With turmoil brewing in commercial real estate, brokers are jumping ship at rapid rates — and realigning the industry in the process
(Illustration by Brian Stauffer)
July marked the start of free agency in the National Basketball Association, when some of the biggest names in the league test the market to see how much of a payday they can get by switching teams.
For New York’s commercial real estate brokers, though, free agency happens year-round. And as the market has stumbled along and major firms have faced internal turmoil, 2018 has shaped up to be a year like no other for broker moves.
“In my 18 years in the business, I’ve never seen so many people switching,” said James Famularo, who was one of the first brokers from the now-defunct Eastern Consolidated to find a new home when he and his team signed on with Meridian Capital Group in late June.
Although there’s always some level of broker musical chairs, the sheer pace at which some of the industry’s top producers are moving this year is rapidly realigning the landscape in the commercial leasing, investment sales and retail sectors.
In the first half of the year alone, James Nelson defected from Cushman Wakefield and headed to Avison Young, and top Eastdil Secured hotel broker Larry Wolfe jumped to Newmark Knight Frank.
Meanwhile, David Fowler left HFF to join the powerhouse investment-sales team at CBRE headed by Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan. And Gene Spiegelman, a top Cushman retail broker, departed for Ripco Real Estate.
And the list goes on: In April, Tishman Speyer hired away 30-year Cushman veteran Gus Field, and longtime RKF brokers Beth Rosen and Spencer Levy left for Ripco and CBRE, respectively. For its part, Avison brought on EVO Real Estate Group’s Todd Korren, and Besen A上海夜网