UPDATED, July 30, 3:40p.m.: Coldwell Banker is consolidating its two Beverly Hills offices into one location, sources told The Real Deal, shifting about 150 brokers out of a space the company had poured $1 million into not long ago.
Jamie Duran, president of Coldwell’s Southern California region, said the company was considering a move to the existing, larger office, which has around 200 agents. She said plans were not final, but that noise from a nearby construction site was the cause.
But it also comes at an uncertain time for parent company Realogy Holdings, whose stock price has been trading at record lows amid slipping market share.
Coldwell’s Beverly Hills brokerage now operates the two offices: 166 North Canon Drive and the larger so-called “North office,” at 301 North Canon Drive. They are two blocks from each other, in what used to be known as “Realtor Row.” In recent years, an increasing number of brokerages have pulled up stakes and left for other, quieter and cheaper areas of the city.
Coldwell’s agents and staff at the smaller office will likely move into the 301 North Canon location, Duran said. The lease for the South Office isn’t expiring, and any formal consolidation will likely take months, Duran added. There are also no plans to cut staff or agent roles, though sources said some administrative positions may be cut to avoid overlap.
Duran said the company would move to avoid the noisy Metrorail construction taking place near the South Office. “It has nothing to do with cost-cutting,” she said. Construction of the Purple Line Extension’s second phase began in the spring, and is expected to last until 2025.
“We just put in $1 million into that location not too long ago,” she said. “It just has not been a good thing for our agents so we are looking at options of being able to put all of our agents and staff under one roof.”
Some “key team players have already been brought in,” Duran added. In a follow-up, a spokesperson for Coldwell clarified the people were “brought in” as consultants. Management is exploring expanding their space at the building to accommodate employees from the South Office. Another option would be to move entirely into a separate, larger space, she said.
Beth Styne, Coldwell’s regional vice president, said the consolidation is something the company has been exploring for a long time.
At one point, Coldwell had three offices in Beverly Hills. Its “East Office,” which closed in 2008, used to be Fred Sands Realtors before Coldwell acquired the company in 2000. The North Office, meanwhile, was a former Jon Douglas Co. office. Coldwell merged with the brokerage in 1997.
That 301 North Canon location is believed to be the strongest, sources added. Heavy-hitters like Ben Lee and Ginger Glass all work from that office.
The shift within Coldwell comes amid consolidation in the wider brokerage industry. Realogy, which is also parent company of Sotheby’s International Realty and Corcoran Group, has taken the biggest hit in recent months as profits tumble.
Its stock closed at $5.23 a share on Tuesday, down about 76 percent year to date. The company got a slight boost after it announced a partnership with Amazon, though the good news was short-lived.