Known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” Lexington, Ky., is famous for its beautiful, rolling hills, sprawling horse farms, college basketball dynasty, and award-winning bourbon distilleries. Today, the region is adding one of the biggest names in luxury real estate with the launch of Christie’s International Real Estate Bluegrass, a new brokerage firm that will serve as the exclusive Central Kentucky affiliate for the global Christie’s International Real Estate network.
Led by native Lexingtonians and top-producing agents Rusty and Rachel Underwood, who have partnered with the family behind Ball Homes, one of Kentucky’s largest homebuilders, Christie’s International Real Estate Bluegrass combines local expertise and independent ownership with the worldwide reach of a brand that has affiliates in nearly 50 countries and territories.
The firm is launching with more than 50 agents and 11 dedicated staff members serving the Bluegrass region from their office in Lexington. Christie’s International Real Estate Bluegrass also has an experienced team. Their agents average 20 years in the industry and have collectively produced nearly $300 million in annual sales. Areas of expertise span a variety of property types, from city condominiums and townhomes, to suburban single-family homes, to commercial property, farms, equestrian estates, and new construction.
Christie’s International Real Estate Bluegrass’ ownership also has deep local and industry connections. Rusty Underwood is the immediate past president of the local REALTOR® association, Bluegrass REALTORS®, and serves as acting chair to the local MLS, Imagine MLS. He is also a director with the National Association of REALTORS®, serving on its finance committee.
In affiliating with Christie’s International Real Estate, the brokerage is looking to grow its market share and further penetrate Central Kentucky’s market, according to Rusty Underwood. The brand offers agents and clients access to a number of benefits, including increased national and international exposure for luxury properties, an international referral network, an industry-leading brokerage technology platform, and exclusive marketing partnerships.
Christie’s International Real Estate was born out of the iconic Christie’s auction house, which has captivated a global audience of art collectors and luxury consumers since 1766. The real estate company maintains a close partnership with the auction house, creating unique synergies between the worlds of high-end real estate, art, and luxury goods, including jewelry, watches, handbags, and wine and spirits.
“Our philosophy has always been that each of our clients deserves a luxury experience. And there is no better name in luxury brokerage than Christie’s International Real Estate. We know the brand is going to resonate with the people and culture of central Kentucky, and we’re thrilled to represent it in our hometown,” said Rachel Underwood, chief operating officer of Christie’s International Real Estate Bluegrass.
Home to the University of Kentucky, Keeneland race track, the Bourbon trail, and a number of corporate headquarters, Lexington draws visitors and permanent residents from across the country and around the world, bolstering its luxury market. Since 2019, home values have increased by approximately 40% in the 38-county Bluegrass region, Rusty Underwood noted. Lexington is also distinguished by its unique combination of urban and rural properties, both of which celebrate Kentucky’s farmlands and rich heritage of horse country.
“Lexington is a unique place in America with traditions, beauty and culture all its own – and homes and estates that are equally special. We are very excited for Christie’s International Real Estate to build a strong presence in this market and to have dynamic leaders like the Underwoods and their team carrying the brand,” said Chris Lim, president, Christie’s International Real Estate.
Since its acquisition by Chicago-based real estate and technology company @properties in late 2021, Christie’s International Real Estate has added market-leading independent brokerage firms in major U.S. markets including Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay. The brand is also expanding internationally with new Affiliates in the United Kingdom, Japan, Malta, Italy, Estonia and other countries.
In addition, Christie’s International Real Estate is enhancing its Affiliates’ technology capabilities with pl@tform™, a proprietary brokerage technology that allows agents to digitally manage the real estate transaction and client relationship through a single, fully integrated system.
About Christie’s International Real Estate Bluegrass
Christie’s International Real Estate Bluegrass is a Lexington-based brokerage firm combining local ownership and heritage with a global brand steeped in 250 years of history. With Central Kentucky’s best REALTORS® and a powerful global platform that offers world-class marketing, industry-leading technology, and international reach, the firm is focused on providing the highest level of service and professionalism to clients at every price point. To learn more, visit cirebg.com.
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