"Brokerage Beat" and RE/MAX logo with a pulse line and people viewing laptop screen in background
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Brokerage Beat: News from Real, United, RE/MAX, The Agency, ERA, Compass 

Real Luxury launches; United grows in Alabama; RE/MAX affiliate adds 3 firms; The Agency enters Niagara; ERA Carroll expands in WY; Compass woos top producer.

Updated May 24, 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. and globally.

Real establishes luxury division

The Real Brokerage has launched the Real Luxury division to focus on luxury agents and their high-end clients.

Kofi Nartey, Executive Director, Real Luxury.
Kofi Nartey, Executive Director, Real Luxury.

The division will be led by Los Angeles-based Kofi Nartey, a luxury specialist for 20 years who has served celebrities, athletes and other wealthy clients.

Nartey, currently Real's national growth leader, will serve as executive director of Real Luxury. He brought his brokerage, Globl RED Real Estate and Development, to Real in 2023.

"We continue to see an influx of top-performing agents and teams throughout North America who believe that Real offers the best platform to grow their businesses," Real President Sharran Srivatsaa said. 

"By establishing Real Luxury, we will be able to offer our agents who have built successful luxury practices the specialized support, training and resources they need to expand their capabilities and take their business to the next level."

Agents are expected to earn the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing's Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) designation before becoming official Real Luxury members.

Joining Nartey as Real Luxury's founding members are Jill Batchelor in Las Vegas, Felicia Lewis in San Diego, Peter Luu in Orlando, Brad McCallum in Calgary, Salvatore Ventre in New Jersey, and Erica Wolfe in South Florida.

Merger expands United Real Estate's Alabama reach

Matlock Realty Group has joined United's Leading Edge Real Estate Group in Huntsville, Alabama, giving Leading Edge more than 300 agents and a statewide presence.

Danny Sullivan, Leading Edge; Hannah Matlock NeSmith, Matlock Realty.
Danny Sullivan, Leading Edge; Hannah Matlock NeSmith, Matlock Realty.

Founder and owner of Matlock Realty, Hannah Matlock NeSmith, said the merger gives her agents access to more tools and benefits.

"We are opening the door for new income streams with an array of new technology, new lead generation platforms, a referral network, more training, marketing programs and access to services my agents otherwise wouldn't have, such as healthcare plans," she said.

"I always try to stay ahead of the market for my agents, and by joining Leading Edge – United Real Estate, we will be more prepared than ever for upcoming industry changes. We now have more in our toolkit to provide tailor-made solutions for clients," Matlock NeSmith added.

"Matlock Realty Group brings an exceptional core group of agents and will fuel our growth and success in the region," said Rick Haase, president of United Real Estate.

Danny Sullivan, founder of Leading Edge, said the move would benefit both brokerages: "All boats rise with this merger," he said.

RE/MAX Beacon acquires 3 additional Massachusetts offices

In less than a year, RE/MAX Beacon in Salem, Massachusetts, has grown to four offices with its acquisition of three RE/MAX 360 offices.

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

The three recently acquired offices are in Marblehead, Beverly and Gloucester, and they add more than 20 agents and staff members to the RE/MAX Beacon roster.

The brokerage, owned and operated by Heather Grant Murray, Jack Brown and Mandy Caruso, was founded in September of 2023.

Despite only operating in the last quarter of the year, the company achieved two transactional honors in 2023, earning the RE/MAX President's Circle award and reaching the 100% Club.

"We are excited to expand the RE/MAX Beacon brand throughout Essex County and to be a fixture in guiding clients through the home buying and selling experience," said Murray. 

"Our agents will benefit from the expanded footprint, and our listing clients will benefit from their agents having a bigger network and additional exposure to reach more potential buyers for their homes."

The Agency opens in Niagara

The Agency announced its newest Canadian office, The Agency Niagara, bringing the total number of offices in the country to 21.

Steve Bailey, Katia Bailey, Chris Costabile; Managing Partners, The Agency Niagara.
Steve Bailey, Katia Bailey, Chris Costabile; Managing Partners, The Agency Niagara.

Led by Managing Partners Katia Bailey, Steve Bailey and Chris Costabile, the office will be located in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario. Courtney Costabile and Jodie Erwin will serve as managing directors. 

The Baileys are well-established in the region and are currently managing partners at seven other Ontario offices, including The Agency Brantford, where Chris Costabile also serves as managing partner.

"We are thrilled to open our new office in Niagara, a region that embodies the ideal work-life balance with its strong education system, dynamic business community, and rich cultural scene," said Katia Bailey. "Niagara is not just a magnificent place to visit, but a wonderful place to live."

Chris Costabile said opening the Niagara office is an opportunity to bring the team's "unique, client-focused approach to this market."

Wyoming ERA affiliate acquires firm in neighboring market

ERA Carroll Realty in Sheridan, Wyoming, has acquired Buffalo Realty in Buffalo, Wyoming. The acquisition connects two markets in the Big Horn Mountain region.

Janelle Crivello and Tom Belus, owners, ERA Carroll Realty.
Janelle Crivello and Tom Belus, owners, ERA Carroll Realty.

Tom Belus and Janelle Crivello own ERA Carroll, with Belus serving as majority owner and president of the newly expanded company. He said the acquisition was driven by a desire to expand the brokerage's reach in the region, which has a thriving secondary home market, and Buffalo was a good fit.

"Over the years, we have had the pleasure of working with our Buffalo colleagues to the south, who have always shared our values and culture of collaboration," Belus said. "We are excited to be unified as a team, working together to support our clients with exceptional service."

Cristy Kinghorn, the former owner of Buffalo Realty, said she's eager to return to working with clients and hand over ownership responsibilities to Belus. "I'm incredibly excited by the opportunity to join forces with Tom and the ERA Carroll Realty so we can capitalize on new opportunities together as a unified company."

Leading Denver agent moves to Compass

Compass is continuing to woo top performers to its brokerage, announcing Colorado agent Josh Steck as one of the most recent agents to join the firm.

Josh Steck, Compass.
Josh Steck, Compass.

Steck, an industry veteran with more than two decades of experience, has been recognized as a top-ranking agent in his market. He closed more than $41 million in sales in 2023 and more than $100 million over the past two years. 

Prior to Compass, Steck ran his own brokerage before moving to Kentwood Real Estate in 2020. In making the move to the tech-forward brokerage giant, Steck cited Compass' resources — which he said will boost his ability to serve his clients — as a motivating factor.

"Josh Steck's unique blend of professional acumen, community engagement, and commitment to client success makes him a standout addition to the Compass team," said Compass Regional Vice President Heather Bustos. "His joining further strengthens Compass's position as a leading real estate brokerage in Colorado."

The announcement follows other recent recruiting wins for Compass, including regaining the high-performing Marcus Skenderian Real Estate Group, based in Laguna Beach, and Matt van Winkle with Leverage Team in Austin.

Get the latest real estate news delivered to your inbox.