Alumni of now-defunct brokerage Homestead NY are starting up a new firm, with a new take on the increasingly popular 100 percent-commission model.
Called Voro, which stands for Virtual Online Realty Office, the new firm is slated to launch this month. The founders are Ted Gounaris, former managing director at Homestead New York who has also worked at Prudential Douglas Elliman, and Danny Shamooil, founder of Homestead NY and Prime New York.
Gounaris said Voro offers “the most agent-friendly compensation model in the country:” a $95 desk fee for Manhattan agents and a similar $65 fee for agents in Queens and Long Island. There are no transaction fees. By comparison, the high-commission-split firm Rutenberg Realty charges a monthly desk fee of $99, plus a transaction fee of $600 for rentals and up to $2,000 for sales.
“Agents make money based on how well they can secure listings, find buyers and close deals with the support they’re given,” said Gounaris. “If agents put in all this hard work, why should they give half their money to a brokerage?”
Gounaris said Voro’s model is sustainable because it has very few overhead costs. The firm eschews traditional office space; instead, it maintains just a small corporate office at 600 Old Country Road in Garden City on Long Island. The brokerage will also plan to open a satellite Manhattan office near Penn Station this month. For now, Gounaris said the firm has four agents, but he said he expects it to eventually grow to triple digits. By mid-2013, he wants to expand to throughout the tri-state area and eventually the country.