Richard Grossman joins Avenue 8 to lead East Coast expansion

Former BHS exec will be president of brokerage for states from New York to Florida

Richard Grossman with Avenue 8 co-founders Justin Fichelson and Michael Martin (Avenue 8, Facebook via Grossman)
Richard Grossman with Avenue 8 co-founders Justin Fichelson and Michael Martin (Avenue 8, Facebook via Grossman)

That was fast. In less than two weeks, Richard Grossman, the recently departed New York City regional president for Brown Harris Stevens, has figured out his next act.

The industry veteran is joining Avenue 8, a mobile-first brokerage based in San Francisco founded last year by agent Justin Fichelson and Michael Martin, a former managing partner at marketing and design agency Code and Theory.

Grossman is Avenue 8’s first hire outside of California, where it has 125 agents. Martin said the firm, which has raised $18 million to date, closed $600 million in sales in its inaugural year.

Late last month, Grossman announced he was stepping down from his post at BHS and heading to Paris to wait out his Manhattan non-compete and work out what to do next.

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Grossman said he was introduced to Martin and Fichelson by an unnamed intermediary and was immediately impressed.

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“I felt they were smart and they were thinking about the business in a very forward-thinking way,” he said. “I believe a lot of agents will be drawn to what they have to offer.”

Martin said he and Fichelson were “beyond excited” to meet Grossman and bring him on board.

“He has unparalleled experience navigating the complexities of real estate,” said Martin.

Grossman’s role will be president of brokerage for the eastern states, from New York to Florida.

“We have a road map of expansion that has been identified but we also want to remain opportunistic and nimble,” said Martin.

Avenue 8’s New York operations won’t launch until the new year, according to Martin, but the firm is licensed there, has become a member of the Real Estate Board of New York and is at work building out its city flagship. Martin wouldn’t disclose the location but said it will be “more like a clubhouse than an office.”

The firm has hired several veteran executives in California recently including Compass’ Nick Segal and Alan Long, formerly of Sotheby’s International Realty.