RE/MAX office changing hands, Baird & Warner hires director and more

by Meg White

RE/MAX office changing hands, Baird & Warner hires director and more

Chicago RE/MAX shop acquires suburban office

The co-owners of RE/MAX Mi Casa in Chicago announced Thursday that they’re taking ownership of a suburban office. Joe Castillo, broker-owner of RE/MAX Mi Casa, and Erika Villegas, broker associate at the same office, have secured ownership of RE/MAX In the Village in Oak Park.

Selling the brokerage to Castillo and Villegas are Marion Digre and Harry Walsh, who founded the office in 2000 and will stay on as part of the management team at RE/MAX In the Village.

Collectively, there are 60 agents between both offices. Castillo said they plan to build on the RE/MAX In the Village’s local reputation and history of high production. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to expand our reach while also building on the exceptional reputation of a well-established RE/MAX location,” said Castillo.

Villegas has been in the news recently, having been called out in the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals’ Top 250 list earlier this summer. “I am very excited for this partnership,” Villegas said. “Joe and I are like-minded individuals who think bigger and have the same mindset of professionalism and integrity.”

New business development pro at Baird & Warner

Late last month, Baird & Warner created a new position, director of business development, and brought on Annette Fryzel to fill it. Fryzel will be charged with working with both Baird & Warner agents and Key Mortgage loan officers to strengthen the agent-lender relationship and improve customer experience.

Laura Ellis, president of residential sales and executive vice president at Baird & Warner, noted that Fryzel’s background in real estate marketing will serve the company well. “We’re thrilled to welcome Annette to the team — she’s a seasoned real estate professional whose expertise makes her a valuable resource to help our agents and loan officers grow their business by delivering a seamless consumer experience,” she said.

Wintrust buys another bank

Rosemont-based Wintrust Financial Corp. announced in late July that it would be acquiring the parent company of Countryside Bank for $90.5 million. The deal, which is planned to be completed by the end of the year, is just the most expensive of a long line of purchases made by Wintrust of late, according to the Chicago Tribune. Earlier this year, Wintrust announced plans to buy STC Capital Bank and Oak Bank. The deal will give Wintrust increased access to Burbank, Darien, Homer Glen, Oak Brook and Chicago, all communities served by Countryside branches.

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