The Real Deal New York

Rutenberg NYC names new president

Founder's granddaughter will head up the 525-agent, 100% commission firm
By Claire Moses | November 18, 2014 01:22PM

Stefani Markowitz, the granddaughter of Rutenberg Realty New York majority owner Richie Friedman, was named the new president of the firm.

Markowitz will start in her new role at the brokerage immediately. She announced her new position at the company in a message that was sent on Tuesday morning.

Markowitz graduated from the University of Michigan in 2009, and worked for The Heddings Property Group and the Modlin Group before joining Rutenberg in July. She plans to increase the firm’s head count — currently at 525 agents — and will expand the firm’s concierge service. That offering helps agents with the services they’d get at other firms, such as newsletters and business cards. A new website for the firm will be launched on December 1.

Friedman founded the New York branch of Rutenberg in 2006, which was managed by veteran New York real estate executives Kathy Braddock and Paul Purcell, now at William Raveis New York City. According to The Real Deal‘s most recent ranking, Rutenberg is the sixth largest brokerage in Manhattan by agent count. Nationally, it has about 5,500 brokers. Brokers pay $99 a month to join the firm and work on a 100 percent commission-based model, minus a flat transaction fee.

Markowitz said she is looking forward to having an “open door policy.” She added that she hopes to create a “happy home” for the company’s agents.

Rutenberg has two locations in the city, a WeWork space at 379 West Broadway and a corporate office at 127 East 56th Street. Markowitz will move to the corporate office immediately, a spokesperson said.


  • Richard Yaha

    She is hot

  • patmgee

    I’de love to work….under.. her

  • AnneeZ

    7 years after getting my first check at Rutenberg I only wonder why I didn’t go there sooner. And, I will NEVER leave. Everyone is super-nice, helpful, supportive, and understanding. More than that, professional. More so than where I had been, one of the top agencies, where, after $100,000 sale I used to take home $50,000. Now, $98,000. Not bad at all. Like almost doubling my income overnight.

    • Brian Hughes

      how do they sustain taking next to nothing ?

      • Slapintheface

        They take an average of 17.25% of your commission on any
        rental between $1,600-$10,000. Plus, they take $100/month from each agent. The $100/month desk fee yields the company $630,000/year alone based on their stated agent count of 525. Rutenberg is probably making about $2,000,000/year before expenses.

        Per year, they probably spend

        $500,000 on management and staffing

        $500,000 on rent

        $100,000 on marketing and recruiting

        Unknown- office equipment/computer leasing

        Unknown- website and OLR subscriptions for each agent

        Unknown- insurance

        Figure they spend another 500,000 on the 3 unknowns
        above. So, on the low end, there is probably about $500,000 of profit. Or maybe they spend 250,000 on the 3 unknowns above and make $2,250,000 before expenses. Then, on the high end, they
        are making $1,000,000 of profit. Either way, the owner is making decent money.

        Someone else please chime in on my cost estimates above if you have an educated clue.