Elliman nabs sister duo from NYC firm Citi Habitats

Apr.April 17, 2013 10:00 AM

From the New York site: Sister duo Tracie and Elizabeth Hamersley, the perennially top-ranked sales team at New York City brokerage Citi Habitats, have decamped for Douglas Elliman, The Real Deal has learned.

The Hamersleys — along with team members Robert Falcone, Jason Lopez and Thuy Truong — began working yesterday out of Elliman’s office at 774 Broadway in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.

In almost a decade at Citi Habitats, the sisters have won many of the awards that the firm hands out. In 2012, the Hamersleys ranked first in overall production and sales, both for the second consecutive year. In 2011, they were also the top rental team, and in 2010, the sisters together nabbed the top sales agent prize.

A spokesperson for Citi Habitats did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

While Tracie was careful to note that the move had nothing to do with Citi Habitats, she said Elliman would offer the team additional capabilities.

“We just think there are greater sales opportunities at Elliman — not that Citi Habitats couldn’t offer them,” Tracie said.

Additionally, she is licensed in New York and her native Florida, where Elliman has eight offices. And the sisters were attracted by the fact the Broadway office is a retail storefront; previously, they had worked out of Citi Habitats’ corporate headquarters at 250 Park Avenue South in Manhattan.

The Hamersleys will continue to handle both sales and rentals, Tracie said, estimating that about 85 percent to 90 percent of their business at Citi Habitats was focused on sales, though the firm is better known for its rental offerings.

“We really did have a great run at Citi Habitats,” she said, “and we love everyone there very much.”

Tracie, the older sister, joined Citi Habitats as a newcomer to the industry in 2003. About a year later, Elizabeth came on board, and the pair have been working together ever since. They added their first team member in 2008, as The Real Deal has reported.

“Tracie and her team are a tour-de-force in the industry,” Dottie Herman, Elliman’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “They are truly among the most talented agents in the business and will be a tremendous asset to our company.”

The Hamersleys’ exit is the latest departure for Citi Habitats.

Gordon Golub, the firm’s director of rentals and an 18-year veteran, left for a tech start-up called Urban Compass in January. In October, the brokerage’s head of new development marketing, Clifford Finn, joined Elliman. And Rado Varchola, a top-ranked sales broker at the firm, joined Nest Seekers International in September.

In the last year, Citi Habitats also has shuttered two offices — at 27 East 22nd Street and 32 East 22nd Street — and consolidated its new development marketing operations with Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, the new development arm of the Corcoran Group. Both brokerages are subsidiaries of NRT, a unit of the real estate conglomerate Realogy.

Gary Malin, the president of Citi Habitats, and Pam Liebman, the CEO of Corcoran, have dismissed concerns that the brokerage is faltering.

The office closures were part of a strategy to consolidate multiple small offices into new, larger locations, Liebman has said. Additionally, the brokerage has not cut back expenditures since 2009 and had a “banner” sales year in 2012, according to Malin and Liebman.

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