From Airbnb to Zillow: how real estate is handling the crisis in Ukraine

When news of Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February, the country was hit with a series of sanctions from Western countries, and many of the most prominent members of the international business community turned their backs. rushed to withdraw their assets.

As the conflict drags on and after failing to capture the capital of Kyiv, the Russian army is now focusing on the slow conquest of territories east of Ukraine. Millions of refugees fled the war-torn former Soviet state to safety in the west, where they found a network of support.

Horrified by the atrocities committed in Ukraine — which translate into war crime charges for Russian soldiers – individuals around the world have gone so far as to house refugees in their own homes or donate to fundraisers for individual Ukrainians and aid organizations.

Fortune 500 companies, such as Google’s parent company Alphabet, have raised millions of dollars in donations and support for Ukrainians. Small businesses across the country also held fundraisers, including the Ukrainian restaurant Veselka in Manhattan, which donates all profits from the sale of their borscht to benefit Ukrainians abroad.

Repercussions were also felt throughout the real estate sector, as international brokerage firms felt pressure to withdraw their business from the aggressor country, while some coordinated their own fundraising or worked to help refugees. to find shelter.

Ahead of this month’s quarterly results, Inman has compiled a non-definitive list of actions taken — or not taken — by many of the biggest players in residential and commercial real estate. Although by no means exhaustive, it is based on public announcements, news coverage and information provided by companies to Inman.

This post will be updated as real estate companies continue to contribute, big and small, to Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia.

Airbnb: The flat-sharing giant made headlines early in the conflict for pledging to temporarily house 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine for free. The stays are funded by Airbnb donors and coordinated with the governments of countries hosting refugees, including Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania.

Brookfield Asset Management: No official response.

Brown Harris Stevens: The Manhattan brokerage launched a fundraising effort benefiting the International Rescue Committee, matching every donation up to $10,000 throughout the month of March.

CBRE: In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, CBRE, one of the world’s largest commercial real estate brokerage firms, left its Moscow office and terminated two affiliate relationships in Russia. It has publicly condemned the invasion but continues to have a limited number of in-country staff who operate the facilities under existing contractual agreements with multinational clients. Employees also donated money to help employees of CBRE’s Ukraine branch, according to a spokesperson.

21st century: Residential brokerage opened its first brokerage houses in Russia in 2007 and made the decision to withdraw its business from the country shortly after the conflict began. According to a company spokesperson, one brokerage still doing business in the country, C21 Russia, is not affiliated with Century 21 Real Estate. Century 21’s parent company, Realogy, has also launched a fundraising campaign.

Christie’s International Real Estate: Thad Wong and Mike Golden, co-CEOs of international real estate brokerage, made a company-wide internal announcement expressing support for Ukraine’s right to defend its democracy, and donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to a company spokesperson and a copy of the internal memo shared with Inman.

Compass: Compass has launched a Fundraising for the benefit of several organizations coordinating humanitarian work on the ground, including the Ukrainian Red Cross, United Help Ukraine, Nova Ukraine and Save The Children.

Credit: Jim Dalrymple II

Corcoran: Through Corcoran Cares, the brokerage firm raises funds for United Help Ukraine, whose mission is to redistribute donations to Ukrainians in need.

Crown Castle International: No official response.

Douglas Elliman: brokerage launched a fundraising campaign through its philanthropic arm Elliman Cares, benefiting the American Red Cross.

Engel & Volkers The international luxury brokerage has been very active in the Russian market, even listing the former Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughter’s apartment — until the outbreak of war in February, when it made the decision to withdraw from the market, according to company spokeswoman Mariko Obermeier. Engel & Volkers does, however, have a franchise partner currently operating in St. Petersburg, with whom Obermeier said the company is working to break its contract.

EXP: No official response.

Keller Williams: Through its regional owners in Czechia, Poland and other parts of Central and Eastern Europe, Keller Williams subsidiaries helped evacuate refugees with accommodation in their offices. Additionally, the brokerage has raised funds to provide essential supplies, such as food, water and diapers for the refugees housed in their offices, according to Bill Sotteroff of Keller Williams Global.

My host group: No official response.

Move Inc.: The subsidiary of News Corporation and the parent company of have a contractor in Ukraine, who told Inman that he makes every effort to contact each contractor and ensure their safety. Beyond that, donations have been made to aid organizations including International Medical Corps and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

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National Association of Estate Agents: The 1.5 million-member business group has raised more than $20,000 from its directors and donated $50,000 from its venture capital arm Second Centures Ventures for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, in addition to the 50 $000 donated by Louisiana Realtors. NAR has more than two dozen associations of real estate agents in Russia, but told Inman its efforts were focused on helping Ukraine.

Nest Seekers International: No official response.

Global NAI: The commercial real estate brokerage firm severed ties with its member firm in Belarus due to that country’s support of Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. The brokerage does not have a member firm in Ukraine, according to a spokesperson.

Prology: Commercial real estate brokerage is very present in Poland and has free storage space organizations helping to manage the large influx of refugees into this country.

Reality : The brokerage giant, whose subsidiaries include Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Coldwell Banker, Corcoran and Sotheby’s International Realty, has launched an internal fundraiser for the Red Cross, which has raised more than $350,000 in addition to a $50,000 donation from Realogy.


Redfin: No official response.

Sotheby’s International Realty: While its parent company Realogy has undertaken a major fundraising campaign, Sotheby’s has also taken the decision to reduce its sole franchise in Russia, according to a spokesperson for the agency.

VBO: No official response.

Zillow: No official response.

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