A force in the real estate industry, Pamela Liebman has been synonymous with The Corcoran Group since she began her real estate career as a Corcoran agent in 1984. Swiftly rising through the ranks, first as a sales manager and then as a partner in the firm, Liebman took the reins as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2000. Under Liebman’s leadership, Corcoran was transformed into one of the nation’s most successful and prestigious real estate firms.
Always committed to Corcoran’s strategic growth, Liebman orchestrated the 2020 launch of Corcoran’s affiliate network, which now spans the country – from Hawaii to Westchester – and includes the brand’s first global affiliate in the British Virgin Islands. Corcoran’s current footprint now includes 23 markets, and more than 4,200 agents in over 100 offices.
Liebman sat down with Inman to discuss the immense growth the brand has seen — both in the last year and leading up to the pandemic.
What prompted you to create Corcoran’s affiliate network?
With our deep experience in high-end, competitive East Coast markets, it felt like a natural move for Corcoran to expand throughout the country and now, globally. Our tagline is “live who you are,” an ethos that remains incredibly relevant and showcases a shared focus on inclusivity and authenticity.
We’ve based our entire business model around prioritizing relationships over transactions, and earning and keeping clients’ trust through our unwavering commitment to integrity and innovation. We wanted to connect a global network to bring this philosophy worldwide and the more we’ve grown, the stronger we’ve gotten.
COVID-19 significantly impacted in-person interactions. What types of challenges did this create in the first year of Corcoran’s affiliate network?
It certainly created challenges. Shifting to a virtual work environment was not unique to Corcoran, but what was unique was the need to quickly create an environment in which our affiliate community knew exactly how we were pivoting to assist them with their business goals. It was also vital that any soon-to-be affiliates had a clear vision of how their launch would take place and they needed to immediately understand how we were virtually supporting their integration and continued growth. It was all about clear communication and planning, and I’m proud to say that our team seamlessly guided us into 18 new markets since the start of the pandemic. 2020 wasn’t a year that anyone could have anticipated but I love going against the tide — I think that’s when people can be really successful.
How have you taken care of your agents throughout the pandemic?
Pandemic or not, our agents are always our first priority. Last March, when looking at the business restrictions we had in place, we wanted to use the time to ensure our agents have the tools and the knowledge needed to rule the recovery. We looked at it as a period of professional growth and doubled down on our digital presence, refreshed our website, and established a strategic presence on new social platforms.
One of our primary offerings for our entire network in the last year — of which I’m particularly proud — has been our virtual learning program through Corcoran’s Agent Studio. From March 2020 through January 2021, we hosted and facilitated more than 1,000 training sessions, and total attendance during this time was over 30,000 agents, including those of our affiliates. We received invaluable feedback from agents that this was incredibly important to have at their disposal, and the various courses we offered helped them pivot within their own business and their approach to shifts within the industry. Education has always been the cornerstone of our company; building out this offering was a no-brainer.
During the pandemic, you also launched Corcoran preDev. What is it?
preDev is a consultancy that provides Corcoran affiliates and their developers architectural counsel to add value to bespoke residences, land plans, landmark conversions, and more. These services were previously only available to clients of our owned offices, but with the landmark growth of our affiliate network, we now offer these services to all affiliates.
The team consists of four trained architects, urban planners, and interior designers. This really was 15 years in the making, as I’d founded the planning and design department at Corcoran Sunshine back in 2005. I’m very proud that we’re able to offer this to our entire network.
What’s ahead for Corcoran?
We had no idea what this past year had in store for us, especially immediately following the launch of our first two affiliates in early 2020. That said, today we are thrilled to be partnered with a premier group of hand-selected brokerages that pivoted with us right away and jumped right into becoming a part of the Corcoran family.
We’re well-positioned to scale our growth throughout the remainder of this year, and that growth will include more expansion both domestically and internationally, expansion of our strong relocation and referral businesses, and growing our overall network to attract the very best of the agent community.
About The Corcoran Group
The Corcoran Group has been a leading residential real estate brand for nearly 50 years. Through its New York City, Hamptons, and South Florida brokerages, along with its rapidly growing affiliate network, the firm is home to more than 100 offices and 4,200 independent salespersons in key urban, suburban, and resort markets nationwide. Corcoran agents earn and keep their clients’ trust with an unwavering commitment to white-glove service, expertise, and integrity. In every market served, Corcoran helps you find the home that’s just right for you. Live who you are®. The Corcoran® brand comprises both offices owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices, which are independently owned and operated. For more information about The Corcoran Group and how to become an affiliate, please visit www.corcoran.com/franchise.