50 Years in Real Estate
by THE CORCORAN GROUP
In 1973, an ambitious 23-year-old named Barbara Corcoran founded a real estate company bearing her name in a tiny office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This year, the brand Barbara launched – one subsequently steered into the 21st Century by another dynamic woman, current President and CEO Pamela Liebman – celebrates
50 years. The #1 brokerage in its original market , Corcoran has in five decades seen its name reach beyond New York City, to the Hamptons, the Palm Beaches, Miami, and, with the auspicious 2020 debut of its affiliate network, to destinations across the
United States, throughout the Caribbean, and beyond.
Corcoran’s half-centennial is a testament to five decades of determination, constant innovation, and unwavering passion for the communities we serve.
In 1981, The Corcoran Report — the first real estate market report — began covering New York City real estate trends. In 1990, Pamela Liebman, a real estate agent at the time, created Corcoran Marketing Group, a division dedicated to the planning, design, marketing, and sales of residential new development projects. A few years later Barbara launched Corcoran.com, making the firm Manhattan’s first real estate brokerage to come online.
"Everyone who works at The Corcoran Group puts their heart and soul into the business," said Barbara Corcoran. "We were able to attract and keep the best people, and it was the herculean efforts of our people that got us through all the tough times and pushed us ahead in good times. We survived the city’s bankruptcy, the stock market crash, the AIDS epidemic, and 9/11. The Corcoran Group became a great company because of its phenomenal people."
In 2000, Corcoran named Liebman the firm’s president and chief executive officer, a title she continues to hold 22 years later. Corcoran then sold the firm to NRT in September 2001.
Liebman expanded Corcoran into key East Coast markets with the acquisitions of top-tier firms in South Florida and the Hamptons, and with the purchase of Citi Habitats, New York City’s largest rental brokerage firm. Liebman also led the acquisition of the Sunshine Group in 2002, creating the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group.
Corcoran’s 'Live Who You Are' marketing campaign debuted in 2004, a brand transformation led by chief marketing officer Christina Panos, and what ultimately became the ethos behind the brand’s human-first approach to real estate. To bring the campaign to life, Panos engaged renowned photography legends like Tina Barney and Annie Leibovitz and, in doing so, single handedly introduced fashion photography to the real estate industry.
Another industry first was the launch of Agent Studio in 2017, a center dedicated solely to the development of Corcoran’s agents. The team provides agents with the tools they need to grow their businesses. Agent Studio continues to feature classes, expert panels, and an in-house Mindset and Marketing Coach who helps agents bring their businesses to the next level. In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Agent Studio immediately shifted to a fully virtual platform to ensure agents were equipped with the tools and the knowledge needed to rule the recovery.
“We were able to attract and keep the best people, and it was the herculean efforts of our people that got us through all the tough times and pushed us ahead in good times.”
"As we celebrate Corcoran’s 50th anniversary, it’s incredible to look back on the past half-century and see how much both Corcoran and the real estate industry have evolved," said Liebman. "From the rise of technology to the changing needs of our buyers and sellers, we’ve seen tremendous shifts in the way we do business. What hasn’t changed is our commitment to providing exceptional service to our clients. While the world is a much different place than it was 50 years ago, the dream of homeownership remains the same."
2020 saw the launch of the Corcoran Affiliate Network, which has grown to ten markets worldwide within the first year. Described as parent company Anywhere Real Estate’s fastest-growing brand, Corcoran marked its one-year anniversary with the launch of its first global franchise in the British Virgin Islands. In just over three years, the brand stretches across more than 170 offices – coast to coast in the United States, across six Caribbean islands, and in Italy as of March 2023, marking the brand’s first European affiliate.
Corcoran’s sense of service extends far beyond just providing knowledgeable real estate advice, the company said. Corcoran Cares, the firm’s philanthropic arm, was developed as a way for agents and employees to be able to positively impact their local communities in the areas that matter most. Since its inception, Corcoran Cares has raised close to $5 million for charities in New York City, on the East End of Long Island, and across South Florida.
"They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and that’s certainly been true for me," said Liebman. "To look back on all that we’ve accomplished over these 50 years – every first that Corcoran has brought to the industry through our tremendous agents and world-class staff–it makes me incredibly proud. I work alongside the best of the best, and I’m reminded of that every day. We’re proud of our legacy and excited to continue shaping the future of real estate for another 50 years and beyond."
Agents and staff celebrate the brand at the latest BeCorcoran, an annual gathering of agents and staff from the company’s brokerage and affiliate networks — held this year in Nashville.
Discover the Corcoran difference.
1. The Real Deal, March 2023