Brokerage Beat: The Agency, BHGRE, JPAR and EXIT expand
The Agency extends global reach, BHGRE grows in three states, JPAR comes to the Bay Area, EXIT aims for "aggressive growth," KW agent opens boutique brokerage.
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.
The Agency expands in Canada, Spain
Global real estate brokerage The Agency has expanded both its North American and European footprint, launching offices in the Outaouais region of Quebec, Canada, and in Mallorca, Spain.
The Quebec office is the firm’s 13th in Canada and will be led by industry veterans and managing partners Maxime Damour and John M. Faratro.
The firm's leaders have over four decades of combined real estate and entrepreneurial experience, and both have been running other Agency offices in Canada. Damour currently serves as managing partner of The Agency Ottawa, while Faratro is managing partner at The Agency Montreal.
“It’s exciting to be a part of The Agency’s growth in Canada as we open our new office in Outaouais,” said Faratro. “We look forward to bringing The Agency brand to this thriving community that we know will embrace our unique culture and business.”
Heading over to the warm waters of the Mediterranean, The Agency’s new office in Mallorca, Spain, is the firm’s third in Europe. The Agency opened an office in Lisbon, Portugal in February, and launched its first European location, The Netherlands, in May 2022.
The Mallorca office will be led by managing partner Alby Euesden, who has more than a decade of experience in the region.
“Our strategic expansion … has been phenomenal as we continue to feed the demand around the world for a luxury brand like The Agency,” said Jim Ramsay, executive vice president of franchise sales at The Agency.
The Agency has more than 70 global offices and is one of the fastest-growing boutique luxury brokerages.
BHGRE adds Hawaii & South Carolina affiliates, grows in California
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC announced the affiliation of BHGRE Rainbow Island Properties on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, as well as BHGRE Palmetto, which has offices in Charleston and Goose Creek, South Carolina.
Rainbow Island Properties is owned and operated by Tim Ross and Joyce Wright Funk, real estate professionals with more than 30 years of experience. Both owners are transplants from California but have made their home on the island. Ross is originally from Northern California and has established a strong client base in the four years he’s lived in Hawaii. Wright Funk grew up in Beverly Hills and is a third-generation real estate professional. She became licensed in California in 1989 before moving to Hawaii in 2007, and is the BHGRE brand’s first Black female owner.
“As we move forward with our careers, we have chosen to participate in owning our own brokerage. We chose to affiliate with the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand because, in our opinion, it surpasses all other brands. Being a leading real estate lifestyle brand will be our calling card to build the business here in Kauai, working with the entire continuum of clients from first-time homeowners to high-net-worth clients,” said Wright Funk.
Back on the mainland, Aimee and Terry Peterson established their South Carolina brokerage, TeamWork Realty, in 2021. Both owners have been licensed agents in the state for 5 years, and previously worked in other areas of the industry. Aimee Peterson spent time in custom home construction, while Terry Peterson was a commercial appraiser. Together, the two have also operated several small businesses.
Now operating as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Palmetto, the firm has grown from seven agents to 60 in less than two years, and will now have the franchise support to sustain that level of development, according to a news release from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.
“Our affiliated agents’ feedback is paramount to us and after surveying them, the overwhelming need became clear: better brand recognition. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate quickly emerged as the best way to fulfill that need. I am excited to affiliate with a brand that I grew up with and a name agents can stand out with. There is an immediate connection to the brand that will help our brokerage continue to grow and serve the community,” said Aimee Peterson.
The brand is also strengthening its presence along California's Central Coast. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Haven Properties, which has offices in San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Santa Maria and Paso Robles, is expanding its footprint with the acquisition of four more offices in the region.
Operations for three of the offices will be consolidated, and a Pismo Beach location will be added to the firm's coverage area. Haven Properties, led by broker/owner Gavin Payne, will now represent nearly 120 agents. The firm has also pledged its commitment to the BHGRE brand until 2033.
“This is an exciting development that creates tremendous momentum to continue building market share and achieve our goal of becoming the largest producing brokerage on the Central Coast,” said Payne. “The shared company culture, service excellence and integrity continue to form a strong foundation for real estate leadership in our market. We look forward to supporting our new team members to help enhance their professional path and support exceptional experiences for their clients.”
JPAR Real Estate opens in the East Bay
JPAR Real Estate has opened a new office in Pleasanton, California, a town in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The firm, JPAR Iron Horse, is one of the first JPAR affiliates in the state.
JPAR Iron Horse is owned and operated by Erica Starkey and Dan Starkey. Erica Starkey is a 20-year industry veteran who previously ran her own brokerage, while Dan Starkey has held marketing and operations leadership roles across multiple industries. Both were most recently at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Reliance Partners in Pleasanton.
JPAR Iron Horse will serve the East Bay communities including Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, Fremont.
"We are thrilled to be opening JPAR Iron Horse in Pleasanton," said Erica Starkey in a news release. "The city is growing, and there is a real need for a full-service residential and commercial real estate brokerage that can meet the demands of the local community. Our affiliation with JPAR will empower our real estate professionals to provide the very best in real estate services through unparalleled tools, technology and marketing," added Starkey.
JPAR Real Estate’s corporate office is in Plano, Texas. The company has more than 3,800 agents in 64 offices across 24 states.
Exit Realty announces growth plans for 2023
EXIT Realty Corp. International capped off 2022 with 40 new markets. Last year’s expansion was largely centered in the Southeast, but the firm also added a handful of new offices in Western and Midwestern markets as well as three locations in Ontario, Canada.
But the company's goals for 2023 are even loftier. EXIT’s “aggressive growth strategy” includes expansion into 100 new markets in 2023, according to a news release.
“Entrepreneurs and real estate professionals are attracted to EXIT Realty because of the opportunity to earn multiple income streams, make a positive impact in their communities, and aspire to build a lifestyle that lets them live their why,” said Craig Witt, CEO of EXIT Realty’s U.S. Organization.
“EXIT also provides the opportunity for those interested in merging their existing operation with or being acquired by one of EXIT’s many successful brokerages,” Witt said.
Former KW agent launches boutique brokerage
Real estate agent and marketing leader Dave Marcolla announced he is launching Marcolla Realty in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Marcolla and his team were previously with Keller Williams Luxury as the Dave Marcolla Group.
Marcolla will be bringing his team members to his new brokerage: agents Melissa Watson and Peter Vogel, and operations manager Chelsea Sutton.
In addition to real estate, Marcolla has more than 20 years of sales, marketing and financial services experience. He also serves on the Bucks County Association of Realtors Board nominations committee and chairs the board of the Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia.
Marcolla scored the highest-priced home sale of the year at KW Newtown in 2021, according to a news release. In 2022, his team closed $78 million in transactions for properties in and around the Newtown, Bucks County area.
“In real estate and most other businesses, outstanding customer service is essential. I’ve always believed my clients should not only expect better — they should expect, and get, the best when it comes to advising them on one of their most substantial and personal assets: their home,” said Marcolla.