A prominent New York real estate executive has sold a pair of Manhattan Keller Williams brokerages, which will now be consolidated and run as one business under a new owner.
Ilan Bracha had previously owned Keller Williams NYC and Keller Williams Tribeca, but has transferred ownership to Richard Amato. The two brokerages will now operate as one business, dubbed Keller Williams New York City.
Mark Chin, who was previously the CEO of the Tribeca brokerage, will lead the consolidated firm.
Chin told Inman that there are about 350 agents in the newly consolidated brokerage. His goal in the short-term is to increase the agent count to 500, though over the longer term he would like to have closer to 1,000 agents.
Bracha has from time to time made headlines over the years amid speculation about his brokerage’s struggles. After personnel shakeups in 2018, for example, he batted down rumors that his Midtown firm was closing and disputed reports about his agent count. He also faced a $2 million lawsuit over unpaid rent.
News that Bracha had sold his Manhattan franchises was first reported by The Real Deal. Keller Williams confirmed the news to Inman.
A Keller Williams spokesperson told Inman in a statement Wednesday that “we’re going to grow Keller Williams to a whole new level in NYC with our new leaders in place.”
“By consolidating the offices, we’ll also be able to offer more support and service under one roof,” the spokesperson added.
Financial details of the deal have not been publicly disclosed.
Chin was optimistic about the future Wednesday. He praised Amato — who owns and has invested in several other Keller Williams franchises in the Tri-State Area — as “very experienced.” And he said that the consolidated brokerage will offer a clearer branding message for both the agents working there as well as their clients.
Chin also said he believes Keller Williams is in a good place to compete with other players in the industry, citing in particular the company’s comprehensive technology platform — which leapt forward last week with the launch of a new consumer app.
“If you don’t have a big technology position you cannot compete with technology disintermediation,” he added.
Chin also argued that Keller Williams has managed to be profitable in New York while offering agents generous commission splits. On the other hand Compass, Chin said, has been a major force in the area and drove the city’s average splits higher and higher in favor of agents, but hasn’t turned a profit. Chin argued that leaves Keller Williams in a good position.
“A business that consistently loses money and has no way out,” he added, “I’m willing to compete with them in the long term.”