Levy Tewel, an accomplished real estate broker who built a successful real estate practice in New York City in under 10 years and has unique insights into the Jewish world, has expanded his practice to include communities in Bergen County.
Tewel grew up in Crown Heights, N.Y., in a large Chabad family. After attending yeshivot in upstate New York and Miami, he decided to enter the business world. He first tried his hand at selling credit card processing to business start-ups, and then moved to wholesale distribution of mobile phones and accessories. He found that while he did fairly well, his outgoing nature was unfulfilled by extensive cold calling. He wanted to build real connections with people.
Tewel decided to redirect his talents to the real estate field and in 2011 obtained his real estate license. After spending two years with a real estate firm based in Brooklyn, with focus on the Bronx, he felt ready to go off on his own. He founded his own real estate company, Uptown Flats, in early 2014 and focused its work on properties in Upper Manhattan.
Uptown Flats approached real estate sales from a relationship perspective, seeing those bonds as crucial to the success of individual sales and the formation of long-term bonds that lead to future sales. The approach, and Tewel’s eagerness to really hustle to build the business, resonated well among customers and colleagues. In a few years, Uptown Flats grew to 15 agents and carried 50-75 listings at a time.
As Uptown Flats grew, national real estate companies took notice and stepped forward to solicit Tewel’s firm to join their systems. He met with representatives of a half dozen of the “top 10” firms and considered the benefits of what each had to offer. One group stood out from the pack—Compass Real Estate.
As Tewel described it, Compass is unique because “lots of large real estate firms are trying to catch up with changes in the market, technology and ways to sell, while Compass is ahead of the curve. They are innovating and creating the technology that agents need to truly excel.”
Compass treats all of their agents as clients and offers a wide array of in-house services that agents can draw on, such as marketing, social media, graphic design and printing, and digital comparative market analysis. “Compass handles the tasks that can bog down an agent, so we can spend time doing what we do best—creating relationships,” said Tewel.
Compass is a venture capital supported firm that was established in 2012 and has expanded to encompass 26 major real estate markets nationwide, from Austin, Texas, to Washington, D.C,, from Boston to Boulder, Colo., and Nashville to New York City. Its network includes more than 17,000 agents and is dedicated to creating “the smartest tools, built by the brightest minds across engineering, design, and strategy.” By affiliating with Compass, Tewel can now easily refer clients to fellow Compass agents working in markets such as Livingston, Short Hills and South Jersey, as well as in other markets across the country.
As key barometers of Compass’ success and growth potential, a September 2020 news release from one of its funders, Alumni Ventures Group, stated that Compass has a 99 percent retention rate of real estate brokers and that newly affiliated brokers tend to increase their sales by 35 percent within one year. Compass is now the third largest independent real estate brokerage nationwide.
Tewel described three strengths that Compass offers that other real estate firms do not:
The best technology available, “because they create it.” This includes artificial intelligence that enables an agent to analyze the market for a particular property in the quickest and most sophisticated ways possible.
Compass Concierge Service, which can front clients the funding for home improvements to increase the resale value of a home and help sell the home faster, with no fees and as an interest- free loan. Clients simply pay back the loan once the home is sold.
Compass Bridge Loans, offered at attractive rates, enable clients to complete the purchase of a new home before the sale of their old home is completed.
As he built his relationship with Compass, Tewel established another enduring partnership as well. In 2018 he married Chana Simon, daughter of Rabbi Ephraim Simon, the Chabad shaliach in Bergen County. The couple now lives in Teaneck with their daughter and attends the Chabad shul.
As he settled into the Teaneck community, Tewel saw the potential for the technology-enhanced and relationship-focused approach of Compass Real Estate in his new hometown. While he continues to serve clients in New York City, he obtained his New Jersey real estate broker’s license in the summer of 2020 and quickly started laying the groundwork for building a clientele in Bergen County.
Recognizing the benefits of its partnership with Compass, and the power of Tewel’s relationship-based approach, Uptown Flats recently decided to rebrand and will now be known as the Tewel Team at Compass.
Looking at some of the testimonials on the Uptown Flats Facebook page, it is abundantly clear that Tewel’s approach is a winner and the group’s reputation is very well earned.
“Levy is probably the BEST broker anyone can ask for,” wrote Shiran Baruchian. “Since the first message to closing, he was professional, attentive, patient and made me feel like everything is under control. He made the whole experience of looking for an apartment so much more pleasant. Absolutely the best!”
“I had the pleasure of working with Levy Tewel to help me find an apartment in New York City, which was the best housing decision I made,” wrote Annie Meliisa. “Levy promised he would find me a place that I love and that I can afford—and he delivered. He helped me through the entire process: application, viewing and interviewing for the apartment...Apartment hunting in Manhattan is stressful, however, with Levy it’s a breeze!”
To contact Tewel, call (201) 477-0117 or email [email protected] He can also be followed on Instagram, @tewelrealestate.
By Harry Glazer