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City Connections' Longley starts new firm.

Byline: Adam Fusfeld

Many of the new firms now bursting onto the real estate scene promise the latest, greatest commission splits. But Edward Longley, a former City Connections Realty broker who launched the Hollingsworth Group last month, has a different approach.

"It's not about the payout," Longley told The Real Deal.

That may sound surprising coming from a five-year veteran of David Schlamm's City Connections, one of the first real estate brokerages in the city to adopt a "100 percent commission" model.

But Longley, who named the new firm for his grandmother, said he has a longer-term approach. He envisions a boutique brokerage that operates more like a Fortune 500 company, with a clear corporate structure, salaries and profit sharing. He believes that when all is said and done, those strategies will generate even more income for agents than the high-commission-split models now popular in Manhattan.

"I want to build a firm that is coveted by agents," said Longley, who planned to start his own company in 2008, before the recession cut his business by two-thirds; he waited to get back on solid footing before abandoning the comfort of Schlamm's agency.

He hasn't yet hammered out the exact details of how his model will work, he said. He recently hired two agents and is waiting for them to get started first.

In the meantime, he said, he is focusing on serving clients from his 150-square-foot office at 99 Madison Avenue, which he'll expand as necessary. He plans to hire up to 15 agents. Schlamm said he wished Longley well.
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Author:Fusfeld, Adam
Publication:The Real Deal
Date:Aug 1, 2011
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