The Real Deal New York

Halstead’s Brian Lewis jumps to Compass

VC-backed firm hires 11 Halstead agents for new UWS office
By E.B. Solomont | October 27, 2017 11:02AM

Brian Lewis and Compass’s Office at 2150 Broadway

Brian Lewis — one of Halstead Property’s top-producing agents — has jumped to Compass’ new Upper West Side office.

Lewis TRData LogoTINY, known for having a star-studded client roster and social media savvy, was Halstead’s top agent in 2015 and the firm’s No. 2 agent in 2016. The 17-year Halstead veteran brokered deals worth $95.5 million last year, according to Real Trends’ 2017 ranking of the top agents nationwide.

Lewis said the move was fueled by having a “vision of a bigger business with an even more dynamic media and video presence — one that will propel my clients’ properties and my personal brand to national and international arenas.

“I love Halstead,” he added, singling out his manager, as well as CEO Diane Ramirez and Halstead’s marketing division’s Matt Leone. “I started there. They’re my family. It was a business decision in the end.”

While Lewis is the biggest name, he’s one of 11 Halstead agents hired by the venture capital-backed firm in recent weeks for the new office, which opened Oct.13. Compass inked a 10-year lease in January at 2150 Broadway, several blocks away from Halstead’s office at 408 Columbus Avenue. So far, Compass has recruited 36 agents to the UWS office, which has desks for 80.

“We wish them well in all their future endeavors,” Ramirez said of the departing agents in a statement.

Lewis has represented film and theater legend Patrick Stewart as well as “Law & Order: SVU” actor Chris Meloni. Earlier this year, he listed Greta Garbo’s co-op at the Campanile at 450 East 52nd Street, which went into contract with an asking price of $5.95 million.

In 2015, Lewis’ video promoting a West Village condo went viral and was picked up by People magazine, which dubbed it the “weirdest, most wonderful apartment ad ever.”

Since launching in 2013, Compass has raised $225 million from investors for a $1 billion valuation. It has also expanded to 10 markets and recruited north of 1,800 agents. But rivals have criticized its aggressive recruiting tactics in New York and Los Angeles, in particular.

More recently, as the firm eyes an international expansion, it has beefed up its C-suite, hiring Madan Nagaldinne, a former Facebook and Amazon executive as its new chief people officer, a role that will include large-scale recruitment.