Oxford Property Group is continuing its acquisition run, most recently picking up residential brokerage Spire Group, which does both sales and rentals.
The acquisition of Spire, the 115-agent firm led by co-founder Bianka Yankov until her death in April, closed in August. Combined, the two firms have 790 agents, according to Oxford CEO Adam Mahfouda. That’s compared to the 523 agents the firm had in March, according to The Real Deal’s annual ranking of top residential firms.
Mahfouda said the deal had been at least four years in the making, though he admitted the pandemic had accelerated talks and allowed the firms to get closer on pricing.
He declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, but said that Spire would continue to operate under its name. Spire’s former director of operations Dina Tango is now Oxford’s chief financial officer.
Mahfouda said keeping Spire’s brand was partly an homage to Yankov and the company’s culture.
“We appreciate the work that Bianka had done and we didn’t want to tear that all down, out of respect for her,” he explained.
But it’s also a test to see whether Oxford could operate multiple brands underneath its umbrella. He said that maintaining a firm’s brand has come up several times when discussing other potential acquisitions.
“We’re trying to grow the firm even larger,” he said. “We’re growing organically but we’re really interested in acquiring or merging.”
Oxford acquired Kian Realty in late March and has been in talks with at least one other firm outside of the city about a merger in recent months.
Both Spire and Oxford are 100-percent commission firms, which Mahfouda said made combining forces easier. Now, Spire agents will choose from Oxford’s high-commission split model: either pay a monthly $495 fee and keep 100 percent of all deal commissions, or pay $99 a month and take a 90 percent split with the firm.
Mahfouda credited this structure with allowing Oxford to maintain all services for its agents, while other brokerages made deep cuts due to the pandemic.
“When a lot of the companies are pulling back on expenses and agents are coming to the office everyday, I think more agents will and should look toward a model like ours,” he said.
The other largest 100 percent commission firm is R New York, which had about 775 agents as of TRD’s March ranking.