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Brokerage Beat: News from Real, E&V, @properties, Corcoran, more 

Real snags top SoCal team; E&V enters New Hampshire; @properties expands in Michigan; Brooklyn-based Corcoran team grows; The Agency expands in Spain; more.

February 3, 2024
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. and globally.

Billion-dollar Suarez Team joins Real

The Suarez Team, a 10-person Los Angeles-based team headed by James and Roxanne Suarez, has joined The Real Brokerage.

James and Roxanne Suarez, The Suarez Team, Real.
James and Roxanne Suarez, The Suarez Team, Real.

The Suarez team serves the greater Los Angeles market, including Silicon Beach, Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills and the South Bay, and is one of the top performers in California. The team's sales volume exceeded $210 million in 2022, and they've closed more than $1.5 billion in total sales, according to a news release. The team is known for innovative marketing trends including mega open house events.

"James and Roxanne's approach of never settling for less than their best and putting their hearts and souls into serving both their clients and agents is what makes them great leaders," Real President Sharran Srivatsaa said. "I'm thrilled to welcome them and the entire Suarez Team to Real. I know that they will thrive in our culture of collaboration and teamwork and be role models for the entire organization."

James Suarez said the couple involved the whole team in making the decision to join Real. "Sharran's unmatched forward-thinking leadership, the best profit share model and opportunities to build long-term wealth through stock ownership made the decision to join Real very easy," he said.

Engel & Völkers enters New Hampshire market

Engel & Völkers has opened an office in Portsmouth, its first New Hampshire shop.

Dean Poritzky, Engel & Völkers Portsmouth.
Dean Poritzky, Engel & Völkers Portsmouth.

License Partner Dean Poritzky will lead Engel & Völkers Portsmouth with VP and Marketing Director Paige McVay. The shop will serve the New Hampshire Seacoast, Lakes Region and Mountains, and the southern coast of Maine.

Poritzky, also the founding principal of Engel & Völkers Wellesley, leads a team generating over $160 million in annual sales. With an MBA from Wharton, Portizky has a background as a custom home builder and portfolio manager.

McVay has more than 18 years of experience in real estate sales and marketing, and she has been with the Engel & Völkers Wellesley office since 2016, driving business development and revenue goals.

"We began our journey in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with our first shop, and our business has quadrupled over the course of seven years," Portizky said. "With this expansion, our primary purpose is to introduce the same exceptional client experiences to New Hampshire, a beautiful and thriving state where residents love to live, work, and play, as well as the southern coast of Maine," said Portizky.

Michigan's @properties acquires North Harbor firm

Michigan's @properties Christie's International Real Estate is acquiring Christie's North Harbor.

North Harbor is a boutique brokerage in the town of Petoskey, a popular resort and second-home destination. The office will be rebranded as @properties.

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

Eric Walstrom and Alex Irrer, co-owners of Birmingham, Michigan-based @properties Christie's International Real Estate, recently expanded to Ann Arbor. With the newest acquisition, they hope to leverage their growing presence in the Detroit Metro area and their connection to the separately owned @properties Christie's International Real Estate in Chicago.

Buyers from Detroit and Chicago represent 75% of homebuyers in Petoskey and the other resort towns on Little Traverse Bay.

"We see a big opportunity to raise the bar for service in this market by bringing in the technology, marketing and other resources that have propelled our growth in Southeast Michigan," said Walstrom. "No other firm in the area has anything that comes close — especially for marketing luxury properties," said Walstrom.

Jeff Wellman sold the Petoskey brokerage but will stay on as an agent. His son, Tyler Wellman, will serve as @properties Northern Michigan operations coordinator.

Corcoran team adds partner, rebrands

The Corcoran Group's leading Brooklyn sales team has promoted agent Nick Hovsepian to partner and added his name to the brand.

Nick Hovsepian, Leslie Marshall and Jim Cornell, partners; Ashley Banker, sales associate.
Nick Hovsepian, Leslie Marshall and Jim Cornell, partners; Ashley Banker, sales associate.

Hovsepian joins James Cornell and Leslie Marshall as a partner on the newly rebranded Cornell Marshall Hovsepian Team.

Hovsepian started his real estate career with Corcoran in 2012. Since then, he has amassed more than 400 closed transactions, and was instrumental in the record-breaking $15 million sale of DUMBO's Clock Tower Penthouse. He joined the Cornell Marshall Team five years ago.

"Working alongside Jim and Leslie has been an incredible opportunity. With them, I have grown my new development and resale businesses, and our new partnership will only continue to allow us to bring our high level of service, experience, and dedication to our clients throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan," he said.

"Nick has been a vital and productive member of our team, and welcoming him as a partner is a recognition of his contributions and abilities," Cornell said. "He's also a heck of a nice guy. His partnership isn't a change in dynamic but rather a recognition of what Nick has and will accomplish with us going forward."

The Agency opens third Spain office

Boutique luxury brokerage The Agency has launched an office on Spain's Costa Blanca North,  its third office in the country.

Alistair Barton and Leonie ter Brugge, The Agency Costa Blanca North.
Alistair Barton and Leonie ter Brugge, The Agency Costa Blanca North.

The Agency Costa Blanca North is led by Managing Partners Alistair Barton and Leonie ter Brugge and will serve Moraira, Javea, Calpe, Altea, Denia and Benitachell.

"We are thrilled to launch our new office in Costa Blanca North as we continue to prioritize our strategic growth across Europe," said Mauricio Umansky, CEO and founder of The Agency. 

"Alistair Barton and Leonie ter Brugge are trusted experts in the market and we are confident they will serve as exceptional leaders and stewards of The Agency's culture and brand as we continue to introduce The Agency to coveted markets around the world."

Barton, who moved to Spain from the UK, has 19 years of real estate experience and began visiting Costa Blanca North in the early 2000s. He has since gained extensive knowledge of the region's lifestyle and amenities. Originally from the Netherlands, ter Brugge has 18 years of experience in the Costa Blanca real estate market. 

"As residents of this beautiful and unique region, we look forward to introducing it to The Agency's global network," Barton said.

Douglas Elliman ranked 'most trusted brokerage'

A ranking based on a survey of thousands of consumers identified the top 20 "most trusted" residential brokerage firms, with Elliman coming in at No. 1.

The America's Most Trusted® study surveyed more than 36,000 consumers who indicated they were "actively considering using a residential real estate agent" and were aware of the nationals brands in the ranking. Brands with low awareness were excluded.

As it pertained to the survey, trust was defined "a customer's belief in a brand's ability to meet its obligations." 

The top five most-trusted brokerages in the ranking were not necessarily the largest firms, but all have either regional or national reach:

1. Douglas Elliman

2. United Real Estate

3. Howard Hanna

4. Sotheby's International Realty

5. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

LeadingRE added three dozen members in 2023

The global network of independent brokerages welcomed 36 new firms last year, bringing its global membership to 550 companies representing nearly 140,000 real estate professionals.

The brokerages joining LeadingRE — an invitation-only network — span five continents, with 14 from the U.S. and a diverse group of firms from Europe, Canada, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Chris Dietz, LeadingRE's president of global operations, said he was pleased to see such growth during a difficult year: "Last year we experienced some global economic uncertainty and challenges, including interest rates rises and unforeseen fiscal fluctuations. Real estate is a people business, and by connecting professionals around the world, we can enhance our understanding of property markets — both locally and internationally," Dietz said, adding that LeadingRE "looks forward to continued growth in 2024."

The organization noted that member firms are selected based on both performance and "a continued commitment to quality customer experience."

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