Andrew Saunders' Hamptons real estate career began in 1996 when he purchased his first residential development parcel. As a brokerage client of Sotheby's International Realty he went on to build a number of luxury residences, most of which sold for record prices. Competition among developers for prime buildable sites was - and is - fierce, and Saunders realized that joining Sotheby's as a sales agent would give him a "first look" at compelling builder opportunities. He continued his development activities and became a sales agent with Sotheby's. There Saunders evolved into the leading investment broker in the Hamptons, working with high net worth individuals, builders and developers to identify highly lucrative investment opportunities.
By 2003, the purchase and consolidation of small mom and pop brokerages in the Hamptons by outside corporate firms had steadily been gaining momentum. The corporate model created a vacuum that was filled with discontented agents who longed for the esprit de corps that had existed in the smaller, locally owned firms. Saunders saw an opportunity to develop a broker-centric firm that married the spirit of the mom and pop firms with state of the art technology. He envisioned a firm that treats its agents like customers, mobilizing significant resources behind them in an effort to help them grow their business. Saunders purchased the company's first office building in Bridgehampton in January 2008, started renovating, and opened Saunders & Associates in October, a few weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed and the stock market crashed.
While the early days were challenging, Saunders believed that his model was viable and would gain traction when the macroeconomic conditions firmed. That is indeed what occurred, and Saunders & Associates has become the most effective brokerage organization in the Hamptons. It is now the third largest firm behind corporate giants Douglas Elliman and The Corcoran Group. The company continues to galvanize the industry, gobble up market share and ranks as one of the leading brokerage firms in the U.S. in terms of average sales per agent. It's obvious where the firm is headed.