@properties designates top Detroit brokerage its first franchisee

by Jason Porterfield

Chicago-based @properties is awarding its first franchise to Alexander Real Estate, a firm with offices in Detroit and suburban Royal Oak, Michigan, according to an @properties press release.

Alexander, which will be renamed @properties, has 45 agents and $120 million in annual sales. The firm is Detroit’s top residential broker for downtown and the city’s top brokerage for adaptive-reuse and new-construction developments.

“Alexander is the perfect company to carry the @properties franchise brand into the real estate arena,” @properties co-founder Thad Wong said in a press release. “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.”

@properties rolled out its national franchise program last September, offering broker-owners and top-agent teams the opportunity to access the company’s training, marketing and business development systems. The company is the nation’s 10th largest residential brokerage by sales volume and the largest independent brokerage in the country.

Alexander Real Estate is headed by partners Eric Walstrom, Alex Irrer and Matt O’Laughlin. Irrer and Walstrom founded the firm in Royal Oak in 2016. They partnered with O’Laughlin in 2018 to open an office in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood.

Walstrom said Alexander looks to boost its annual sales to $500 million by expanding its presence throughout the Detroit metro area and increasing its market share in areas it already serves. The firm’s near-term expansion plans include focusing on the Plymouth, Birmingham, Northville, Rochester Hills and Gross Pointe communities, and eventually Ann Arbor.

“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,” said Walstrom. “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.”

The firm is already using @properties’ pl@form proprietary suite of integrated apps for digitally managing transactions and client relationships. Franchisees have access to preferred advertising partnerships and an extensive catalog of digital, print and social media resources, as well as to the @academy coaching and training program.

“The @properties playbook is one we’re certainly excited to dive into,” O’Laughlin said in the press release. “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.”

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