iCrowdNewswire Feb 23, 2021 10:44 AM ET
Chicago-based @properties, the nation’s 10th largest residential brokerage firm by sales volume, and Alexander Real Estate, which has offices in downtown Detroit and Royal Oak, Michigan, announced today that Alexander will become the first @properties franchise in the country.
@properties co-founders, Thad Wong and Mike Golden, @properties president of brand growth, Chris Lim, and Alexander Real Estate partners, Eric Walstrom, Alex Irrer, and Matt O’Laughlin made the announcement.
Last September, @properties launched a national franchise brand to offer broker-owners and top agent teams across the country access to the technology, marketing, training, and business-development systems that made it one of the nation’s largest independent brokerage firms.
Alexander, which currently has 45 agents, will leverage those systems to quickly grow from $120 million to $500 million in annual sales by gaining market share in the areas it currently serves and expanding throughout the Detroit Metro Area. The firm will change its name to @properties, Walstrom noted.
“As a company, we have ambitious goals, none more important than attracting the best agents in the market, giving them top-of-the-line tools to grow their business, and delivering a superior client experience,” said Walstrom. “We looked at a lot of different paths to take us where we want to go, and ultimately we decided @properties was the brand that would contribute the most to our success.”
“Alexander is the perfect company to carry the @properties franchise brand into the real estate arena,” said Wong. “The firm is focused on growing the right way: quality over quantity; support for agents; a commitment to adopting our systems and resources; and a ‘real-estate-is-local’ attitude that has inspired a loyal following.”
Walstrom and Irrer founded Alexander Real Estate in 2016 in Royal Oak, a close-in suburb of Detroit. In 2018, they partnered with O’Laughlin to open an office in Midtown, where a massive redevelopment effort – driven largely by billionaire businessman and Detroit native, Dan Gilbert – was just getting underway.
Over the next three years, Alexander tripled its sales volume and became the No. 1 brokerage firm in the downtown market, as well as the city’s No. 1 broker for new-construction and adaptive-reuse developments. Now, the company is looking to make its mark on the Detroit suburbs. Walstrom said near-term expansion will focus on the communities of Grosse Pointe, Birmingham, Rochester Hills, Plymouth and Northville. Eventually, the firm will move into the Ann Arbor market as well.
Alexander’s growth story is strikingly similar to the one @properties wrote on its way to becoming the No. 1 real estate firm in Chicago. Wong and Golden founded the company in 2000 as a boutique brokerage firm specializing in new-construction sales. Within a decade, they were the top selling firm in the city. Then, they set their sights on the suburbs, quickly overtaking a number of established firms, and eventually claiming as much as 30 percent market share in areas like Chicago’s affluent North Shore.
“The @properties playbook is one we’re certainly excited to dive into,” said O’Laughlin. “The local industry is hungry for something new. There hasn’t been much in the way of tech innovation or adoption, and the larger players in the market don’t offer a cohesive brand experience from one office to the next. It’s a very fragmented marketplace, and we see that as a huge opportunity.”
On the technology side, the firm has already begun its implementation of pl@tform™, @properties’ proprietary suite of fully integrated applications for digital management of the entire client relationship and real estate transaction. @properties’ Marketing Engine offers franchisees what Wong describes as “the highest-quality listing presentation in the industry,” and a full catalog of print, digital and social-media resources, as well as access to preferred advertising partnerships.
Franchisees can also tap into @academy, @properties’ agent coaching and training program, featuring a variety of original content and exclusive partnerships to help agents grow their business and focus on personal and professional development.
Chris Lim, who leads @properties’ franchise expansion, said the company is in late-stage discussions with a number of other potential franchisees across the country. “We will have more announcements to make in the near future,” he said.
Established in 2000, @properties ranks 10th on the REALTrends 500 list of the largest residential brokerage firms in the U.S. by sales volume. @properties and its affiliated companies have over 3,000 real estate agents and 50 offices in nine states. @properties is also an owner of Proper Title, a title insurance firm, and Proper Rate, an independent mortgage lender. For more information, visit https://franchise.atproperties.com/.