Avenue 8 hires ex-Sotheby’s exec to lead LA team

Industry vet Alan Long part of mobile-first brokerage’s SoCal expansion

Los Angeles /
Sep.September 13, 2021 08:08 AM
Alan Long (iStock, Realtor)
Alan Long (iStock, Realtor)

Avenue 8 has tapped a former Sotheby’s International Realty executive to lead its Los Angeles team, a month after the residential brokerage hired its first Southern California region head to steer growth.

Alan Long joins San Francisco-based Avenue 8 as its first L.A. managing director, the company announced Monday.

Long founded DBL Realtors, which luxury firm Sotheby’s acquired in 2004. He became regional president at Sotheby’s before leaving the firm a few years later.

Long will lead an L.A. team of about 40 agents. He said the team would grow and espoused a culture that breaks with the recent mold — popularized by celebrity broker reality TV shows — of cutthroat competition and confrontational business tactics.

Sales, he said, is “not about taking control and approaching things with a style of domination and wanting to crush the competition. It’s about relationships, and it’s about empathy.”

In August, Avenue 8 named Nick Segal, a former Compass executive, as its first SoCal managing director.

Long, who said he has “retired three times,” wasn’t looking for a job when Segal called him. A former DBL partner, Segal promised the two could recreate the kind of collaborative, agent-friendly culture they enjoyed at the previous firm, Long recounted. “We’re ready to rock and roll again,” Long said.

In an interview with The Real Deal last month, Segal described a similar situation where he wasn’t in the market for a job until Avenue 8 co-founders Justin Fichelson and Michael Martin pitched him.

Founded in 2020, Avenue 8 provides brokers with mobile access to various data and technology tools aimed at streamlining their job and reducing costs. The company, which says its average deal is $1.5 million, claims its model also allows agents to keep more of their commissions. It does not provide details on broker splits.

In May, the firm secured $14 million in funding to help develop new technology and push into markets like New York and Miami. Avenue 8 had about 100 agents at the time. That followed a $4 million seed funding round in December.

Long founded Beverly Hills-based luxury brokerage DBL Realtors in 1987. It had more than 600 agents when it was acquired by Sotheby’s. Long retired in 2008 as Sotheby’s Southern California region president, about four years after that deal. He moved to Park City, Utah, where he founded a brokerage, which he sold in 2018.





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