Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Restructure to Strategically Form One Unified Entity


The owners of Terra Holdings, along with Alan Kersner as COO, today announced Halstead is now part of Brown Harris Stevens. This strategic restructuring of Terra Holdings subsidiaries significantly expands the footprint and resources of Brown Harris Stevens residential brokerage. This transition will occur with a phased in approach beginning in New York City. Senior management of both firms, with their combined more than 200 years of experience, will create one of the most powerful privately held real estate companies in the industry.


Bess Freedman will continue to serve as CEO of Brown Harris Stevens, and will be responsible for carrying out the overall vision and day-to-day operations of the expanded brand in NYC and all territories. The senior management of both companies will remain in place with Ms. Freedman overseeing the leadership team of Hall F. Willkie, President of BHS Residential Sales; Diane M. Ramirez, current CEO of Halstead; Richard J.Grossman, current President of Halstead; and Stephen G. Kliegerman, President of Terra Development Marketing.


Brown Harris Stevens will maintain its headquarters at 445 Park Avenue, a state-of-the-art space that houses the firm’s executive departments. All territories of the firm will function as a unified entity under Brown Harris Stevens and operate over 55 offices including NYC, the Tristate area, the Hamptons, Palm Beach, Miami and other locations throughout the East Coast.


“The power of Terra Holdings working as one will further solidify Brown Harris Stevens as an unstoppable force. This exciting union enables us to focus our extensive resources and forge a larger, even stronger firm to better serve our valued agents and customers in our current and expanded regions,” said Ms Freedman. “As the real estate industry begins to reopen around the country, we are growing a company with a purposeful culture and incredible depth and breadth for the future.”


“The owners of Terra Holdings are confident that Bess and the executive team will lead Brown Harris Stevens to even greater success. This venture creates new synergies, and the ability to reinforce our position as an industry leader in the post pandemic era,” said Mr. Kersner.


Historically ranked among the city’s top residential brokerages, this announcement brings together 2,500 accomplished agents, an innovative platform, and a world-class reputation. In 2019, Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead combined closed 6,000 transactions totaling more than $9 billion. Brown Harris Stevens was also responsible in 2019 for several record-breaking deals, including an $80 MM purchase on Fifth Avenue, and a $77 MM townhouse sale. Halstead in 2019 successfully closed on a commercial building for nearly $100 MM, and achieved the highest sale price in 2019 of a waterfront estate in Greenwich, CT—nearly $50MM.


The newly enhanced Brown Harris Stevens will benefit from the full resources of parent company Terra Holdings, one of America’s largest privately owned real estate services companies. Terra Holdings has long led the industry with an invigorating marketing platform and cutting-edge technologies.


Established in 1873, Brown Harris Stevens has long dominated the high-end market, and is recognized as a leader in representing luxury properties with an extensive global reach through two networks including Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and BHS Partnering Worldwide which collectively represent over 70 countries.


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