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Brokerage Beat: News from Compass, Christie's, @properties, ERA, more 

Influencer leaves Corcoran for Compass; Christie's lands in Curaçao; @properties expands to Ann Arbor; Denver firm joins ERA; KW tops Best Workplace list.

January 20, 2024
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.

Compass welcomes agent influencer Randy Baruh

Luxury agent and social media influencer Randy Baruh has made the move from Corcoran to Compass. 

Randy Baruh, Compass.
Randy Baruh, Compass.

The Randy Baruh Team, which was recognized as one of Corcoran's top real estate teams, brings over two decades of expertise in selling properties across Manhattan and Brooklyn with a focus on the luxury market.

Leveraging his background in the entertainment industry, Baruh has doubled down on branding and marketing. His video advertisement for a Boerum Hill property, for example, garnered 33,000 views on Youtube and contributed to the successful sale of the most expensive townhome ever listed in the neighborhood.

"The Randy Baruh Team stands out in our ability to cater to clients through our distinct and creative marketing approach," Baruh said in the announcement. "Every action we take is driven by the goal of providing an exceptional level of service."

Baruh's use of video is integral to showcasing his high-end listings and his personal brand. With more than 300,000 followers on Tiktok, he has been recognized by New York Magazine as one of Real Estate's top Social Media Influencers.

Baruh emphasized that Compass' community and tech platform played a significant role in the team's decision to join.

"Compass' technology propels us to another level," Baruh stated. "The Compass agent platform allows us more time offline to connect with clients and ensures our listings reach a broader audience in a complex marketplace."

Christie's expands presence to Curaçao 

Bold Properties, a Christie's International Real Estate affiliate, has announced its expansion to the island of Curaçao.

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

Led by Aileen Kelly and Jenniffer Figaroa, Bold Properties previously established a Christie's International Real Estate office on Aruba last year, and this latest addition adds to the firm's increasing presence in the Caribbean.

Following the blueprint of their thriving Aruba-based brokerage, Kelly and Figaroa aim to replicate their success in Curaçao. The island offers diverse housing options, catering to various styles and price points, with luxury homes priced up to $8 million.

"Since the pandemic, we've seen growing interest in luxury residences on Curaçao, making this the opportune time to expand our innovative, client-focused services, backed by Christie's International Real Estate's world-class marketing and international network," Kelly said in the announcement.

A member of Christie's International Real Estate Caribbean Affiliates, Bold Properties operates within a specialized network created to enhance services and support for the Caribbean luxury real estate market. With affiliates across various Caribbean islands, including Aruba, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, St. Barth's, and Turks and Caicos, Christie's International Real Estate continues to strengthen its presence in the region.

@properties opens Ann Arbor franchise

@properties Christie's International Real Estate has announced its expansion into Ann Arbor, marking a strategic move beyond its success in the Detroit Metro area. The independently-owned and operated affiliate of Christie's International has seen annual sales jump from $100 million to $1 billion over the past three years, the company said. 

Eric Walstrom and Alex Irrer, @properties.
Eric Walstrom and Alex Irrer, @properties.

The new franchise, which will be located in Lowertown, will be led by co-owners Eric Walstrom and Alex Irrer, who previously operated under the name Alexander Real Estate. Top-producing Ann Arbor agents Sheila Hoeft and Giselle Gaitan have joined the firm.

Ann Arbor's real estate market, home to the University of Michigan, is witnessing a surge, with a 47% increase in average home prices since 2018. Homes priced at $1 million and above have tripled in sales, reaching 141 transactions in the 12 months ended June 30, 2023.

The move into Ann Arbor follows the brand's growth in university towns and other prominent cities, financial centers and luxury vacation destinations over the past two years.

Woman-led Denver firm affiliates with ERA

LUX Denver, a women-led luxury brokerage in Denver's Cherry Creek North, has announced its affiliation with ERA Real Estate.

Now operating as LUX Denver ERA Powered, the established firm, led by Emily Duke, has earned accolades and sold over $200 million in luxurious Front Range properties. 

Emily Duke, LUX Denver ERA Powered.
Emily Duke, LUX Denver ERA Powered.

As an ERA Real Estate affiliate, the company's agents gain access to business-building tools and global networking opportunities. The ERA Powered flexible branding option allows LUX Denver ERA Powered to maintain its local identity while benefiting from ERA Real Estate's resources, the company said in the announcement.

Duke plans to leverage this affiliation for growth through mergers, acquisitions and recruiting experienced advisors. ERA's support aligns with LUX Denver ERA Powered's commitment to excellence and positive change.

"We're excited for the business opportunities presented by the brand's tools, but more importantly, we're excited to have the support and the freedom to continue promoting our core ideologies," she said in the announcement.

Duke aims to expand across the state, equipping agents with ERA's services, ERA's global referral network, technology suite, and marketing programs.

KW is top brokerage on Glassdoor's 'Best Places to Work' list

Glassdoor has unveiled its latest "Best Places to Work" list for 2024, and a handful of national brokerage companies made the cut. Keller Williams ranked highest among real estate brands, coming in at #12, while eXp (#22) and RE/MAX (#33) were also in the top 50. 

The latest ranking marks the eighth consecutive year that Keller Williams has been on the list, the company said in an announcement, highlighting its emphasis on teams and collaboration.

"Culture is our core differentiator at Keller Williams," said Stacie Herron, KW's chief legal and administrative officer. "We are honored to be recognized each year by our people as a 'Best Place to Work' — there's no higher satisfaction than seeing our entrepreneurs thriving."

eXp has made the list for seven years in a row, the company said, and emphasized its culture and focus on agents.

"Our unwavering commitment to enhancing eXp's agent-centric value proposition has attracted the finest professionals in the industry," said Founder and CEO Glenn Sanford. "I take immense pride in our ability to iterate and build on that commitment. By prioritizing the feedback and satisfaction of our agents and their customers, we have earned their approval and maintained our position as an exceptional workplace." 

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