Matt Breitenbach has built a brand in the Hamptons. As a Compass broker, he leads BAT, short for the Breitenbach Advisory Team, which has achieved more than $3 billion in sales and has become a go-to for celebrity and ultra-high-networth individuals to find luxury accommodations.
Since its inception in 2016, BAT has “disrupted” the traditional transactional model of real estate, creating a curated experience tailored to each individual client’s best interest and ultimately changing the industry for the better, Breitenbach says.
Most recently, he has teamed back up with the woman who gave him his start: his mother, Susan Breitenbach, a top broker at the Corcoran Group. The two paired up for a co-exclusive on a waterfront estate at 180 Pointe Mecox Lane in Bridgehampton, which sold in a matter of weeks last month for $24 million.
Nearly 20 years ago, he started his real estate career working with her, a working relationship that proved very successful. Seven years ago, he decided to break out on his own.
As the market has grown tougher since the highs of the COVID-19 pandemic, Breitenbach saw the value in collaborating with his mother on some deals. There are a lot of brokerages and teams out there with new and old generations offering different strategies, he says, “but there is no brokerage or team that has both.”
In July, they teamed up on the Pointe Mecox Lane listing, a newly built 6,000-square-foot spec house from Sagaponack Builders, designed by BMA Architects. Located at the end of an exclusive cul-de-sac on Swan Creek, the property enjoys 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean, Mecox Bay and farmland, just minutes to the ocean beach.
It required, Breitenbach says, “a very high-end, curated approach” to sell it, as it is not a typical spec project with specialized detailing and only the finest materials, from hardwood floors to imported Italian porcelain bathrooms and large-format windows to a fully furnished home. The noted LaGuardia Design Group was also brought in to flank the house with native grasses, flowers and trees.
In “a tough marketplace” he knew it was important to offer more value and realized that having two different strategies, in certain situations, is better than one.
Collaboration is innovative and “disruptive,” Breitenbach says, as the majority of the industry generally is not. “I learned a lot about collaboration from being at Compass. ‘Collaborate without ego’ is a core principle at Compass and something I instill on the BAT team as well,” he says.
“It was a great idea on his part,” says Susan Breitenbach. “We used to work really well together, and he made a very big business on his own. We’re both doing around $300 million a year — that’s $600 million together, lots of different clientele.”
The day they officially launched, they had an offer. There were 100 people at the first open house. “You never get that kind of response,” Susan says. “I have a little bit of a different clientele than he has . . . so our contact list together is pretty spectacular.”
Breitenbach has worked with professional basketball players such as Kyrie Irving and Jason Kidd, entertainers like DJ Khaled and Justin Timberlake, moguls such as Russell Simmons and many others. BAT was ranked the No. 1 team in the Hamptons and No. 45 in the country, according to Real Trends, having done more than half a billion in sales in 2021 alone.
Still, Breitenbach saw the value in combining forces with his mother, a veteran in the business having been working in real estate for 33 years. “If we did this single and separate, it wouldn’t have been as good,” he says of the outcome.
Offers poured in right away. They had it under contract in two weeks and even had a backup offer, but the deal went through and it closed in a month and a half.
Co-exclusives are, of course, common, but none can compare. “This is a lot different. This is more like a collaboration,” Susan says. “We worked together for so many years and we know how each other works.”
Also, there’s another key ingredient that is hard to replicate. “We trust each other,” she says. “A lot of other co-exclusives, they’re trying to show how good they are and how much better they are than the other one — it’s not really a collaboration.”
When working on a listing together, the Breitenbachs aren’t afraid to share resources and information to get the client the best possible deal. “He’s got a team and I have a team,” she adds, noting they compared notes on how to best use their videographers’ footage to showcase different parts of the Pointe Mecox Lane house.
They also worked together on an $11.995 million listing at 81 Davids Lane in Water Mill, an 11,000-square-foot modern home from Bencar Building Corp., now under contract, where he recently hosted a “BAT Disrupt Live Event” in an effort to connect top real estate influencers, such as agents, developers, architects and designers, to network and, as he sees it, to help shape the future of real estate together.
The Breitenbachs also co-listed 360 Dune Road in Bridgehampton, also on the water, for $17.25 million, and another Sagaponack Builders project at 1076 Ocean Road in Bridgehampton for $12.295 million.
“That’s almost $40 million worth of real estate in the first month of working together,” he says.
“We are kind of back. It’s exciting for me. It feels like old times,” Breitenbach says. “She’s an icon to me, she’s a mentor to me — she’s amazing,” he says of his mother, who he notes supported his decision to break out on his own.
“I wanted to prove myself. I’m a competitive guy — I was a college football player. I fell in love with real estate. I had that feeling like, ‘I’m going to show you guys I can do this on my own.’ It was something I had to do,” he says.
“Now it’s even more fun, after doing that — feeling like, ‘You did the work and built your brand,’” adds Breitenbach, who is now a parent himself.
He and his wife, Courtney Breitenbach, who also works at BAT, have four daughters. He and his wife are collaborating on a new construction project in Water Mill, and additionally, he is an investor on a 13-acre new development.
Despite how busy he is, he carries forward the example his mother set him. “My mom and I are all about family. I learned that from her.”
And, his mother is proud on many fronts.
“He’s excellent at what he does,” Susan says. “He still has his business and I still have my business, but it’s a very competitive business, sometimes it’s good to be able to do it together, especially in this market, post-COVID, where things have changed drastically and now it’s sort of finding a new normal.”
Clearly, they are onto something, and they’re just getting started. “There is some other stuff we are cooking up and going after,” Breitenbach adds.
This article was the cover story for the September 22, 2023, issue of Behind The Hedges. Read the full digital edition here.