Milan-born, Monaco-raised and fluent in five languages, real estate broker Vanessa Gad recently noticed an unfilled niche in New York City real estate: a brokerage focusing exclusively on international clients. So two months ago, she left the Corcoran Group to launch a firm that does just that.
So far, she’s hired two agents for the new brokerage, called Gad Realty: Italian-born Miriam Menda, who speaks six languages, and Japanese broker Yoko Honda. Gad said she is actively looking for more, with plans to hire up to 20 agents in the next six months. Speaking a foreign language is not a requirement to work at Gad, she said, but it is encouraged.
Gad, who is fluent in Spanish, English, Italian, French and Hebrew, moved from Monte Carlo to New York City 12 years ago. She spent three years at Citi Habitats before switching to Corcoran. Recently, she represented the Brazilian buyer of a $3.5 million co-op at 61 Irving Place.
Gad Realty is a “virtual brokerage,” meaning that agents work from home, and Gad said the money she’s saving on overhead allows her to offer agents an 80/20 commission split, which she feels is fairer to agents than the 50/50 splits most firms offer. She hopes that that — along with her unique niche in the marketplace — will help her attract strong agents, ideally those who already have established bases of international clientele.
So far, her approach seems to be working. Ten-year industry veteran Honda, for example, “liked my company because I spoke all these languages,” Gad said. “That is something different from all the other companies.”