BrokerageReal Estate

Engel & Völkers opens shop in Gulf Shores, rebrands local real estate agency

The branch will be led by Brian Harris, the company’s license partner and the founder and CEO of Harris Vacation Rentals.

Engel & Völkers, a leading brokerage focused on luxury residential and commercial property, announced on Thursday the opening of its new real estate shop in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

The branch will be led by the company’s license partner, Brian Harris, a Savannah, Georgia-based real estate agent and the founder and CEO of Harris Vacation Rentals. The rental agency provides services in property management, vacation rental and real estate.

The real estate wing of the agency, previously called Harris Realty Group, will now operate under Engel & Völkers Gulf Shores.

Harris and his team of local real estate advisors will focus their efforts on beach vacation investment and second home markets in the coastal regions of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan, and Perdido Key, the regions of Fairhope, Daphne, and Spanish Fort on the eastern shore markets and the inland areas of the Baldwin County like Foley, Robertsdale, Loxley and Elberta. 

Anthony Hitt, president and CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas, said in a statement that lifestyle is a key driver of Americans who are opting to relocate to new areas. Engel & Völkers plans to take advantage of the market by catering to those in search of “luxury Gulf Coast living.”

“It’s not surprising that Gulf Shores continues to demonstrate significant growth in the state of Alabama, drawing residents from all over the country for its growing economy, comparatively low cost of living, and of course, white sand beaches and coastal way of life,” Hitt said.

The Engel & Völkers statement notes that there are two distinct components of the Gulf Coast real estate market: the primary homes situated in Baldwin County and the vacation homes and condominiums along the beaches and waterways. The vacation homes in this area often serve a dual purpose as vacation and investment properties.

The vibrant lifestyle offered by this area is also a draw. Lively boating communities, beach activities, and the coastal way of life are attractive to new residents and renters, according to the statement.

Harris says his client base is primarily comprised of businessmen, families and retirees. Under the Engel & Völkers brand, Harris said he plans to expand Harris Vacation Rentals’ real estate sales divisions and continue to capture the luxury vacation market in Gulf Shores.

“As part of Engel & Völkers, we look forward to introducing a new buyer, seller, owner and renter experience to the Gulf Coast that focuses on professionalism, expertise, and dedication to client service, backed by a global network of like-minded professionals,” Harris said.

Engel & Völkers Gulf Shores also pledged to donate $100 per commission to the South Baldwin Literacy Council to help fund the development of its Financial Literacy initiative. 

According to the statement, Engel & Völkers has approximately 250 locations to date and over 5,300 real estate advisors in the Americas, and over 15,000 real estate professionals in more than 34 countries across the globe.

In March 2022, Engel & Völkers partnered with real estate co-ownership company Pacaso to add co-ownership to the luxury brokerage. Pacaso’s enables co-owner groups of eight or less to buy shares of single-family homes in luxury vacation destinations.