Broker growth in Brooklyn outpaces that in Manhattan

Dec.December 16, 2014 05:22 PM
CountyLicensed brokers and salespersonsYear-over-year change
New York30,2295.7%
Staten Island 2,4382.2%
Total NYC56,1875.5%
Source: New York State Department of State figures from December 2013 and 2014

Where the business goes, the brokers flow. The number of brokers and agents in Brooklyn’s surging property market grew at a faster rate over the past year than in Manhattan, new data on real estate licenses from the New York State Department of State show.

The number of brokers and salespersons rose by 7 percent in 2014, or 664, to 10,004, the figures reveal. In Manhattan, the number rose by 5.7 percent, or 1,632, to 30,229.

The Department of State, which issues and regulates real estate licenses, provided the figures to The Real Deal. The data includes the number of brokers and salespersons in each borough in December 2013 and December 2014.

Queens saw slightly slower growth. The number of brokers and salespersons rose by 5.4 percent to 11,030, an increase of 563. In Staten Island, the growth was 2.2 percent, up 53 to 2,438. The Bronx saw the most sluggish growth, up just 1.6 percent or 40 people, to 2,486 brokers and salespersons. In the city overall, the number of professionals grew by 5.5 percent, or 2,952 to 56,187.

The growth in Brooklyn was due in part to its rising global cachet, one veteran professional said.

“Brooklyn is an internationally cool and hip place to be and real estate is the cool thing to be involved in,” John Reinhardt, CEO of the Brooklyn-based residential brokerage Fillmore Real Estate.

The new agents would be absorbed, he predicted, because older agents will retire.

“The agent population happens to be older than the consumer,” Reinhardt said.

Commercial firm Eastern Consolidated said it hired a large contingent of newly-minted agents. Overall, the company ramped up with 40 new hires, but half of those are new to the business, Daun Paris, president of Eastern, said.

“Twenty of the new agents have their license for the first time,” Paris said. “The new recruits come to Eastern from a wide range of Backgrounds Including Wall Street, professional athletes, owners of their own business and college graduates.”

Other firms hired new agents, but not at the same breakneck pace. The retail-focused RKF hired three newly-licensed professionals in the firm’s New York office. However, that did not represent an uptick over prior years.

“This is no different than our ‘typical’ year, which usually runs with three to four new canvassers, and is part of our company philosophy of growing organically and training our own brokers,” Elyse Bandel, executive vice president at RKF, said.

Several firms, such as Urban Compass and Murray Hill Properties, have hired a significant number of new brokers and agents over the past year, but representatives for those firms said they did not hire first-time agents.

“Agent count always expands and contracts in sync with the cycles of the market,” Timothy King, principal with the Brooklyn-based brokerage CPEX Real Estate, said. “Many newbies will seek alternate employment if the market hits a downdraft or they find the competition too tough.”

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