Highly ranked real estate agent jumps ship, taking 25 agents with her

A highly-ranked real estate agent has switched from one Atlanta-area brokerage to another, taking about 25 others with her when she jumped ship, while the company she left is expanding.

After a decade with Engel & Volkers, Shirley Gary has departed, exiting franchises she owned in Buckhead and Alpharetta to become an agent with Ansley Christie’s International Real Estate, based in Buckhead.

Neither side says there was any animosity over the move.

However, Gary had a franchise agreement with Engel & Volkers that was expiring and decided to move, she said. “I wanted to find the best place for me and my colleagues, and Ansley Christie’s International Real Estate was the only firm in Atlanta that had all these benefits along with an incredible culture.”

For the past nine years, Gary was the highest-rated individual agent in the Engel & Volkers network in the Americas, based on the number of transactions she handled, according to a press release from Ansley Christie.

Engel & Volkers Atlanta has about 200 agents. Last year, it did $644 million in sales from its offices in Morningside and Buckhead, according to Christa Huffstickler, chief executive of the brokerage.

Since then, Engel & Volkers has opened offices in Sandy Springs and Blue Ridge.

Engel & Völkers Atlanta is also taking control of the two offices Gary is leaving, but will likely close that second Buckhead office while another location is sought, she said. “We already have an office three miles away. We don’t need two offices so close to each other.”

Engel & Volkers now has only one license broker in metro Atlanta, she said.

While agents move frequently from one brokerage to another, Gary’s departure and the acquisition of her offices is more unusual, said Huffstickler. “What is unusual is for a brand like Engel & Volkers having two different owners in one market and moving to unify the ownership structure.”

Huffstickler said she has long planned to be the region’s sole license broker for the company. “It’s a positive for everybody.”

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