Having overtaken its rivals to become the top residential brokerage in New York City, Douglas Elliman is now setting its sights on expanding in the markets around Manhattan.
The firm announced Wednesday that it has opened a second office on Fire Island, as well as recruited top Hamptons broker Martha Gundersen from Brown Harris Stevens.
In a brief statement, Gundersen cited Elliman’s leadership, agent tools and support as enticing her to make the move from BHS, where earlier this year she co-handled the $9.6 million sale of a Bridgehampton home once owned by film director and playwright Kenneth Lonergan.
“I am happy to have been given the opportunity to grow in my career with an outstanding company,” said Gundersen in prepared remarks about her decision to join Elliman, which came in at No. 4 in a recent ranking by The Real Deal of ultra-luxury Hamptons brokerage firms.
Gundersen, an Amagansett resident, spent nearly 17 years at BHS, which has shaken up its executive leadership in recent weeks. She joins Elliman along with former BHS agents Dylan Huddleston and Rafal Trawicki.
Meanwhile, longtime Elliman broker Robert Kuhar has opened and will oversee the brokerage’s second office on Fire Island, which is located in a former surf shop at 937 Bayview Walk in Ocean Beach. The new outpost, which made its debut Memorial Day weekend, comes amid Elliman’s relocation of its operations in Smithtown.
“We pride ourselves on taking care of our clients at every stage of our lives, including their seasonal needs,” Ann Conroy, Elliman’s Long Island division president, told The Real Deal. “People purchase or rent seasonally out of our offices summer in Fire Island, so in that regard, [this move fit] that kind of need.”
Kuhar and Elliman’s Kevin Conway currently have Fire Island listings ranging from $375,000 to $2.8 million in the areas of Centereach, Fair Harbor, Ocean Bay Park, Ocean Beach and Seaview. According to research from the brokerage, Suffolk County’s southern shore had 1,045 closed sales during the first quarter of 2019, as the median sales price rose on a year-over-year bases for the 12th consecutive quarter, to $345,000.
Elliman has previously said that it plans to expand its Long Island presence to Cutchogue on the North Fork in Suffolk, as well as New Hyde Park, Rockville Centre and Sea Cliff in Nassau County.
In January, Elliman brought back former broker Gioia DiPaolo for its office in Sag Harbor, where BHS recently reopened an office that had been closed since 2016 due to a fire. TRD reported late last year on BHS moving into bigger office space in Southampton.