Manhattan’s top dealmakers, dressed in their finest furs and dapperest suits, poured into the Pierre Hotel last night via an elaborately muraled rotunda for the 25th annual residential Deal of the Year awards hosted by the Real Estate Board of New York.
After cocktails and caviar and scooping up their awards, they made their way to the hotel’s famed Grand Ballroom — positively dripping with chandeliers — for a dinner of salmon or short ribs and, for many, a twirl around the dance floor.
The top brass from nearly all of Manhattan’s biggest residential firms was there: Diane Ramirez of Halstead Property, Dottie Herman of Douglas Elliman, Pamela Liebman of the Corcoran Group, Andrew Heiberger and Wendy Maitland of Town Residential, Fred Peters of Warburg Realty and Gary Malin of Citi Habitats. Paul Massey of investment sales firm Massey Knakal Realty Services was also spotted.
Herman had just returned from Atlantic City, where Elliman had held its annual conference. She raved about the 1920s masquerade ball she’d hosted but bemoaned the lack of time available for gambling. “They were all over me,” she said of the brokers grappling for her attention at the event.
Liebman and Herman rubbed elbows during the awards ceremony while Peters busted moves on the dance floor. Ramirez, as always, was keen to direct attendees to the raffle table, which raised money for REBNY’s Residential Member in Need Fund. Up for grabs for the lucky winner of the raffle – a ball gown by Cesar Galindo, whose fashion designs were showcased during a catwalk show at last year’s same event.
Top brokers making the rounds at the gala included Keller Williams NYC’s Ilan Bracha, Elliman’s Vickey Barron, Corcoran’s Tamir Shemesh, Sotheby’s International Realty’s Nikki Field and Mara Flash Blum and CORE’s Reba Miller and Tom Postillio. “Million Dollar Listing New York” stars Ryan Serhant and Luis Ortiz also appeared.
Heather Stein of Brown Harris Stevens won for sales deal of the year. The first runners-up were Suzan Kremer and Daniela Kunen of Elliman and Roger Erickson of Sotheby’s, while the third runner-up was Lisa Larson of Warburg. For rental deal of the year, Judith Oston, Donald Correia and Lisa Rosenstein of Halstead took first prize.
Rookie of the year went to Vincent Smith of Halstead, who came to real estate later in life after working for a number of Fortune 50 companies such as American Express, Pfizer and Citibank.
But the biggest applause of the evening came when Jeffrey Rothstein, the executive vice president and director of sales of Elliman’s West Side offices, took home the Henry Forster Award for lifetime achievement. Herman joined him on stage, exclaiming “I’m verklempt!” Rothstein oversees more than 300 Elliman agents.
And there was more to celebrate. In a somewhat bizarre turn, Miriam Harris, executive vice president of real estate transactions at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, proclaimed that the day had officially been dubbed REBNY Residential Division Day by the mayor’s office.