Elliman grows its Brooklyn ranks with new Williamsburg office

By Candace Taylor | June 29, 2010 03:45PM

Sarah Burke and 490 Driggs Avenue

Prudential Douglas Elliman’s new website isn’t the only big change occurring for the company as the holiday weekend approaches.

The company said it has roughly doubled its Williamsburg agent ranks in the past year, and is in the process of moving its Williamsburg office from a 1,500-square-foot space at 299 Bedford Avenue to a 2,300-square-foot loft at 490 Driggs Avenue. Elliman formally takes possession of the space July 1, said Sarah Burke, executive vice president and director of the Williamsburg office.

Burke said when she moved to Elliman a year ago from the Developers Group, the company’s Williamsburg office had 18 agents. Now, it has 36, she said. The new office fits 40 desks, while the old space held only 25.

Key hires include Morde Werde and Michael Ettelson, previously a top team at the Corcoran Group before moving to Elliman about a month ago, Burke said. Werde and Ettelson recently took over sales at Belltel Lofts in Downtown Brooklyn from fellow Elliman agent Ilan Bracha.
New recruits to Elliman’s Williamsburg office also include Erica Sullivan, formerly of the defunct Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy, and Dixie Tracy, formerly of Charles Rutenberg Realty in Manhattan, said Burke, a Williamsburg resident.

The office serves Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick and Clinton Hill, and agents there, in addition to doing rentals, resales and representing buyers, often work in conjunction with Elliman’s new developments division to help sell new condos in the area.

Burke said she has been proactively working to increase the number of agents in the office over the past year. In addition to that, she said, the reason for the growth is Williamsburg’s recent spike in real estate activity.

“The market has picked up significantly here,” she said.

Burke said Williamsburg has a reputation for a glut of inventory in part because of two very large projects on the waterfront — the Edge and Northside Piers — which between them have around 1,200 units.

“They’re both great developments,” she said, noting that agents from Elliman’s Williamsburg office have represented a number of buyers there. But “there’s a lot of inventory just in those buildings,” she said.

She said smaller projects, like 70 Berry and its neighbor 72 Berry, have sold out quickly.

Rentals and resales are also moving quickly, she said. “We have people who get beat out on units,” she said, citing one recent resale listing that sold in three weeks after generating a bidding war.