Some of the most prestigious real estate agents in New York City gathered at Newzpanda‘s inaugural New York Power Broker Awards. The private event, held on May 25 at chef Angie Mar’s Les Trois Chevaux restaurant in the West Village, honored real estate agents with awards in seven categories.
The evening, co-hosted with luxury real estate PR firm The Society Group and sponsored by interior design and home staging company Vesta Home, began with a cocktail hour, allowing the competitors to mingle before sitting down for dinner.
The guest list — which included Douglas Elliman agent and Million Dollar Listing New York star Kirsten Jordan, Kendra SellsHollywood star Lisa Simonson of Elliman, Corcoran Group’s Cathy Franklin and Elliman’s Noble Black — represented elite sellers who made THR‘s 2022 Top New York Real Estate Agents list.
Despite being in competition with each other, the brokers had nothing but positive things to say about their peers. “It’s such an honor to be in the room. It’s great to have all these conversations with some really talented brokers. Brokers that I tried to get on their team,” John Gomes said while accepting the power brokers of new development award on behalf of Douglas Elliman’s Eklund | Gomes Team. “Early in my career I was begging and doing anything I could do to get on the Tamir Shemesh team.” Shemesh, who recently moved to the Serhant brokerage, chimed in from his table by jokingly adding, “I would still reject you.”
“You all know how hard it is to be successful in this industry and I’m just honored to be in this room with all of you sharing this wonderful honor,” Gomes continued. Thank you so much Newzpanda. You guys make everything fun and this certainly is. I love your magazine and flipping through those pages and living that life.”
In addition to Eklund | Gomes, the night’s winners included The Alexander Team of Douglas Elliman (who took home the award for power brokers of Billionaire’s Row); Modlin Group’s Adam Modlin (agent of historic architecture); Compass’ Nick Gavin (celebrity property portfolio); Corcoran’s Deborah Kern (stratospheric sale) and Compass’ Ian Slater (rising star). Three agents shared the award for penthouse sale of the year: Corcoran’s Carrie Chiang, Douglas Elliman’s Ryan Stenta and Compass’ Jason Haber, who were co-listing agents on the recent $70.5 million sale at 432 Park Avenue, the biggest residential deal on record in the city so far in 2022.
A popular topic throughout the night was the historically competitive housing market in New York City. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve seen a lot of good markets, I feel, but never, ever what we’ve had. We’ve set all sorts of records. We’ve doubled our own record year,” Eklund | Gomes’ Fredrik Eklund told THR. “New York is back with a vengeance. She’s roaring.”
Eklund then shared his predictions on what the market will look like in the near future. “Can it continue? I don’t believe that in the same pace and the same velocity. However, I see it as a tale of three markets. Below $3 million will be a bidding war. The big mid-section is starting to be slower, plateauing out and softening,” he said. “But I feel like the high end is really on fire.”
After reflecting on his successful year in real estate, Eklund revealed what he hopes to achieve in his career moving forward. “We’re going into Vegas, so we’re actually launching that in June,” he said. “I really want to create this SWAT team. We don’t want to be the largest, we don’t want to be the smallest, but we want to be the best. We’ve always sold to the celebrities and we’ve had a lot of these celebrity names and lately we’ve just been moving up the price point. We’re always on new development, but what we’re getting known for now are these mega-trophy, sky-high priced apartments. So that’s really exciting.”
Serhant’s Shemesh credited the booming market with people moving back to the city to work in their offices. “The market is very robust. I think that a lot of people are coming back. Fortunately, and unfortunately for them because now they have to go back to work in the offices, working from home is diminishing and that’s why the market in the city back,” he said.
Million Dollar Listing‘s Steve Gold of Corcoran Group called 2021 an “incredible” year for the New York City real estate market, though said there have been a few roadblocks for aspiring homeowners in 2022. “We were at crazy volume last year and this year there have been robust sales,” he said. “Geopolitical issues and rising interest rates are slowing down a little bit of the volume. I think it’s not as robust as it was last year, but we’re still seeing a lot of sales happening. I’ve been, personally, very busy.”
While Gold said home sales have been down, he noted that “the rental market is on fire, which means a lot of people are still coming back.”
Serhant’s Maggie Wu, who was nominated in the rising star New York category—along with Douglas Elliman’s McKenzie Davis, also shared her thoughts on the market. “It’s been so crazy,” she said. After noting that the coronavirus pandemic “shut everything down,” Wu said things started to get better in 2021. However, she admitted that the uncertainty of the stock market has made it difficult to predict the future of New York City real estate. “I have clients telling me, ‘Pull all of your money out of the markets. It’s gonna crash.’ And then there are people that are like, ‘It’s fine.’”
The New York Power Brokers Awards served as the East Coast counterpart to the first annual Los Angeles Power Broker Awards, which debuted in 2021.
See below for more images from the event: