Auction house Christie’s announced today that it is selling its international real estate business to real estate brokerage and technology firm @properties.
Christie’s will enter into a long-term global brand license agreement with the company, one of the fastest growing luxury brokerage firms in the world.
Founded by Michael Golden and Thad Wong in 2000, @properties in now one of Chicago’s biggest real estate brokerage by volume the eighth largest brokerage firm in the country by sales.
The new business, which will retain the name Christie’s International Real Estate, will create one of the largest residential brokerage firms in the United States and will allow for further expansion across other global markets.
Christie’s said the deal with the upstart will position its real estate business for “accelerated growth.” Its network of 900 affiliate real estate offices will transfer to @properties along with Christie’s International Real Estate corporate team members and company-owned brokerage operations.
Ben Gore, COO at Christie’s, said: “We chose to pursue this new direction for Christie’s International Real Estate for two strategic reasons—first, because @properties possesses the unique resources and capabilities to invest in expanding the Christie’s International Real Estate brand and its affiliate network both within the US and on a global scale; and second, because this will enable Christie’s to focus our resources on the core priorities of our business in the art and luxury goods market.”
The move also paves the way for @properties to scale its technology on a global level through Christie’s clients, agents and affiliates.
The company’s proprietary suite of brokerage-tech applications, called pl@tform, allows agents to digitally manage all aspects of the client relationship and real estate transaction through one fully integrated system.
Wong, co-CEO of @properties, commented: “@properties is excited to combine the world’s preeminent luxury real estate brand with the brokerage industry’s best technology, marketing, and operational platform. Christie’s International Real Estate will be the only brokerage firm in the world that can offer affiliates, agents and clients a fully integrated tech solution behind 250-plus years of luxury service and experience.”
@properties is partnered with Charlottesville, Virginia-based Quad-C Management, middlemarket private equity firm. Centerview Partners LLC is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Christie’s and Allen & Overy LLP is serving as legal counsel. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Lathrop GPM LLP are serving as legal counsel to @properties.
Currently, @Properties is ranked eight in the Realtrends list of top US brokerages by sales volume. Realogy is the biggest, followed by Compass, HomeServices of America, eXp Realty, Redfin, and Hanna Holdings.