@properties hires Christie’s exec to take franchise program into luxury market

Brokerage taps Natalie Hamrick for vp of brand growth amid its expansion push

Natalie Hamrick (@properties)
Natalie Hamrick (@properties)

@properties has hired a longtime executive at Christie’s International Realty as vice president of brand growth, signaling a stronger push into the luxury market amid its ongoing franchise expansion.

Natalie Hamrick steps into the new position after nine years at Christie’s. She will report to Chris Lim, president of brand growth; and will work closely with @properties co-CEO Thad Wong, the company said in a statement.

At Christie’s, Hamrick “spearheaded the partnership management of affiliates across the U.S. and Canada,” according to @properties.

Hamrick said she will be doing the same thing at her new job, which includes sourcing brokerages as potential franchisees, whether they are independent or tied to another company; @properties began its expansion effort last fall. At Christie’s, new affiliates could only be independent and not associated with competitors such as Sotheby’s or Berkshire Hathaway, she said.

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@properties has long had a piece of the luxury residential market in Chicago but making that push nationwide could give it another growth stream. The brokerage was No. 8 in total sales nationwide last year with $16.4 billion, according to Real Trends’ list of top brokerages.

Wong said Hamrick “will be a great resource to help @properties’ franchisees enter the high-end market.”

Selling luxury properties brings in higher commissions, but also carries a risk. The pool of buyers and sellers for those properties are much smaller; lead times and days on market are also typically longer. If a big deal is lost, it’s not as easy to jump to the next one as a traditional residential broker might do.

In April, Chicago home prices had ticked up nearly 10 percent, marking the biggest increase for the month in seven years. That still trailed other major metros around the country, however. Inventory in the suburbs has also been dwindling after a 2020 that saw luxury sales jump 40 percent.

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