This fall, @properties is making plans to open a new office in Lake Forest, continuing their pattern of northern expansion. In addition, 12 new Realtors will join this office, who all came from one of @properties’ biggest competitors.
@properties has been moving services from downtown Chicago towards the northern suburbs. The expansion began in 2009 when @properties established an office in Evanston. Last September, the firm opened an office in Winnetka.
“Our expansion has been rapid but it has been in response to demand from both agents and clients. In that regard, it has been a very natural progression from Evanston to Winnetka and now up to Lake Forest. We don’t feel like the new kids on the block. It’s more like, ‘We’ve been expecting you,’” said Michael Golden, co-founder of @properties. “We’re a strong independent, and that strikes a chord with a lot of established agents who are maybe a little tired of the corporate model.”
Along with signing a corporate lease, @properties has also laid claim to 12 Realtors who recently left the Prudential Rubloff office of Lake Forest. New agents include Mary Kay Brunner Dasse, Adele Bensinger Curtis, Elisabeth Geltz, Heidi Grumley, Jane Chana, Liz Gurtz, Jane Corder, Julie Pawl, Joanna Koperski, Linda Schwartz, Donna Oesterreicher and Christine Ashmore. These agents average around 15 years in the real estate industry, and have all been working together for several years now.
Brunner Dasse expressed her excitement over joining the @properties Lake Forest team. “It’s an innovative, progressive and responsive company, and that’s what we need today in order to give our clients the best service,” she said.
“The North Shore market has been craving more distinctive branding, better advertising, more online promotion and a higher level of overall service and communication, and we’ve been able to provide that,” said Thaddeus Wong, @properties co-founder. “The status quo existed comfortably for a long time, but the bar needed to be raised and we’re raising it.”
Approval from the city of Lake Forest and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is still needed before @properties can open the new office.