Stephen Klym Returns To Warburg As Manhattan Real Estate Heats Up
Warburg Realty, Manhattan’s premier luxury independent residential real estate firm, is moving forward as the city rebounds. Long known as New York’s blue-chip brokerage since opening its doors in 1896, Warburg Realty recently welcomed back Stephen Klym as senior vice-president for strategic initiatives and Tribeca sales director.
Klym brings decades of industry experience as he returns to Warburg Realty, where he began his real estate career working as the executive assistant to Frederick Warburg Peters, the company’s CEO. Klym moved on to become the firm’s marketing director and senior managing director between 1999 and 2007.
“I am delighted to welcome Steve Klym back to Warburg as a senior member of our executive team. With over two decades of experience in real estate, Steve brings deep experience in all aspects of our business, in addition to outstanding interpersonal skills and intuitive, outside-the-box thinking. Steve is family to me, and I could not be prouder to have the opportunity to once again add his insights to our strategic decision-making,” Peters announced.
Klym spent more than a decade as the executive vice-president and managing director of sales at Brown Harris Stevens and executive director of sales at Halstead Property. His return further strengthens Warburg Realty’s position as a powerful boutique real estate firm and one that is primed to evolve the luxury brokerage space as we know it. “I’m looking forward to working closely with Warburg’s slate of expert agents and brokers, tapping into the firm’s unmatched caliber of human capital,” said Klym, who feels the timing is right to return to his real estate roots as New York remerges from the pandemic and the luxury residential market continues to gain traction.
With 150 agents, Klym sees Warburg’s position as the premier boutique brokerage firm in Manhattan stronger than ever. “The strength of being the top boutique brokerage in today’s environment where many individual firms have either been acquired or merged with others cannot be underrated.”
In Manhattan luxury real estate, Warburg is long known for attracting and retaining top agents for years. Klym explains that what agents find attractive is the attention paid to their careers. “Given Warburg’s relatively small size compared to many of its competitors, I think the firm can further leverage its talent advantage, as well attract and train a new generation of top-tier agents, particularly those looking to further establish their careers in an evolving and increasingly tech-enabled industry,” he notes.
In his new role, Klym says his focus will be on “upper-level strategic thinking and strengthening an established, boutique firm against monolithic companies that offer conveyor belt-like service, rather than leveraging the expertise of their agents to better serve their clients.” Having a roster of talent like that of Warburg’s only helps his mission. “Warburg has always been a strong company, and by putting its agents front-and-center and allowing them to do their jobs, which are tough, we’ll be able to differentiate the company further,” he said.
Manhattan buyers are back, according to recent numbers from UrbanDigs. For the two weeks ending May 20, there were 788 contracts signed—a 146 % increase compared to the same period a year ago. Year-to-date there have been 6,265 contracts signed. Klym expects the traditional Spring buying season to continue into the summer. “I believe we will continue to see steady pace of buyers well into the summer and beyond as even more people continue to return to the city, inventory increases and interest rates remain relatively low.”
As the city emerges from the pandemic and the economy rebounds, Klym remains bullish on New York. “Walk around the [New York City], and you see everybody is smiling and so happy to be eating outside and meeting friends they haven’t seen in a long time. There is excitement in the air. There is no place like New York, and buyers out there today believe that,” he observes.
Markets that were languishing pre-pandemic, including Tribeca and downtown due to all the new luxury residential development, are starting to see increased sales activity. “Those developments sat on the market because they were priced too high. Now those prices are reduced and attractive to buyers who want to be in those vibrant areas,” Klym said.
Still, Klym stops short of calling it a recovery. “I’m not sure calling it a rebound even does justice to the magnitude of the turnaround. This level of activity goes head-to-head with the business that was being done in our most recent bull markets.”
The current buyer profile Klym points to is New Yorkers. Some have returned to New York City, while others see this as a once-in-a-decade buying opportunity. “There aren’t international buyers here yet, so competition is less for luxury properties. We do think they will return because New York is New York,” he adds.
That’s good news for local buyers who will always call New York, New York home while cherishing the 917 area code on their cell.
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