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Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Brokerage Beat: News from E&V, BHGRE, @properties, Christie's, EXIT 

E&V opens in Philly; BHGRE adds N. Dakota indie, secures renewal from top firm; @properties grows in Texas; Christie's enters Albania; EXIT adds 7 markets.

April 27, 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.

Engel & Völkers expands into Philadelphia 

Engel & Völkers has opened its first Philadelphia office, strengthening its presence in the Keystone State.

Jim Becker, Ed Casella and Logan Rothman, Engel & Völkers Philadelphia.
Jim Becker, Ed Casella and Logan Rothman, Engel & Völkers Philadelphia.

License Partners Jim Becker, Ed Casella and Logan Rothman will lead the newly formed Engel & Völkers Philadelphia.

The trio bring experience in real estate, sales, development services, construction, leasing and management operations.

"We are thrilled to introduce Engel & Völkers to the vibrant real estate market of Philadelphia," said Anthony Hitt, president and CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas. "As the sixth-largest city in the United States, Philadelphia's rich history, diverse culture, and a wide range of real estate opportunities, from historic homes to luxury condos and resort-style rentals, make it ideally suited for the Engel & Völkers brand."

Becker said Philadelphia is gaining interest from buyers across the globe, making it especially important to have an internationally known brand.  

"I've seen the evolution of this market, and it has emerged as a desirable destination for international and domestic buyers alike," he said. 

"Engel & Völkers' vast global network and our local expertise ensures we are well-equipped to offer a world of opportunities to both our clients and advisors."

BHGRE gains established North Dakota indie, secures renewal from top Atlanta franchise


Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Advantage One in Fargo, North Dakota, is the company's newest franchise firm.

Drew Likness, BHGRE Advantage One.
Drew Likness, BHGRE Advantage One.

One of the oldest firms in the Fargo market, the brokerage has been serving the greater Fargo area since 1989.

Led by Broker Associate Drew Likness, the ownership group acquired the firm from founders Neil Graf and Bob Erickson in 2019. Erickson continues to serve as managing broker.

"Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Advantage One has established an exceptional reputation in the Fargo market over the last 35 years, an achievement that requires immense time, dedication, and focus on service excellence," said Ginger Wilcox, BHGRE president, who referred to the firm as a "longstanding pillar of the local community." 

Likness said the firm chose to affiliate with BHGRE because they shared the brand's values. "We don't just want to get deals done, but we also want to inform, educate and protect the members of our community," he said. 

"Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate understands that these transactions have a ripple effect across people's entire lives, and we appreciate being able to work with a brand that is as dedicated to the consumer's well-being as we are."


Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers in Atlanta has signed a 10-year franchise renewal.

Kevin Levent, BHGRE Metro Brokers.
Kevin Levent, BHGRE Metro Brokers.

The brokerage, established in 1979 and affiliated with the brand for 15 years, operates in 27 locations and has more than 2,400 real estate agents. Last year, the firm sold the second-highest number of units in the BHGRE U.S. network, achieving sales volume of more than $1.6 billion. 

Led by President and CEO Kevin Levent, the firm values the technology and networking opportunities offered by BHGRE.

"Access to industry-leading technology solutions is just one of the invaluable aspects of our affiliation with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate," said Levent. "We also benefit from being part of a network of like-minded real estate professionals who are able to provide their unique insights and expand our view and understanding of the ever-evolving industry," he added.

"As one of the very first brokers to join the relaunched Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate network in 2009, Kevin's leadership in our network has been invaluable, and we are honored that Kevin has reaffirmed his commitment to the brand for another ten years," said Wilcox.

Dallas-based @properties franchise expands into Fort Worth

@properties Lone Star Christie's International Real Estate is expanding into Fort Worth.

Michael Hoover and Jerry Mooty, Jr.; @properties lone star Christie’s International Real Estate.
Michael Hoover and Jerry Mooty, Jr.; @properties lone star Christie’s International Real Estate.

Former Monument and Sotheby's office leader Michael Hoover has been named regional vice president and will run the brokerage operations.

The Fort Worth location is the third office in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex owned and operated by Jerry Mooty, Jr., nephew of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

"Michael is a broker's broker. He knows what it takes to sell just about any type of property in any market, he knows how to grow a brokerage business; and he knows the tools, training and support that agents need to be successful — and specifically to be successful in and around Fort Worth," said Mooty. 

The new office will start with a team of 20 agents and will serve the west side of I-35, with plans to expand to 50 agents within 90 days.

@properties lone star Christie's International Real Estate opened its Dallas flagship office three years ago, adding a Frisco office in late 2022 and expanding into Austin last last year.

Earlier this year, the firm launched its Sports and Entertainment Division, catering to athletes, entertainers and other high-profile individuals, as well as its Development Services Division.

Christie's moves into Albania

Christie's International Real Estate has opened up shop in Albania.

Kris Maranda and Dhimiter “Jim” Kondakciu, Christie's International Real Estate Albania.
Kris Maranda and Dhimiter “Jim” Kondakciu, Christie's International Real Estate Albania.

Based in the capital city of Tirana, The Maranda Real Estate Group | Christie's International Real Estate is led by longtime broker Kris Maranda and developer Dhimiter "Jim" Kondakciu.

Albania is becoming a hot tourism and investment spot, thanks to its Mediterranean beaches, mountains, and stable economic and political climate. The United Nations World Tourism Organization recently ranked the country as the fastest-growing tourist destination in Europe.

"Given the current market conditions and its incredibly beautiful landscape, Albania is poised to be southeastern Europe's next luxury hub," said Helena Moyas de Forton, managing director and head of EMEA and APAC at Christie's International Real Estate. 

"Kris and Jim have the knowledge and the resources to become the country's leading luxury brokerage, and we look forward to supporting their success in this emerging market with incredible growth potential," Moyas de Forton added.

"Buyers and investors from around the world are starting to take notice of everything Albania has to offer, making it an incredibly exciting time to enter the real estate market," said Maranda.

EXIT Realty expands into 7 new markets

EXIT Realty Corp. International has expanded into seven new markets across the U.S. The brokerage company is one of the largest franchise brands in the country with more than 20,000 agents. 

The new franchises are:

"We're excited to welcome new owners to our EXIT Family and support our associates for whom franchise ownership is the next step in their real estate career," said  EXIT Realty Co-Chair Tami Bonnell. 

"We are so proud of EXIT Realty's growth and honored to work side-by-side with the high caliber of professionals we are attracting."

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