The Real Deal New York

Lawrence Rich ditches Core, returns to Elliman

Broker's defection after five months is part of a mass exodus from the brokerage recently
By Katherine Clarke | January 31, 2012 07:30PM

Lawrence Rich, a former vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman who left the firm to take a position as senior vice president at residential brokerage Core in August, has defected to Elliman after just five months, he told The Real Deal today, because he feels it’s more “like a family.”

Rich, who joined Elliman in 2004, resigned his post at Core today. He will start work at Elliman again as of tomorrow, working out of the company’s flagship office at 575 Madison Avenue, at 56th Street

“Core is a lovely company,” he said. “It’s just that I really missed the people at Elliman.”

Despite Rich’s claims that his decision was based only on personal preference, it seems he’s not the only broker to have departed the firm in recent weeks.

In fact, Deborah Straubinger also submitted her resignation at Core today after joining the company in May. She, too, will be joining Elliman, she said.

In addition, at least five other brokers have defected from Core since December, including Jeannie Ma, Ivana Tagliamonte and Liz Dworkin. The sixth, according to a source, is Linda Ho, who wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Dworkin, who left Core a week ago for Brown Harris Stevens, said: “Companies have personalities just like people and I just didn’t feel comfortable. I wanted this to be my last move [in my career] and I think I’ve Found The Right Place now.” Dworkin declined to talk more specifically about her reasons for leaving Core.

Tagliamonte, who declined to comment, left after a two-month stretch at Core as a senior vice president and associate broker to return to Halstead Property.

Ma, who left to return to the Corcoran Group in December after just three months at Core, only said she was “happy to be back at Corcoran.”

But, a statement from Reba Miller, senior managing director of sales at Core, seemed to convey a competitive environment.

“Core’s business model as a boutique luxury marketing and sales company is to have a team of high performing agents,” she said. “Not everyone fits into our culture and brand and those that don’t are asked to leave or leave on their own.”

Meanwhile, sources told The Real Deal that too much had been expected of the agents who’d joined Core; one person called the environment at the brokerage “pressurized,” while another said the pressure to meet expectations made her feel bad.

“It’s the wrong time to expect many multi-million dollar sales,” one source said.

Another broker attributed the recent exodus from the firm to the recent dismissal of the managing director of sales, Mark Ripka, who was let go in November to make room for new hire Reba Miller.

He recruited a lot of the recently departed brokers, a source said, and they felt let down by his departure. Ripka was not immediately available for comment.

Meanwhile, Herman said she was delighted to have Rich back at Elliman.

“Lawrence is truly talented,” she said. “His unique background in fashion combined with his knowledge of the New York real estate market have been and will continue to be a tremendous asset to the company. We look forward to a very successful future together.”