A hybrid broker that crashed and burned — remember ‘Your Home Direct’?

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Fifteen years ago this summer, a young and brash New Jersey entrepreneur cornered me at the Real Estate Connect conference and said with memorable confidence, “You don’t know me, but next year at this time you will, because I am going to change the real estate industry.” Indeed, though he fell short of revolutionizing the real estate industry, he did put a brief scare in the old guard. He started a controversial, tech-driven real estate discount firm, Your Home Direct (YHD), which started in New Jersey and later moved into New York City. With an unapologetic discount mantra, Glenn Cohen’s agents drove Mini Coopers, and his ads for lower commissions were plastered around the tri-state area, including on umbrellas in Manhattan over hot dog and newsstands. You could not miss the ads. Give your two cents on hybrid brokers. In its first full year, the company had listed nearly 2,700 homes and sold more than 1,400 listings. In one single week in March of 2001, the disco...