Co-founder & CEO
Featured on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 at the age of 23, entrepreneur Blair Brandt is the co-founder & CEO of the real estate brokerage, Next Step Realty.
Brandt often appears or has been featured on multiple business news networks including Bloomberg TV, Fox News Live, and with Cheddar TV at the NYSE. Brandt has been profiled extensively or contributed to The New York Times, Business Insider, New York Observer, California Real Estate Magazine, and The Real Deal. In addition, he visited The White House during The Obama Administration to collaborate with The White House Business Council, as a small business expert.
In July 2011, CNN and Fortune featured Brandt and Next Step Realty in their list of “The Top 6 Dorm Room Start-Ups in The U.S.” In 2012, at the age of 23, Brandt was highlighted in the first ever Forbes Magazine “30 Under 30” list, as the most notable young real estate entrepreneur in the world.
In April 2014, Brandt was named one of “10 prominent real estate figures under 30” by The Richest. In 2015, Brandt was again named to be one of 10 “real estate superstars still in their 20’s”, this time by industry magazine BisNow.
Brandt is a graduate of Deerfield Academy and the University of Richmond. He spent several years in his native Palm Beach, Florida, working as an assistant to one of the town’s premiere luxury real estate brokers. During this entree into the market, he learned the values of integrity, efficiency, and professionalism in the high-end sector of the industry. Brandt observed a lack of emphasis on these values in complex urban residential markets and, particularly, the problems this posed to recent college graduates, entry-level professionals, and other millennials moving to New York City as first-time renters. As a response to this deficit, Brandt co-founded Next Step Realty in New York City, to provide this demographic with a seamless, trustworthy, and one day home search experience.
The company’s mission is to guide millennial renters and new residents with a high level of simplicity, ease, and transparency, in an otherwise complex marketplace. Next Step executes this mission through a highly vetted customer service and brokerage team who exemplifies Brandt’s ideal and unique combination of honesty, expertise, and compatibility. To this day, Brandt spearheads the broker admissions committee and has built the company’s roster to include an impressive list of Manhattan’s top up-and-coming rental agents.
Brandt is hands-on in almost all aspects of the organization, however is primarily responsible for the firm’s institutional relationships, which include many of the largest employers and brands around the world, who recommend Next Step as the premier apartment search provider for all of their entry-level employees relocating to New York City.
Brandt was recently named an official Ambassador for The Humane Society of the United States, where he has led an active campaign of local, state, and federal outreach advocating for the welfare of millions of companion pets. In particular, Brandt has focused his efforts on reforming or eliminating activities that systematically result in the abuse, neglect, or homelessness of family-friendly dogs, including puppy mills and dog-fighting rings. Recently, Brandt was invited to The White House where he moderated a discussion in The Roosevelt Room, where Cabinet Secretaries and Advisors to the President reviewed a concept to connect thousands of shelter pets with military veterans returning home.
Follow Blair Brandt on Twitter at @BlairBrandt and Instagram at @blairbrandt.
A native of Philadelphia, PA, Jason Briggs also spent much of his childhood in Nantucket, MA. He attended the Fay School during elementary years and ultimately graduated from Tabor Academy in 1989. Briggs continued his education as an undergraduate at Oxford University (Keble College) in the U.K., where he achieved national deans list.
After receiving his diploma from Columbia University in 1994, Briggs worked as a portfolio manager in Smith Barney’s wealth management division until 2005. During his 11 years at Smith Barney, Briggs made substantial, quick, and prompt progress, improving his rank to Senior Vice President by the age of 24.
Since leaving the finance industry in 2005, Briggs has pursued his passion for real estate through a number of development and investment projects across various markets. His ventures since 2005 have included 8 successful development deals in Manhattan and Nantucket, MA, where he realized sales of over $26M. One notable project, in particular, took place at 6o West 9th street, a 7,000 square foot townhouse development, which sold for $12M in 2011.
In his role as Chairman at Next Step, Briggs serves as a special advisor to Co-Founder & CEO, Blair Brandt, frequently consulting the company on major strategic initiatives. His contributions include locating and securing Next Step’s new flagship location in Manhattan, playing a lead role in the development of our London office, and personally vetting many brokers who have applied to join the Next Step organization.
While not working with Next Step, Briggs currently has $12M of ongoing residential development projects in Miami Beach, Fl and Nantucket, MA.
Director of Client Relations
A New York native of Westchester county, Erin is a graduate of Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, CT and the University of Richmond, where she earned a B.A. in Communications with a minor in Business Administration.
After graduating Erin immersed herself in the Manhattan Real Estate market, working for one of the city’s top luxury residential real estate brokerages, Brown Harris Stevens. As a licensed real estate agent and the Client Relations and Transaction Coordinator for one of Brown Harris’ highly esteemed brokers, she facilitated dozens of rental and sales deals in under a year before joining the Next Step team. Erin is now working as the Director of Client Relations, where she interacts with hundreds of clients a week to ensure that each client is matched with the perfect Next Step Broker for them, and booked for their own personal Next Step Apartment Tour.
Dillon Krause is the financial controller for Next Step Realty, responsible for all finance and accounting operations. Before joining Blackstone, Dillon worked on the campaign finance team for Massey for Mayor 2017. Prior to that, Dillon spent over five years on the operations and accounting team for Blackstone’s Hedge Fund Solutions group.
Dillon is a stand-up comedian in New York City. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Leadership Studies and Finance from The University of Richmond and is a CFA® charterholder.