Kelly Bensimon launches Douglas Elliman team

Former reality TV personality sold $110M in luxury properties in 2021

Douglas Elliman's Kelly Bensimon (Josh Tepper, iStock, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)
Douglas Elliman's Kelly Bensimon (Josh Tepper, iStock, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)

Douglas Elliman’s rookie of the year is starting her own team.

After notching $110 million in luxury sales last year, Kelly Killoren Bensimon is launching a six-person team at the brokerage. Bensimon, a former model known for a three-season stint on The Real Housewives of New York City, sells properties in New York City, the Hamptons, South Florida and other international hubs.

Bensimon said she’s looking to create “a very strong team that works well for our clients.”

“Trust is everything, and I don’t take my business lightly,” Bensimon said. “I just want to be able to use my connectivity and build my team and expand.”

Three members of Bensimon’s six-person team have a sales background and only recently got their real estate licenses. The broker said she believes the unique backgrounds they bring to the team will be useful in supporting clients.

“I wouldn’t want to hire someone that I wouldn’t want one of my clients to work with,” Bensimon said.

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Bensimon started with Dolly Lenz Real Estate in November of 2017 and later joined Warburg in March of 2018. After briefly returning to Lenz, Bensimon told The Real Deal in August 2019 she then went to Elliman’s Holly Parker.

“I just needed a strategic partner that could help me with both residential and commercial [deals], so that’s why I went to Elliman,” Bensimon previously told TRD.

The broker said her high-profile network has already come in handy.

After meeting with a client who was looking for a $30 million apartment for his son downtown, she connected them with a friend who put up their apartment for sale. The result was 150 Charles, unit #9C, selling for $42 million, up from an original ask of $30 million.

“Once you work with ultra high net worth investors, and they recognize that you listen to what they want, and you can actually follow through, your world really opens up,” Bensimon said.