On the heels of office openings in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas, Engel & Völkers Americas is continuing its Midwest expansion with the opening of a new office in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Led by license partners and owners Chris and Traci Zinn, the 10-person office will operate under the name Engel & Völkers Tulsa and serve the Tulsa metropolitan area and surrounding areas, including Jenks, Bixby, and Broken Arrow.
“Tulsa has a rich history of energy development, and benefits from other major industries, including technology and medicine,” Engel & Völkers Americas president and CEO Anthony Hitt said in a press release. “It’s a stable marketplace with steady growth, attracting many international buyers from Asia, while a low cost of living coupled with highly rated schools appeal to domestic buyers.”
“Chris and Traci are ideal partners with unparalleled local expertise and real estate acumen,” Hitt added. “Together, with our resources and a shared commitment to excellent customer service, Engel & Völkers Tulsa is uniquely positioned to cater both to investment opportunities as well as home buyers looking for a reliable purchase in a burgeoning market.”
When deciding where to go next, Hitt said Tulsa was the obvious choice as many buyers and sellers migrate between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, the first Oklahoma market Engel & Völkers entered into in June 2019. Much like Oklahoma City, Hitt and Zinn said Tulsa provides potential buyers a stable economy and job opportunities, a plethora of entertainment options, natural beauty, and affordable home prices.
“They’ve invested in the region, with recent shop openings in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Fort Worth, Kansas City and several Arkansas locations, including Bentonville and Little Rock,” Zinn said in a written statement. “These shops allow for professional cross-pollination, creating an abundance of networking and referral opportunities, which are enhanced by a global brand with a wealth of resources and high-level support.”
In a phone call with Inman, Hitt provided additional insight into Engel & Völkers latest set of moves within the United States. The president and CEO said the brokerage is committed to establishing a presence wherever their buyers and sellers are moving, which happens to be the Midwest.
“It’s been spurred by developing the same plan since we started the brand back in the 70s,” Hitt said. “It’s always been kind of a hub-and-spoke model with the idea that we follow the client migration.”
“For instance, our brand started in Germany [and] expanded itself into the Tenerife Islands of Spain where Germans vacation,” he added. “We eventually came into the United States to Florida where a lot of Europeans are very interested, and then New York and the Upper East Coast. This is just a continuation of that.”
Hitt said technological advancements, the pandemic, and the resulting push toward remote work environments have helped consumers realize they don’t need to live in big cities to have the lifestyle they desire.
“In all the markets we recently moved into, they have been offering you know, great lifestyles for a long time and beautiful homes for a long time, but they maybe had some challenges in the past with certain professions,” he said. “You weren’t really supported in those locations, so you had to be in a major metropolitan area or you had to be in a tech or financial hub to earn a living in your chosen profession.”
“I think what technology has been doing over the last years, and I mean, this trend that started before the pandemic — I think the pandemic just accelerated it — was allowing people to be wherever they want to be,” he added. “I mean, today I’m sitting on my front porch in Moberly, Missouri.”
He continued, “I grew up on a farm here, and I’ve been here for the last month and I’m doing my job as well as I could in sitting in Manhattan. I think people are discovering they can actually kind of have their cake and eat it too.”
Looking forward, Hitt said Engel & Völkers is committed to fulfilling the needs of their consumers, wherever they may go.
“When we go into a market or when we identify markets that we’re interested in, there’s a lot of research that goes into that,” he explained. “There’s a lot of going in, meeting everyone in the market, and trying to find who we would want to have in our brand who believes in providing a certain level of service.”
“Now we’re very fortunate that we’re actually ahead of our 2019 numbers in the United States, and there’s a good chance we will even exceed our 2020 expectations that we originally set out to accomplish before the pandemic,” he added. “This is going to sound so sales-y, but wherever there are beautiful homes, wherever there are people who are expecting a higher level of service, that’s where we’ll go.”