Christie’s auction house announced today that it is selling its international real estate business to real estate and technology brokerage firm @properties.
Christie’s will enter into a long-term global brand licensing agreement with the company, one of the world’s fastest growing luxury brokerage firms.
Founded by Michael Golden and Thad Wong in 2000, @properties is now one of Chicago’s largest real estate brokerage firms by volume, the eighth largest brokerage firm in the country by sales.
The new business, which will retain the Christie’s International Real Estate name, will create one of the largest residential brokerage firms in the United States and allow further expansion into other global markets.
Christie’s said the deal with the newcomer will position its real estate business for “accelerated growth”. Its network of 900 affiliated real estate offices will be transferred to @properties with members of the corporate team of Christie’s International Real Estate and corporate owned brokerage operations.
Ben Gore, COO at Christie’s, said: “We have chosen to pursue this new direction for Christie’s International Real Estate for two strategic reasons: first, because @properties has the unique resources and capabilities to invest in brand development. Christie’s International Real Estate and its affiliate networks both in the United States and globally; and second, because it will allow Christie’s to focus our resources on the core priorities of our business in the art and luxury goods market.
This move also paves the way for @properties to evolve its technology globally through Christie’s customers, agents and affiliates.
The company’s proprietary suite of brokerage technology applications, called pl @ tform, enables agents to digitally manage all aspects of the client relationship and real estate transaction through a fully integrated system.
Wong, co-CEO of @properties, commented: “@properties is excited to combine the world’s preeminent luxury real estate brand with the best technology, marketing and operations platform in the brokerage industry. Christie’s International Real Estate will be the only brokerage firm in the world able to offer affiliates, agents and clients a fully integrated technology solution behind more than 250 years of luxury service and experience.
@properties is in partnership with Quad-C Management, a mid-market private equity firm, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Centerview Partners LLC serves as exclusive financial advisor to Christie’s and Allen & Overy LLP serves as legal advisor. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Lathrop GPM LLP are legal advisors to @properties.
Currently, @Properties is ranked eighth in the Realtrends list of America’s Best Brokerages in terms of sales volume. Realogy is the largest, followed by Compass, HomeServices of America, eXp Realty, Redfin and Hanna Holdings.
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