Marketing

New York brokerage launches division to target celebrities, athletes

Douglas Elliman Real Estate's 'Sports & Entertainment' division has international focus

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Douglas Elliman Real Estate, one of the nation’s largest independent brokerages, has launched a new division to target sports and entertainment pros, as well as ultra high net worth individuals.

The New York City-based brokerage, which has 80 offices and more than 5,700 agents in New York and other areas of the country, claims its new “Sports & Entertainment” wing, which is designed to give public figures global real estate service tailored to their needs and expectations, is the first of its kind at a major real estate firm.

“After many years of navigating celebrities and athletes through the specific needs associated with their real estate transactions, the formalization of a highly specialized Sports & Entertainment division was a natural extension of our brand,” said Dottie Herman, president and CEO of Douglas Elliman, in a statement.

The division complements the firm’s new multiyear sponsorship of the NBA’s New York Knicks and its home court, Madison Square Garden, by branding an exclusive section of the arena as “Douglas Elliman Celebrity Row.”

The new division will include a global focus, aided by Douglas Elliman’s relatively new global marketing partnership with the London-based brokerage Knight Frank Residential, which gives it market exposure in 55 countries. A multinational group of Douglas Elliman’s agents, which includes native Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Farsi and Portuguese speakers, supports the wing’s international focus.

Agent-to-the-stars Darren Weiner, who joined Douglas Elliman last October, serves as managing director of the new division.

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Darren Weiner

Darren Weiner

“Our background in sports, entertainment and real estate makes our clients feel comfortable and protected,” Weiner said. “They can enjoy a personalized level of service along with the benefits of the extensive national platform and global network of Douglas Elliman.”

Weiner, a survivor of adult leukemia, is also baking a charitable component within the division, particularly geared toward helping those with life-threatening diseases, primarily cancers.

Business at Douglas Elliman has been booming. It grew its sales volume by 21.3 percent to $18.2 billion in 2014 from the year previous, one of the largest jumps of the nation’s 20 largest firms over that time span.

Top 20 brokerages by sales volume, 2014

Brokerage 2014 sales volume 2013 sales volume Percentage change 2013 rank
1. NRT LLC $157.7 billion $151.1 billion 4.4% 1
2. HomeServices of America Inc. $68.3 billion $63.5 billion 7.6% 2
3. The Long & Foster Companies Inc. $25.9 billion $26.1 billion -0.8% 3
4. Douglas Elliman $18.2 billion $15.0 billion 21.3% 4
5. Alain Pinel Realtors $10.8 billion $10.5 billion 2.9% 5
6. Hanna Holdings Inc. $9.3 billion $9.1 billion 2.2% 6
7. Realty One Group $8.5 billion $7.2 billion 18.1% 7
8. William Raveis Real Estate Inc. $8.1 billion $7.1 billion 14.1% 8
9. Pacific Union International $6.7 billion $5.5 billion 21.8% 13
10. Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc. $6.6 billion $6.4 billion 3.1% 9

Source: Real Trends

Email Paul Hagey.