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WHO’S NEWS: Residential appointments and promotions


Citi Habitats announced that industry veteran Kevin Kurland has joined the firm as the new Senior Managing Director of their Greenwich Village office.
Kurland will join current Rental Manager Anthony Palmieri to form the new leadership team for this location.
Zac Flynt, the former Greenwich Village SMD, has chosen to transition to an agent role at the brokerage.
Kurland has been a real estate professional for over two decades. He began his journey at Citi Habitats – as an agent in the firm’s then East 38th Street office – in 1996.
He founded Kurland Realty in 1997 and expanded to two offices in Murray Hill and Chelsea. In 2011, he launched Spire Group, a cnew business model and brand designed for experienced agents.
Last year, Kurland sold his stake in the brokerage businesses and focused on managing his portfolio of investment properties in New York, New Jersey and overseas.
In Kurland’s new position, he will help both new and veteran agents build their careers. He will also be responsible for recruiting new agents in addition to building the office’s portfolio of exclusive listings.
Douglas Elliman announced that Samantha Yanks, an editor and branding expert with over 18-years of experience in the luxury real estate, fashion and lifestyle publishing industries, has been named the firm’s new chief marketing officer.


Yanks will be responsible for the strategic leadership of Elliman’s national marketing program.
Yanks was most recently the editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury’s Gotham and Hamptons magazines.
As editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury’s Gotham and Hamptons magazines, Yanks was responsible for overseeing all the editorial pages while securing and managing the magazines’ high-profile contributors and celebrity talent.
Earlier, Yanks was fashion and accessories director for Niche Media. before that, she was senior accessories editor at O, The Oprah Magazine. She began her career at Vogue in the fashion and accessories department.
A graduate of Tulane University, Yanks will be based out of Elliman’s corporate headquarters at 575 Madison Avenue.


Halstead announced that Juliet Clapp will join the firm on June 1 as Executive Director of Sales in the West Side Office.
Clapp will work alongside longtime Executive Director of Sales on the West Side, Michael Goldenberg.
Clapp has more than 14 years of real estate experience, first as an agent and then as a sales director.
Most recently she was a managing director with TOWN and, before that, a senior managing director of sales at Citi Habitats.
Clapp’s background in financial planning and she also previously served as Vice President of a technology startup company which she helped take public.
Family First Funding’s president, Gabriel Gillen, and CEO, Scott Weikel, announced the launch of the company’s private-banking division, headed by Melissa Cohn, the New York City mortgage banker best known for the company she founded and built into a powerhouse mortgage company, Manhattan Mortgage.
Family First Funding will open offices in New York City, the Hamptons, and Connecticut to service the new banking division’s growing list of clients and mortgage providers.
Cohn began her finance career with Citibank straight out of Smith College and went on to run the mortgage division at Gilbert Charles & Beylan, Inc. before founding Manhattan Mortgage.
After selling her company in 2012, Cohn was executive vice president with Guaranteed Rate and after a brief stint with GuardHill Financial joined FM Home Loans in 2015.
Jonathan McKestern has joined Keller Williams as a sales associate.
McKestern has six years of real estate experience, most recently working at Citi Habitats Befoer that, he worked at Miron Properties.
McKestern will work on rental as well as sales transactions.
Harjot Kaur Nayar also joined Keller Williams from Citi Habitats where she worked for two years.
Nayar holds a B.S. in Psychology from Fordham University.
The Corcoran Group announced that Nicole Hechter and Asaf Bar-Lev, now working as a team to be known as the Hechter Bar-Lev Team, joined Corcoran’s Village office.
Hechter and Bar-Lev were most recently associated with Town Residential. Pamela Liebman, President and CEO of The Corcoran Group, made the announce
Nicole Hechter joins Corcoran with over 15 years of experience, starting her career at Douglas Elliman for 13 years before spending the last two years at Town Residential.
She has been recognized as among the top one percent of all U.S. real estate professionals by the Wall Street Journal/REAL TRENDS annual ranking.
Asaf Bar-Lev join Corcoran after six years at Town Residential. He will be bringing his team to Corcoran.
Prior to his career in brokerage, Bar-Lev served as an executive for a venture capital firm in New York and was a Vice President at a real estate development company.
Asaf was ranked as one of the top real estate professionals by The Wall Street Journal.

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