AUG. 15, 2014
CreditOzier Muhammad/The New York Times
Does the house go with the Rolls-Royce, or does the Rolls-Royce go with the house?
Shawn Elliott, owner of Shawn Elliott Luxury Homes and Estates in Woodbury, N.Y., is opening an office next month inside Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Long Island’s 9,200-square-foot showroom in Jericho, which also displays Bentleys and Lamborghinis that can cost as much as, or more than, a small house. He believes it will be the first residential real estate office inside a car dealership in the country.
Under the banner “Shawn Elliott Elite,” superluxury car shoppers will be able to view the Gold Coast broker’s cache of $5 million-plus listings. If one catches their fancy, they can tour the neighborhood and check out the property in — what else? — a Rolls-Royce.
What Mr. Elliott calls a “strategic alliance” grew out of invitation-only soirées and mansion showings where Antoine Dominic, dealer principal ofRolls-Royce Motor Cars Long Island and chief executive of its parent company, the Bespoke Motor Group, helped stage Mr. Elliott’s over-the-top listings by parking a $475,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead coupe or a $398,000 Lamborghini Aventador in the motor courts.
“It adds dimension,” Mr. Elliott said. “You put a Rolls-Royce in front of a home and it creates more excitement for a home. The perception is the home is worth more.”
At the dealership, clients can “find a home for their new car,” Mr. Elliott said. “They have the opportunity to see the most beautiful homes in the world while they see the most beautiful cars in the world.”
In his glass-enclosed office tucked behind a row of Bentleys, Mr. Elliott has installed a 75-inch flat-screen TV to project images of his listings. He also plans to use the dealership’s plush eight-seat movie theater to screen videos of each property, including aerial shots of a Rolls-Royce rolling down the driveway.
Mr. Dominic said he grabbed the opportunity to form an “affinity partnership” with Mr. Elliott to reach a wider audience. “High-end real estate and luxury vehicles are very close,” he said, describing his cars as “garage candy” that become part of a home’s “artwork.”
Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Lamborghini buyers, after all, “have to have the right car to go with the right house,” he added. “It is having two masterpieces.”
Mr. Dominic said he felt the real estate office inside the dealership was also a “natural fit” for deep-pocketed customers whose time is at a premium. “They may come here to look for a car and see a house video,” he said.
Mr. Elliott and Mr. Dominic also plan to share mailing lists. Mr. Elliott described his as “the Who’s Who of the North Shore,” while the car dealer’s roster includes owners of ultra-luxury vehicles.
The market “for $250,000 cars and $5 million houses is the same,” Mr. Elliott said. “The audience that is here is targeted for us. You don’t buy a $250,000 car if you don’t make a million dollars a year.”
Twenty-five percent of his company’s listings exceed $5 million, he said, including a $14.9 million home in Old Westbury with a shark tank and, for $12.5 million, the Gilded Age estate in Lattingtown featured in the 1986 film “The Money Pit,” which includes a separate two-story carriage house with a six-car garage that is a showplace on its own.
Michael Todd, general manager of the car dealership’s Bentley division, said having a real estate office on the premises would make it easier to help a home buyer fill that space. “We do our part to make sure there are no empty slots.”