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Big National Brokerage Wants a Piece of the NYC Market

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The rules for New York City's real estate brokers are changing?brokerages now let buyers browse competitors' listings on their own websites, for cryin' out loud?and new businesses (RentJuice, anyone?) are flooding our market to try and get a piece of that sweet NYC action. Or, in some cases, not-so-new businesses! Texas-based Keller Williams, which has 700 offices and 80,000 agents across the country, is the latest brokerage to launch a local presence. What makes this debut different? A splashy hire, part-time ticket broker Ilan Bracha, whose departure from Prudential Douglas Elliman caused a bit of a stir in the industry. Can a big national name adapt to the Manhattan market?

The Keller Williams NYC website just launched, and it's clear there's a sophisticated superbroker at the helm. The traditional company logo has been dropped for a more simple, sleek "nyc" look (lower case letters indicate hipness, naturally.) The website is just window dressing right now?click on anything and you'll get a pop-up message telling you that full functionality is coming in the next few weeks?but there are some useful-sounding bells and whistles on the horizon, like online open house scheduling and an "Agent Tracker," which we're guessing gives clients access to a GPS module implanted in their broker's skull. Welcome to the rodeo, y'all!
· Keller Williams NYC []
· Ilan Bracha, head of Elliman's top team, departs to start a franchise [Real Deal]