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As part of its continued global expansion, luxury brokerage The Agency has launched a new franchise in the Dominican Republic, the company informed Inman.
The office marks the brokerage’s 69th franchise and builds on its existing presence in the Caribbean, where the company already has locations in Turks and Caicos, Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.
Edward De Valle II, Nurit Coombe, Alex Martinez, Juan Diaz Rivera and Peter and Paige Torkan will lead the new office.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Edward De Valle II, Nurit Coombe, Alex Martinez, Juan Diaz Rivera and Peter and Paige Torkan for the launch of our newest franchise in the Dominican Republic as we continue to expand our brand’s presence throughout the Caribbean,” Mauricio Umansky, CEO and founder of The Agency, said in a statement. “We know this group of incredible professionals will serve as wonderful stewards of our unique Agency culture as our footprint expands into the Dominican Republic.”
While pushing forward its rapid expansion efforts, The Agency has opened 24 new corporate and independently owned franchise offices, including its Dominican Republic location, in the last 12 months.
“Our strategic expansion in the Caribbean has been extraordinary as we continue to feed the demand around the world for a brand like The Agency,” Jim Ramsay, executive vice president of franchise sales at The Agency, said in a statement. “We’re incredibly excited to work with Edward De Valle II, Nurit Coombe, Alex Martinez, Peter and Paige Torkan and Juan Diaz Rivera and their team as we showcase our world-class offerings to buyers and sellers in the beautiful Dominican Republic.”
De Valle II has a strong track record of business management, having served as marketing manager at GE Power Systems Latina America; managed sales and marketing in Latin America for publications like Newsweek, Glamour and Architectural Digest; and developed several 3 to 5-star hotels in the Dominican Republic, including La Quinta, Wyndham and Super 8 locations.
“I am delighted to expand The Agency brand into the Dominican Republic,” De Valle II said in a statement. “The country’s unparalleled natural beauty, world-class beaches and strong second-home market make it the perfect place for The Agency to lay down roots and showcase its unmatched marketing and brand power to buyers and sellers.”
Coombe and Martinez also recently helped launch The Agency’s franchise in Frederick, Maryland, which was announced in June. In 2021, the pair closed over $300 million in sales volume and are on track to close over $350 million by the end of 2022.
“At present, the Dominican Republic is one of the fastest-growing and legally secure economies for investors in Latin America,” Coombe said in a statement. “For this reason, foreigners and locals are investing in real estate with the intention of obtaining profitability from properties through high-yield seasonal rentals, as well as through the creation of hotel projects in the Caribbean. Purchase opportunities are diverse, from high-end luxury villas to affordable waterfront condos. The Dominican Republic is the perfect destination to retire to or purchase a second home and The Agency will cater to vacationers, investors and large-scale developers.”
Rivera, Peter and Paige Torkan are also veterans of The Agency. Rivera has served in the past as managing partner of The Agency Los Cabos (he continues to lead the office’s New Development Sales division), The Agency La Paz, The Agency Todos Santos and is currently managing partner for The Agency San Miguel de Allende.
The Torkans are managing partners and founders of The Agency Toronto and have closed more than $1.6 billion in career sales. Peter Torkan specializes in ultra-luxury homes to development and new builds, while Paige Torkan’s expertise lies in finance, private wealth management and mortgage lending.
As the Dominican Republic has increased in popularity among foreign investors, housing prices in the country have increased an average of 10 percent per year since the 2008 financial crisis, according to GlobalProperty Guide. Ocean-view residential properties start at about $120,000, while beachfront properties typically start a bit higher than that at $150,000. Higher-end luxury homes are typically at least $5 million.