UPDATED, 5:29 p.m., Jan. 7: A week into the new year and already there are major changes afoot at Coldwell Banker.
Beth Styne is stepping down as regional vice president of its Greater Los Angeles division, 11 months after she left her post as the division’s chief operating officer, The Real Deal has learned. Styne will return to her role as an agent, now with her own team.
“I know in my heart of hearts that I am probably the best real estate agent in town,” Styne said in an interview on Tuesday. “It’s time to put my skills back to use.”
Styne will transition back to being an agent after 18 years in a managerial role, leading the Beth Styne Group. It will consist of Kelly Sutherland, Annie Challis, Hazel Gordy and Maria Dryden, all agents at Coldwell. Styne said she recruited Sutherland and Challis, who have experience with clients in the entertainment industry.
As COO, Styne managed the firm’s 2,100 agents and 36 L.A. branches from her own office in Beverly Hills. The company has not yet filled that slot, according to a Coldwell spokesperson.
In December 2018, the office had a leadership shakeup when Jamie Duran was promoted to president for Southern California, replacing longtime Greater L.A. president Robert Foster. Styne stepped down as COO two months later.
Coldwell’s L.A. branch has endured some turbulence in recent months, including losing several key agents to Compass, and consolidating two of its Beverly Hills offices into one.
In August, Coldwell heavy hitters Ginger Glass and Chris Cortazzo each jumped ship to Compass. And late last month, veteran Beverly Hills broker Steve Frankel also moved to the Softbank-backed brokerage.
Styne dismissed the idea that Compass’ recent moves would have a long-term effect on Coldwell’s market share in L.A.
“There’s always going to be something new and shiny and attractive,” Styne said. “Compass sells their technology and wraps it up in a pretty bow, but technology is just a tool.”
She added that Coldwell has poached its fair share of Compass agents over the years, including luring back Brent Watson, though that happened three years ago.
Styne got her real estate agent’s license at 22, switching full-time from a life as an actor, where she appeared in productions of plays written by Harold Pinter. Styne said she opposes the current trend of agents starring in reality TV shows.
“It diminishes the value of who professional realtors truly are, and that we have an extraordinary fiduciary duty to our clients,” she said.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Styne just stepped down as COO. She left that position in February 2019. Also, she received her real estate agent’s license at 22 not 23.