Show House. This property was really fun. We threw so many great events there this past summer. It was listed at $11,995,000. I work mainly with new development and closed a lot of land deals last year, so I have many great projects coming to market soon. My favorite at the moment is a spec home recently completed in Southampton. Having found the lot and worked closely with designing, it’s the first project I’m fully involved with from start to finish — 354 Saint Andrews Road W in Southampton. Currently on the market for $3,995,000.

What advice would you give to buyers or sellers entering the luxury real estate market in the Hamptons for the first time?

Buy with the intention to sell and sell with the intention to buy. Everything should be traded continuously here. It’s a place where your investment will appreciate. If you think more about trading and less about keeping, you’ll look at properties in a completely different light. Not every house will check all your boxes, and that’s okay because another one is being built this very minute that might. Owning a property in the Hamptons in itself is such a true luxury!

To learn more, click here.

Ty Wenzel

Co-Publisher & Contributor

Ty Wenzel started her career as a fashion coordinator for Bloomingdale’s followed by fashion editor for Cosmopolitan Magazine. She was also a writer for countless publications, including having published a memoir and written features for The New York Times. She is an award-winning writer and designer who covers lifestyle, real estate, architecture and interiors for James Lane Post. Wenzel is also a co-founder of the meditation app for kids, DreamyKid, and the social media agency, TWM Hamptons Social Media.

An East End Experience

2024 © James Lane Post®. All Rights Reserved.

Covering North Fork and Hamptons Events, Hamptons Arts, Hamptons Entertainment, Hamptons Dining, and Hamptons Real Estate. Hamptons Lifestyle Magazine with things to do in the Hamptons and the North Fork.