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Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Brokerage Beat: News from KW, Christie's, BHGRE, The Agency, RE/MAX 

KW gains Austin indie; Christie's Sereno expands in Wine Country; BHGRE grows in Colorado; The Agency opens in White Rock; RE/MAX nabs large Canadian firm.

June 29, 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.

31-agent team joins KW Austin

An independent Texas brokerage has affiliated with Keller Williams' Austin Southwest market center.

Topher Rogers and Kyle Pfaffe, TJ Lewis Real Estate | KW Austin.
Topher Rogers and Kyle Pfaffe, TJ Lewis Real Estate | KW Austin.

TJ Lewis Real Estate, founded in 2016 and led by broker Topher Rogers and partner Kyle Pfaffe, brings its 31 agents to KW. In addition to overseeing TJ Lewis for the past eight years, Rogers has also been president of property management company Avanta360 since 2008. Pfaffe has been a licensed real estate agent since 2016.

The firm achieved nearly $40 million in sales volume in 2023 and is on track to exceed that figure, with $28 million in sales so far this year.

"We feel that TJ Lewis Real Estate has a track record that speaks for itself," said Rogers. "With the backing of KW, we are excited to see where the combined road takes us," he added.

Rogers said Keller Williams was a good fit for the team: "We are a place for new agents to start their careers and see continued growth, as well as a place seasoned agents can see their current market placement climb to new heights," he said. "Like KW, we want to create confident agents, and we are here to gameplan and watch each and every agent find their success story."

Bay Area Christie's affiliate expands in Wine Country

Christie's International Real Estate Sereno has opened a new office in the Napa Valley community of St. Helena. Sereno is the largest locally owned and operated independent brokerage in Northern California, according to a new release, and launched its San Francisco | Marin | Wine Country division in November.

Robyn Bentley, Ross Bentley, Jordan Bentley; Wine Country Consultants.
Robyn Bentley, Ross Bentley, Jordan Bentley; Wine Country Consultants.

The established Wine Country Consultants team will lead the new office. The team formed in 2008 and consists of Robyn Bentley, her daughter Jordan, and her son Ross. They specialize in luxury real estate and vineyard sales, and also have a deep understanding of winemaking — a key industry supporting Napa and Sonoma counties. The Napa-area expansion also aligns with Sereno's growth plan, as the firm represents many Bay Area clients who own second homes in Wine Country. 

"Wine Country Consultants sets the benchmark for professionalism and client service in this region and has an unparalleled knowledge of what it takes to buy and sell vineyard properties," said Chris Trapani, co-founder and co-CEO of Christie's International Real Estate Sereno. 

Robyn Bentley said the Sereno leadership team has "built an incredible brokerage, with a focus on luxury and industry-leading client service that aligns perfectly with our mission," adding that the affiliation will increase visibility for Wine Country Consultants' listings. 

Boutique Colorado firm joins BHGRE

California isn't the only state known for its wines. Colorado boasts numerous vineyards, with a concentration of wineries in the Grand Valley region — which is also home to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate's newest affiliate, Fruit & Wine Real Estate.

Tammy Craig, Better Homes and Gardens Fruit & Wine Real Estate.
Tammy Craig, Better Homes and Gardens Fruit & Wine Real Estate.

The Palisade-based brokerage, led by broker/owner Tammy Craig, is now in its 20th year. The leadership team includes her son Thomas Craig, who is in line to eventually lead the firm. The company supports consumers and businesses throughout the region with farm and land sales as well as residential and commercial transactions.

 "Collaborating with a family-run business to prepare them for the future is always an exciting opportunity. Drawing from her deep community ties and commitment to exceptional service, Tammy has established a strong presence in her market," said Ginger Wilcox, president of BHGRE.

 "Throughout my 20 years in real estate, I've always relied on a 'little engine that could' approach," said Tammy Craig. But she noted that "teaming up with a brand that has a more robust suite of services for us to tap into and aligns with our strong company values" would help her company grow in an evolving industry. 

The Agency lands in White Rock

The Agency is expanding its Canadian presence with the launch of its 23rd office in the country, The Agency White Rock

Philip DuMoulin, Sandra Miller, Summer Skarich; The Agency White Rock.
Philip DuMoulin, Sandra Miller, Summer Skarich; The Agency White Rock.

The new branch will be led by Managing Partners Philip DuMoulin and Sandra Miller, along with Partner Summer Skarich.

DuMoulin has been a licensed real estate agent for more than 20 years, and prior to joining The Agency, spent 11 years as SVP of sales at Sotheby's International Realty Canada. Miller also held the SVP of sales role at Sotheby's Realty, and previously worked in new development real estate sales.

"We are thrilled to further expand our footprint throughout British Columbia with the debut of our newest office location in White Rock," said  Mauricio Umansky, CEO and Founder of The Agency, who called the region a "favored destination among discerning buyers in search of a serene coastal lifestyle."

"The White Rock real estate market holds great synergy with The Agency's groundbreaking offerings and we look forward to showcasing the power of our brand to buyers and sellers in the area," said DuMoulin. Added Miller: "I could not be more thrilled to introduce The Agency brand to the White Rock community and to deliver a unique level of service."

RE/MAX gains more than 100 agents, 2 new offices

RE/MAX is also expanding its Canadian presence. A group of four broker/owners have opened RE/MAX Icon Realty in Ontario, Canada, with offices in the towns of London and Waterloo.

Dan Porlier, Wes Watson, Brad Howard, Steven Smith; RE/MAX Icon.
Dan Porlier, Wes Watson, Brad Howard, Steven Smith; RE/MAX Icon.

The new leaders of Icon Realty are Steven Smith, Wes Watson, Dan Porlier and Brad Howard, who also bring nearly 130 agents to the brand.

Prior to affiliating with RE/MAX, the foursome established Davenport Realty in 2018, which they grew to more than 150 agents. The leadership team believed that moving to RE/MAX would help them accelerate that growth while providing more opportunities for their agents.  

Watson said joining RE/MAX "will offer us many competitive advantages in our local real estate market, including enhanced brand recognition, access to a comprehensive tech toolbox, and an expansive referral network."

And for the firm's agents, RE/MAX offers "extensive support and resources" that Watson believes will "empower our agents to deliver even better service and value to our clients."

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