Flushing’s explosive growth means the neighborhood’s real estate agencies need more bodies to help fill more apartments.
The Real Deal recently compared data from the Department of State’s Division of Licensing Services from June 14, 2016 with data from February 20 of this year to determine which Queens brokerages had seen the sharpest increases in agent count over the past 20 months. The analysis found that three out of the top five brokerages which grew the most by agent count—including the top two—are headquartered in Flushing.
Flushing-based E Realty International grew the most, skyrocketing from 90 agents in June 2016 to 287 agents in February 2018 for a growth rate of almost 219 percent. The firm was followed by Flushing-based Chase Global Realty, which doubled its agent count from 51 to 102 for a 100 percent increase, and franchise brokerage Rapid Realty, which grew roughly 55 percent from 31 to 48 agents.
Rounding out the top five were Keller Williams at number four, which grew about 40 percent from 550 to 772 agents, and Flushing-based Promise Vision Realty at number five, which grew about 32 percent from 38 to 50 agents.
Keller Williams’ growth was enough to give the agency the number one spot in Queens by overall agent count. The firm was followed by Winzone Realty, which had 748 agents, Exit Realty, which had 443, Century 21, which had 313, and E Realty International. Chase Global Realty was at number 12; Promise Vision was at number 27; and Rapid Realty was at number 28. (TRD included agents at all company franchises based in Queens to reach its totals.)
Winzone claimed the top spot in 2016 with 695 agents, followed by Exit Realty with 631, Keller Williams with 550, Century 21 with 381 and Douglas Elliman with 220.
Elly Lin, office manager at Chase Global Realty, said the volume of new development product in Flushing has helped recruit new agents to the company. The firm, which was formerly part of Century 21, specializes in marketing to Asian buyers and decided to capitalize on their interest in New York by opening an office on Canal Street in Lower Manhattan as well.
“Clients in China want to invest in Manhattan-area properties,” Lin said, “so that’s why we built another branch in Manhattan two years ago.”
Asian agents are particularly attracted to the firm as well, according to marketing manager Yvonne Zhu.
“Many Chinese agents want to join us,” she said, “because we have a training system to help new agents to start up their business.”
(Rapid Realty CEO Anthony Lolli maintained that his Queens numbers were lower than they should be but did not respond to multiple requests to elaborate on this.)
“We expanded our staff to concentrate more on technology,” he said, “because right now technology is driving real estate.”
The company also has workers at different franchises meet with each other to help determine what is working at one office and whether it could translate to another.
“The leadership team in Jackson Heights will meet once a month with the leadership in Bayside,” he said. “What are you implementing there? We’re trying to utilize the strength of each staff member.”
On Wednesday, TRD broke down which residential firms in Queens had declined the most in terms of agent count over the last 20 months.