Excessive pay to get brokers in the door?

Accusations of firms paying ‘above market’ to poach brokers swirl, leading at least one company to offer ‘retention bonuses’ to agents
By Adam Pincus | November 15, 2011 10:28AM

Mark Rose of Avison YoungFrom the November issue: Real estate executives are quietly fuming over what they say are aggressive bonuses that several new and expanding commercial firms are paying to poach brokers.

The past two months have been a particularly active time for brokers shifting alliances, partly because some firms have stumbled in the weak economy and make for soft targets, and partly because brokerages with a national presence are expanding into the New York market, which remains one of the strongest in the nation. In the last few months, the firms Avison Young, Stan Johnson, Lee & Associates and Brookfield Financial have all made plays to open or expand in New York.

As an example of the rich compensation being offered to switch firms, several top executives said that Colliers International — which has been on a hiring binge in the city over the last year, and has picked off at least a half-dozen agents from companies like CB Richard Ellis and NAI Global — has offered twice the typical bonus package to lure agents. [more]