A number of years ago at Murray Hill Properties, well before the transition of leadership from one generation to the next, there was talk of selling the brokerage division to the brokers.
It would have provided incentive to the brokers, who could become owners, and senior leadership would have benefited too. After multiple meetings over the course of several months, lots of discussion and no clear consensus, the concept was tabled, and MHP continued forward as a full service firm.
Now, as owner, manager and agent of more than six million square feet of office space in Manhattan, MHP continues to expand and prosper. The brokerage division, in particular, has expanded to 38 brokers and continues to attract entrepreneurial producing brokers.
During an interview with The Commercial Observer about 18 months ago, I spoke up again about “ownership of the brokerage by the brokers,” an issue near the top of my agenda. There are many ways to provide incentive to successful brokers. The best is to give them an opportunity for ownership. Who is more motivated to succeed than an owner?
In the 42-year history of MHP, I am the only person who was a producing broker and executive managing director, and now I am also one of the leaders on the management side of our multifaceted business. I have often said that no one knows more than brokers—that every day, they are trying to make something out of nothing. Every day a broker walks a tightrope without a net. I know that because I did that, and as a former broker, I believe I know how to make the life of the brokers better.
At our recent broker meeting, I announced that the brokers would have an opportunity to become partners in the brokerage, without a “buy in” and without “phantom stock” that has no marketplace. Simply put, they earned it, and we know it; we promoted them, as simple as that.
The three top brokers in our firm over the past 10 years will now become our first partners in the brokerage division. In random order, they are Roxana Girand, Jesse Rubens and Rick Doolittle. All three of them are prodigious brokers with significant earnings that would match or exceed brokers at any top firm. How do I know that? I recruit, interview and evaluate talent, and I review broker earnings. They are successful because they put in the time and effort. They are determined and work intelligently and with others. They have the entrepreneurial spirit that MHP fosters. They are creative, driven individuals who work on anything they want to. Whether it is leasing hundreds of thousands of square feet to fill a building, finding the right tenant to rebrand an entire building, or nurturing an important owner relationship with great results including sales and significant leasing, these three brokers know how to get it done.
So there you go, the start of MHP brokers “owning a piece of the brokerage”. This is the start of something serious and meaningful for our firm. MHP congratulates the brokers. There will be many more partners over time and the opportunity is available to any broker who is with us or who will join us; it is a milestone for us. We are a collaborative organization and this furthers that cause.