Brown Harris Stevens CEO on growth through talent attraction

In today’s episode of RealTrending we speak to 2023 RealTrends GameChanger Bess Freedman, CEO of Brown Harris Stevens in New York. The brokerage grew by 163% by transaction side percentage over the past five years, 2017-2022. Part of that growth is due to an acquisition of Halstead in 2002 and Christie’s International’s New York office in 2022. However, her talent attraction strategy also plays a role in that growth.

Freedman discusses how she attracts talent in the hyper-competitive New York City real estate market, the importance of an accessible culture in the office and how she finds inspiration and motivation.

Here is a small preview of today’s interview with Bess The transcript below has been lightly edited for length and clarity:

Tracey Velt: Most brokerages now know that you have to have the technology to survive when it comes to recruiting and the retaining agents. The difference comes is really in the value proposition of the brokerage, the culture of the brokerage, and that. How would you kind of define your value proposition or your culture.

Bess Freedman: It is a culture that is obviously professional and ethical and all those things, but it’s a culture of showing up for each other. It’s an in person culture available, and accessible culture. All of our executives, after the pandemic, have been coming into the office, and all our employees, we make ourselves available. We’re committed to service and hospitality at the highest level and taking care of people, clients and agents.

People sometimes refer to us as a luxury company. And I say, luxury doesn’t mean the price point, it means the level of service and care that we give to agents, and to our clients. And I think that’s a little way that we distinguish ourselves from the others. We really care, even if whether it’s a rental or high end property. We want it to show up incredibly well. And we want people to feel like they’re being seen and heard agents and clients are like, and I think that keeps us like I said, it’s like we are a bit of a mom and pop we care about the details. And that I think is special, especially in today’s environment.

The RealTrending podcast features the brightest minds in real estate. Every week, brokerage leaders, top agents, team leaders, and industry experts share their success secrets, trends, and lessons learned navigating this ever-changing industry. Hosted by Tracey Velt and produced by Elissa Branch.