Side snatches 27-agent Compass team

Louis Belisario, Joe Cruz founded Revived Residential at Side

Compass Loses 27-Agent Team to Rival Brokerage Side
Louis Belisario, Joe Cruz

Leaders of a top Brooklyn team have left to start their own company at Side, a white-label platform for real estate brokerages.

Louis Belisario and Joe Cruz have taken their 27-agent Compass team to found Revived Residential. The team’s $115 million in sales volume in 2022 placed it fourth on Real Trends’ ranking of New York “mega” teams, or those with more than 20 agents.

Belisario emphasized that he and Cruz, who founded the Belisario Cruz Team at Compass in 2020, aren’t leaving the firm because of any issues there.

“It’s about working for ourselves and having our own company,” said Belisario. “It has nothing to do with superiority of technology. To tell you the truth, most real estate agents don’t even use the technology.”

(“Side streamlines the rest with a proprietary app that automates transaction management and premier support services,” Side’s website boasts. Compass, for its part, has spent about $1.5 billion building its platform.)

Revived Residential is housed in a Marine Park office and is opening a second Brooklyn location, in Park Slope, and launching a commercial division, called Revived Commercial. Belisario and Cruz want to nearly triple their agent count to 75 by the end of the year, with the vast majority working on the residential side.

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Belisario previously served as executive director of sales at his family’s company, Fillmore Real Estate, and Cruz owned Urban Realty, which merged into Town Residential.

Elysa Berlin, who most recently worked at Longbrook Real Estate after stints at Massey Knakal Realty Services and Cushman & Wakefield, will head the commercial division.

Belisario and Cruz built their team by focusing on lower price points in Southern Brooklyn and other non-prime neighborhoods, a starkly different strategy from that of most top-tier teams, which tend to focus on luxury real estate. The pair feel they can better serve that market as a boutique operation.

“That clientele really requires a boutique experience and a higher level of service, more hand holding, and things like that,” said Belisario.

Side recently named Stephen Capezza, formerly of Zillow, as its president. The firm made a major splash in 2022 with the addition of Tal and Oren Alexander, who left Douglas Elliman to launch their own company, Official, with Side.

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