BHS agent Richard Ferrari named Douglas Elliman’s New York CEO
Returning to Elliman after six years at BHS, industry veteran will also lead firm’s Northeast region
Douglas Elliman has gone with a 30-year industry veteran to fill the vacancy atop its New York office, naming Richard Ferrari its new chief executive of New York City and the Northeast region.
Ferrari comes to the role from a six-year stint as an agent at Brown Harris Stevens. Between 2015 and 2018, he was a sales director in the Hamptons for the firm and, over the past year, was an adviser for BHS’s businesses in Connecticut and New Jersey.
He succeeds Steven James, who left in April to join Berkshire Hathaway’s behemoth brokerage HomeServices of America.
Ferrari will helm Elliman’s New York City operation and be responsible for leading growth in the city and key markets including New Jersey, Westchester, Connecticut and Massachusetts. He will report to Scott Durkin, Elliman’s president and chief operating officer.
The expanded role for the New York City chief comes after Elliman’s markets outside the Big Apple outperform the city by a significant margin last year. But the city’s business has been rebounding since the fourth quarter of 2020. Traditionally, the city accounts for 70 percent of the firm’s revenue.
Ferrari described his approach out of the gate as focusing on agent recruitment and coaching agents to increase their productivity.
“Every agent has the potential to be a super agent,” said Ferrari. “I’m not going to be advising anyone to change, to reinvent the wheel. … What I am going to do my best to do is grow market share.”
Ferrari is not a new face at Elliman; he spent 15 years as an agent there before moving to BHS and said he “stayed close” to Elliman’s senior management in hopes of returning.
Elliman president and COO Scott Durkin said Ferrari had kept in touch with him and Howard Lorber, Elliman’s executive chairman, over the years and he knew the broker wanted to come back. After James’ departure in April, Durkin said the conversation about the position began mutually when “we both sort of picked up the phone at the same time.”
While Elliman conducted a thorough search for the position, Durkin called Ferrari’s selection a “no-brainer,” citing his experience recruiting agents and working in co-ops as well as his close relationships with managing agents and Douglas Elliman Property Management, which the firm is hoping to expand into New Jersey and Fairfield and Westchester counties.
“We looked far and wide for this position and he always came up as being a great candidate,” said Durkin. “It’s a big growth position.”
Ferrari’s departure from BHS comes days after Diane Ramirez, the firm’s executive chairman and senior adviser, stepped down in search of “a change.”
A spokesperson for BHS wished Ferrari “the best in his next endeavor.”