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Ready for a true partner? Elegran collaborates with its agents to succeed

Pictured: Brett McDermott, Denise Foster, Matthew Wojnarowicz
Pictured: Brett McDermott, Denise Foster, Matthew Wojnarowicz


Elegran is your true partner in real estate.  Elegran provides coaching, a supportive culture and dedicated marketing and operational resources for agents to adapt and excel in a challenging market

Collaborative, authentic, empowering. These are not words that typically come to mind in the highly competitive real estate business. Yet these are some of the key qualities that are attracting agents to Elegran – and helping them grow their business in a more challenging real estate market.

Founded in 2008 by Michael Rossi, Elegran has been making a name for itself in the competitive New York City sales and rental markets and has doubled its production from 2020 to 2021, contracting $1 billion in sales volume in 2021. The top-down philosophy from Rossi has been to create a culture built on innovation, support  and care where agents can thrive. “Elegran believes in truly partnering with its agents, providing them the tools, resources, tech and, most importantly, the human touch. Agents, who we call Advisors, have access to dedicated support from hands-on sales and marketing managers who do more than manage – they coach and execute,” says Amy LaCentra, one of Elegran’s sales managers. 

Recently named the exclusive member of Forbes Global Properties in New York City, Elegran will be expanding their national and international syndication of luxury real estate. “If the individual agent is successful, then the company as a whole is successful. That is what Elegran really strives to do,” says Elegran Agent Denise Foster. They provide all of the tools – support, resources and training to set their agents up for success, she adds. 

At Elegran, sales managers are with agents every step of the way to offer needed expertise, advice or even just moral support. Agents get the answers they need quickly, regardless of whether it is from their assigned manager or not. “Every deal throws you a curve ball just because there are so many different ins and outs in the New York City market,” notes Elegran Agent Brett McDermott. “So, having a manager that is willing to take a call when you do have a question or respond to a text at any time of day is really invaluable.”

Coaching for accelerated growth

At many large brokerage firms, managers are stretched by having to oversee hundreds of agents. At Elegran, the ratio of agent to manager is 20:1, which allows for a fast, personal response. Agents like that their managers understand the market and jump in whenever needed to help save deals or settle clients’ anxiety. There also is an element of trust that they are being guided correctly. Having such access to expertise and resources is important even for agents who have a long tenure in the business. 

That manager or “coach” plays a critical role in helping agents chart a course to grow their business regardless of market conditions. “I can go to any sales manager, and they will speak with me, help me with anything,” says Foster. 

In one case, Foster came out of a showing with a client of a $1.5 million apartment. She had the sense that the showing simply didn’t go well. “I did not feel like I lived up to the title of advisor and felt that I could have provided better support to my client,” she says. She texted her manager Ben Willig and he called her immediately.

He didn’t tell me what I did wrong, he talked me through it. He has such a wonderful wealth of knowledge that he is willing to share, and he always leaves me feeling better when I leave him, notes Foster. With Ben’s support, Foster moved the needle for the client and guided their purchase and closed the deal for them.

Building a successful business in a shifting market

In addition to a strong support network, Elegran provides a full marketing platform to set its agents up for success. The company’s marketing platform was awarded as “Most Innovative Brokerage” from Inman. 

A common frustration agents have with other firms is that marketing is boilerplate with no room for agent ideas to be implemented. “The marketing support I get at Elegran is really top-notch,” says McDermott. Whether it’s direct mailers or digital marketing, it’s not just an Elegran-branded piece with the agent’s name at the bottom in small font. The company makes a point to include the agent’s personal brand. “At the end of the day, even though Elegran is the overarching company, every agent is running his or her own business. So, it is important for each agent to also market within their own brand, and Elegran understands that,” he says. 

Elegran has invested in a new Content Studio at its corporate HQ located at 1407 Broadway. Agents can use the studio to produce podcasts, webinars or create videos to share on their social media channels. In addition, a Content Studio manager will be available to guide agents in providing in-depth content and help them to understand how to leverage the digital space in an authentic way. “Whether it’s TikTok or LinkedIn or YouTube, this is where people’s attention is today,” says McDermott. “Everywhere you go, people are looking at their phones. So, if you’re not on social media and on their phone, you’re not going to be top-of-mind and you’re going to be forgotten.”

Cultures propel growth

In a real estate industry that has a reputation for producing highly independent agents all competing for business, Elegran’s agents agree that the company offers a very different culture. That culture has helped the firm grow to more than 160 agents.

“Elegran has this cheerleading mentality where they’re all cheering you on – but not in a cheeseball way,” says Elegran Agent Matthew Wojnarowicz. One of the features that Wojnarowicz values is the structure that helps him stay focused and build momentum for his business. He also likes the vibe – the openness and collaboration that exists where he can work with other agents on projects and get inspired by different ideas.

There are always ups and downs in the real estate market, and you really need people around you that are going to help push you up the mountain, says Wojnarowicz.

Wojnarowicz describes one of his agent colleagues as a brilliant data guy who has a knack for distilling data down to attack a certain demographic or neighborhood. “I’m not a big data person. So, it’s been eye-opening to have someone sitting beside you doing that and inspiring me to look at things differently,” he says. It’s important to learn from each other and be more well-rounded to stay on top of a real estate market that is changing in all sorts of different ways, he adds. 

“Elegran has a culture in the office that is one of friendliness, openness and willingness to help, and this really comes from the top down,” agrees Foster. One of Foster’s early experiences after joining Elegran confirmed that she had made the right decision and had found a brokerage that was truly the right fit for her. She was working on a purchase and ran into a few issues she didn’t understand. Her sales manager, Ben Willig, was away and asked a manager colleague to help.“I was quite new so we hadn’t met yet, but he stepped in and treated me like I was part of his team. He even spoke to my client on the phone and eased their anxiety,” says Foster. “The mantra here is to humanize and they truly do that. I’m not just a number or a desk. It’s easy to achieve my goal because of who I have in my corner, and that energy keeps me here.”