NYC resi brokerages celebrate end of 2023

Toasts to lower rates in 2024, selfies on the dance floor and more in celebrations across Manhattan

Resi brokerages celebrate end of 2023

The Compass holiday party

New York City’s biggest names in residential brokerage kicked off the holiday season this week with a host of parties up and down Manhattan. 

From a swanky literary club on the Upper East Side to a cozy Italian restaurant on 22nd Street, brokers, executives and industry insiders celebrated the end of a rocky year in real estate. 

Though the firms differed in their salutes to the ups and downs of 2023, partygoers shared a resounding sentiment: The best way to spread Christmas cheer is the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates next year. 

“I want to make a toast to 2024,” Compass CEO Robert Reffkin said at the company’s holiday event on Monday. “To a moment in Q1 when you read a headline that says ‘With inflation under control, the Fed starts bringing down mortgage rates.’”

Resi brokerages celebrate end of 2023
The Compass holiday party

The executive issued his proclamation from the DJ booth at Guastavino’s, where 700 of the company’s Manhattan agents, leaders and party sponsors gathered to commemorate the season. Among those in the crowd was CFO Kalani Reelitz, who traveled from Chicago to participate in the revelry. 

Under the glow of blue ambient lighting, Reffkin and his wife, Benís, greeted each guest as they entered the double-decker event hall on East 59th Street. 

Between whispers of this year’s party eclipsing the company’s 2022 gathering, agents sipped cocktails, snacked on plates of tortellini and  Reffkin posed for selfies on the dance floor.

While Compass went all out, other brokerages opted for more low-key celebrations. Townhouse specialty brokerage Leslie J. Garfield departed from its usual afternoon at Carbone to a family-style lunch for 20 at Rezdôra. 

Instead of a brokerage-wide bash, Douglas Elliman left its party planning to individual offices. Nest Seekers sent its agents down south for a company-wide party at the Riviera Maya in Mexico. 

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Other firms decked out their own halls for the holiday. Coldwell Banker Warburg shared a spread of Mediterranean food with 95 guests at its newly remodeled office on Madison Avenue. The Agency welcomed partygoers to its office at 88 University Place. 

Elsewhere in the city, Corcoran held events for Manhattan and Brooklyn-based agents at respective locations of Italian restaurant Ainslie (the Lower East Side and in Williamsburg). Instead of a holiday party, Serhant hosted a company-wide day of service. 

Keeping with its holiday tradition, Berkshire Hathaway returned to the Lotos Club on East 66th Street. About 100 attendees floated between the stately, fire-lit library to the dance floor, where the DJ spun a mix of popular songs and remixed holiday tunes. 

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From an archway atop the grand marble staircase, BHHS executives Steven James, Brad Loe and Diane Ramirez espoused the company’s familial spirit. 

“While this has been the most challenging year – and I think next year will be even more challenging — I would not want to work with a better group of people,” James said.

Loe likened the culture to his family’s eclectic Christmas tree, decorated with a hodge-podge of sentimental ornaments, including a macaron, a pickle and a wood carving Loe’s grandfather made for him in 1978.

“On their own, they’re sort of unique and odd, but everything put together, the tree is beautiful,” Loe said.

Resi brokerages celebrate end of 2023
Berkshire Hathaway’s holiday party (VHT Studios)

Correction: An earlier version of this article said Corcoran was absent from the slate of holiday events. It has been updated to clarify the brokerage held events in Manhattan and Brooklyn for agents.

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