Barbara Corcoran said she’d never return to the brokerage business. But the founder of the Corcoran Group is once again on the New York real estate scene with a new pay-to-play referral network.
Corcoran, a star of “Shark Tank” who sold her eponymous firm to NRT/Realogy in 2001, just launched “Find me an Agent,” a network that could see her pull in referral fees from transactions across New York City, Connecticut, Westchester and the Hamptons.
The initiative matches people who want to sell their home with agents who cut the star a referral fee, sources said. Corcoran has been plugging the program through a series of TV advertisements.
“We’ve had a fast response to the advertising and have already placed a half-dozen listings in capable hands,” Corcoran told The Real Deal. “So far we’ve had very positive reactions from the buyers and sellers.”
Industry insiders say her personal brand could help bring in leads, especially when it comes to lower-end and mid-market homes.
“She used the Corcoran Group brand to give her credibility on ‘Shark Tank’ and now she’s leveraging ‘Shark Tank’ to get scalability from this,” said one industry veteran.
Corcoran did not reply to a request for comment on who will refer leads to in New York. A source who’s signed up to the platform said he was referred to the Corcoran Group’s relocation department by the service.
A spokesperson for the brokerage said she was not familiar with any deal the brokerage had with Corcoran, and a spokesperson for Realogy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In recent years, Corcoran has endorsed a series of agents across the country who’ve paid for the exposure and even featured them on her website, but she has steered clear of her home turf.
When Corcoran left the business in 2001, she said she had no intention of ever returning. “I’m not good at repeats,” she told the New York Times. “I like fresh new things. I like to see what else I can do. It wouldn’t be my style.”
At the time however, she did joke that her noncompete would expire within 14 months.