Brett Forman Brings the City Lights to Coldwell
By Robin Jovanovich
It’s not always easy replacing a legend, in this case Nancy Neuman, who started her own real estate firm, Country Properties, sold it to Coldwell Banker, and then continued to run the Rye office for them — for years. But Brett Forman, who was recently named Senior Managing Director of the Coldwell Banker Sound Shore Office, is the real deal.
Forman worked in dotcom sales before joining The Corcoran Group in Manhattan 18 years ago. Before long, he was their top producer on the Upper West Side. After being introduced to the legendary Dolly Lenz, he left Corcoran to “learn from one of the best” at Douglas Elliman.
He managed sales, marketing, handled the media, and helped build Dolly’s empire during the heyday of Manhattan real estate. “We followed the drama and were part of some of the biggest deals at the time,” he said in an interview this week in his Rye office.
But once Lenz started her own eponymous luxury firm and brought on family members, Forman recognized he needed to make another career move, and returned to Corcoran three years ago. He was promised a management position and was put in charge of the illustrious Carnegie Hill office. Business was booming until Covid-19 hit earlier this year.
Corcoran and Coldwell Banker are under the same umbrella and in April 2019 Forman had the foresight to attend a Corcoran/Coldwell gathering in Westchester.
“I was the only manager to go. Fast-forward a year, Corcoran was forced to shutter the Carnegie Hill office because it was too expensive, and I was hired to run Coldwell’s Rye office on a Zoom call,” he recalled.
Luckily, Brett Forman is accustomed to working with strong women — “I came from a strong mother” — and is grateful to have Nancy Neuman and Michele Flood in his wheelhouse.
In just a few months, Forman has helped expand the connection between New York City and Rye. “I know who my competitors are. My mission is to create synergies and push more in the luxury sector.”
Looking ahead, Forman, who lives in Scarsdale with his wife Dana, a first-grade teacher and their two children, has a firm grasp of the challenges. “This is a good time to sell, with people leaving New York City at breakneck speed, but many Rye and nearby sellers want to stay in the Sound Shore, and there aren’t enough good downsizing choices.” Count on Forman, who was on the zoning board when he lived in Larchmont, to expand the horizon.
Unlike many residential real estate firm managers, Forman is not going to be a sales associate. He’s leaving that to the agents, whom he takes his hat off to.