Christie’s International Real Estate (CIRE) is opening its first company-owned residential real estate brokerage office in New York City, ending its affiliation with Brown Harris Stevens.
The new office will be based in Christie’s flagship U.S. auction house location at 20 Rockefeller Plaza and will serve global buyers and sellers of luxury real estate in New York City. The company expects many of those buyers and sellers to be clients of the auction house.
CIRE is now actively recruiting to build a team of leading real estate specialists and expects to open the new brokerage in the second half of 2017.
For a number of years, the New York City broker of record at CIRE has been Kathleen Coumou, who was previously with Coach Realtors on Long Island. She will remain the broker of record for the new entity.
CIRE CEO Dan Conn, based in New York, is not necessarily looking for a large presence: “We are not focused on the size, but rather on having the right team of people who fit within the Christie’s world,” he said. “The emphasis is on having a very positive, cultural fit.”
“My expectation is we will pull together a small number of really high quality people who come with their own business,” he explained. Meanwhile, the Christie’s auction house part of the business will generate a lot of referral traffic from Christie’s clients looking to buy or sell in the New York property market. “And instead of outsourcing that, we will be handling those Christie’s clients,” said Conn.
The time had come to set up its own office, he added.
“By sales volume, New York is the largest market we have in the world in auctions. We have an enviable client base, and we ultimately reached the conclusion that it would be the smartest thing for Christie’s to do to have its own residential real estate brokerage office here,” he said.
The auction house will be “a home for their people” and a place for “their agents to meet our agents,” said Conn. And the CIRE brokerage will have a gallery space on the main floor.
“I have already had two conversations today with clients from the auction house interested in working with us, ready to have detailed discussions,” Conn added.
The CEO stressed he is not expecting to open any other company-owned brokerage offices elsewhere in the country. New York City is a unique one for CIRE; Conn has made this very clear to affiliates whose markets might have some similarities to New York.
CIRE has a network of 140 affiliates in 46 countries, which had a combined annual sales volume of approximately $115 billion in 2016. It continues to expand with recent new affiliations in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Las Vegas in the U.S. and internationally in Chile, France, Spain and Thailand.
Agents interested in joining Christie’s new brokerage can click here.