Indianapolis-based real estate agency Plat Collective announced Wednesday plans to become a franchise for Chicago-based At World Properties LLC, a fast-growing residential brokerage firm that does business as @properties.
Plat Collective co-owners Mark Nottingham and Rex Fisher said the deal, which should take effect in the next 60 days, will make Indianapolis the fourth franchise location for @properties and will be the largest the franchisor has done to date. Plat Collective will rebrand to @properties as part of the agreement.
In doing so, the owners hope to leverage the national company’s services to expand their firm’s market share from its current downtown focus to the greater Indianapolis metropolitan area.
Founded in 2000, @properties grew into the top brokerage firm in Chicago in less than a decade. It now has has more than 4,000 agents in 65 offices across 10 states. The company says it is one of the top eight residential brokers in the United States by sales volume.
In Indiana, @properties operates company-owned locations in Valparaiso, Crown Point and Schererville, but no franchises in the state. The company recently opened its first three franchised offices in Detroit, Dallas and La Crosse, Wisconsin.
“We think this is a great model that allows us to be locally-owned, but also allows us to have tools at our fingertips to be better at our jobs,” Nottingham said. “I think it just makes us better at what we’re already doing and what we love to do. It just gives us more capacity.”
Nottingham founded what would become Plat Collective as Nottingham Realty Group in 2011. He and Fisher took over as co-owners in 2018 before rebranding the company under its current banner in 2019.
The residential real estate brokerage grew rapidly to be one of the largest in the area. Plat Collective, with downtown offices at 230 E. 16th St. and in the Bottleworks District on Mass Ave., has 120 agents. The company said it closed on $411 million in transactions in 2020 and is on track to close on $650 million in transactions in 2021.
“Indianapolis is a really great urban market,” @properties President Chris Lim said. “We’re seeing a lot of people migrating from Illinois and the Chicago area to Indiana.”
Affordability and quality of life may have brought the company to the area, but Lim said @properties chose to partner with Plat Collective because both companies build their corporate cultures around relationships.
“We have a lot of confidence with them. They’re such a strong ownership group,” Lim said. “Real estate is a local business, and their agents really are the best in the market.”
Beyond the name change, Plat Collective’s owners imagine the partnership will provide their firm with technology, marketing, training and business development systems.
Nottingham said he’s heard clients call the real estate industry’s transaction methods antiquated, and he’s hoping some of @properties’ customer-facing technologies will help modernize the experience.
“The tools that @properties brings and the human capital they reinforce us with will certainly allow us to do this work better, to do it more efficiently,” Fisher said.