Warburg Realty may have gained a new partner, but it’s losing three of its top agents.
Jason Haber, Allison Chiaramonte and Tania Isacoff Friedland have ditched the formerly independent brokerage for rival Compass.
The exodus of top talent comes a few weeks after the New York City-based brokerage was acquired by Coldwell Banker. But the defectors say their decisions to move have been brewing for much longer than that.
Chiaramonte and Isacoff Friedland were two of Warburg’s highest producers, with Chiaramonte landing the top spot in 2019. They were agents at the brokerage for four and two years, respectively, a contrast to the decade-plus tenures of more than 30 Warburg agents.
Perhaps the most difficult choice of the three was the one facing Haber, who had worked with Warburg since it purchased his company, Rubicon Property, in 2014. He and Warburg CEO Frederick Warburg Peters were fairly close, a person close to the matter said.
“This decision was not about the past, it was about my own future,” said Haber, who was Warburg’s second highest-producing agent last year. “These are tough decisions to make, but for me this is the best move at the right time.”
The year was busy for Haber not just because of real estate. He worked closely with City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s mayoral bid for the first half of this year, and when that campaign fizzled, he felt it was a good time to change direction.
“Had we won the election, I likely would’ve ended up in some capacity in City Hall, working for the new administration,” Haber said. “With one door closing, I felt it was time for me to begin a new adventure. That was when I started to talk with Compass.”
Haber, who holds a broker’s license, said he was drawn to the firm’s technology and tools, especially ahead of Nov. 8, when severe travel restrictions on China, India, Brazil, Iran, South Africa and much of Europe will be lifted. He said he looked forward to using them when international clients come back into the market.
“[Compass] managed to create a system that allows you to work faster, smarter and better. That was really appealing to me,” Haber said. He and his team will work out of the Compass office at 851 Madison Avenue.
Chiaramonte and Isacoff Friedland, who are known in the industry for their aesthetics-focused marketing, were drawn to Compass’ consumer relationship management platform, or CRM, which they believe will allow them to produce content more efficiently, Isacoff Friedland said.
Plans to leave Warburg had been in the works for some time, after they noticed clients using Compass to search for listings. They were impressed by the firm’s vision of how the industry would change in the next decade, and decided the best time to make a move was now, coming out of the pandemic.
“There’s the traditional brokerage model, and then there’s Compass,” Isacoff Friedland said. “It’s a different way of working.”
The duo will work as a team along with Sarah Minton, a licensed real estate salesperson who also joins Compass from Warburg.
Haber said the Coldwell Banker acquisition had nothing to do with his decision to move. He praised Coldwell Banker CEO Ryan Gorman and added that he would be rooting for the firm’s success.
Chiaramonte and Isacoff Friedland echoed that sentiment, calling the firms’ partnership “very exciting.”
“Jason, Allison, and Tania are terrific agents and I wish them the best of luck wherever they work,” Warburg Realty CEO Peters said in a statement.