New commercial brokerage focuses on being “nimble”

Cory Gubner
Cory Gubner

While many commercial real estate firms have consolidated because of the downturn, Rhys Commercial, a small commercial brokerage in Stamford, is expanding.

The 20-person firm is opening an outpost in Manhattan in the next two months, according to Cory Gubner, the company’s president and CEO. It is also planning to open a New Jersey location toward the end of the year.

These plans come on the heels of an auspicious beginning for the firm: Rhys has signed 90 exclusive listings in its first four months. Gubner said that while he isn’t trying to mimic the major New York City firms, he is making sure that his company remains competitive in the downturn. “The challenge [is] to build a business while not a lot of deals are getting done in the marketplace,” Gubner said.

Of course, when Rhys launched on Oct. 1, a lot of that competition was hurting, with the overall Manhattan office vacancy rate at 11 percent, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s third-quarter market report.

Gubner said the financial downturn is leading to a paradigm shift.

“I think that the time [when] brokerage houses thought they had to be global is going away now,” Gubner said. “I don’t think it’s about ‘bigger is better’ anymore. [Clients want] someone who’s nimble.”