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Brokerage Beat: Expansions, acquisitions and recognitions 

Latest news: BHHS lands New England firm and Chicago top producer; E&V goes to Costa Rica; The Agency opens in Oregon; RE/MAX launches ad campaign; and more

Updated January 23, 2023
6 minutes

Editor's note: The brokerage business is a busy one, with frequent moves, mergers and milestones. Here we highlight some of the latest activity among brokerages across the U.S.

Coco, Early & Associates joins Berkshire Hathaway

Blaise Coco, Coco, Early & Associates.

Coco, Early & Associates has joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty.

The Coco, Early & Associates offices will remain open under the Verani Realty name, expanding Verani's presence in the New England marketplace with eight offices and nearly 250 agents, according to a news release. 

Verani Realty is a family-owned company with more than 850 agents in more than 25 offices across New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont. 

"Over the years, we've truly enjoyed working alongside the Verani Realty associates," said Blaise Coco, owner of Coco, Early & Associates. "Our core values are similar, our commitment to service excellence is similar, even our colors are similar. We look forward to being part of the Verani Realty family and all that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has to offer."

RE/MAX ad campaign to focus on the head and the heart

RE/MAX has introduced its 2023 advertising campaign, "The Right Agent Can Lead the Way," a series of broadcast and digital promotions that underscore the importance of real estate agents in the homebuying experience, the company said.

Abby Lee, SVP Marketing and Communications, RE/MAX.

Using consumer research to inform the advertising concepts, RE/MAX surveyed 400 recent home buyers and sellers. They also interviewed people who plan to purchase in the next two years.

And the results? Respondents emphasized both the head and the heart in their decisions on homebuying and selling. "This year's campaign took a unique, creative approach as we blended both emotion and reason," said Abby Lee, RE/MAX senior vice president for marketing.

People surveyed talked about the "deep emotions" they attach to homeownership, according to RE/MAX, as well as the importance of having an agent with skills and expertise. The 2023 ad campaign also will include videos that will be developed in response to important market conditions and consumer trends.

The Agency expands with first office in Oregon

The Agency, a global real estate brokerage based in California, has launched its new franchise office in Bend, Oregon. It's the firm's first office in Oregon.

From left: Nick Wilhite, Grant Ludwick, Matt Robinson, The Agency Bend.

The Agency now has more than 70 offices in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. The Bend office will be led by managing partners Grant Ludwick, Matt Robinson, and Nick Wilhite.

"Our strategic expansion in the Pacific Northwest has been incredible as we continue to feed the demand around the world for a brand like The Agency," said Jim Ramsay, Executive Vice President of Franchise Sales at The Agency. "Grant, Matt, and Nick are true authorities in this industry and with them at the helm, Bend will usher in a new era of luxury real estate."

In the past 12 months, The Agency has opened 25 new corporate and independently-owned offices, including the new office in Bend, Oregon, with additional openings on the horizon according to a company news release. It also recently launched the Netflix television series "Buying Beverly Hills."

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices lands top producer

Keith Brand, BHHS Chicago.

Keith Brand, a top real estate broker, has joined the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago firm.

Previously a top agent at Redfin, Brand has more than $200 million in career sales across more than 360 units since 2018.

"My priority has always been to give unparalleled service, create a clear and concise strategy, and put my client's interests first," said Brand in a news release. "I felt that affiliating with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago was the best way to accomplish this. My clients have very high expectations, as they should, and BHHS Chicago's standards for excellence align perfectly with my own to drive strong results."

Brand specializes in the Chicago market including the West Side, West Loop, Bucktown, Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Avondale, Lake View, Central Chicago and the Northwest Side.

Coldwell Banker RE Group buys into Point Mortgage

The Prodehl Family of Companies recently purchased an ownership stake in Point Mortgage Inc. of San Diego.

Prodehl owns and operates the Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group in the Midwest.

Mike Prodehl, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group.

"We are delighted to be associated with Point Mortgage," said Mike Prodehl, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group. "This new association brings our company closer to our goal of a one stop shopping experience for buyers and sellers of real estate."

Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group operates 70 offices in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. The company's 2,000 sales associates will soon be able to offer their clients an opportunity to get financing through Point Mortgage, which works in 28 states.

"The original business concept behind Point Mortgage was to offer the best in mortgage products and services not only to the general marketplace but to the customers of our real estate company, Coldwell Banker West," said Co-founder Peter Mendiola. "The success of this concept and the benefit it has provided to our agents and customers is the genesis of our new venture with companies like Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group."

Engel & Völkers sets up shop in Costa Rica

Jessica Anawalt Johnston and Carlina Sarabia, E&V Costa Rica.

The luxury real estate firm Engel & Völkers recently entered the Costa Rica market with two new shops. 

Led by license partners Carlina Sarabia, Jessica Anawalt Johnson and Jorge Jimenez, the company established offices in Playa Hermosa and Tamarindo. The new offices will serve buyers and sellers along Costa Rica's pacific coast from Santa Cruz to Santa Teresa.

"A famed haven for international expats, Costa Rica is increasingly popular among retirees, students, digital nomads and families looking for safe, stable living and investment opportunities in a tropical locale," said Anthony Hitt, president and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas in a news release. 

Hitt also noted that in recent years it has been the second most popular market for Canadian buyers seeking relief from high domestic real estate prices.

Several real estate firms make the Franchise 500 list

Realty One Group is the leader among real estate brokerages on Entrepreneur's 2023 Franchise 500 list.

Realty One Group was the top real estate franchise brand and ranks 68th overall, followed by RE/MAX (101st overall), Keller Williams (110th) and Coldwell Banker (114th). 

Century 21 (125), NextHome (194), 1st Class Real Estate (231), ERA (237), Corcoran (239), Weichert (314) and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (443) also made the list.

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