After a year of working from home, Ronita Kalra is switching things up.
A year after splitting with her former business partner Luis D. Ortiz, Kalra left Douglas Elliman to take her two-agent team to Compass. The main reason she decided to make the move was the brokerage’s integrated platform for agents, which she called “really, really appealing.”
“My workflow has become easier,” she said, adding that she’s noticing the benefits the most for her buyer business. Kalra noted that she and Ortiz had been approached by Compass a few years ago, but passed.
“At the time, nothing was compelling enough for us to move,” she explained. “But [Compass] upped their game with their internal tech.”
Her move was finalized this fall as news of Compass’ impending IPO began to trickle out, but Kalra said that wasn’t a factor in her decision.
Last year, Kalra and her team made $1.3 million in gross commission income. Recent sales include a $3 million deal at AvalonBay Communities’ Park Loggia condo on the Upper West Side, and a $1.75 million deal at 135 East 83rd Street, an Upper East Side co-op. Her team has a $3.5 million penthouse in contract at 40 East 21st Street in the Flatiron District.
Kalra got her start in real estate after meeting Ortiz, then a star of “Million Dollar Listing New York,” at a conference. Ortiz was sitting next to Elliman’s chairman Howard Lorber and CEO Dottie Herman. When the former got up to speak, she slid into his chair and pitched the broker on her skills. From there, she quickly became his partner and grew a following of her own after appearing on the Bravo series.
When Ortiz left real estate in 2016, Kalra continued their business, giving her former partner a 5 percent cut on every deal for the continued use of his name. The arrangement lasted until last November, when Ortiz announced a move to Puerto Rico. At the time, Kalra said the separation was “organic.”
Firms including Compass, the Corcoran Group and Triplemint have been vocal in maintaining rigorous recruitment campaigns throughout the pandemic.
“We wish Ronita the best of luck in all her future endeavors,” said a spokesman for Elliman.