Williams & Williams Moves, Expands

Even as most in the industry brace for the bleak-looking future, Tulsa-based real estate auction company Williams & Williams is planning to put a ‘help wanted’ sign in the window of its new offices.
Williams & Williams Vice President of Corporate Marketing Bruce McCorkle said the firm plans to leave its current abode in the Triad One Center, 7666 E. 61st St., Ste. 135, and is renovating a 50,000-SF office space on the bottom two floors of Kensington Place, 7140 S. Lewis Ave.
Williams & Williams is leasing the space from Ruffin Properties and has contracted Benham Interiors, a division of the Benham Companies LLC, for the redesign.
“The new office space is just getting under construction,” McCorkle said. “We’re going with a kind of retro, 1970s looks for the office according to what the owner wants.”
Moving and expanding may seem an odd move in the midst of a housing market meltdown, but McCorkle said Williams & Williams is actually thriving in these difficult times. The company’s Web site proclaims that, for four consecutive years, Williams & Williams’ sales have grown over 100 percent annually and lauds the company as the “world’s premier real estate auctioneer.”
“Our business has grown by leaps and bounds,” McCorkle said. “The reason is that we are doing something that is changing the way real estate is bought and sold.”
Williams & Williams states its mission as being “dedicated to increasing liquidity, trust and transparency for both buyers and sellers of real estate. We strive to affect better, faster and more economical trading of real property by enabling a direct relationship between buyers and sellers, and reducing the costs, barriers and risks normally associated with property ownership.”
“The goal of our owner is to make sure that buyers pay a fair market value for the property,” McCorkle said. “Which is to say you don’t end up paying what the property is actually worth. Most other industries you are able to buy by auction now, but in real estate, that is still kind of the last frontier, and it’s starting to change the way the industry works.”
Whether or not the industry is actually changing, Williams & Williams seems to be doing well. The company reported $750 million in sales in 2007 and has sold 530 properties in Oklahoma to date.
McCorkle said the auctioneers plan to move into their new offices early in 2009, expand their work force from the roughly 200 currently employed by 25 percent to 250 by the end of next year.
“I think the idea of moving into this new building is to eventually maximise the number of employees we have,” McCorkle said.

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