Rating Manhattan’s High-Promoting Actual Property Brokers of 2021

Clockwise from prime: John Gomes, Fredrik Eklund, Frances Katzen, Ryan Serhant, Adam Modlin, Tal Alexander, Tamir Shemesh, Holly Parker, Clayton Orrigo and Sabrina Saltiel (Photograph-illustration by Paul Dilakian)

Turns out pent-up demand actually was a factor. 

After a sluggish 2020, Manhattan’s residential market went into overdrive final 12 months, pushing up residence costs and wiping out stock, significantly within the luxurious section. Regardless of scrambling to search out listings for his or her keen shoppers, many brokers loved career-defining years.

The Actual Deal’s annual rating of town’s prime brokers revealed that stalwarts posted record-breaking numbers, boosted by the return of elites from pandemic retreats, whereas in-house veterans rode the brand new growth wave to new heights. 

To rank the borough’s top-performing dealer groups of the 12 months by sell-side transactions, TRD pulled Manhattan listings and cross-referenced them with closed offers in public information and with the brokerages. Off-market transactions and offers brokered in-house by builders’ personal gross sales groups had been excluded.

Right here’s a have a look at who dominated the roost. 

Elliman’s elites

Douglas Elliman got here in second behind Corcoran Group in TRD’s annual rating of town’s prime brokerages. However when star brokers, Elliman dominated — its dealmakers took the highest three spots and 4 of the highest 5.

Rating first was the Eklund-Gomes Group, which closed $492 million throughout 140 offers in Manhattan final 12 months. Led by Fredrik Eklund — identified for his function on Bravo’s “Million Greenback Itemizing” — and John Gomes, the group closed a better quantity of sell-side offers in Manhattan alone final 12 months than it did throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens mixed in 2020.

In a distant second got here Elliman’s Alexander Group, led by brothers Tal and Oren, which closed 58 offers within the borough totaling $347 million, adopted by Elliman’s Barbara Russo with $340 million throughout 64 offers — all of which got here at Beckford Home and Beckford Tower, a pair of recent luxurious apartment buildings on the Higher East Aspect.

The Alexanders, mainstays amongst Elliman’s top-performing groups, attributed their New York success to their foothold in Miami. 

“We noticed what occurred within the Miami market; we noticed the buyer confidence that folks had in trophy residential actual property,” Oren Alexander stated. “We knew it was solely a matter of time till we had been going to get that in New York.” 

In 2020, the group noticed rich New Yorkers fleeing south. These New Yorkers began coming again to town in March 2021, and stock dried up by the top of the third quarter.

“It modified dramatically, fairly shortly,” Tal Alexander stated.  

A surprising comeback

Forward of a dramatic uptick as winter turned to spring, the market obtained off to a comparatively sluggish begin final 12 months. Within the first quarter, 2,457 offers closed in Manhattan, up 29 % over the lockdown-defined first quarter of 2020, however down barely from the first-quarter common of the previous 10 years, in accordance with a report by appraiser Jonathan Miller. 

Issues picked up within the second quarter, when 3,417 offers closed, up 39 % from the primary quarter of the 12 months and 152 % from the identical interval in 2020. Within the third quarter, extra houses had been bought in Manhattan than in every other quarter in additional than three a long time. The borough’s 4,523 closed gross sales exceeded the earlier file set within the spring of 2007, when 3,939 gross sales had been recorded.

In each robust and weak markets, the brokerage sport is commonly reliant on relationships — together with what number of names brokers have of their contacts lists.

The Modlin Group’s specialty of promoting luxurious properties means it caters to a extra restricted pool of patrons in comparison with its friends, in accordance with Adam Modlin, who ranked eighth with $274 million in gross sales quantity throughout simply 26 offers.

“When you think about the profile of a purchaser who’s trying to purchase a $50 or $100 million townhouse in New York Metropolis, you possibly can rely the patrons on one or two palms,” Modlin stated. “So it’s only a matter of connecting the dots.”

Frances Katzen stated she searched her Rolodex for shoppers who may very well be persuaded to purchase when the market was nonetheless comparatively delicate within the early a part of the 12 months. That technique paid off, serving to her group at Ellliman shut $205 million in gross sales quantity throughout 55 offers, good for eleventh place on the listing. 

With demand outweighing provide, Katzen nonetheless sees alternative, however warned that macroeconomic components, reminiscent of these associated to the warfare in Ukraine, can be key.

“We’re an inflation hedge in a market that should diversify towards risky belongings proper now,” she stated. 

Whilst Covid restrictions eased and in-person viewings resumed, practices perfected throughout the pandemic paid dividends for some brokers. 

Weathering the storm

In March 2020, as prognosticators proclaimed the dying of town and traders fled for safer investments in much less densely populated markets, Compass’ Hudson Advisory Group, led by Stephen Ferrara and Clayton Orrigo, was doubling down, signing a lease for workplace house in a townhouse within the West Village. 

“There was a pause out there the place we couldn’t follow as a lot bodily. We weren’t operating round as a lot in Manhattan,” Ferrara stated. “Due to that, we had been capable of actually analyze our enterprise and take note of traits. We had been capable of get actually good about our enterprise.”

Tendencies Ferrara and Orrigo at the moment are observing embrace how cash has flowed farther south and west in Decrease Manhattan, how an absence of housing provide is inflicting parking garages to vanish and the way retail shifts in Soho impression the residential market within the Village. The transfer allowed the group, which ranked sixth with $296 million in gross sales quantity throughout 78 offers, to enter 2021 with “tailwinds as a substitute of headwinds,” in accordance with Ferrara. 

“Stephen and I had been on calls all day lengthy throughout Covid,” stated Orrigo. “We by no means took our foot off the gasoline in any respect, and we noticed a variety of brokers, significantly brokers within the later levels of their profession, throttle again. 2021 was a 12 months the place we noticed the Matrix absolutely.”

Tamir Shemesh, a former agent at Elliman agent who jumped to Serhant at first of this 12 months, bought the Twelfth-floor unit at Extell’s 1010 Park Avenue over FaceTime to a household in Florida, who paid greater than $13 million for it regardless of by no means setting foot inside.

“It sounds so unusual that folks will purchase an condo with out really seeing it,” stated Shemesh, who got here in at No. 7 with $279 million throughout 47 offers in his ultimate 12 months with Elliman. “However up to now, I bought dozens of residences that nobody [had] constructed. And it was based mostly solely on ground plans and renderings and visiting gross sales workplaces.”

Ryan Serhant orchestrated a flurry of offers himself, together with the sale of the penthouse at 565 Broome Avenue, which went for simply over $22 million, and the primary resale at 220 Central Park South, for $33 million. His agency additionally took over gross sales on the Jolie at 77 Greenwich Avenue, a 90-unit venture developed by Trinity Place Holdings, which is aiming for a sellout of greater than $300 million.

Whereas his agency debuted in eleventh place on TRD’s annual brokerage rating, Serhant ranked fourth amongst particular person brokers and groups, closing $338 million in gross sales quantity throughout 90 transactions.

“I’m excited now to be close to the underside,” Serhant joked. “I like being quantity 11. I believe it’s enjoyable, as a result of everybody else above me will get to simply wait.”

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