Taking Real Estate Brokerage to the Next Level

Frank and Dawn Bodenchak, Hamptons, Sotheby's
Frank and Dawn Bodenchak
Lena Yaremenko

The Bodenchak Team, led by Frank and Dawn Bodenchak, the No. 1 team at Sotheby’s International Realty Hamptons brokerages, offers an experience like no other.

The Bodenchaks apply unique first-hand experience in real estate investment, design and development to expertly guide buyers through every option and aspect of a deal. They personally have bought, developed and sold over $100 million of real estate, qualifying them as experts among agents at land use, construction and marketing.

And numbers speak volumes. The Bodenchak team sells 25 to 35 properties a year, ranking them No. 1 among all Sotheby’s International Realty Hamptons brokers in terms of properties sold and No. 2 in dollar volume. This is a distinct honor, as Sotheby’s International Realty itself is a top-grossing brokerage within the Hamptons, including the luxury niche.

“Everyone who buys a property is ultimately making an investment,” says Frank. “Whether they’re investing $2 million or $32 million, buyers don’t just want to find a home that fits their criteria. They also want to know it will prove to be a sound investment over time. We have a passion for creating value in real estate, and this benefits our clients.”

Frank and Dawn Bodenchak
Recent developments include a $20 million, 14,000-square foot home in Bridgehampton South with an indoor pool, an outdoor infinity pool and a pool house on 2.5 acres overlooking 30 acres of fields.

Dawn adds, “From our background, we have a strong sense of what will appreciate in value and what won’t. We weed out where the best returns will be. As developers, we also understand what things cost, allowing us to convey what a house is worth when working with sellers or buyers.”

The Bodenchaks are accustomed to the advisory role and high-end clientele. In his previous life as a managing director at Morgan Stanley, Frank advised CEOs and large investment institutions, and Dawn had a background in institutional sales and marketing, before they segued into real estate 20 years ago.

Looking at everything from an investment standpoint has garnered the trust of a large Wall Street and New York City clientele.

Frank and Dawn Bodenchak, Hamptons, real estate, Sotheby's
Frank and Dawn Bodenchak at one of thei luxury listings in the Hamptons.Lena Yaremenko

“Dawn and I look to create extra value by finding special situations for buyers and developers, or by understanding what can be done with a property or home to maximize value,” Frank says. “On the sales side, we have taken over complicated listings, and achieved prices and closings where other agents have had difficulty. We have also helped many developers over time.”

Interestingly, about a quarter of the Bodenchak team’s buyers live or spend part of the year in Florida, where Sotheby’s International Realty has a large presence.

According to Frank, the Bodenchaks are “unlike any other brokerage team in that we also run a design and development company focused on cutting-edge design, which appeals to affluent buyers, sellers and developers.”

Frank came from a real estate family. “I always wanted to be an architect and designer,” he says. “But building is very capital-intensive, so I worked on Wall Street first to build our investment base.” He designed and built his first glass, waterfront home 25 years ago and “fell in love with the process.”

The Bodenchaks are developing a modern home with a pool and tennis on five acres in Sag Harbor, which is listed for $8.85 million.Rise Media

At any given time, the Bodenchaks typically have one or two custom design/ build projects in the works. These are usually larger homes, 11,000 to 14,000 square feet in size.

When working with clients that are buying land, building or renovating, the Bodenchaks help them maximize their investment.

“We approach things differently,” Dawn says. “We guide clients through the entire process, from acquiring land, zoning, deciding what size house to build, determining if they can fit amenities like tennis courts, hiring various professionals – a lot of things that aren’t broker-related, but that we are knowledgeable about, and have done ourselves.”

In 2009, the Bodenchaks deepened their relationship with the Hamptons designer community when they offered a newly built 25-room house for use as the Hampton Designer Showcase, an annual fundraiser that has raised more than $2 million for Stony Brook Southampton Hospital over the years.

“We worked closely with 30 designers, who each took over a room or space,” Frank says. “Since then, we have been involved in six other Designer Showhouses, collaborating with over a hundred designers over the years. We’ve also worked on a deeper level with some of the best Hamptons designers in our $10 million to $25 million new-build constructions.”

When working with buyers, the Bodenchaks are uniquely qualified to advise them on the value of a luxury property, because they understand both what went into building it and what it can be sold for.

Recent developments for the Bodenchaks include a modern home in Sag Harbor, with a pool house and tennis, listed for $8,850,000. The home overlooks five acres of property and is surrounded by preserve. It is expected to be completed by Memorial Day 2023.

They also recently developed a $20 million private home in Bridgehampton South and a $17 million, two-story penthouse at 5 E. 17th Street in Manhattan.

This article appeared on the cover of the January 2023 edition of Behind The Hedges. Read the full digital version here.