Barak Realty launches rental division

Founder Barak Dunayer insists sales business is still healthy, seeks new sales leader

From left: Barak Realty founder Barak Dunayer and new head of rentals Brian Dusseau
Barak Realty has officially launched its rental division, founder Barak Dunayer told The Real Deal.

Following a four month search, Dunayer hired Brian Dusseau two weeks ago to head the new rental division. Dusseau had been at Bond New York for the past five months after spending three months at Keller Williams NYC (note: correction appended). Dunayer also brought on Tamara Sanchez, who most recently served a short stint at now-defunct BP Vance Real Estate and was at Core before that, as the firm’s rental listings director earlier this month. Additionally four agents have joined the firm to focus primarily on rental listings.

The rental division will have a presence in each of the firm’s two offices at 237 West 72nd Street on the Upper West Side and 1458 Third Avenue, near 82nd Street, on the Upper East Side. Dunayer said he plans to hire several more rental-focused agents in the coming weeks.

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“It’s not the prime rental season, so we have time to build this the right way,” he said, noting the current focus is to build the firm’s listings database. “It’s not like the spring and summer where we would have to go 100 miles per hour.”

A fully-developed rental division has been a long time coming for the 11-year-old firm, as Dunayer has sought to diversify his business. The sales team has had a difficult year with some top producers departing and published reports of turmoil within the office that compelled to Dunayer take more more of a hands-on role in sales. Dunayer insisted his firm is still
maintaining, and even expanding, its sales presence. He is in the process of hiring a new head for the company’s sales division. The firm currently has 27 agents, Dunayer said.

Though Barak Realty had always brokered some rental deals, Dunayer said he coveted a stronger rental presence for the benefit of his agents. Less experienced agents, who can’t afford to wait on the occasional sale to make a living, can now build their skills in the rental market and land long-term clients in the form of first-time renters who move up the ladder and eventually look to purchase.

“It was an underdeveloped part of our business,” Dunayer said. “Now, we’ll have that strong link between our businesses that we didn’t have before.”