Upstart brokerage Rutenberg NYC has reached the 700-agent milestone, clocking in as the fifth largest residential brokerage in New York City.
Now the firm’s Manhattan president Stefani Berkin has her sights set on elbowing her way into the top three.
“We’re living in the age of the ‘disruptor,’ with so many streamlined business models shaking up entire industries. That’s what Rutenberg NYC is, a catalyst of change, and people are craving that in an industry that has been stagnant for so long. We see no end to this revolution in real estate brokerage in New York, and we’re well positioned to move from #5 to #4 and then #3,” said Berkin.
According to the president, “Rutenberg NYC’s 100 percent commission model is changing the landscape of residential brokerage in New York City. “We have achieved nearly 20 percent growth in the last year alone and expect to maintain that swift pace leading into 2018.
“We offer a compelling combination of financial rewards and operational flexibility that has attracted a steady stream of seasoned agents. We believe agents should keep their hard-earned commissions, while our role is to provide counsel and supportive services to help them close deals and grow their business base.”
In the past year, Rutenberg has nearly doubled its office space, moving into new offices at 641 Lexington Avenue. Desk capacity has been increased 30 percent to accommodate more agents.
Agents have also been closing on bigger and bigger deals. Jeffrey Fields recently went to contract on a $79 million penthouse duplex at 520 Park Avenue and Tak Cheung closed a $26 million sale of a duplex condo at 515 Park Avenue.
Berkin credits that company’s growth to its business model that allows agents to keep double the commission typically offered at other brokerage firms.
She said, “Agents leave a lot on the table at other firms, and industry change has long been overdue. That’s why agents are knocking on our door to join Rutenberg NYC.”
Rutenberg NYC agents pay monthly fees and transaction fees for supportive services that include coaching on deals, mentoring, technology support, in-house continuing education, marketing services, and office and conference space. The firm also recently added research to its offered services, naming Tak Cheung as director of research.
Berkin has been running Rutenberg NYC since 2014, when she took over following several tumultuous years when the firm started by her grandfather in 2007 floundered through a series of partnership disagreements and a recession. She has been credited with reinforcing the commission model, raising the firm’s profile and increasing agent services.
Rutenberg’s ranking is based on The Real Deal survey of company size by agent count carried out in 2016. At that time, Douglas Elliman had 2,010 agents; Corcoran was number two with 1,128 agents; Halstead 814; Citi Habitats 745.