Features Residential

Stronger Together: Corcoran and Citi Habitats Merge into One Powerhouse Brand

Photography by Jill Lotenberg

As the real estate industry faces the opportunities and challenges of a new decade, The Corcoran Group has embarked on an unprecedented initiative of growth and expansion, both into new market segments and geographic regions. Central to this strategy was the merger of Citi Habitats into the Corcoran brand, officially announced in late January. This joining of forces gives The Corcoran Group market-leading reach across the sales, new development and rental arenas — from walk-up to white glove. In addition, it cements Corcoran’s position as one of the most inclusive and forward-thinking real estate firms in the New York City region, South Florida and beyond.

“Gary and I discussed merging our two firms for many years, and we knew that it would happen when the time was right. That time is now. With Corcoran entering a new phrase of growth, it made sense to start this journey at home and provide Citi Habitats’ agents with all the advantages of the Corcoran brand. There couldn’t be a more perfect union,” said Pamela Liebman, president and CEO of The Corcoran Group. “Joining forces gives our company a leading presence in all segments of the market, from luxury sales to rentals and new developments. We are truly stronger together.”

The combined company’s numbers are impressive by any measure. After the merger, Corcoran is now home to 2,420 New York City-based agents. In 2019, these real estate professionals sold approximately $7 billion in residential listings and completed 22,000 rental transactions.

Liebman and Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, shared the exciting news with all Citi Habitats’ agents at a companywide presentation and reception at The Pierre Hotel ballroom. The key message given to all in attendance by both leaders was the idea of “One Corcoran” — a reference to the fact that after nearly two decades of operating as separate entities, the two brands were now one.

The executives also announced that Malin would continue as Corcoran’s chief operating officer, a role he took on in November 2019, in tandem with his leadership position at Citi Habitats. As COO, he will oversee the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the newly-unified firm. The news was met with cheers and applause and the overwhelming sentiment that the merger was a brilliant strategic move for both brands, which have a strong, shared history.

Citi Habitats was initially an independent company with a revolutionary business model. Founded in 1994, Citi Habitats was built on the principle of giving rental clients and landlords the same care, attention and resources given to buyers and sellers, a unique concept for the time. This business plan proved enormously successful, and within just a few years, Citi Habitats was New York City’s largest rental firm and a leading brokerage for residential sales as well.

Corcoran acquired Citi Habitats in 2004, a move spearheaded by Liebman to capitalize on opportunities in New York’s sizable rental market. After the buy-out, Citi Habitats continued to operate as an independent division under The Corcoran Group umbrella.

In addition to expanding its rental and sales brokerage business under the leadership of Malin, Citi Habitats entered the booming Brooklyn market through the purchase of aptsandlofts.com, a leading brokerage and new development marketing firm in the borough. By 2015, Citi Habitats had achieved the ranking of the largest new development marketer in Brooklyn, as described by The Wall Street Journal. At the time of the merger, the company had 700 agents and employees.

“Joining forces gives our combined company a leading presence in all segments of the market — from luxury sales to rentals and new developments. We are truly stronger together.” —Pamela Liebman

The merger of Corcoran and Citi Habitats offers distinct advantages for clients, the executives say. The combined firm is able to help New Yorkers through every phase of their real estate journey, from their initial post-graduate rental to their first home purchase and subsequent moves as their housing needs change. The new Corcoran now serves as a one-stop real estate firm for buyers, sellers, investors and renters alike. No matter the need, Corcoran has them covered.

In addition to offering an unparalleled experience for consumers, Corcoran is also a perfect home for affiliated agents — from new licensees to industry veterans. Its enhanced strength in all market segments and unrivaled technology, marketing and management teams make it the preferred choice for skilled real estate professionals, no matter their area of expertise.

“In addition to the great strategic advantages for the Corcoran brand, the merger opens a clear path to success for agents,” explained Malin. “With enormous networking and referral opportunities, a robust lead-generation program, best-in-class marketing and agent education initiatives, innovative tech support and a managerial team that’s unmatched in the industry, we’ve built an incredible platform from which all agents, at every stage of their careers, can grow their business. If an agent wants to win in New York City real estate, Corcoran is the place to do it.”

Corcoran is also enhancing services for developers of new luxury rentals and boutique condominiums. In addition to the vast resources of the market-leading Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, the recent merger has greatly increased the reach and market share of Corcoran New Developments. Led by industry veterans Jodi Stasse (who also holds a leadership role at Corcoran Sunshine), David J. Maundrell III and John Felicetti, this division focuses on helping builders and owners of new and repositioned condominium and rental buildings.

Some current projects of note include: the futuristic, three-tower 420 Kent development on the Williamsburg waterfront; the 184-unit, 25-story Star Tower condominium in Long Island City and the rental residences at The Greenpoint, a 40-story condo/rental hybrid located along the East River in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Corcoran is not just growing its presence in New York City. In the weeks that followed the merger, the company introduced its first round of franchise partners. First up, the West Coast markets of San Francisco, California and Reno/Lake Tahoe, Nevada, followed shortly thereafter by the launch of franchises in the Orlando/ Central Florida region and in the Midwest metropolis of Chicago, Illinois. This expansion gives Corcoran the ability to help clients achieve their real estate goals in key cities and resort communities from coast to coast.

With these headline-grabbing announcements occurring just in the first few months of 2020 alone, Corcoran is entering the new decade with a focus on innovation, transformation and growth. Said Liebman with smile, “We are a company on the move and remain laser-focused on providing the best experience for our valued clients and agent community nationwide. Nobody does it better … and we are just getting started.”

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