WATCH: Bess Freedman on the BHS-Christie’s breakup, REBNY’s MLS, the trouble with noncompetes & more

The Brown Harris Stevens second-in-command doesn't hold back

New York /
Jun.June 26, 2017 08:00 AM

Bess Freedman doesn’t shy away from speaking her mind. The Brown Harris Stevens executive, second-in-command at the firm, spoke with The Real Deal just days after Christie’s abruptly ended its 22-year affiliation with BHS. When asked about it, Freedman didn’t hold back.

“I think that was a little underhanded,” Freedman told TRD’s Hiten Samtani of the Christie’s breakup. “You have a relationship with someone for 22 years, I think you owe them a little bit more than that. We were not so surprised that they’re opening up [a brokerage], but the delivery and the way it was handled was a real slap in the face.”

The residential brokerage industry is in a period of flux, with venture capital shaking up traditional ways of doing business and platforms like StreetEasy looking to monetize their clout with consumers. Freedman dished on StreetEasy’s controversial Premier Agent feature, explaining BHS’ decision to not support the feature even though several of its biggest rivals have caved in.

“The Premier Agent feature does not do a good service for the consumer, for the buyer, for the seller,” Freedman said. “There’s zero vetting process, you know? If you can pay, you get to play… you don’t know who you’re getting. The agent could be from Ohio, which has happened!”

Freedman discussed her involvement with REBNY’s attempts to launch an MLS, her previous career as a lawyer, and even President Trump’s impact on the luxury market. She discussed the evolution of the BHS brand, and the pros and cons of noncompete agreements.

Watch the video above to see the conversation in full.

Produced by Alistair Gardiner and Kerry Barger. Interview conducted by Hiten Samtani

For more videos, visit The Real Deal’s YouTube page.


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
470 Broome Street (Photo via Saltzman Architects, P.C., iStock)
From Picasso’s estate to squatting in Soho: The 470 Broome Street affair
From Picasso’s estate to squatting in Soho: The 470 Broome Street affair
Stephen Klym (Rabih Chebab)
Warburg Realty taps veteran BHS exec to run Tribeca office
Warburg Realty taps veteran BHS exec to run Tribeca office
4 East 66th Street and Shafi Roepers (Google Maps, Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)
Socialite relists UES co-op for $45M
Socialite relists UES co-op for $45M
Scott Durkin, president and COO of Douglas Elliman; Bess Freedman, CEO of Brown Harris Stevens
The Covid churn: Inside resi brokerages’ recruiting games
The Covid churn: Inside resi brokerages’ recruiting games
Clockwise from top left: Anthony Marino, Lori Glick, Gabriel Liebowitz, Tamara Marotta, Emma Kerins, Sharron Burroughs-Clarke, Heather Cella and Lauren Schaffer
And the resi “deal of the year” winners are…
And the resi “deal of the year” winners are…
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...