Broker Adina Azarian killed in plane crash

Victim in Virginia tragedy owned boutique brokerage in NYC before pivoting to Hamptons

Adina Azarian dies in Virginia plane crash
Adina Azarian (Facebook/Adina Azarian)

The mother who died with her daughter in a mysterious plane crash Sunday was Adina Azarian, a prominent real estate agent who worked for high-profile real estate brokerages in New York City and on Long Island’s East End.

Azarian, 49, sold luxury homes on the South Fork from Hampton Bays to Montauk and handled rentals and sales in New York City, most recently serving as an associate real estate broker at Keller Williams Points North. She lived in East Hampton with her young daughter, who was on board a private Cessna Citation with her nanny and the pilot. There were no survivors.

Before joining Keller Williams on Long Island in February 2020, Azarian served as founder and president of her own boutique real estate firm, Adina Equities, in Manhattan for nearly 20 years. She stepped down from the firm in 2011 to become CEO of Keller Williams NYC, later pivoting to Hamptons listings with Corcoran Group in 2018 where she worked out of the Bridgehampton office as an associate broker.

She transitioned to full-time residency on the South Fork when she purchased a home in East Hampton in 2014.

“She was a big part of my life,” said Eric Barron, a former Keller Williams colleague who knew Azarian for more than two decades. “She’s young and had been doing real estate in the city for 30 years, completely self-made … There’s not a person out there that doesn’t absolutely adore her.”

In 2012, Azarian was among 100 real estate experts whose submissions were published in “Trump: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received.” She was one of only 10 female brokers and the youngest to be included, according to her LinkedIn profile.

“Her vibrant personality and unwavering commitment to her clients set her apart in the real estate industry,” Keller Williams leadership said in a Monday statement. 

The Cessna, whose pilot was unresponsive, entered restricted airspace around Washington, D.C., on Sunday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration said. It was chased by fighter jets and crashed into a mountainous area near rural Montebello, Virginia.

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There’s not a person out there that doesn’t absolutely adore her.

Eric Barron, former colleague

The jet left Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tennessee, at around 1:13 p.m. and was headed for Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, New York. The aircraft “crashed under unknown circumstances” around two hours later and left no survivors, according to a preliminary FAA report.

The jet was owned by Florida-based Encore Motors of Melbourne, federal registration documents show. The company’s owner, John Rumpel, told the New York Times that his daughter Adina, her 2-year-old daughter, the nanny and the pilot were on board.

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Outside of the industry, Azarian was an advocate for several anti-violence and environmental organizations, according to her social media pages, supporting the likes of The Retreat, LVIS-Ladies Village Improvement Society, Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center and the Peconic Land Trust.

“When she walked in the room, it was always great energy. It’s something you can’t forget,” said Ilan Bracha, the founder of IB Global and the Bracha Group, who tapped Azarian as Keller Williams NYC’s CEO in 2011. “She was always smiling and doing the right thing.”

He said, “It’s a tragedy for the industry.”