Residential broker has big plans for 555 Madison
The New York franchise of Keller Williams Realty, one of the nation’s largest real estate companies, will be taking over 22,000 square feet of office space formerly occupied by Tiffany & Co. at 555 Madison Ave.
Since its official launch here in April, Keller Williams has grown to 112 agents. The new office, can accommodate nearly triple that number—300 brokers. It will boast a library and large room for training, something the Keller Williams franchise prides itself on. Keller Williams’ headquarters will stay in the Trump Tower at 725 Fifth Ave., as will its executives. Brokers will move into the new office by Oct. 1, according to Ilan Bracha, chairman of Keller Williams NYC.
“The space is gorgeously done and has good energy,” said Mr. Bracha, who was a top-producing agent at Prudential Douglas Elliman before leaving in January to start Austin, Tex.-based Keller Williams’ New York business. “It’s also in a prime location.”
By the end of this year, the firm expects to have 200 to 250 brokers in New York, he added. Keller Williams’ five-year goal is to become one of the largest residential brokerage firms in the city, with at least 1,000 agents. It also has future plans to create a rental division; currently all its brokers are doing sales.
“We expect to take huge market share here,” said Mr. Bracha, noting that currently the brokerage has $150 million worth of exclusive listings. “We train sales agents on how to grow their business and build their teams.”
Keller Williams is known for its unique profit-sharing model, which allows brokers to eventually earn 100% of their commission. To get to that level, brokers must first earn the company $50,000. Since sale prices are so high in Manhattan, a single deal can get agents to the point where they can earn the full commission, Mr. Bracha noted. The business model, which was the subject for a case study at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, is what attracted Mr. Bracha to Keller Williams.
“We stick to the formula and people love it. It’s a very exciting opportunity,” he said. “Everyone here is an entrepreneur.”
Founded in 1983, Keller Williams has more than 80,000 real estate agents in 700 offices across the U.S. and Canada.