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Brokerage Beat: News from Christie's, RE/MAX, Real, Compass 

Christie's heads to Austin; RE/MAX adds franchise in Mass.; boutique Lafayette firm joins Real; Compass nabs $1 billion SoCal firm; John R. Wood upsizes.

September 23, 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.

Christie's enters Austin market

Christie's International Real Estate is growing its presence in the Lonestar State with the addition of an office in Austin.

Romeo Manzanilla and Jerry Mooty, Christie’s International Real Estate Austin.
Romeo Manzanilla and Jerry Mooty, Christie’s International Real Estate Austin.

Heading the new office is Jerry Mooty Jr., nephew of businessman and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The Jones family is also backing the new venture. 

This is the third @properties Christie's International Real Estate franchise owned by Mooty, who previously opened offices in Dallas and Frisco. The Austin office, which will be located in the Westlake/Barton Creek area, will open November 1, and the firm's leaders said they've already seen interest from a number of top-producing agents.

Romeo Manzanilla, who previously led Texas operations for Compass, will become the principal, chief operating officer and broker of record for the firm. Prior to Compass, Manzanilla was broker in charge overseeing Realty Austin's 600 agents. 

"We plan to hit the ground running with Romeo and a fast-growing team of highly regarded agents to raise the bar for service in the Austin market, especially at the high end," Mooty said in the announcement.

New England RE pros launch RE/MAX franchise in Salem

Three real estate veterans based in Essex County, Massachusetts, have linked up to form a new RE/MAX franchise in Salem. 

Heather Grant Murray, Jack Brown and Mandy Caruso, RE/MAX Beacon.
Heather Grant Murray, Jack Brown and Mandy Caruso, RE/MAX Beacon.

RE/MAX Beacon will be owned and led by a trio of real estate professionals: Mandy Caruso, former director of operations for Sagan Harborside Sotheby's International Realty in nearby Marblehead and Swampscott, who also has a background in finance; along with Jack Brown and Heather Grant Murray, team leaders of the Murray Brown Group, which was also a part of Sagan Harborside Sotheby's International Realty.

Having the expertise and experience of the three leaders will give the new franchise a competitive advantage, Brown said in the announcement.

"With three attentive owners, we will offer a collaborative atmosphere, which will inspire teamwork and a culture of cooperation. As owners and mentors we will support, educate and encourage each agent individually or as a team to reach for their highest level of performance."

40-agent Louisiana firm chooses Real

The Lafayette-based District South Real Estate has joined the Real Brokerage, the company announced. Helmed by leaders Carrie Théard and Sean Hettich, District South was formed in 2017 and currently has 40 agents on the team. 

Sean Hettich and Carrie Théard, District South Real Estate.
Sean Hettich and Carrie Théard, District South Real Estate.

Last year, the brokerage closed 960 transactions with a volume of nearly $252 million.

Théard is a Lafayette native with 11 years of experience. Hettich has a business and marketing background in addition to working as a real estate agent.

The latest addition not only bolsters Real's footprint in the South, but helps put its total agent count over 12,000. It was a strategic move for District South's leaders and their agents as well, Théard suggested.

"Real offers us the opportunity to continue to offer what our agents value most, while also providing opportunities for building wealth long-term," she said, referring to Real's revenue share model which opens up more opportunities for agents to make additional money on real estate sales.

Compass snags $1 billion SoCal brokerage

Compass has announced the acquisition of Deasy Penner Podley (DPP Real Estate), a firm which closed $1.25 billion worth of deals last year, the company said.

George Penner, DPP Real Estate/Compass.
George Penner, DPP Real Estate/Compass.

Founded in 2005, the Pasadena-based independent brokerage and its team of more than 175 agents has served clients across a broad swath of southern California, ranging from the LA area to Coachella Valley. With the affiliation, the firm will now be known as ​​DPP @ Compass.

"This alliance enables us to continue delivering an intimate and highly localized service supported by the industry's only end-to-end platform and a national agent network," DPP Co-founder George Penner said of the merger.

Penner will stay on as the firm's leader, and along with Co-founder Mike Deasy, will play a role in Compass' Architecture + Design Division which focuses on architecturally significant properties throughout their territory. 

John R. Wood Christie's is upsizing

John R. Wood Christie's International Real Estate has acquired an office building in Cape Coral that will serve as the company's new headquarters. The 4,400-square-foot building is located just steps away from the Caloosahatchee River and has direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, which is important to the team's brand, said President and CEO Phil Wood.

"In addition to almost tripling the size of our previous space, the new waterfront office ensures excellent visibility and contributes to our local prominence while highlighting Cape Coral's boating lifestyle," Wood said. 

The company's investment in a larger physical office space is notable in a time when cloud-based brokerages are gaining momentum. But having a brick-and-mortar presence also serves a marketing purpose, Wood added.

"As a free-standing building on a nice sized parcel, the property also offers excellent signage and visibility, which was one of the key features that attracted us to the building," he said.

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