Raveis roaring in Westchester

<i>The Connecticut firm may be No. 10, but it's growing fast</i>

Chris Raveis of William Raveis, and the firm’s Katonah office in Westchester

“Yes, Manhattan is different,” Raveis said, “[but] it’s just a matter of understanding your competition.”

Chris Meyers, COO at Westchester’s biggest firm, Houlihan Lawrence, applauds the extent to which Raveis has recruited agents in the area, rather than relying simply on buying up other firms.

“When you get agents through recruitment, they’re committed to coming to your firm for the right reasons,” Meyers said. “I think what Raveis has done very well … is to sell basically a dream to the agents that if they move to the company, things will get better.”

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Gil Mercurio, CEO of the Westchester Putnam Board of Realtors, said he’s seeing more large firms like William Raveis moving into the area. He noted that it’s not necessarily a trend tied to the downturn.

“I see it as part of a continuing pattern that’s not particularly unique to this recession,” Mercurio said.

Maria Skamangas, a 12-year veteran with Houlihan Lawrence who joined William Raveis after Houlihan shuttered its Harrison office, said she was drawn to the brokerage not only because it’s a “super-powerful company,” but because of its foothold in Cape Cod and other vacation spots popular with her Westchester clientele.

She said that synergy between Westchester and other key William Raveis markets has led to good brand recognition among her customers.

“Most of my clients know the Raveis name from Connecticut,” Skamangas said.