Rylan Jacka of Sotheby’s International Realty/NRT grew up surfing and biking in Northern California. When he decided to move East, the beach and boat lifestyle the Hamptons offered made it a no-brainer to establish roots. Now, Jacka helps others do the same as one of the area’s top realtors. Fresh off the news he was named a 2017 Pulse Power Broker, he talked about living and playing in our region’s most famous towns.
Tell me a bit about your pre-real estate life.
I was a competitive soccer player and then moved into event planning in San Francisco, working with restaurants and film production companies. I moved into the Hamptons in the late 1990s and started real estate.
Why did you decide to go into real estate?
I’ve always been drawn to architecture and beautiful land. My father was an architect. I always worked on houses when I was young. I was a geology major in college. I was outdoors in beautiful places.
What are some of your favorite things to do out East?
I surf year-round [in Montauk]. I like boating. The nature out here is on the water, so I’m always on the water.
What are some of your favorite places to boat?
Off of Shelter Island. I love boating to Greenport in the fall for the bay scallops and oysters. In the summer, [I boat] to SALT for lunch or just take the kids wake surfing.
Speaking of dining, what are some of your favorite places to eat?
Crow’s Nest in Montauk, Naturally Good for lunch. Lulu in Sag Harbor.
When it comes to selling a home, what are some things people can do to make their homes more attractive to buyers?
Furniture and the finishings are everything. It’s become very “in” to have a traditional look on the outside and a modern look on the inside. [Outside people like] the shingled Hamptons cottage look with the gables. [Inside] it can be a modern house with all glass.
What are tips for finding a good realtor?
When we get busy, we get so busy. You need to be working with someone who knows the inventory because you have to turn on a time and deliver without a lot of preparation. That person most likely works with a team and will need to be in three places at once on a Saturday afternoon, when some people are early and others are late. You just have to be prepared. And someone who can handle their business and closes. You need to be with someone who has seen it all.
How can you find someone like that?
With all the brokers out there, there’s a handful that do most of the business. Most of my business comes from referrals.
What are some big misconceptions people have about selling a home?
The biggest one today is that you can put your house on for more than it’s worth and just field offers. Nowadays, buyers want to see a house priced right and then the offers come.
What’s one item in your own home you cannot live without?
I have an awesome outdoor shower.
What are you most looking forward to about summer in the Hamptons?
I don’t go to a lot of the big parties. I love just going to the beach, barbecuing with friends and tying up with other friends’ boats. This time of year, it gets really euphoric because you’re really looking forward to the warm weather and summer.