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Brokerage Beat: Innovation winners, affiliations, and more 

RE/MAX, @properties, BHGRE add affiliates; NextHome, KW, Anywhere recognized for innovation; eXp gains NC team; The Agency expands; E&V opens new shops.

Updated April 1, 2023
7 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.

Three female entrepreneurs open new Virginia RE/MAX Office

Real estate veterans Carlyn Menser, Shannon Edwards and Christen Campbell have joined forces to open a new RE/MAX office in Yorktown, Virginia.

Carlyn Menser, Christen Campbell and Shannon Edwards, RE/MAX Connect.
Carlyn Menser, Christen Campbell and Shannon Edwards, RE/MAX Connect.

RE/MAX Connect will serve buyers and sellers in the Hampton Roads area with 11 licensed agents.

The three partners have been in the business since the early 2000s, working as peers.

"Our goal is to help those around us, agents and clients alike, 'connect' not only with their business/professional life but also with their best self and community around them," said Edwards, principal broker at the firm.

"We are excited to be able to stay focused on innovation, learning and mastery, while always providing an atmosphere of well-being and balance," Campbell added.

"Our office environment will be a café style approach allowing for collaboration and masterminding between agents, brokers, and other business owners," Menser said. "We believe agents who have a mindset of collaboration and growth, and a need for implementation and action-based workflow, will thrive in the atmosphere we will provide." 

NextHome, Keller Williams, Anywhere named 'Innovative Companies'

Fortune has named NextHome, Keller Williams and Anywhere Real Estate Inc. to its "America's Most Innovative Companies" list for 2023.

The list "honors the 300 companies transforming industries from the inside out," according to Fortune.

NextHome was the top-ranked real estate company on the list, coming in at 61, while Keller Williams ranked 92 and Anywhere notched the 138th spot.

To compile the list, Fortune partnered with market research and data company Statista to surveyed employees and experts in various fields, including recruiters and management consultants .

Rankings are based on scores in three categories: product innovation, process innovation and innovation culture.

Mother-Son luxury team announces affiliation with @properties and Christie's 

Madison, Wisc., brokerage LeGrand Real Estate will rebrand as @properties elleven Christie's International Real Estate.

Melissa LeGrand and Brogan Brunker, @properties elleven Christie's International Real Estate.
Melissa LeGrand and Brogan Brunker, @properties elleven Christie's International Real Estate.

Led by mother-son team Melissa LeGrand and Brogan Brunker, the affiliation marks @properties and Christie's entry into the south-central Wisconsin market

LeGrand and Brunker bring a combined 25 years of experience in real estate sales, marketing and management, with a focus on providing premier relocation services. The quickly growing firm, which has increased its total sales volume by more than 30% since 2021, has an office in Madison and one in Middleton, with plans to expand its operations to Iowa in 2023.

"Our firm has always been focused on elevated service and marketing that differentiates us from other area brokerages," said LeGrand. "Now, we can bring even more to the table for our agents and clients, as we leverage the strength of @properties in the Midwest and the luxury branding and reach of Christie's International Real Estate."

The Agency launches first franchise in Ontario's York region

Global real estate brokerage The Agency recently launched  its 16th office in Canada and its first in Ontario's York Region. 

 Katia and Steve Bailey, Niusha Walker, and Adolphe Khouri, The Agency York Region, Ontario.
From top left: Katia Bailey, Steve Bailey, Adolphe Khouri and Niusha Walker, The Agency York Region.

The Agency York Region joins the brokerage's network of more than 75 offices in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. The York Region office will be led by industry veterans Katia Bailey, Steve Bailey and Niusha Walker, who will serve as managing partners, and Adolphe Khouri who will serve as managing director.

Katia and Steve Bailey lead several of The Agency's Canadian offices, including Waterloo Region, Oakville, Muskoka, Brantford, Toronto West and now York Region.

"With each Agency office we open, we're reminded of the brand's dominance and the burgeoning demand for it throughout Canada — our new office in the York Region is no exception," said the Baileys.

"We're looking forward to ushering in a new era of real estate to the area with The Agency's groundbreaking offerings, blue-chip service, and incomparable marketing power," they added.

North Carolina brokerage joins eXp Realty

Formerly independent brokerage Towering Pines Real Estate in central North Carolina has joined eXp Realty.

Allan Nanney and Terry Nanney, Towering Pines Real Estate / eXp
Allan Nanney and Terry Nanney, Towering Pines Real Estate / eXp.

Owned by Allan and Terry Nanney, the 23-member team closed on $25 million in sales in 2022 and $30 million in 2021. The company launched in 2013.

"We were not actively seeking to make a change but, rather, to stay informed about the evolution of the different business models in the industry and how our company needed to evolve to compete for talent,'' Allan Nanney said.

"The interest in eXp started as just wanting to know more about our competition, then grew as we realized we did not want to compete against the eXp model but compete with that model on our side.'' 

Boutique Chino Hills brokerage joins Better Homes and Gardens 

The Heritage Group based in Chino Hills, Calif., has joined Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. The brokerage, which serves San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles counties, will be known as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Heritage Group.

The company was first established in 2004 by Larry Black, the firm's current broker/owner, and Josephine Taylor, the acting broker associate owner. Black has been in real estate for more than 40 years, earning his license in 1978. Throughout his career, Black has been appointed to multiple positions in his local Realtors association. Most recently he was named the chair of the federal committee for the California Association of Realtors in 2023.

Taylor earned her license in 1984. Shortly after receiving her broker's license, she opened her own mortgage company in 1992. She was named a C2EX ambassador by the National Association of Realtors in 2023.

Engel & Völkers opens offices in 4 regions

Coachella Valley

Engel & Völkers opened an office in Palm Desert, CA, the brand's first in the Coachella Valley. The new shop will be led by license partners Scott Piercy and Bronwen Campbell, along with managing broker Cindy Jones. 

Engel & Völkers Palm Desert will service the Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta and Indio markets. The new shop is centrally located on the iconic El Paseo Drive, a street known as the "Rodeo Drive of the Desert" for its luxury shopping, palm tree-lined boulevards, beautifully landscaped gardens and many great restaurants and cafes.  

Niagara Region

A new Engel & Völkers shop opened in the downtown core of Grimsby, Ontario.

Led by license partner and managing broker Mary Couturier, the office serves Grimsby, Beamsville, Grimsby on the Lake, Grassie, Vineland, Jordan, Smithville and Grimsby Beach.

"As the midpoint between Hamilton and St. Catharines, Grimsby has experienced significant growth in the past decade. Located on the edge of Lake Ontario between Stoney Creek and Beamsville, it's home to some of the most prestigious estate properties in the region," said Anthony Hitt, president and CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas.

North Georgia

Engel & Völkers North Georgia Mountains marks the firm's expansion in North Georgia.

Christa Huffstickler, luxury broker and CEO of Engel & Völkers Atlanta, along with North Georgia's top producing advisors, Heather Foreman and Linda Baker, will lead the office as managing brokers. The new brokerage will offer residential real estate services in the mountain-based region.

"Over the last few years, we have seen a migration to the North Georgia market because of its serene mountain environment and proximity to metro Atlanta," said Huffstickler. 

South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore State has its first Engel & Völkers offices, with two new locations in the Black Hills.

The former VIP Properties is now doing business as Engel & Völkers Rapid City and Engel & Völkers Spearfish. The offices will continue under the leadership of license partner Lori Barnett, owner of VIP Properties for nearly a decade.

Barnett has successfully built a team of more than 30 real estate professionals, all now operating under the Engel & Völkers brand. Collectively, they serve home buyers and sellers in the greater Black Hills area, including the markets of Rapid City, Spearfish, Deadwood, Lead, Hill City, Custer, Box Elder, Summerset, Piedmont, Sturgis, Hermosa, Belle Fourche and Whitewood.

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