Let the luxury real estate wars begin.
A California-based brokerage has set up shop in Las Vegas, has taken some of the leading talent from other firms and has vowed to be the No. 1 agency in volume within 18 months, or at least within the top three.
Corcoran Global Living, the first-ever franchise affiliate of the The Corcoran Group — offices were all nationally owned previously — said it already has 110 agents in Las Vegas, including the city’s No. 1 Realtor for dollar volume in Kristen Routh-Silberman, formerly of Synergy Sotheby’s International. Corcoran Global also has welcomed a merger with Windermere Prestige Properties and its staff headed by its owners, Robyn Yates-Gajjar and Sid Gajjar.
It now has offices encompassing luxury real estate properties in Henderson, including MacDonald Highlands, Summerlin and Lake Las Vegas. Since its launch in California in February 2020, it now has 66 offices in both states with 2,200 agents and sales of $8.2 billion in the past 12 months. It was ranked No. 18, nationally, in the nation in dollar volume of transactions in 2020 with offices now ranging from Northern California, San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley to Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. It also has an office in Lake Tahoe area in Northern Nevada.
Corcoran Global Living CEO and founder Michael Mahon laid down the gauntlet Wednesday when he spoke to the new group of agents during a meeting at Green Valley Ranch Resort.
“We’re going on offense, and the other brokerages aren’t going to be happy with this announcement,” Mahon told the Realtors. “This is a game-changer, folks. The Las Vegas market will never be the same after today.”
Berkshire Hathaway was ranked No. 1 in 2020 with $2.6 billion in transactions. That’s what Corcoran is aiming for within the next 18 months. Mahon called the Gajjars and Routh-Silberman “luxury real estate icons” in Las Vegas who will help make that happen.
“By uniting and empowering the top independent brokerages, top teams and top independent sales professionals to come together as one brand and brokerage, we are unstoppable in what we can accomplish together,” Mahon said.
It’s part of the reconfiguration of the real estate industry in Las Vegas. Effective July 1, HomeServices of America Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, acquired Americana Holdings, the Las Vegas-based brokerage franchise of CEO Mark Stark. His franchise operated under the name Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, California Properties and Arizona Properties.
“I have had the gauntlet laid down so many times,” Stark said. “Mark it down in your calendar and in 18 months go interview him. They are not even on the map now. They’re (The Corcoran Group) a big company in New York City. They do decent in New York, and we will see what they do in Las Vegas. I’m not worried about it whatsoever. Not to be rude, but they’re not even doing any business. It’s so small, today. They won’t be on my radar until if what they say is true and raise their production up. But they have a long way to go.”
In 2020, Synergy Sotheby’s International in Southern Nevada came under new ownership. In August, the company named Randy Char of Char Luxury Real Estate as president and announced that his entire team joined Sotheby’s, which has just been renamed Las Vegas Sotheby’s International Realty.
“We welcome it,” Char said of the new competition. “The customer expects elevated service, and they will vote with who they go with. You can’t do things status quo and expect to deliver the same product in today’s age. What differentiates you is your service, marketing and brand. There’s been a lot of brand consolidation, and there’s more merit to the bigger global brands. Their reach is harder to compete with. I loved owning my own boutique brokerage, but I feel we can supercharge this with Sotheby’s behind us.”
Char called Sotheby’s the No. 1 global luxury real estate brand in the world and the largest franchise inside their network, which covers Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Palms Springs and Lake Tahoe.
“Las Vegas is an important market for us in a company with a global reach,” Char said. “I believe in the brand. There’s some great moves ahead very shortly that’s going to put the spotlight on the brand.”
Corcoran Global Living
Robyn Yates-Gajjar joins the company as a partner and president of the Nevada and California Sierra region. Sid Gajjar joins the company as vice president of the vacation rental division of the Nevada and California Sierra region.
Their Windermere Prestige Properties had offices in Henderson and Lake Las Vegas and brought about 100 staff, including 92 agents. Robyn Yates-Gajjar has had her firm for 17 years in Las Vegas but said she saw the opportunity with the merger. The Corcoran Group is part of the international Realogy Brokerage Group.
“It’s about this idea of working with other entrepreneurs under one company,” she said. “There’s this amazing support system with the synergy of being part of something larger, including a marketing team, legal teams, public relations team and an I-buyer team.”
Robyn Yates-Gajjar said it won’t be long before their firm is No. 1 in handling transactions of about $1 million and higher because of their marketing and brand itself and attracting top luxury agents.
“I think it’s going to give the consumer a wonderful choice for marketing their property and representation when they purchase,” Robyn Yates-Gajjar said. “We have a huge international network, so the referrals for people coming into this market will be great for Las Vegas.”
Routh-Silberman joins as a partner and team leader in the region and will be based in her office in MacDonald Highlands. Routh-Silberman, the No. 1 luxury agent in Las Vegas as an individual doing transactions, said she could never have dreamed of this opportunity.
“It’s an entirely new brokerage model,” Routh-Silberman said. “It’s a partnership between agents and the brokerage. Forty-nine percent owned by agents and 51 percent by the brokerage. It is way more agent-driven, agent-centric and people-centric and most importantly client-centric.”
Routh-Silberman, who previously worked as marketing executive in Silicon Valley before becoming a luxury agent in 2007, said Las Vegas needs a firm like this with a slew of luxury agents to compete against other tax-free states around the country for people looking to relocate.
“It’s going to take more than one agent to put Las Vegas on the map, and this is a fantastic opportunity to come together with Robyn Yates — one of the leaders in our industry — together with everybody I am bringing over from Sotheby’s will create one of the largest brokerages in Las Vegas,” Routh-Silberman said.
Corcoran, which opened an office in Downtown Summerlin some 45 days ago, will move its headquarters from San Francisco to Las Vegas, Mahon said.
“If ever there was a great time to start a company, it was February 2020,” Mahon said. “We started with some offices up Lake Tahoe and quickly merged an organization in San Francisco.”
Mahon, the former president at First Team Real Estate in Southern California, said his strategy has been to take the top independent brokerages in the market in California and Nevada and top sales teams and professionals and merge them and repackage them. The Gajjars, Routh-Silberman and others, for example, are equity partners.
“The trade publications are talking about us,” Mahon said. “We started in February 2020, and by the end of the year we had over 1,500 sales associates and accounted for $6.1 billion in closed sales volumes. We went from a startup in February to the 26th largest closed sales brokerages in the United States.”
Mahon said the new team represented $1 billion in closed sale volume over the past 12 months.
“That takes us from getting into the market into the top 10,” Mahon said.
Mahon said they offer a “life style-oriented brand” and a “different culture and vibe” than other real estate firms. When people approach retirement, the firm will buy out their book of business and leverage that into an exit strategy, he said.
Mahon said there will be synergy among offices. They’ve had more than 2,700 referrals for 2021. That will feed Californians into buying homes in Las Vegas, he said.
“There are not a whole lot of brokerages out there that are very focused on luxury, and that’s what we do,” Mahon said. “Our demographic is more toward the top end of the market and more luxury appeal.
“We’re in a lot of those different publications. Where we are establishing our offices — we don’t want to be in every community. We’re not looking to hire a whole lot of sales associates. What we’re looking at is top performers in the market and destination communities.”
Mahon said they can be the top brokerage in sales volume with one-third of the agents because they have top performers.
“The way we look at it is we don’t have any competition,” Mahon said. “They have their way of
doing business and we have ours.”
Mahon said that he is excited about the record-breaking Las Vegas luxury market and that he expects to continue to grow in 2021 and 2022. There’s a lot of pent-up demand by buyers, and he expects more inventory to come on line.
“You’re going to see a lot of things happen in this market in terms of construction,” Mahon said. “We’re very excited about the housing stock. I think you’re going to see a construction boom.”