Brooklyn broker opens his own shop

Longtime Brooklyn broker Harvey Heit has left local brokerage Rita Knox Realty to start his own firm. Heit worked with Rita Knox, who he said was his mentor, for 13 years. However, as the economic climate worsened, Heit said he decided to take his future into his own hands.

“Listings are harder to sell, but brokerage houses are becoming more friendly about co-brokering,” Heit said. “I felt I could make more money by being on my own because if I co-broke, I would have to split half the commission with my boss.”

Heit said that being his own boss allows him to be more flexible in terms of compensation. At the moment, Heit is running H Heit Realty LLC as a one-man operation. Heit converted the first floor of his brownstone, at 364 Sixth Street, into an office and meeting room for clients.

“Right now I’m just hoping to keep my head above water,” Heit said. “A lot of brokers are hurting right now. This year, I just want to start getting a steady flow of business back, pay my bills and go from there.”

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When he left Rita Knox, Heit sent out an e-mail to about 1,600 contacts telling them about his new venture, and he has been doing deals by word of mouth since.

Heit has an exclusive right now for a brownstone on the same block that he lives on that’s listed for $1.65 million, and he just closed on a multi-family building in Prospect Heights for $1.7 million. The multi-family building was originally priced at $2.5 million.

Heit is also focusing more on Internet marketing, and plans to start putting listings up on Twitter.

“With all the things you can do online with social media, I feel like one person sitting behind a computer can do the whole job of advertising,” Heit said.