COLUMBIA, SC – November 6, 2008 – Jeffrey B. Wheeler, President and COO for Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS (CBUR), the number one real estate franchise within the Coldwell Banker Real Estate system, announced today the acquisition of assets of CENTURY 21 Bob Capes REALTORS in South Carolina. The proposed transaction will establish CBUR as the dominant real estate organization in the state of South Carolina with over 20 offices representing the Midlands, Aiken/Augusta and Charleston.
According to Wheeler, the transaction is a progressive move for both companies as the delivery of real estate services shifts more and more online and relies less on multiple offices throughout the region. Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS and Bob Capes REALTORS collectively operate 14 locations in the Midlands. Combining these companies into the eight best locations makes perfect sense from both an economic and strategic perspective. It will also allow us to take advantage of synergies in relocation, accounting, and education, Wheeler said.
Coldwell Banker has invested $1M in its online presence in the past year, a move that Wheeler says is being driven by the market. Our customers are telling us that they want access to information about housing 24/7. Everything that a consumer needs is available on our website – they can view the property, they can do their loan application, and they can even close the deal online.
The move has paid off. Wheeler said that average time on site has increased from two minutes to eighteen minutes.
Richard Smith, Chairman and CEO of CBUR applauded the upcoming move. This fits with our company’s overall growth strategy of building in key markets. Even given the recent downturn in the housing industry over the past 12 to 24 months, our company has remained well positioned for growth.
The move is good news for home buyers and sellers, as well. Coldwell Banker United continues to be a leader in the real estate industry, said Jim Gillespie, President and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. From a business standpoint, being able to combine resources for technology, online services and offices makes great economic sense. Consumers in the Midlands and South Carolina will benefit greatly from the outstanding services Coldwell Banker United provides.
When the transaction is complete, a major area of growth for the company will be in the New Homes Market where Jimmy Derrick will serve as President of CBUR Builder and Special Services. According to Derrick, the transaction allows us to build on our combined technology strengths and provide unmatched services not only to consumers, but also to builders and developers. Our New Homes Division will cover the entire state and maximize our resources for our Builder/Developer clients.
The transaction will also provide greater support to sales associates. Edmund Monteith, Senior Vice President of the South Carolina Region for CBUR, said, With the synergy of two marketing departments and the leveraging power to negotiate as one large real estate company, we have the opportunity to further enhance our outstanding marketing platform. This enables us to provide consumers the information they want in a format that is unparalleled in this market.
The impending transaction will also reunite three Columbia executives who all began their careers with Tom Jenkins Realty in the 70s. Whit Moore, a sales associate at CBUR, Jimmy Derrick and Jeff Wheeler, all started under Tom Jenkins in the early 1970s and feel a sense of nostalgia in reuniting. According to Moore, The three of us started our career in Columbia right out of college and have grown together over these past 30 years. Even though we have sometimes been competitors, we have remained friends and have always shared a high degree of mutual respect.
About Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors® was founded in Bryan/College Station, Texas, by Richard A. Smith in 1970 and has grown to 80 residential and four commercial offices in six states with over 2,500 sales associates. In 2007, the company was the number one affiliate in transaction sides among 1,232 independently owned and operated Coldwell Banker companies worldwide. According to REALTOR Magazine, REAL Trends and RISMedia, three industry trade publications, the company in 2006, was ranked #8 among all U.S. real estate companies in transaction sides.
For more information, log on to www.cbunited.com. Coldwell Banker United, Realtors® is An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity.