Rating Manhattan’s Prime-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 (Picture-illustration by Paul Dilakian)

Turns out pent-up demand actually was a factor. 

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

The Actual Deal’s annual rating of the 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 data 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 the town’s prime brokerages. However when taking a look at star brokers, Elliman dominated — its dealmakers took the highest three spots and 4 of the highest 5.

Rating first was the Eklund-Gomes Crew, which closed $492 million throughout 140 offers in Manhattan final 12 months. Led by Fredrik Eklund — identified for his position 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 Crew, 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 condominium 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 patron confidence that individuals 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 the town in March 2021, and stock dried up by the top of the third quarter.

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

A surprising comeback

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

Issues picked up within the second quarter, when 3,417 offers closed, up 39 p.c from the primary quarter of the 12 months and 152 p.c from the identical interval in 2020. Within the third quarter, extra properties had been offered in Manhattan than in another quarter in additional than three a long time. The borough’s 4,523 closed gross sales exceeded the earlier document 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 consumers in comparison with its friends, in response to 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 may depend the consumers 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 purchasers who might be persuaded to purchase when the market was nonetheless comparatively comfortable 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 record. 

With demand outweighing provide, Katzen nonetheless sees alternative, however warned that macroeconomic elements, similar to these associated to the conflict in Ukraine, can be key.

“We’re an inflation hedge in a market that should diversify in opposition to unstable property proper now,” she stated. 

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

Weathering the storm

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

“There was a pause available in the market the place we couldn’t apply 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 tendencies. We had been capable of get actually good about our enterprise.”

Traits Ferrara and Orrigo are actually 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 an alternative of headwinds,” in response to Ferrara. 

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

Tamir Shemesh, a former agent at Elliman agent who jumped to Serhant in the beginning of this 12 months, offered 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 individuals will purchase an condo with out truly seeing it,” stated Shemesh, who got here in at No. 7 with $279 million throughout 47 offers in his remaining 12 months with Elliman. “However prior to now, I offered dozens of flats that nobody [had] constructed. And it was primarily based solely on flooring plans and renderings and visiting gross sales places of work.”

Ryan Serhant orchestrated a flurry of offers himself, together with the sale of the penthouse at 565 Broome Road, 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 Road, a 90-unit challenge 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 feel it’s enjoyable, as a result of everybody else above me will get to simply wait.”

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