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Brokerage Beat: News from E&V, Christie's, eXp, more 

E&V opens new shops in SW Florida, Atlanta; Caribbean firm joins Christie's; eXp gains 82-agent team; Premier Sotheby's hires managing broker; more.

August 11, 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.

Engel & Völkers launches third office in southwest Florida, expands in Atlanta

Florida Engel & Völkers franchisee Victoria Stultz has launched a third office in the state, adding the Lakewood Ranch market to her already established Venice Downtown and Sarasota locations. Collectively, the three offices will comprise the Engel & Völkers Suncoast operation, the company said. 

Victoria Stultz, Engel & Völkers.
Victoria Stultz, E&V Sarasota.

"Victoria has been an outstanding ambassador for our brand and an excellent franchisee who is fully capable of building a regional powerhouse brokerage," Peter Giese, CEO of Engel & Völkers Florida, said. "We firmly believe that linking her brokerages under a unified identity showcases our unwavering dedication to delivering an exceptional and personalized experience for our esteemed clients in the greater Sarasota area."

Stultz joined Engel & Völkers in 2021 and currently oversees a team of 34 full-time agents. She focused on high-end waterfront properties in Manatee, Sarasota, and Northern Charlotte counties, the company said, where the average listing price of the homes her team brings to market is over $6.2 million. 

Additionally, Engel & Völkers has announced the opening of a new office in Sandy Springs, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta.

Christin Coffin, Matt LaMarsh and Kristen Skebe, Engel & Völkers.
Christin Coffin, Matt LaMarsh and Kristen Skebe, Engel & Völkers.

The new shop will be led by advisors Matt LaMarsh, Christin Coffin and Kristen Skebe. The company said the shop is well positioned to take advantage of new suburban development in the area.

"With an incredible on-the-ground team, we have continued to grow our original shop in South Buckhead and take advantage of new opportunities beyond our initial territory, to create a more consistent presence for such a prestigious and well-recognized brand in the Atlanta marketspace," said Christa Huffstickler, founder and CEO of Engel & Völkers Atlanta.

Aruba-based Bold Properties joins Christie's International

Christie's has picked up another overseas brokerage team, this time in the tropical Caribbean. Co-owners and brokers Aileen Kelly and Jenniffer Figaroa, who combined have 17 years of experience in selling real estate in Aruba, founded Bold Properties in 2022.

Jenniffer Figaroa and Aileen Kelly, Bold Properties.
Jenniffer Figaroa and Aileen Kelly, Bold Properties.

The move will help Christie's bolster its presence in the Caribbean, company president Chris Lim said.

"Aileen and Jenniffer have assembled a powerhouse team that exemplifies a 'bold' real estate firm in every way, from their personalized marketing to their incredibly high level of service, and we look forward to watching them grow with the backing of the Christie's International Real Estate network," he said in the announcement.

Similar to other high-demand luxury real estate markets, Aruba is witnessing tight supply and consistently increasing sales prices, the company said. According to Kelly, the pandemic only accelerated the demand for real estate on Aruba and has led to a more steady year-round buying and selling market. Prices for upscale properties on the island can range anywhere from $750,000 to a staggering $7 million, the company said. 

eXp picks up 82-agent team in Michigan

eXp has announced the addition of the Michigan-based Amin Realty Group

Led by Sam Amin, the team currently boasts 82 agents and had over $200 million in sales last year. The Amin Realty Group primarily serves the northern Detroit area, though Amin said that he plans to eventually "extend our reach across all 50 states." 

Sam Amin, eXp Realty.
Sam Amin, eXp Realty.

He also added that going from being an independent team to aligning with eXp would help him achieve this ambitious goal.

"It was during a pivotal moment when our leadership gathered around the vision board, seeking the ideal path to achieve our aspirations," he said. "It became abundantly clear that there existed no superior, swifter, or more streamlined approach than forging a partnership with eXp."

Some of Amin's recent accolades and acknowledgments include a 2023 Broker of the Year award from the North Oakland County Board of Realtors and a feature on local ABC 7 as the fastest-growing local independent brokerage in Michigan.

Premier Sotheby's taps veteran for managing broker role in St. Petersburg

Premier Sotheby's International Realty has tapped Doug Swain as the new managing broker of its St. Petersburg, Florida office, the company announced this week.

Doug Swain, Premier Sotheby's International Realty.
Doug Swain, Premier Sotheby's International Realty.

With nearly three decades of experience in real estate sales, Swain's new role will focus on overseeing agent management, career development, recruiting, and retention for the firm.

"We are thrilled to welcome Doug Swain to our leadership team," Premier Sotheby's International Realty SVP Kristine Newell said of the new team addition. "He is well known and highly respected as a real estate leader. Doug's track record and dedication to excellence align perfectly with our values as a luxury real estate company."

Swain has completed the Certified Mentor training with Buffini & Company and is also a certified Ninja Selling graduate. Prior to joining Premier Sotheby's, Swain served as Luxury Marketing Advisor with Smith & Associates Real Estate. 

Premier Sotheby's International Realty, based in Naples, Florida, has over 1,400 sales professionals in 40 locations throughout the state and in North Carolina.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago nabs top Redfin agent

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago has announced the addition of agent Brett Boudart, who will work out of the firm's Lincoln Park Clybourn office. 

Brett Boudart, BHHS Chicago.
Brett Boudart, BHHS Chicago.

Boudart joins from Redfin, where he closed over $16 million worth of residential real estate in 2022, the company said.

Boudart's decision to move to BHHS was based in large part on the brand's agent support. "I chose to affiliate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago for many reasons but ultimately, my decision boiled down to their marketing exposure, in-office marketing support and recognition in the marketplace as a trustworthy company," he said in the announcement.

BHHS Chicago has more than 1,400 real estate professionals and staff in 24 offices serving customers throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, the North Shore, West and Southwest communities, Southern Wisconsin, Northwest Indiana and Harbor Country, Michigan.

'Buy-before-you-sell' platform UpEquity partners with Pinnacle Realty Advisors

UpEquity, a company that seeks to streamline the process for homebuyers who need to sell their existing house, has announced a new partnership with "brokerage as a service" platform Pinnacle Realty Advisors. The partnership is intended to help agents with clients who are in a tricky home sale contingency, UpEquity CEO Timothy Herman said. 

Sam Sawyer, Pinnacle Realty Advisors; Timothy Herman, UpEquity.
Sam Sawyer, Pinnacle Realty Advisors; Timothy Herman, UpEquity.

"As interest rates continue to rally, demand for housing goes down, and supply is tightened even further. Most sellers are increasingly anxious when it comes to finding a replacement home," he said.

UpEquity's model provides a guaranteed offer on a homeowner's current property while they are either searching for or are currently under contract on a new house. Pinnacle's platform is an off-the-shelf product that will help UpEquity scale, Pinnacle Realty Advisors CEO Sam Sawyer said.

"No single company can keep up with the pace of change and build everything internally. We're finding awesome companies like UpEquity to help our agents and provide their offerings in our marketplace so agents would have an ability to pick and use what they really need," he explained.

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