Boston Realty Advisors bills itself as the leading independently owned real estate brokerage in Massachusetts.

But now the Boston firm is about to test an out-of-state market for the first time: Rhode Island.

The new office and its six-person staff will be overseen by Chris Bilotti, who most recently was chief financial officer at Mount Vernon Co., the Boston apartment company. (Mount Vernon chief Bruce Percelay is a Boston Realty Advisors client.) Bilotti also has had a side business owning apartment buildings in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts and he’s a partner in a William Raveis residential brokerage, which has four offices in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.

Boston Realty founder Jason Weissman says Bilotti first approached him last year about the possibility of teaming up to expand Weissman’s firm to Rhode Island. Bilotti, Weissman says, wanted to work in an office that was closer to his family in Smithfield, R.I. Weissman, meanwhile, quickly recognized the business potential in Rhode Island.

With the Providence opening, Boston Realty has about 90 people working on its team.

The firm’s Providence office will focus on office and apartment building sales and commercial lease transactions, avoiding single-family and residential condo sales in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts in part to avoid conflicts with Bilotti’s William Raveis franchise. First on the market: a mill building in Central Falls.

Weissman says the Providence market is ripe for growth due to its proximity to Boston. Another plus that he sees: It’s not overcrowded with commercial real estate brokers.

“Providence has really recovered since the downturn,” Weissman says. “It’s a logical growth market [for us]. This is a big opportunity for a larger regional firm like ours to play in. . . . It really is a dynamic city.”