He started at the firm this month. Phan said he had considered making a change on-and-off for the last few years and now the timing felt right, in part because he’s developed his own client base.
“In order for me to grow my business and grow professionally, the next step was to be my own boss,” Phan said.
Phan started on Chiang’s team in 2006. Describing himself as her “right-hand,” Phan said he was involved in all of her deals during his time on her team. That included 2017’s massive $79.5 million townhouse sale at 19 East 64th Street.
“Richard Phan was my assistant for many years. We had a very nice working relationship and I appreciate all his efforts,” Chiang said in a statement. “I am happy he is trying to make it on his own now and wish him the best of luck.”
Phan said his deals have spanned a wide price range. To date, he has sold more than $1.1 billion in property, according to Elliman.
Though he was initially considering a few firms, Phan said it eventually boiled down to two (he didn’t disclose the other brokerage). He one day plans to return to the West Coast, and Elliman’s presence there was part of its appeal. Last year, the brokerage acquired Beverly Hills-based Teles Properties — a deal that added more than 500 agents and 20 offices to its operation and made Elliman one of the largest residential players on the West Coast. In October, the Eklund-Gomes team announced plans to expand to Los Angeles.
At Elliman, Phan said his deals will likely be focused on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side. But he also has his eye on Long Island City, which, in addition to an existing development boom, has gotten a big boost thanks to Amazon’s plans for a campus there.
Elliman also recently hired former Town executive Melissa True. She’s leading agent recruitment and development at the brokerage.