Wednesday, January 07 2009
F.C. Tucker Emge REALTORS and The Realty Group are joining forces to create the largest real estate firm in
F.C. Tucker Emge and Realty Group Merge
The largest and third largest real-estate companies in the
F.C. Tucker Emge Realtors, the largest according to sales, announced today that it has joined forces with The Realty Group, a real-estate company founded 11 years ago. As a result, F.C. Tucker Emge picked up about 70 real-estate agents, bringing its total to 230. It can now lay claim to about 33.4 percent of real-estate sales in this region, measured by dollar amount.
Kevin Eastridge, the chief executive officer of F.C. Tucker Emge, said mergers have become common in the real-estate industry.
“Medium-sized companies have lots of overhead but they are still not big enough to provide the kinds of services their agents and customers demand,” he explained.
The economic recession played little part in the decision, he said.
“We are always looking for the opportunity to grow,” he said, noting that the market shares of both F.C. Tucker Emge and The Realty Group rose in 2008.
Kathy Briscoe, F.C. Tucker Emge chief operating officer, said no one has decided if the merger will lead to job cuts.
“We will check on efficiencies,” Briscoe said. “It hasn’t fallen out yet to know who we are going to keep, but our effort is to keep good employees.”
Both parties meanwhile expect to gain different advantages from the deal. The Realty Group will benefit from F.C. Tucker’s training programs, as well as the local franchise’s Web site, mall kiosk, television show and marketing department, among other assets. F.C. Tucker Emge, in turn, will gain any customer relationships formed by The Realty Group. Wayne Ellis, a former partner in The Realty Group, will contribute training in matters related to selling residential real estate.
“I’ll be working with the top producers and helping them in their business,” he said.
Another advantage will relate to marketing. The public will be more apt to keep in mind the one name of F.C. Tucker Emge rather than those of two companies, Eastridge said.
Eastridge predicted some of the best business opportunities in 2009 will lie in sales of residential real estate. The local housing market has contracted somewhat in recent times; home sales fell by 19 percent in 2008. Still, conditions are better here than in other parts of the country.
The combination of low interest rates and low prices will persuade many people to buy a house in 2009, Eastridge said.
He was less optimistic about the prospects for commercial real estate. He noted that F.C. Tucker Emge’s commercial division has been able to report record numbers of sales in each of the past nine years.
That feat may prove difficult to prolong, though the conditions are surely not as dire as some would describe them.
“We are still realistic,” Eastridge said. “Real estate did slow down last year, but it wasn’t a disaster last year.”