Town appoints training, mortgage guru Jeff Appel as prez

By Katherine Clarke | October 30, 2013 01:57PM

Three-year-old residential brokerage Town Residential has a new president and chief operating officer, the firm said.

Mortgage banking veteran Jeff Appel, a vice president of CitiBank who previously served part-time as Town’s director of professional development, is moving into the role. Town founder Andrew Heiberger formerly served as president and COO of the company in addition to his role as CEO.

While the role is a new one, Appel will be taking over some of the responsibilities previously held by Matthew Van Damm, the former director of operations, who left the company this summer, Heiberger said. Van Damm is now with development company the Naftali Group, as The Real Deal reported. However, Appel’s role at the company is much more senior than Van Damm’s was, Heiberger said.

In a statement, Appel said he was ready for the new position since he had already formed relationships with the brokerage’s top brass in his role overseeing its training programs. He also teaches classes for the Real Estate Board of New York.

“My first order of business is to get down to optimizing and creating efficiencies in productivity in each of the departments, help our people work to their full potential, create accountability in all our processes and procedures and lay the groundwork for everyone to be as productive and successful as possible within the company while maximizing their capabilities,” he said.

Appel told TRD that his agenda was uncomplicated.

“The company has been moving at the speed of light for three years,” he said. “At this point, it’s time to reorganize and and plan for the future. We need to optimize those offices.”

The move had been long in the making for both Appel and Town, the company’s principals said.

“I’ve been courting Jeff for 15 years,” Heiberger said. “This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity. The amount of transactions he’s done, and the complexity of those deals, is among the many reasons why he is perfect for Town.”

Meanwhile, Town has been keen to point out its rapid growth. The company exceeded $1 billion in closed sales through the first three quarters of the year, topping its cumulative earnings from last year already, according to a recent statement released by the company. The company has closed 702 transaction sides, a spokesperson said.

The company now has a total of 10 offices. Its most recent is a Meatpacking District space at 446 West 14th Street, which opened in September.