The Real Deal New York

TDG/TREGNY gets new name and look

May 09, 2011 01:38PM
By C. J. Hughes


From left: The Edge, Andrew Barrocas (CEO of MNS) and 189 Eighth Avenue

For two years, the company that resulted from the merger of the Developers Group (TDG) and the Real Estate Group New York (TREGNY) has been known by the somewhat cumbersome TDG/TREGNY.

But that alphabet soup has been simplified. As of today, the firm is MNS for “Marketing and Sales,” and with it comes a revamped website with plans to expand: In June, it will cut the ribbon on a new office, its third, at 189 Eighth Avenue in Chelsea.

MNS’ new look comes after a year of brainstorming with two New York ad agencies, Ammirati, whose clients include VitaminWater, and Warehouse Agency New York, who has worked with developments like One Brooklyn Bridge Park, which TDG/TREGNY had been marketing for years.

But the past few months were also spent negotiating for the company’s new Web domain name, www.mns.com, which cost “well in excess of six figures” to purchase from another party, said Andrew Barrocas, who will continue to function as CEO.

Yet the lag in coming up with a new name was also due to deliberations about the firm’s focus. “We were going back and forth about what we should do,” said Barrocas, adding that “we wanted to operate together for a while and not lose our identities.”

When the merger occurred in June 2009, the Developers Group, which was founded in 2003, had been targeting new Brooklyn condos. The Real Estate Group New York, which was formed in 2004, meanwhile, specialized in Manhattan rentals.

The new MNS, which currently has 125 employees, 90 of whom are agents, will resemble a more traditional brokerage, at least online. The agent head count will spike to 125 once the Chelsea office opens, Barrocas said.

Its site, which went live this morning, utilizes Virtual Office Website, or VOW, software like those of Prudential Douglas Elliman, Halstead Property and On-Line Residential; the software basically combs other sites to aggregate listings, rentals and sales, in one place.

But there will be key differences with MNS’ site from those belonging to other firms, Barrocas said, pointing out that in June the firm will unveil a feature presenting seven years of sales data for the city’s new developments; that data had been proprietary but will now be made public.

The site, with a red-and-black palette, also has a banner that pops up on the bottom of the screen tracking listings viewed during a visit.

Otherwise, MNS will distinguish itself from its rivals by being a “one-stop shop,” Barrocas said; it creates print ads and Web banners in-house, with its own graphic design team, instead of farming out that work like other firms do.

While no major new projects have been added yet to MNS’s fold, it will continue to exclusively market high-profile condos like the Edge in Williamsburg, which the Developers Group began to market when the sales office opened in September 2009. The Edge has sold more than half of its 565 apartments, according to MNS.

Another ongoing project is One Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is 60 percent sold, representing about 265 of 441 homes, Barrocas added. Sales there began in 2007, when Stribling & Associates was paired with TDG, though in 2009, TDG became the sole marketer.

MNS will also continue to offer its Manhattan rental market reports, which were originally a TREGNY creation that earned praise for using month-by-month data.

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