United Real Estate Group has integrated Platinum Realty into its family of companies, allowing the Midwestern brand to retain its identity in the process.
Platinum is present in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. All 13 Platinum offices in seven markets in those states will now be under the United Real Estate umbrella, adding nearly 2,200 Midwest agents to the company.
The merger brings the total number of agents working with United to almost 20,000. It’s a step forward for a company that was already among the top 50 independent brokerages in the country.
The company produced nearly $21.5 billion in sales volume in 2021, with operations in more than 30 states. According to Scott Deneve, who founded Platinum in 2005, United was a good option to strike a deal with due to its resemblance to his own company.
“We’re a fixed-cost-per-transaction business, no different from United Real Estate,” Deneve said. “That’s one of the reasons why the integration of the two was almost perfect.”
Deneve said he’s also open to moving forward after meeting franchisees who have opened United stores.
“I went to an annual United Real Estate convention and met all the franchisees that were there,” Deneve said. “It’s been quite an exciting time because these franchisees are so excited about what United have to offer and where it’s heading as a business. For a guy who’s been a lone ranger for so many years in the business , it’s exciting to be around people who have energy.
Dan Duffy, CEO of United Real Estate Group, said the franchise allows more brokers to join the business.
“They can franchise their brokerage with us and access our service platform,” Duffy said. “If you are an independent broker, you potentially have the option of engaging with United through a franchise.”
Duffy said United had about 75 franchisees in the business. Deneve said the franchise is also likely in the future for Platinum.
“Franchising is on the horizon, it’s something we’re looking at,” Deneve said. “We haven’t made a decision yet, it’s on the table, but it’s something we really want to do for the whole organization.”
Regardless of what Platinum’s future looks like, it will retain its identity. Rick Haase, president of United Real Estate Group, said brands that are part of the company across the country are keeping their names.
“Nationally, we run a brand house, not a brand house,” Haase said. “In Nashville, we operate Benchmark. In Atlanta, it’s Virtual Properties. Now, in this region, it’s Platinum. So one of the things we wanted to make sure when Dan and I went down this path is that we don’t lose the strong identities of the companies that join us.