Luxury real estate firm Douglas Elliman hires James Horne to help expand Houston office


Luxury real estate company Douglas Elliman is expanding its presence in Houston and has recruited a leader from a competing brokerage firm to support its growth.

Douglas Elliman, one of the nation’s largest luxury real estate brokers, has hired James Horne as executive sales manager in Houston. At Douglas Elliman, Horne will be responsible for supporting 149 agents, most of whom work in luxury real estate with an average home price of $1.01 million. He will also help with recruiting in Houston.

Horne comes from real estate firm Compass where he helped facilitate $5.2 billion in sales for fiscal year 2021, according to Douglas Elliman. As director of sales, he was responsible for supporting about 240 of Compass’ top agents in Houston, as well as mentoring, coaching and supporting more than 700 total agents, he said. .

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Horne – who himself has a law degree and broker’s license – will again play a leadership role providing mentorship, support and advice to Douglas Elliman’s agents. The brokerage did not have a designated sales manager in Houston before. Instead, Valerie Decker acted as both sales manager and broker. But the company got so busy it wanted to free up Decker’s time to focus on brokerage, Horne said. Decker will now serve as the official broker for Douglas Elliman in Texas.

“I’m excited to take on the development role for this office in Houston,” said Horne, who said he joined Douglas Elliman because he was drawn to the corporate culture.

Douglas Elliman described himself as the sixth-largest residential real estate brokerage in the United States with around 100 offices and 6,500 realtors and 930 employees at the end of 2021. His profits reached around $98 million last year after a loss of $46.3 million the previous year. , according to its annual report. Total deal volume soared nearly 43% to 32,400 deals completed in 2021, according to its annual report.

The company wants to build on its momentum in Houston by continuing to grow both its transaction volume and its workforce.

“We want to bring in agents who really want to make their mark in the luxury market. They really want to work hard and they want to collaborate with us,” Horne said.

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Since entering the Texas market in August 2019, Douglas Elliman has begun to carve out a space for itself, first with an office in Houston, then with offices in Dallas and Austin. In Houston, the company represents notable new developments, such as The Sophie at Bayou Bend condominium projects by Stolz Partners and The Hawthorne, The Revere at River Oaks and The Westmore by Pelican Builders.

Sales in the luxury condo market were relatively flat in April, but condos priced over $1 million are spending about 26 fewer days on the market than at the same time last year, even though inventory remains high for luxury condos, according to Houston Association of Realtors. However, including single-family homes, sales of homes priced over $1 million rose nearly 25% in April compared to the same period last year, according to HAR. Douglas Elliman agents work with all types of homes but focus on the luxury space, a niche Horne has also carved out for herself over the years.

“We are thrilled to welcome him to the Elliman family and look forward to expanding our footprint in Houston together,” said Stephen Kotler, West Region CEO of Douglas Elliman Realty.

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