Marra — who was president and part-owner of the family-owned residential firm William B. May until 2004 — most recently led BHS’ Carnegie Hill office. At Halstead, he will “manage managers” and, hopefully, expand the firm’s market share.
“I will do battle for them,” he said, when reached by phone Monday. “In this world, the opportunity for expansion is always exciting.”
In 2004, Marra sold his minority stake in William B. May to Terra Holdings, which owns BHS and Halstead. Because his move coincided with the May family’s sale of the firm, it led to a family dispute and broker defections.
Thirteen years later after the stake sale, Halstead created a job for Marra, who lived in Chappaqua for 44 years but recently moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut, around 60 miles from Manhattan. Halstead currently has around 350 agents in Connecticut.
The state is an important part of the firm’s “feeder system,” said Marra, citing the ability for agents in the city to refer clients to colleagues in the suburbs.
“The goal is to try to take advantage of your position in Manhattan,” he added.
Overall, the suburbs north of New York City have been a battleground for the city’s brokerages. Earlier this year, Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices USA scooped up residential brokerage Houlihan Lawrence to dominate the Fairfield County market, while Douglas Elliman and William Raveis Real Estate have fought for market share.