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Brokerage Beat: Growth at United, The Agency, Christie's, Corcoran, eXp 

United franchise and indie firm merge in AL; The Agency opens in NC; Christie's moves into Belgium; Corcoran acquires Jersey Shore firm; PA team joins eXp.

June 30, 2023
5 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.

Alabama firm merges with United Real Estate branch in Huntsville

Revolved Realty of Huntsville, Ala., has merged with United's Leading Edge Real Estate Group, bringing the firm's agent count to 300.

Leading Edge was founded in 2013 by Danny and Charlene Sullivan, who will retain their current leadership roles within the combined company. Revolved co-founder Tim Knox will take on the role of president and remains the managing broker of two additional offices formerly operated by Revolved Realty.

Danny Sullivan, Charlene Sullivan and Tim Knox, Leading Edge Real Estate Group.
Danny Sullivan, Charlene Sullivan and Tim Knox, Leading Edge Real Estate Group.

Danny Sullivan owned several businesses in the automotive and marine industries before turning to real estate in 2007. Knox has a background in marketing and IT, and opened his real estate business in 2018.

"Tim and his team bring new energy into the company. Together, we have great synergy and focus and can leverage each person's expertise to accomplish goals that previously seemed insurmountable… We are now the third-largest in unit sales in our marketplace, and our combined strengths are a catalyst for continued growth," said Danny and Charlene Sullivan.

United Real Estate, a flat-fee brokerage and one of the few larger players to see significant gains in sales volume in 2022, operates in 33 states with 18,500 agents. The company's sales volume exceeded $27 billion last year.

The Agency opens first North Carolina office

The Agency Charlotte is the boutique brokerage's newest office, joining the firm's global network of more than 80 offices. Managing Partners Erika Mendoza, who will also serve as Broker in Charge, and Abigail Hines Miller will lead the new branch.

Erika Mendoza and Abigail Hines Miller, The Agency Charlotte.
Erika Mendoza and Abigail Hines Miller, The Agency Charlotte.

Mendoza has lived in the Charlotte area for 25 years and has sold more than 350 homes during her real estate career. She has also been recognized as one of the Top 250 Millennial Agents by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. 

Miller, a North Carolina native, knows just how to prepare a home to sell — in addition to her real estate business, she owns an interior design business and earned a Home Staging Certification from the New York Institute of Art and Design.

"Charlotte is one of the nation's most popular cities and top-ranking economic hubs," said Jim Ramsay, EVP of Franchise Sales at The Agency. "The city's flourishing market aligns perfectly with The Agency's brand and ethos, and our expansion into North Carolina is a true testament to the growing demand we're witnessing across the country for a brand like The Agency."

Christie's expands European footprint with Belgium office

Christie's International Real Estate has made its first foray into Belgium through its new partnership with the Turnhout-based luxury firm Hillewaere

Hillewaere was founded more than 20 years ago by Roel Druyts, who serves as CEO of Hillewaere Group, which includes real estate, insurance and mortgage lending divisions. Bart Van Delm is managing director, overseeing the firm's real estate business.

Bart Van Delm and Roel Druyts, Hillewaere Group - Christie's International Real Estate.
Bart Van Delm and Roel Druyts, Hillewaere Group - Christie's International Real Estate.

Belgium has a thriving luxury residential market which draws buyers from neighboring France, Germany and the Netherlands. Hillewaere is currently operating in multiple markets throughout the country and, under the Christie's banner, plans to expand into Brussels and coastal resort areas.  

 "Hillewaere and Christie's International Real Estate complement each other perfectly in terms of our expertise, the way we serve buyers and sellers and our credibility in the market. And we built our strong reputation and systematically expanded our existing portfolio in the luxury housing market in Belgium over the past few years," explained Druyts.

Belgium is just the latest addition in Christie's European expansion. The brand has also recently added affiliates in Germany, the UK and Italy.

Corcoran franchisee acquires Jersey Shore firm

Adding to its four offices in New York and New Jersey, Corcoran Baer & McIntosh has acquired Ocean Pointe Realtors, located in Sea Girt, NJ, along the popular Jersey Shore. 

Corcoran Baer & McIntosh, which joined the Corcoran Group in 2022, is led by broker/owner Debbie Blankfort who has operated the brokerage for nearly 30 years. 

Debbie Blankfort and Joe Riordan, Corcoran Baer & McIntosh.
Debbie Blankfort and Joe Riordan, Corcoran Baer & McIntosh.

"Ocean Pointe Realtors has been a dedicated resource to south Monmouth County residents since 1992, showcasing hard work, integrity, and exceptional client service," said Blankfort. "These attributes align not only with the values we commit ourselves to at Corcoran Baer & McIntosh, but also to the values of Corcoran as a whole." 

Ocean Pointe Realtors, founded by Joseph Riordan and led by Riordan and co-owner Bart Dennin, brings its 22 agents to the Corcoran firm. With the addition, Corcoran Baer & McIntosh will now have more than 90 agents across six offices in multiple counties north and south of New York City. 

High-volume Philadelphia-area team makes the switch to eXp

The Rory Burkhart Team has joined eXp after more than 12 years with Keller Williams, citing eXp's revenue share model as a key factor in the move.

Rory Burkhart, eXp.
Rory Burkhart, eXp.

Led by Rory Burkhart, a real estate veteran of nearly 20 years, the team closed more than $52 million in sales at KW in 2022. The team handles transactions at all price points but specializes in luxury and new construction home sales, and is also expanding into property management, "which is a natural evolution from managing our own real estate holdings," said Burkhart in a news release from eXp.

"We are extremely excited to become a part of this company," Burkhart told eXp. "Everyone that I've spoken with seems to be brimming with energy and excitement for what is being built. I know this will be a shot of adrenaline for our team and look forward to growing and collaborating with the many teams and individuals working at a high level."  

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