More Perfect Unions

More Perfect Unions

Brokerage firms weigh the benefits of acquisitions and contractions

By Marcie Geffner

It’s no secret that a sharp decline in home sales has triggered a wave of consolidation that has swept through California’s real estate brokerage companies. With statewide sales at just 366,720 in April, there simply isn’t enough demand to keep nearly 175,000 REALTORS® busy.

The closure of realty companies and offices may sound like more bad news for an industry that’s already under siege, but consolidation isn’t all bad. Some practitioners have greeted an office closure as an incentive to reinvent their business.

Chuck Knapp, owner and general manager of Century 21 Desert Rock in Hesperia, is a case in point. The firm, which has 55 full-time agents, closed one of its three offices in February. The office was closed because the outlying locale hadn’t experienced the sales growth Knapp and his wife, broker/owner Hanna Knapp, had expected three years earlier.

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