Alexander Real Estate, which has offices in Detroit and Royal Oak, will become the nation’s first franchise of and change its name to align with Chicago-based @properties.
Alexander is a market share leader in downtown Detroit and has an established presence in the suburbs, while @properties states it’s the nation’s 10th largest residential brokerage firm by sales volume.
As Alexander gears up for growth, the company will adopt @properties’ branding, marketing, and technology.
“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,” says Eric Walstrom, a founding partner at Alexander. “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.”
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, says it will leverage those systems to 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.
“Alexander is the perfect company to carry the @properties franchise brand into the real estate arena,” says Thad Wong, a co-founder of @properties. “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 Alex Irrer founded Alexander Real Estate in 2016 in Royal Oak. In 2018, they partnered with Matt O’Laughlin to open an office in Midtown, where a redevelopment effort —driven largely by billionaire businessman and Detroit native Dan Gilbert — was just getting underway.
Since then, Alexander tripled its sales volume and states it 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 says 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.
According to the companies, Alexander’s growth story is similar to the one @properties wrote on its way to becoming the No. 1 real estate firm in Chicago. Wong and Mike Golden founded the company in 2000 as a boutique brokerage firm specializing in new-construction sales.
Within a decade, they state they were the top selling firm in the city. Then, the firm set its sights on the suburbs, and said it 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,” says 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 already has 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 also can 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.
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