The Bravo effect: Eklund’s Elliman team expands

Lorber, Serhant say real estate activity has shot through the roof since show began

TRD New York /
Apr.April 02, 2012 06:30 PM

Fredrik Eklund, managing director at Prudential Douglas Elliman and newly anointed star of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York” has been getting 2,000 hits a day on his Elliman agent’s page since the show hit the airwaves last month, up from 100 views a day prior to the show, he told The Real Deal today. Traffic on each of his listings, open house foot traffic and telephone call volume is also up substantially, he said, thanks to the publicity the show has garnered for Eklund and John Gomes’ team, founded in 2010. (While Gomes was on “Selling New York” with Eklund, he bowed out of participating in the Bravo show.)

Eklund said he has been forced to hire five new agents for the team to cope with the increase in resale deals because of the show and new development sales he’s handling in Tribeca, though he declined mention the names of the projects, saying they are still in early stages. In the last few weeks, he and Gomes have recruited Jane Calvin and Brian Kelley of the Corcoran Group and Rosaria DiMaggio of Cantor Picarella to join the team he said, and Hunie Kwon and Genifer Lancaster have both relocated from other Elliman offices to work with Eklund. Kwon and Eklund have a previous business relationship; Kwon hired the Swedish broker to work for him nine years ago at JC DeNiro.

“We just acquired four desks in the Elliman Tribeca office to increase our team due to the number of new development in Tribeca and resale business due to the show,” he said. “[Our team] already [has] eight desks in the Elliman Chelsea office.”

Eklund, who previously sold out Tribeca projects such as 53 Warren Street and 471 Washington Street and has his own brokerage firm in native Sweden, is not the only “Million Dollar Listing New York” star to reap the benefits of the publicity the show has awarded them. Michael Lorber, son of Elliman Chairman Howard Lorber, said Web traffic to his listings (he has 12 on his Elliman Web page) has shot through the roof, though he could not provide exact numbers. It can often be difficult to answer every call that comes into his office, he said, and to weed out serious buyers from fans.

Ryan Serhant, managing director at NestSeekers, said he’s hired four new agents for his team in the last month since the show premiered and plans to add 10 more in the near future.

“We went from a team of three to a team of seven,” he said, “moved offices to accommodate and are now securing a retail office downtown because I’m hiring 10 more agents and need more space… I had a very, very good year last year and, as of today, I’ve surpassed that number [in sales] for 2012 already.”

Serhant said $45 million in listings will go live on his site in the next two weeks, all because of the show. He also just signed two new development projects, one on the Upper East Side and one downtown; he declined to identify the specific projects as they are also still in early stages. The retail office is slated to open in the summer.

The trio’s status on the show is a great pull for developers who are trying to market new projects, said Kwon, who started with Eklund’s team today.

“It’s just another layer of marketing and branding that developers can take advantage of,” he said, referencing Eklund’s “meteoric” rise at Elliman. As for his decision to join Eklund’s team from Elliman’s East 10th Street office, he said: “I saw it as a good opportunity to get in early and work with him and his team. They’re only scratching the surface of what the team can do.”

Dottie Herman, CEO of Elliman, said she had helped Eklund find the best people to join his team, which just launched a new website separate from the Elliman brand, and had anticipated the wave of new business that would follow the premiere of the show.

“Since Fred has been with me, he’s gotten even better,” she said.

Responsible for nearly $2 billion in sales over the past eight years , including its time at Shaun Osher’s brokerage Core, the Eklund Gomes Group was ranked as one of Elliman’s top 10 teams in Manhattan, by gross commission, in 2011, according to a spokesperson for the team. The group left Core in 2010.

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