Author Topic: Luxury home sales managers defect to competitor  (Read 1596 times)

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Luxury home sales managers defect to competitor
« on: September 12, 2015, 07:53:15 AM »
Funny.  I've never thought of Coldwell Banker as a "luxury brand" either.  Why go luxury when you can just use The Force?   ;)

Luxury home sales managers defect to competitor

Sept. 12, 2015

First Team’s top managers in Newport Beach are defecting to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and taking 45 agents with them, Coldwell Banker officials said Friday.

Debbie Lewandowski, manager of First Team’s Christie’s International Real Estate office and the firm’s luxury division director, will be Coldwell Bankers’ new manager overseeing its three Newport Beach offices.

Mark Gold, assistant manager of the First Team Newport office, also is moving to Coldwell Banker.

It’s the latest shakeup in a luxury market known for competitive jockeying and big defections.

First Team opened its showcase office near Fashion Island along Pacific Coast Highway in 2011, making a foray into a luxury market that caters to industry tycoons as well as the lucrative international market.

The 160-agent office office has a two-story fountain, video displays in every office and high-end decor and is used for charity events and industry functions as well as home sales, a company spokesman said.

In her new job, Lewandowski will oversee a staff of 250 agents, plus those who are transitioning with her, said Jamie Duran, president of Coldwell Banker’s Orange County, San Diego and desert community operations.

“She was working for a non-luxury brand,” Duran said, referring to First Team, the county’s leading brokerage. “It was not working for her. She came to us because we are a luxury brand.”

First Team spokesman Jeff Gibson confirmed Lewandowski had resigned, but only knew of 15 agents who were going with her. He chafed at the suggestion, however, that its Newport Beach office isn’t a luxury brand.

“If Christie’s International isn’t a luxury affiliation, I don’t know what is,” he said. “We sell luxury real estate throughout Orange County.”

Gibson doubted the defection will have a big impact on First Team, which has more than 1,600 agents and averages $4.5 billion to $5.5 billion in annual sale companywide.

“It’s not unusual to have people come and go,” Gibson said. “We’re confident we’re going to continue to grow in that market.”

Coldwell Banker’s Newport operation isn’t new to large-scale defections, although they’ve usually gone in the opposite direction.

About 50 to 60 agents left Coldwell Banker in 2000 to form Strada Properties. Those agents came back into the fold when Coldwell Banker bought Strada.

In 2006, 30 to 40 agents left Coldwell Banker to follow manager Gary Legrand, who helped form Surterre, another luxury home brand.

About 40 people left Coldwell Banker to join Villa Real Estate in 2013.

“Certain people in management do have a following,” said Steve High, a former executive with both Strada and Coldwell Banker who is now president of Villa.

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Offline USCTrojanCPA

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Re: Luxury home sales managers defect to competitor
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2015, 10:41:54 PM »
The Force is no lie!
Martin Mania, CPA
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Often imitated....Never duplicated!
Have license, will travel!


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