Chief Executive Officer
Licensed Real Estate Broker
As Chief Executive Officer, Bess is not only a real estate leader, but also a champion of social change, philanthropy, and building a culture-first brokerage for agents, staff, and clients.
Bess gained membership to the Florida, Washington, D.C. and Maryland Bar, and worked in New York pro hac vice
Present Active member of the Real Estate Board of New York; elected to Executive Commitee in 2017
First Ever CEO of Brown Harris Stevens
Ranked in Most Powerful Women in U.S. Real Estate Swanepoel 200
Named to "Top Trailblazers in US Real Estate" by RIS Media
Received REBNY's Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award
Why are you passionate about real estate?
I have always been passionate about helping people and real estate is an industry devoted to guiding people through one of the biggest decisions of their lives. Buying or selling a home is a highly emotional experience with unexpected twists and turns - but the end result is worth it. There is nothing more gratifying than turning someone's dreams into reality.
What is your approach to client service that you try and instill in BHS Agents?
Real estate is not a one-size-fits-all process. Every person, every home, and every journey is unique. Regardless of price or location, we treat everyone with the utmost professionalism anchored in proprietary insights, vast market knowledge, and access to the best technology and marketing platforms in the industry. Our agents are true resources for our clients before, during, and well beyond the transaction.
What differentiates BHS?
Brown Harris Stevens is a legacy firm with a nearly 150 year history that is unrivaled, but the real BHS difference is the level of service, knowledge, and integrity that we offer. While we have set numerous price records over the years, for us luxury is much more than just price; it's about our relationships. Even with all of the advances in tech and marketing, the most important thing is how we treat others because that is what is remembered. This will never change.
As Chief Executive Officer, Bess Freedman oversees Brown Harris Stevens' 50+ offices and more than 2,300 agents across New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Florida.
Under her leadership, Brown Harris Stevens has grown into one of the largest and most successful privately held real estate companies in the United States with the highest average sales price per agent in the country.
Named CEO in 2018, Bess draws upon her law background and passion for helping people to drive change within Brown Harris Stevens and the larger real estate industry. Bess declared Juneteenth a company-wide holiday a year before it was fully recognized by the Federal Government. She was the first head of a major NYC-based brokerage to make Election Day a paid day off, and partnered with the Human Rights Campaign's Business Coalition for the Equality Act in support of legislation protecting rights of the LGBTQ+ community.
She is an active member of the Real Estate Board of New York Board of Governors. An advocate for social change through her work with several organizations, she was the recipient of REBNY's Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award in 2021 for outstanding service to the community. She is on the Board of The Bridge, an organization focused on the needs of homeless and housing-insecure, and an advocate for Sanctuary for Families. Bess also supports the mentorship program at YJP (Young Jewish Professionals), the Leadership Now Project — a corporate initiative to protect democracy - and the Kalief Browder Foundation.
Before entering real estate, Bess practiced law as an Assistant State's Attorney in Montgomery County, Maryland, and worked at Legal Aid as an attorney fighting for the rights of underserved youth in NYC. She is a member of the Florida, Washington, D.C. and Maryland Bar, and worked in New York pro hac vice.
Bess is the proud mother of a son who attends school on the Upper West Side and a daughter who attends college in Boston. In her spare time, Bess enjoys family and friends, music, reading, knitting, weekends in Rhinebeck, N.Y., and regular meetings with her Mahjong group. Bess is fluent in spanish.
RISMedia - 9/22/2021
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Fox News - 9/22/2021
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CNBC - 8/27/2021
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Real Estate In-Depth - 8/19/2021
Five Questions With Bess Freedman, CEO, Brown Harris StevensRead More
CNBC - 8/2/2021
Manhattan and NYC are back big time, says Brown Harris Stevens CEORead More
Bloomberg - 7/26/2021
NYC Real Estate Still a Buyer's Market, Brown Harris CEO SaysRead More
The Real Deal - 7/21/2021
Watch Bess Freedman’s Master ClassRead More
Fox News - 7/15/2021
US housing market is on ‘good trajectory’: Real estate expertRead More
NBC Open House - 5/17/2021
The State of New York City Real EstateRead More