The Real Deal New York

Despite fierce competition, indie brokerages hold their own

December 08, 2013 10:00AM

the-Queen-of-Prospect-Park-South-92-year-old-Mary-Kay-Gallagher

Mary Kay Gallagher, the head of small real estate firm in South Prospect Park

WEEKENDEDITION While New York City’s real estate industry can often seem dominated by big brokerages, many small firms still find a way to get a piece of the action. 

For small firms the focus isn’t closing massive deals. Instead independent brokerages measure success with repeat clients, specialization in niche markets and resilience, according to the New York Times.

“Everything is personal with me,” Mary Kay Gallagher, the head of a three-person family firm that sells historic homes around Brooklyn’s South Prospect Park, told the Times.

“We’re staying afloat on personal service and pure reputation,” Alexandra Reddish, Gallagher’s granddaughter who will one day inherit the firm, added. “Real estate isn’t always about being aggressive and being top dog. At the big firms, because the competition between agents is so fierce, the pressure is always on. We don’t have that. You can’t force people to buy a $2 million house.”

And despite concerns that small businesses cannot possibly compete with the knowhow and technology on offer at the name brand firms, clients still seem attracted to the charm of having a broker that knows both the co-op board and the neighborhood dry cleaner. [NYT] Christopher Cameron

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