Seven months after changing hands and consolidating, Keller Williams New York City is now getting a new chief executive officer.
Lauren Balbuena, who was previously serving as the CEO of Keller Williams Points North on Long Island, will now lead the Manhattan-based brokerage. Balbuena will take the reins from Mark Chin, who became the CEO of Keller Williams New York City in February after it was formed from a merger with another Keller Williams firm in the city.
That merger was the handiwork of Richard Amato, who bought the two Keller Williams offices from Ilan Bracha. Amato also owns and has invested in other Keller Williams franchises in the Tri-State Area, including Keller Williams Points North where Balbuena previously worked.
In an email, Balbuena told Inman she is excited to “lead Keller Williams New York City through this next era of growth with Rich Amato.”
“We are fully focused on the future and it is our vision to deliver on the Keller Williams value proposition of best in class coaching, agent centric branding, technology, profit share and provide an amazing culture,” she added. “It is our goal to increase profits and grow the agent count of the brokerage by recruiting top talent.”
News of Balbuena’s appointment as CEO was first reported by the Real Deal. Various other parties involved in the transition did not immediately respond to Inman’s request for comment, but Chin told the Real Deal that he will stay with the brokerage to run a new training and consulting program.
In February, when Amato took over and consolidated the Keller Williams franchises in Manhattan, Chin told Inman that there were about 350 agents in the then-newly consolidated brokerage. That was down from many hundreds of agents more in prior years, but Chin said his goal was to build back up to about 500 agents in the short term. His longer term goal was to increase the count to as many as 1,000 agents.
Chin also praised Amato in February, describing him as a “very experienced” industry leader.
Speaking of his new role, he told the Real Deal this week that the leadership shakeup was a “win-win.”
Prior to leading Keller Williams Points North, Balbuena was an assistant team leader at Keller Williams’ Tribeca office. She also previously spent five years with Town Residential.
Update: This story was updated after publication with additional comments from Lauren Balbuena.