A Brooklyn-based Coldwell Banker franchise has opened an office in Manhattan, marking the brand’s first entry into the dense New York City borough in years.
Coldwell Banker Reliable Real Estate’s new Manhattan office is located in the Harlem neighborhood, principle broker Joseph Hamdan confirmed to Inman Wednesday. The firm, which is a franchise of Realogy-owned Coldwell Banker, currently has 95 agents spread across three offices in Brooklyn and has already hired 15 agents for the new Harlem office.
Hamdan said that goal is to grow the new office to 50 agents. He added that the Harlem location is ideally situated between Central Park, Columbia University, a popular commercial corridor and an abundance of apartment buildings.
“For us, it’s about servicing our client base and giving them an opportunity to meet with our agents at a physical location in Manhattan,” Hamdan added.
Discussions about opening a Manhattan office began at the brokerage last year. Hamdan said that his firm’s client base was predominantly located in Brooklyn, but also included many people who owned property in Manhattan as well. Agents, some of whom actually live in Manhattan, were also frequently traveling between the boroughs while “attempting to place their clients in the right home.”
“It made sense for us as a company, if we wanted to continue to grow, to have a presence there,” Hamdan added.
The brokerage held a soft opening on Tuesday for the Harlem office and Hamdan is planning a larger, grand opening for later this month.
Coldwell Banker Reliable’s push into Manhattan is a significant milestone for the brand. Coldwell Banker most recently had a physical presence in Manhattan during a short-lived franchise agreement from 2013, but prior to that, the last major brokerage operating under the Coldwell Banker banner closed in 2009.
That brokerage, Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy, had about 200 agents at the time it closed, but by its own admission sank due to the then-ongoing financial crisis.
Now, a decade later, the economy continues to grow despite increasing fears of a recession. Manhattan itself has also seen some price stagnation, with condos fetching a median price below $1 million in January for the first time in years.
However, Hamdan said that some of the things that slowed down the New York City market, such as a new mansion tax, are in the past and “that there is still demand for product” in the city.
“When it comes down to it,” Hamdan added, “it’s about where someone wants to live and whether it’s the right time for them.”