Spire’s Kevin Kurland sells stake in 100% commission firm

Co-founder Bianka Yankov steps up as CEO
By E.B. Solomont | May 24, 2017 08:00AM

Kevin Kurland and Bianka Yankov

Kevin Kurland, a co-founder of the residential brokerage Spire Group TRData LogoTINY, has sold his stake in the 100 percent commission firm.

Kurland, who previously ran Kurland Realty before launching Spire in 2011, told The Real Deal that he’d been looking to exit the company. “I ran two brokerages consecutively for about 18 years,” he said. “An opportunity presented itself for me to get a nice payout. I was on board with selling my shares.”

Terms of the deal, which closed March 31, were not disclosed. Spire co-founder Bianka Yankov is stepping into the CEO role.

Kurland will be a full-time agent for at least a year, focusing on selling luxury real estate until that time. But he’s also plotting his next move, hopefully working in-house for a developer or property management company. “I can grind,” Kurland said, ‘[But] I want to do something different with more of a marketing focus.”

As one of the city’s few firms that pay agents 100 percent commission, Spire ranked No. 11 on The Real Deal’s list of mid-sized firms in 2015 with $21 million in listings at that time. The firm, which has 135 agents, fell off of last year’s list with $19.9 million in listings, according to TRD data. Kurland said 40 percent of Spire’s deals are sales; the other 60 percent are rentals.

He said he’s still bullish on Spire and the 100 percent commission model, which is shared by companies like Charles Rutenberg and Kian Realty.

“We think the industry is heading in that direction,” he said. “We attracted a lot of good agents so I think the future is bright at Spire.”