Christie’s launching luxury NYC brokerage, cuts ties with Brown Harris Stevens

British auction house to open office at 20 Rockefeller Plaza later this year

New York /
Jun.June 09, 2017 04:40 PM

British auction house Christie’s is raising its bid on luxury real estate in New York City.

The firm abruptly ended its 20-year affiliation with residential brokerage Brown Harris Stevens on Friday and announced plans to open its own real estate office later this year. The new brokerage will operate out of Christie’s flagship at 20 Rockefeller Plaza.

“This decision to open an office in New York City was made after lengthy deliberation and was not an easy one to make,” Dan Conn, CEO of Christie’s International Real Estate, said in a letter circulated Friday to 140 brokerage affiliates and seen by The Real Deal. “We have strong relationships with the whole team at Brown Harris Stevens TRData LogoTINY in New York City and we are grateful for their contribution in serving the market on behalf of our clients for more than two decades.”

In the letter, Conn said New York represents Christie’s largest market, and that opening a brokerage here represents a “unique opportunity” to expand its “direct offerings to include custom tailored New York City residential real estate service.”

But in an email to agents, BHS president Hall Willkie and Bess Freedman, the firm’s executive vice president and managing director of sales, noted Christie’s recent loss of eight brokerage affiliates, including Pacific Union in San Francisco and Houlihan Lawrence in Westchester. “Since 1995, Brown Harris Stevens has been the number one global affiliate and exclusive brokerage arm of Christie’s in New York City, the Hamptons and Palm Beach. This affiliation has been the basis upon which Christie’s International Real Estate has established its reputation,” they said.

As part of BHS’s affiliation with Christie’s, firms took part in a referral network and Christie’s took a cut of real estate deals. “The same people who buy important art buy important real estate,” Willkie said in a promotional video on Christie’s website.

But the relationship — and a similar network maintained by Christie’s rival Sotheby’s — has been met with skepticism, too, as TRD detailed last year.

Even though it plans to open its own brokerage, Christie’s said it would maintain its affiliates in other parts of the country, including Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Las Vegas. The network, which has 140 affiliates, had combined annual sales of $115 billion.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Rachel Glazer (Credit: BHS)
BHS’ top Downtown agent jumps to Compass
BHS’ top Downtown agent jumps to Compass
BHS’ chief of tech, communications out amid internal shakeup
BHS’ chief of tech, communications out amid internal shakeup
BHS’ chief of tech, communications out amid internal shakeup
Bess Freedman and Robert Reffkin (Credit: Studio Scrivo)
“Unequivocally not selling:” BHS accuses rival of stoking sale rumors
“Unequivocally not selling:” BHS accuses rival of stoking sale rumors
Jeffrey Epstein with 9 East 71st Street and Courtney Ross with her penthouse at 7 Hubert Street (Getty)
Jeffrey Epstein’s UES townhouse was priciest Manhattan deal last week
Jeffrey Epstein’s UES townhouse was priciest Manhattan deal last week
Unit 55B of Central Park South and Steve Roth of Vornado Realty Trust. (Compass, Vornado, Getty)
220 Central Park South’s first resale in the works
220 Central Park South’s first resale in the works
President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan was passed over the weekend. (Getty / Photo Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
What real estate gets in Biden’s $1.9 trillion package
What real estate gets in Biden’s $1.9 trillion package
Vince Viola and 12 East 69th Street (Getty, Google Maps)
Vince Viola’s massive UES townhouse in contract
Vince Viola’s massive UES townhouse in contract
(Getty, iStock)
Movie theaters’ future uncertain as studios focus on streaming
Movie theaters’ future uncertain as studios focus on streaming
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...