Michael Barbolla’s gift for growing organizations and 30 years of management experience make him the perfect fit for the role of Level Group’s chief operating officer. With a well-earned reputation for mentoring and being a resource for residential real estate agents, Michael enjoys working closely with brokers and helping them build their businesses.
As COO of fast-growing Level Group, Michael manages its day-to-day operations and heads up the residential division. In addition, he is the leader in charge of the firm’s public relations program, external relations and recruitment efforts.
Michael comes to Level with an impressive professional background. His 15 years of real estate experience began at The Corcoran Group, where he specialized in the sale of Manhattan cooperatives and condominiums. Michael then served as managing director at CitySites Real Estate Group where he was responsible for operations of the firm’s downtown office as well as oversight of the company’s agents and support staff. He also headed marketing and recruiting efforts at CitySites.
Beginning in 2006, Michael played an integral part in the establishment of Charles Rutenberg, LLC. Starting out as the general sales manager, and then promoted to the chief operating officer position, he was a prime mover in the company’s rapid expansion.
Michael is an active member of the Real Estate Board of New York, sitting on the association’s managers and membership committees. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.
Feel free to contact Michael at [email protected] to learn more about Level and opportunities at the firm.
Sales Brokerage experience Interpersonal and managerial skills
From left: Michael Barbolla, Michael Greenberg and Larry Link
Michael Barbolla, the chief operating officer and backbone of Rutenberg Realty, has jumped to rival firm the Level Group to head up residential sales. His exit marks the third high-profile management departure in the last year at Rutenberg, a company he helped build.
Barbolla, who spent nine years at Rutenberg as the firm’s general sales manager and, more recently, as its chief operating officer, was tapped as Level Group’s COO, effective Wednesday.
Hiring Barbolla comes as the firm — which like Rutenberg offers its agents 100 percent commission — is experiencing rapid growth. “Things are really busy, which is part of the reason we’re bringing Mike in,” said Michael Greenberg, Level Group’s CEO and general counsel, who focuses more on commercial sales along with President Larry Link. “We’re getting to the point where we need time spent growing and managing that [residential] division, and we need someone to help pull it forward,” Greenberg added.
Barbolla told The Real Deal that when the opportunity came along at Level Group, he felt ready for a new challenge. He also hinted that its smaller size, and the opportunity to build a business, was a draw.
“It’s constantly spoken about as a family… In the beginning [at Rutenberg], that’s exactly what it was like for us and our agents. Of course, now they’re a larger firm,” he said, noting that he plans to actively recruit at Level. He said he’s looking to build its residential sales division into a top-ten powerhouse in New York.
Level has 160 agents and $57 million in sales listings, including multifamily properties, according to data from listings portal On-Line Residential on Aug. 4. The firm, started in 2004, also has $162.4 million worth of rental listings.
Last year, Rutebnerg’s former top guns Paul Purcell and Kathy Braddock, who at one time owned one-third of the company’s New York division, left the firm to launch William Raveis NYC.
At the time, Rutenberg executives downplayed their departures, saying Barbolla was the backbone of the firm and the main point of contact for agents. Barbolla’s track record makes him a valuable asset for Level, Braddock said in an interview Wednesday.
“It would make sense to take someone that’s lived in that [100 percent-commission] space versus a traditional company,” she said. “You definitely think and execute differently.”
Braddock said his move would leave a vacuum at Rutenberg, which he built alongside her and Purcell. “He really built it with us from day one, out of my living room before we had office space,” she said. “He’s a hard worker and creates a lot of loyalty.”
Rutenberg president Stefani Markowitz, commenting on Barbolla’s departure, told TRD: “We wish him well.”
Barbolla’s exit offers Markowitz – whose grandfather, Richie Friedman, founded the New York branch of Rutenberg in 2006 — to leave her own imprint on the brokerage. She took the helm in November.
According to TRD’s most recent ranking, Rutenberg is the sixth-largest residential firm by agent count with 544 agents as of March 29. The brokerage had $96.9 million in exclusive listings at that time, according to OLR.
Level Group, an innovative, full-service commercial and residential real estate brokerage company that introduced the 100% commission model to New York City, today announced the appointment of a C-level executive hire as its new chief operating officer (COO). Michael Barbolla, with 30 years of management experience, 12 of it in real estate brokerage, has joined Level Group as its COO.
“Level Group is expanding rapidly right now and it is time to bring someone into the COO role,” says Larry Link, Level Group’s president. “Michael is an industry veteran with a wide-ranging set of skills. He’s exactly the right person for the job."
Barbolla started his career at the Corcoran Group and was previously the COO of Rutenberg Realty. An active member of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Barbolla sits on the association’s managers and membership committees.
As Level Group COO, Barbolla will handle day-to-day operations, external relations, and the mentoring of agents. He also will recruit talent for the firm. “Michael has an impressive operational background,” notes Link. “That, combined with his proven ability to manage agents, will make him a tremendous asset of the company.”
Barbolla also will lead Level Group’s residential division, with Link and Michael Greenberg, CEO and General Counsel of Level Group, continuing to oversee the firm’s commercial division. “Our commercial division has been growing rapidly over the last five years and has gained serious momentum in the last two,” says Michael Greenberg. “We’ll hand over the reins of the residential division to Michael to grow and further strengthen that area, which will contribute to the overall growth of the firm.”
Barbolla is looking forward to his new role. “I’ve always been impressed with Level Group, their agents and leadership,” he says. “I’m excited to be with them and for the opportunity to deepen and expand their footprint in New York’s real estate market.”
About Level Group
Founded in 2004, Level Group is a full-service New York City real estate brokerage, handling the full spectrum of real estate brokerage work, including residential and commercial leasing and sales. The first firm in New York City to offer the 100% commission model, Level is known for its open door policy with all senior management, strong training programs and an open, flexible platform on which agents thrive. It has attracted more than 160 agents, many from the city’s larger brokerage firms. CEO and General Counsel Michael Greenberg is a well-known member of the New York real estate bar and has played a central role in structuring, negotiating and closing deals worth billions of dollars. President Larry Link was previously part of Merrill Lynch’s real estate investment banking division, where he was involved in numerous IPO and capital market transactions.
To learn more about Level Group, visit Level Group . To learn more about joining the firm, contact Eseosa “Sosa” Eke at 646.274.0919 or [email protected]
CFO Squad: Jay Cardwell, 40, joined the provider of outsourced accounting and financial business services as chief operating officer. He was previously chief financial officer at S2BN Entertainment Corp.
Level Group: Michael Barbolla, 55, joined the full-service real estate brokerage as chief operating officer. He was previously chief operating officer at Rutenberg Realty.
DDG: Michael Ferry, 40, was promoted to managing director of the real estate investment and development firm. He was previously a senior vice president.
Box: Adam Ross, 45, joined the online file-sharing and personal cloud content manager for businesses as managing director of financial services. He was previously vice president of global corporate solutions at Nasdaq.
Alvarez & Marsal: Tom O'Brien, 57, joined the global professional services firm as senior director. He was previously senior vice president and general manager at RCG Global Services.
HA&W: John Ruckstuhl, 46, joined the accounting firm as managing director of mergers and acquisitions transaction services. He was previously a director at McGladrey.
The Odyssey: Lisa Shalett, 49, joined the social-content platform as chief marketing officer. She was previously a partner and head of brand marketing and digital strategy at Goldman Sachs.
NYC & Company: Abby Spatz, 41, joined New York's marketing and tourism organization as chief marketing officer. She was previously vice president and global head of integrated marketing and communications at Bliss.
Apester: Ran Peled, 35, joined the digital storytelling platform as chief marketing officer. He was previously chief executive of McCann Tech, which he founded.
American Airlines: Darryl Towns, 54, joined as regional director of government affairs. He was previously commissioner and CEO at New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
LandlordsNY: Aida Gashi, 34, joined the social platform for landlords and property managers as head of business development. She was previously director of management at REM Residential.
360i: Christopher Kief, 37, joined the digital marketing agency as head of technology. He was previously chief technology officer at Saatchi & Saatchi NY.
Shutterstock Inc.: Gregory Bayer, 43, joined the stock photography, footage and music provider as general manager of offset. He was previously global head of product at Annalect.
Tapad: Jim Clark, 42, was promoted to global senior vice president of sales for the marketing technology firm. He was previously senior vice president of sales.
Chris Feo, 29, was promoted to vice president of data sales, North America. He was previously senior director of strategic sales.
Steve Kurtz, 34, was promoted to vice president of media sales, North America. He was previously vice president of sales, East region.
Vroom: Emily Frankel, 33, joined the online car store as vice president of marketing. She was previously vice president of digital marketing and innovation at Kayak.
Nemo Tile: Katie Michael-Battaglia, 45, joined the tile distributor as design director. She was previously an associate at Studios Architecture.
HAP Investments: Amr Mohamed, 34, joined the real estate company as project manager. He was previously a project manager at Cava Construction.
RockFarmer Properties: Jean Bonhomme, 38, joined the real estate investment and management firm as controller. He was previously controller at Webb & Brooker.
Tyler McIntyre, 29, joined as director of construction. He was previously core and shell superintendent at Lend Lease Corp.
Kristen Kenney, 26, joined as acquisitions analyst. She was previously an acquisitions intern at Stone Street Properties.
Professional Women in Construction: Chelsea LeMar, 30, joined the nonprofit as executive director. She was previously a special assistant at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
ideas42: Andy Plews, 57, joined the behavioral-science nonprofit as director of communications. He was previously senior vice president of corporate communications, government and community affairs at BMO Financial Group.
Union Settlement Association: Oilda Martinez, 64, joined the community-based-services nonprofit as director of adult education. She was previously director of adult and continuing education at City College of New York.
Brooklyn Public Library: Lisa Rosenblum, 57, joined as chief librarian. She was previously director of library and community services for Sunnyvale, Calif.
Troutman Sanders: Jeffrey H. Weitzman, 68, joined the law firm's real estate practice as a partner. He was previously a partner at K&L Gates.
Duane Morris: David N. Feldman, 55, joined the law firm as a partner in the corporate practice group. He was previously a partner at Richardson Patel.
Grant Thornton: Layne Albert, 50, joined the audit, tax and advisory firm as a partner in its tax practice. He was previously managing director at Alvarez & Marsal.
Friedman: Michael Sacco, 39, joined the accounting and consulting firm as a partner. He was previously managing director at CBIZ MHM.
Norton Rose Fulbright: Paul Keller, 43, joined the global legal practice as a partner. He was previously a partner at Allen & Overy.
Blackstone’s $5.3 billion purchase of Stuy Town also bought the firm a jumbo 700,000 square feet of air rights that could wind up being “just the tip of the iceberg” in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to preserve and build affordable housing in the city, according to one expert.
News of the air rights in Stuy Town — and new owner Blackstone’s claim over them, along with the 110-building property, was reported in the Wall Street Journal last week.
While the value of the air or development rights wasn’t clear since it depends where they’d end up, commercial real estate attorney Michael Greenberg, also founder and CEO of the Level Group brokerage firm, predicted many more similar arrangements in the future as the city looks for creative ways to get those elusive units of affordable housing.
In Stuyvesant Town, this meant preservation, and if air rights are transferred elsewhere, possibly new affordable housing.
Blackstone and its partner in the Stuy Town deal, Ivanhoe Cambridge, have gotten the city’s support to transfer the Stuy Town air rights since the owner has made a commitment not to build on the property’s open spaces or its existing structures.
“What’s unusual is that it’s rare for the city to allow it — there have been requests for them to allow the transfer to sites that are not contiguous or to other neighborhoods even,” said Greenberg.
Noting the mayor’s ambitious plan for affordable housing, Greenberg predicted that if the city got creative with ways to transfer air rights, “he might be able to jumpstart his campaign promise and get pretty close to accomplishing it. It’s an insight to how the mayor’s thinking in a non-traditional way.”
According to Wiley Norvell, a spokesperson for the mayor, any transfer that resulted in residential use would be subject to mandatory inclusionary zoning, which means at least 25-30 percent affordable housing.
“This,” said Norvell, “represents a commitment to work with the new owner, which has agreed not to develop any of the open spaces within the complex and to protect its affordable housing, and to study opportunities to transfer those existing rights elsewhere.”
Greenberg, who said he’s worked with air rights his whole career, pointed out that this issue “is much bigger than Stuyvesant Town,” considering that there are currently millions of square feet of unused air rights in the entire city.
“If you create affordable housing units and lose others you net zero, which doesn’t help,” said Greenberg.
“This sets a precedent. This might be the tip of the iceberg as to how they plan in the future (for affordable housing).”
Typically, he said, air rights are worth about “half of what the underlying land is worth. It’s a little higher in places where you can monetize it for a higher price, but 50 percent is the rule of thumb.”
Of course, with air rights typically just transferred to nearby lots, cooperation of the city to allow them to be used farther away is what would likely spur the interest of developers.
Greenberg gave the example of the High Line Transfer Corridor as an occasion where the city allowed landowners to transfer development rights beyond contiguous lots to accomplish a particular policy goal.
“Here, it appears that the areas of the city where the new owners of Stuy Town can transfer their air rights is less defined,” he said. “But this concession to the owners of Stuy Town is clearly an outgrowth of the High Line program and a nod to its success in achieving a particular policy goal of the city, which in that case was the development of the neighborhood around the High Line. Here, the goal is preservation of existing affordable housing units and, perhaps, at least in part, the transfer of development rights to areas where new units of affordable housing can be developed.”
While none of the information regarding the air rights or development rights was mentioned during the hour-long press conference in Stuyvesant Town announcing the change in ownership last week, Norvell noted that the development rights in Stuy Town are nothing new. They have existed as a right of the owner, despite going unused, since Met Life owned the property.
Additionally, even with the city’s blessing, to utilize that right, Blackstone will still have to go through what any other landlord would: a months-long ULURP process and getting input from the local community board, the City Council and borough president. By doing this, Stuy Town’s air rights would be used up, even if the property is sold again.
“The incentive” of the development rights, noted the Journal article, “offers a window into why Blackstone may have agreed to a deal to preserve middle-income housing that was viewed as a low-cost win for the city — one far cheaper for City Hall than plans proffered by other developers that have vied for the property.”
It also went on to note that any attempt by an owner of Stuy Town to use those rights within the complex would be near-impossible, unless the owner doesn’t mind having tenants and elected officials storm the management office with pitchforks.
“It would have been worse than a war,” Martin McLaughlin, a political consultant who advised a prior Stuyvesant Town owner on community relations, was quoted as saying.
When asked for comment, Christine Anderson, a spokesperson for Blackstone, reiterated that the owner is committed to preserving “the physical character of the community.”
Level Group Announces Unprecedented Broker Growth Under COO Michael Barbolla
Recruitment Success Aided by New Programs, Emphasis on Broker Education/Training
Level Group COO, Michael Barbolla
Spread the Word
NEW YORK - July 21, 2016 - PRLog -- Since Michael Barbolla joined Level Group in August, 2015 as its chief operating officer (COO), the New York City full-service residential and commercial real estate brokerage firm has undergone an unprecedented level of agent growth, Michael Greenberg, Level's CEO/General Counsel, today announced.
"Under Michael, we have increased the number of agents by 35% in nine months," says Greenberg. "This is a record for the company and a tribute to his recruiting and management skills." Real estate brokers have come from numerous city firms including Corcoran, Douglas Elliman and Rutenberg Realty.
"Growing Level was unquestionably my top goal when joining the firm," says Barbolla, whose COO position was specifically created for him by the company. "But recruiting agents is only one step. You have to keep them, and one way is to help them grow their businesses in a strategic and thoughtful manner."
As such, Barbolla has emphasized training and education. He has instituted a twice-monthly training program on courses ranging from image/presentation to online tools to social media/public relations to understanding building financials led by subject matter experts. Barbolla launched the Level Group Spotlight Series, a free, bi-annual seminar event focused on business subjects. The first workshop – "All About Branding" – was held in April and featured discussions on personal and verbal branding, the latter being the first time this topic has been presented to New York City real estate brokers. "It was a rip-roaring success," says Barbolla. "Over 100 agents attended and the feedback was phenomenal." The second Spotlight Series is planned for September, 2016.
"We have also instituted an online continuing education (CE) program for agents," says Barbolla. "Our brokers can access the CE portal in our proprietary deal management and resource website, Level 360. We wanted them to be able to access quality materials within their schedule, at their time and their pace, which allows them to still work while fulfilling industry requirements. In addition, it is extremely inexpensive – nearly two-thirds less than most training classes. It's a win-win and has been very popular with our agents."
A new program launched under Barbolla to continue to attract and retain agents is the Level Group Mentorship Program. "Let's face it, real estate is a tough business to be in," says Barbolla. "It's not our style to hire new brokers, wish them well and then expect them to become a Million Dollar Listing agent overnight." To assist agents in the early stages of their career, Level partners them with a select group of seasoned brokers over a six-deal period. "The mentor guides the mentee throughout the entire process, from attracting clients to finalizing the transactions. It gives them hands-on, real-life experience that they ordinarily wouldn't get," Barbolla says. "We also have an open door policy where new agents – as well as veterans – are free to come to any senior level executive to hash out a problem or to get advice."
"We could not be more pleased with Michael and the work he has done on behalf of Level Group," says Larry Link, president. "We knew he would make a difference. Not only has he – in an incredibly short period of time – he continues to do so."
About Level Group
Founded in 2004, Level Group (www.levelgroup.com) is a full-service New York City real estate brokerage, handling the full spectrum of real estate brokerage work, including residential (buying, selling, investing and rentals) and commercial leasing and sales. The first firm in New York City to offer the 100% commission model, Level is known for its open door policy with all senior management, strong training programs and an open, flexible platform on which agents thrive.
CEO and General Counsel Michael Greenberg is a well-known member of the New York real estate bar and has played a central role in structuring, negotiating and closing deals worth billions of dollars. President Larry Link was previously part of Merrill Lynch's real estate investment banking division, where he was involved in numerous IPO and capital market transactions. COO Michael Barbolla, with 30 years of management and marketing experience, handles day-to-day operations of Level Group and heads up the residential division.
Level Group has been featured in numerous national and local print, broadcast and online media outlets, including The Real Deal, Real Estate Weekly, Consumer Reports, TheStreet.com, Bloomberg Radio, WINS Radio, WCBS-TV, BrickUnderground and DNAInfo.com.
To learn more about or join Level Group, contact Michael Barbolla at either 212.994.9965 or [email protected]
Presentations Provide Ongoing Performance Improvement Tips for Agents
Level Group, an innovative, full-service commercial and residential real estate brokerage company that introduced the 100% commission model in New York City, kicked off its Level Learning Series on September 15 with a presentation by Rochelle Lisner, president of Dynamic Business Growth.
Level Group’s Level Learning Series is a free, ongoing learning program for on-board Level Group agents and reflects the firm’s longstanding commitment to agent development. Chief Operating Officer Michael Barbolla has accelerated and focused the learning series to further assist the firm’s brokers in taking their performance to the next level. “Education is critical for agent development, whether they are new to the field or seasoned veterans,” Barbolla said. “This series is designed not as hypothesis or theory, but as nuts-and-bolts material that agents can customize and incorporate into their respective business models. Agents can start benefitting immediately from the knowledge shared.”
Lisner ‘s presentation, entitled “End the Year Strong,” guided the broker audience through creating the mindset and strategy to attract ideal clients and identify and overcome obstacles. “This event was both practical and motivating for me,” said Lee Williams, Sales Agent, Level Group. “I gained insight and tools to be more focused in goal-setting and to more effectively develop a fourth quarter strategy.”
The Level Learning Series calendar for the remainder of the year, entitled, “The Art of the Sale,” will focus on the listing side of real estate transactions. Featured topics and speakers include:
- Sept. 29: The Coop and Condo Approval Process Explained…Finally! - Justin Pfeifer, Wells Fargo
- Oct. 6: Getting the Listing – Fred Onorato/Jeremy Swillinger, Level Group
- Nov. 3: Promoting Your Listing – Jennefer Witter, The Boreland Group Inc.
- Nov. 17: Staging Your New Listing – Geri Onorato, Level Group
- Dec. 1: The Board Package – Robert Meehan/Renee Carbone, Level Group
- Dec. 15: The Board Interview – Jeremy Swillinger, Level Group
Many of the Level Learning Series speakers come from the ranks of Level Group’s seasoned, successful agents. “These are the best of the best within Level Group, providing peer training and giving their insider tips on how to move your business forward,” Barbolla said. “Agents love to learn from other agents because they intimately know the nuances of this complex business. And Level Group is fortunate to have agents who are generous with their knowledge and wanting to share with their colleagues what they have learned.”
About Level Group
Founded in 2004, Level Group is a full-service New York City real estate brokerage, handling the full spectrum of real estate brokerage work, including residential and commercial leasing and sales. The first firm in New York City to offer the 100% commission model, Level is known for its open door policy with all senior management, strong training programs and an open, flexible platform on which agents thrive. It has attracted more than 160 agents, many from the city’s larger brokerage firms. CEO and General Counsel Michael Greenberg is a well-known member of the New York real estate bar and has played a central role in structuring, negotiating and closing deals worth billions of dollars. President Larry Link was previously part of Merrill Lynch’s real estate investment banking division, where he was involved in numerous IPO and capital market transactions. COO Michael Barbolla, with 30 years of management and marketing experience, handles day-to-day operations of Level Group and heads up the residential division.
When I started in the real estate industry 15 years ago, my manager paired me with a more experienced broker who worked closely with me for several months. This high achiever had detailed information on the real estate industry and gave me the “low down” on how to negotiate. I was exposed on a daily basis to what success in my field looked like. That was invaluable and I’ve never forgotten how pivotal it was to my career.
As it happens, my experience parallels the experience of many others. There’s a large body of business and academic research confirming the value of mentoring. A well-known Gartner Group study of mentoring at Sun Microsystems, for example, found higher retention and promotion rates for employees who were mentored than those who were not.
Given the research and my own experience, I was quick to launch a mentoring program when I joined Level Group as its chief operating officer. About a year in, our experience aligns with other businesses’ reports on mentoring. Experts cite many advantages to mentoring, but it seems to me to boil down to two basic factors: 1) mentoring accelerates learning and 2) mentoring increases employee engagement.
Mentoring turns out to be an incredibly efficient means of knowledge transfer for a business. Learning experts estimate that 70 – 80 percent of our learning is informal or on-the-job – and that pretty much characterizes the mentoring process.
Textbooks, videos and other formal training methods only take us so far. After that there are many small details of execution to be learned as well as the way things are done at a particular company. Mentors are in a position to share these details and customs and model successful behavior in relaxed, personalized exchanges.
Our mentoring program at Level Group creates this one-on-one, detailed learning environment. It is intense, boots on the ground training. Mentors walk mentees through all the tasks of being a real estate broker, such as procuring the buyer or seller, and negotiating and closing the deal. In addition, we have the mentees “shadow” their mentors on activities, such as open houses or showings. In all of this, the mentors pass along their real-world experience.
I know from experience that this is a great way to learn. You’re not passively reading or listening. You’re interacting with the mentor and the information has immediate application as you solve the problems in front of you.
There’s also evidence that the personal attention of mentoring more effectively solves performance problems and reduces employee mistakes. A mentor is positioned to notice performance issues quickly and guide a person to more successful practices. The increased productivity and improved outcomes benefits the company, but also the mentee, who gains both skills and confidence.
Mentoring has also been shown to increase employee engagement, or, in our case, agent and broker engagement. It creates personal relationships that might not otherwise have happened, or at least not as quickly. The personal attention signals that the company is invested and cares. That makes for motivated professionals who deliver better customer service and innovate more.
Our mentoring program has enhanced relationships here at Level Group, fostering more of a family environment. The real estate business can be a lonely one and I’m sure that professionals in other industries also experience some isolation, especially if they are struggling. The social connection of mentoring can be a lifeline.
We’re also finding that investing time and energy in our agents earns their loyalty. One of the gratifying aspects of our mentor program is how many of our experienced brokers have been willing to give their time as mentors. That further validates the success of our program.
I believe one of my primary responsibilities as COO is to assist our agents in reaching their highest potential. People who aren’t thriving will be dissatisfied and they’ll start to look for the exits. Across my career I’ve watched talented professionals go from one firm to another, never quite “syncing up” with a company. They appear to be looking for something that’s missing. I believe mentoring can supply the personal attention and skills that can help people put it all together.
About the Author
Michael Barbolla is COO of Level Group, a full-service New York City real estate brokerage. In addition to handling day-to-day operations of Level Group, Barbolla heads up the firm’s residential division and is in charge of the firm’s external relations and recruitment efforts.
Level Group, the residential and commercial brokerage that introduced the 100 percent commission model in New York City, announced that 2016 was a record-busting year for the firm, with over 100 agents joining the agency.
Chief operating officer Michael Barbolla said, “We’re extremely happy to have welcomed so many qualified, entrepreneurial agents to Level Group’s family.
“It’s a credit to the firm that we’ve attracted seasoned agents who are wise in the ways of the New York real estate market and equipped to provide the best-of-the-best service to their customers, whether they are buyers, sellers, investors or renters here in Manhattan, outside the city and from around the world.”
Barbolla, who joined Level Group in 2015 from Rutenberg Realty and was charged with recruitment, said that Level Group’s 100 percent commission model has proven to be a big draw for new agents. “It’s one of the biggest selling points we have,” he said. “The experience our team brings also ensures that brokers can tap into our expertise and make deals happen. Seasoned brokers don’t have to leave money on the table because their firm lacks the expertise to handle the transaction.”
Barbolla is 25-year veteran of the business while co-founder and general counsel Michael Greenberg has played a leading role in structuring high dollar commercial and residential deals during his 25 years in real estate. Larry Link, president and CEO, has over 20 years under his belt in real estate finance and money management.
While 2016 was a record year,with the brokerage growing to 240 agents, Barbolla said, “In 2017, our aim is grow even more. The door is always open to seasoned brokers who are looking for an agency where they can keep more of their money and receive numerous benefits that aid in the growth of their businesses.”
Level Group has opened registration for its next Spotlight Series event.
Social Media Innovation: The Symposium at the Wells Fargo Conference Center, 150 East 42nd on April 11, will start with a networking breakfast at 9:30 a.m and run through 12:30 p.m.
It is open to all real estate professionals in the New York City tri-state area. Joan Pelzer, founder and CEO of Joan Pelzer Social, and Jennefer Witter, CEO and founder of The Boreland Group Inc, will present cutting edge social media strategies for real estate professionals.
“This important symposium will equip attendees with the practical skills they need to use social media effectively to advance their business,” said Michael Barbolla, Level Group’s chief operating officer.
The symposium will feature hands-on social media training and include a live Facebook Chat.
“Social media is a great way brokers can get their ‘unfair share’ of buyer and seller attention and I’m eager to share new strategies with the participants,” said Witter.
Level Group Announces Social Media Innovation Symposium
Level Group, an innovative, full-service residential and commercial real estate brokerage company that introduced the 100% commission model in New York City, today announced that registration is open for its invitation-only event: the Level Group Spotlight Series: Social Media Innovation: The Symposium. The seminar, which will start with a networking breakfast, will be held at the Wells Fargo Conference Center, 150 East 42nd on April 11 from 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM. It is open to all real estate professionals in the New York City tri-state area.
Joan Pelzer, Founder/CEO of Joan Pelzer Social, and Jennefer Witter, CEO/Founder of The Boreland Group Inc, will present cutting edge social media strategies for real estate professionals. “This important symposium will equip attendees with the practical skills they need to use social media effectively to advance their business,” said Michael Barbolla, Level Group’s chief operating officer who founded the successful series in 2016.
Barbolla emphasized that the symposium will feature hands-on social media training. For instance, attendees will learn about and then conduct a live Facebook Chat. “Participants can look forward to rolling up their sleeves, getting to work and leaving the symposium with skills they can put to immediate use.” he said. “This will be unlike virtually any other seminar that many real estate professionals normally attend.”
Michael Barbolla_Chief Operating Officer
The April Spotlight Series event builds on 2016’s highly successful branding session, which drew 125 participants and favorable press coverage. Jennefer Witter, a featured presenter at the branding event, said that the April 2017 event will focus on how agents can use social media to build their brand and “beat back” the competition. “Social media is a great way brokers can get their ‘unfair share’ of buyer and seller attention and I’m eager to share new strategies with the participants,” Witter said. “I’m honored to work with Level Group on this symposium, which has such an exceptional commitment to broker development.”
“It’s never been more important to be on the cutting edge of technology and social media skills are a must have for today’s professionals,” agreed Joan Pelzer, whose digital media company works with many industries and executives to build their social media presence. “Social media is a business-building and development tool. You must be using it – effectively and strategically – in order to remain competitive in such a demanding industry as real estate.”
Barbolla, who since joining Level Group has accelerated and focused the firm’s ongoing commitment to agent development, said the Spotlight Series on social media will provide valuable information that may not otherwise be available to agents. “Few firms are doing this kind of education. Technology is moving so quickly, it’s imperative for agents to take advantage of this opportunity,” he said. “We’re delighted to make the expertise of Pelzer and Witter widely available to our agents and guests.”
Wells Fargo is hosting the symposium and Justin Pfeifer, one of its private mortgage bankers, will give a brief introduction that will touch on new technological developments forthcoming from Wells Fargo. “We appreciate the generosity of Justin and Wells Fargo in hosting the symposium, and look forward to meeting with our colleagues in the real estate industry in such a lovely and convenient location,” said Barbolla.
About Level Group
Founded in 2004, Level Group was the first firm in New York City to offer the 100% commission model. It handles the full spectrum of real estate brokerage work, including residential and commercial leasing and sales. Known for its open door policy to senior management, the firm has attracted more than 230 brokers, many from the city’s larger brokerage firms. Level Group recently launched “Level Group Spotlight Series,” a bi-annual symposium dedicated to educational topics of interest to the commercial and residential real estate community. The program complements its in-depth, ongoing education and training program for its agents.