Christie’s International Real Estate is finalizing the sale of its company-owned Manhattan brokerage office to Brown Harris Stevens, a privately owned residential brokerage firm in New York.
The global luxury network also announced that it is severing ties with two affiliates, terminating its agreement with Harry Norman Realtors of Atlanta, and electing not to renew its agreement with Virginia-based Long & Foster Real Estate. Both Harry Norman and Long & Foster are owned by HomeServices of America, an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Last month, an entity led by Thad Wong and Mike Golden, owners of real estate technology and brokerage firm @properties, acquired the Christie’s International Real Estate brand and network from Christie’s. The acquisition included a 20-agent company-owned brokerage office in New York City.
According to Wong in a press release statement, the sale of the Manhattan brokerage to Brown Harris Stevens is consistent with Christie’s International Real Estate’s renewed focus on supporting market-leading, independent firms and allows the company to devote more resources to growing and servicing its global affiliate network in the near term.
“Being competitive in Manhattan requires significant scale and hands-on leadership at the local level. As the leading independent brokerage firm in the city and the region, this is exactly what Brown Harris Stevens provides. I have a ton of admiration for Brown Harris Stevens, for its ownership and for its CEO, Bess Freedman,” said Wong.
Brown Harris Stevens and Christie’s International Real Estate are engaged in preliminary discussions about working together.
“Working with Thad throughout this acquisition process was an absolute pleasure, and we are thrilled to see our plans come to fruition. I have tremendous respect for his high level of integrity and unwavering professionalism and look forward to exploring how we can continue to work together in the future,” said Freedman.
Severing Ties With Harry Norman and Long & Foster
Meanwhile, the termination of Harry Norman and non-renewal of Long & Foster is another indication of Christie’s International Real Estate’s commitment to luxury-focused independents vs. corporate-owned brokerages.
“The Christie’s International Real Estate network gives independent owner-led firms access to branding, technology and marketing that’s every bit as sophisticated as what the largest real estate companies in the world provide, if not more so. For obvious reasons, we cannot make these same best-in-class resources available to the large corporations against whom our affiliates compete,” said Wong. “HSA graciously understands our position and is working with us to transition these firms out of the network. We look forward to continuing to work with these companies on a co-operative basis.”
In Atlanta, Christie’s International Real Estate has already identified a new affiliate: Ansley Real Estate. Ansley is partially owned by @properties but is still run by its founder, co-owner and CEO, Bonneau Ansley.