After nearly two decades as sister companies, the brands will merge under Corcoran, creating one of the largest New York-based brokerages.
Although specifics of the deal were not disclosed, the merger will make Corcoran — an already formidable force in the industry — a powerhouse of New York City real estate with a combined group of 2,420 agents that realized $7 billion in annual sales last year.
Of the merger, Liebman said in an interview with Inman, “It’s been so well received — the Citi agents got up and cheered today when they heard the announcement. Everyone’s excited … It’s a big day and a big time for Corcoran.”
Citi agents have good reason to be excited, as every Citi employee has been placed so far, aside from one, who Liebman says, “We’re hoping to place with Corcoran.”
Corcoran, which acquired Citi Habitats in 2004 as an independent division of The Corcoran Group, said in a press release today that folding Citi Habitats into the Corcoran brand has always been part of the company’s long-term growth strategy, and is a natural next move after its expansion in South Florida in 2019.
“We think about [merging] every year,” Liebman told Inman. “When we first acquired [Citi] we knew it would happen in the future. We just realized we had the best company in our backyard.”
Gary Malin, who has led Citi Habitats since its acquisition in 2004, recently transitioned into the role of chief operating officer at Corcoran in November, while Liebman will continue as CEO of Corcoran Group.
In past years, Corcoran and Citi have collaborated on various shared initiatives like a company website, a tech platform and a marketing platform, as well as new development projects like GID Development Group’s Waterline Square. Therefore, the merger, in effect, is officially unifying two brands that were already deeply collaborative in nature.
Agent success was also a motivating factor for the merger. “With enormous networking and referral opportunities, a robust lead-generation program, best-in-class marketing and agent education initiatives, innovative tech support, and a managerial team that’s unmatched in the industry, we’ve built an incredible platform from which all agents — from new licensees to industry veterans — can grow and develop their businesses,” said Malin in a statement.
“I think it will make life easier for the agents — now they have one system instead of [separate] rental and sales systems. They’ll get more direct leads on one website. It’ll make it easier for Citi agents to do more sales, and help Corcoran agents with their rentals,” Liebman noted.
As for where Corcoran goes from here, Liebman told Inman, “I think we’re very focused on adding more franchises and co-owned offices where we see great synergy.”
She added, “We touch more people now than any other company in New York … It really creates this powerhouse. Now we dominate even more than before. It was time to have this one powerful brand.”