Patrick M. McCooey and his stepson Alexander G. Olivieri have combined McCooey’s years of experience and his success on Wall Street with Olivieri’s marketing knowledge in a millennial world to cater to the luxury market from Manhattan to Montauk. At Compass last year, they created a team with that motto whose members have a combined 80 years’ experience and have rapidly grown to do a total sales volume of $350 million.
While the real estate boom during the COVID-19 pandemic had them busy, mainly in Nassau County, they are also keeping up with the demand farther east, in an area of particular importance to their family. In fact, the McCooey Olivieri Team’s roots in Westhampton Beach run deep.
“My family was lucky enough to be out in the Hamptons all the way back to the ’30s,” says Patrick McCooey, the team’s elder statesman. He has a photograph of then-Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt at a 1932 luncheon hosted by his grandfather, Brooklyn County Clerk John McCooey, at the family home on Dune Road.
When the 1938 hurricane made landfall on the East End, Patrick McCooey’s grandmother was taking his father to prep school, but three of his uncles, young children at the time, were there. The home was evacuated, McCooey relates, but his uncles got scared and ran back inside just before a wave washed the house across Quantuck Bay. “They were holding onto the widow’s walk and the chimney,” McCooey says. Miraculously, they survived.
His parents later rebuilt on that very Dune Road property and he has spent summers in Westhampton since he was born. His father was the founding member of the La Ronde Beach Club in Westhampton Beach and the family became ingrained in the community, he says.
“I know it like the back of my hand. I can definitely add value to those who want to buy or sell,” McCooey says.
McCooey, who worked for two decades on Wall Street, dabbled in real estate on the side. He got his real estate license in 2006. “I started doing more and more real estate just by happenstance on a part-time basis. I started making almost as much money part time as I was at my full-time Wall Street job. I decided to focus on real estate full time and I’ve never looked back. An added bonus was not having to take the 5:40 a.m. train and getting home many nights at 8 or 9 p.m.” he says of the move to commit to real estate 100 percent.
“It doesn’t feel like work to me,” he says. “Each day is different. Each transaction is different. Some of them can be huge and can take no time at all. And some can be a $200,000 co-op, and it takes much more time and effort. Either way I love it and that is one of the things that separates me from most other realtors.
McCooey enjoys the mentorship aspect of the job, as well, whether it’s the people on his team or his clients. “The part I like about it the most is helping people along on their career path,” he says. “I also love guiding my clients through the complex process of buying and selling a home.”
Recently, he says he helped a woman get her house ready for sale after living there for 35 years. He helped her stage, declutter and paint. “Then here we are at the closing and we’re helping her move on with her life in a positive way. It can be very emotional. We got her more money than she ever dreamed she would get for her home and she was thrilled,” he says.
Even though he changed careers, he says, “I am a Wall Street guy. I’m not going to say I’m a hard ass, but I’m a pretty good negotiator. Getting something at a better price or selling something for a higher price, that’s pretty rewarding. I like the challenges, too, especially in this environment, when there are multiple offers. I like helping clients succeed in the process.”
Olivieri was born in Southampton, where he lived until his later years of elementary school. His family moved to Manhasset, but he continued summering on the South Fork.
After working at other brokerages and informally working together over the past four years, Olivieri and McCooey became the founding agents for Compass’ offices in Nassau County last year.
The partnership has worked out incredibly well. “It’s a great dynamic we bring to our clients,” says Olivieri. McCooey has the years of experience and Olivieri brings a background in marketing and technology.
“Millennial buyers are very different from past generations. I’m definitely able to connect with the younger buyers and bring the tech savviness that they like and honestly need,” he says. “Not everyone can provide that. Compass, specifically, really focuses on the tech.”
They recently represented the buyers of 4 Kettle Court in East Hampton, which closed this month. Evan Kulman of Compass had the exclusive listing, “which shows the great collaboration and power of Compass.” The home was listed, sold and closed in 45 days. “This type of collaboration was one of the reasons Alex and I were drawn to this company. A professional and seamless transaction left both the buyer and seller thrilled,” McCooey says.
Last year, McCooey and Olivieri put together a team to help them expand their business. With a cadre of eight, and offices in Manhasset, Garden City and Westhampton Beach, along with their knowledge and understanding of the Hamptons, they have found a way to cover the entire island successfully.
“With two of us, there’s no way we could cover it all,” Olivieri says. “Having 10, we’re not just able to cover it, we can fully and professionally service our clients for a truly hands-on experience.”
The team of eight agents range in age and experience level and backgrounds — one agent has been in the business 30 years and in total, the team has about 80 years’ experience. They specialize in various parts of the Long Island market, from Queens to Nassau to Suffolk, though the team leaders are careful not to limit where their agents can do business “We touch upon every age bracket and demographic. We cater to whomever we are working with,” Olivieri says.
McCooey and Olivieri still take a hands-on approach with every transaction their team does. “Just today,” Olivieri says in a recent interview, “fifteen minutes ago, we put under contract an $8.5 million home on Dune Road. Last night we put together a co-op application for a $300,000 co-op in Rockville Centre.”
They are also partnered with a team in Manhattan that allows their clients access to even more resources and advice in Manhattan, Olivieri says. They have another partnership in Rye, New York.
But how is it really, working with family?
“It’s actually great,” says McCooey. “We think very much alike even though we’re not blood relatives, although I did help raise him and it’s kind of fun watching him grow and get better and better all the time,” he says of Olivieri.
“Do we disagree? Sure. But that’s normal. The agreements far outweigh the disagreements, but we see things differently which is great. This allows us to view situations through different lenses and from different perspectives, allowing us to brainstorm in the best possible way to handle any situation thrown at us or our clients. We have the perfect blend of experience, technology and marketing, which allows us to be the obvious realtors to choose for all of your real estate needs from Manhattan to Montauk.”
This article appeared in the October 2021 issue of Behind The Hedges.