November 13, 2015 // Franchising.com // Madison, N.J. - ERA Real Estate, a global franchising leader, today announced that Realty Associates, a market leader in Houston with seven offices and 1,700 agents, has affiliated with ERA Real Estate under the ERA Powered® program. As part of the announcement, Realty Associates has merged with Latter & Blum Inc., based in New Orleans, Louisiana, which operates residential real estate brokerages in the Gulf South under the ERA Powered program. The combined firm will now do business as Realty Associates ERA Powered.
The affiliation of Realty Associates significantly strengthens the ERA brand’s presence in the Gulf Coast, connecting markets from Houston to New Orleans. According to the Houston Association of Realtors, Realty Associates is the No. 3 company by units in the Houston MSA, and in 2014 accounted for more than $1 billion in sales volume.
“The ERA Powered® program continues to guide ERA’s penetration and expansion in major markets,” said Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate. “Extending the brand’s footprint into Houston will fuel growth for ERA Real Estate and our affiliated broker community by building strong relocation corridors and creating a robust pipeline of referrals.”
Since 2010, ERA Real Estate has focused its growth on major metropolitan areas, with entry into eight top markets in the last five years including Denver; New Orleans; San Francisco; Louisville, Kentucky; Charlotte, North Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina; Los Angeles; Nashville, Tennessee; and now Houston. ERA entered into each of these cities with the affiliation of market-leading companies poised to grow.
Realty Associates was established in 1982 by Peter Merritt, broker/owner, who will continue to oversee the newly combined company as broker, Realty Associates ERA Powered.
Under the leadership of Bob Merrick, Chairman and CEO of Latter & Blum. Inc., Latter & Blum Inc./REALTORS ERA Powered, the firm’s flagship brokerage located in New Orleans, pioneered ERA Real Estate’s unique business solution for market leading firms looking to grow, ERA Powered, when they became the first company to affiliate as an ERA Powered company in 2011. Since then, the firm has more than doubled the size and scope of its operations.
“ERA Real Estate’s unique broker-first approach allows brokers the flexibility and support to build their business in a way best suited for their individual market,” said Bob Merrick, chairman and CEO of Latter & Blum, Inc. “As an ERA Powered® company, Realty Associates will continue to leverage its strong local name recognition and brand cachet while tapping into the offerings of a global brand to drive growth and expansion in a market of great potential.”
Houston is among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States, according to the U.S. Census, and offers an attractive cost of living complemented by steadily increasing home prices, creating a positive real estate market for both buyers and sellers. According to the Houston Association of Realtors, the region’s median home price has increased nearly 35 percent since 2010.
“Joining with Realty Associates allows us to take advantage of the substantial population movement in and between all of our existing markets and Houston,” stated Richard Haase, president of Latter & Blum, Inc. “As we diversify and grow our service area, we also lower our costs. That allows us to deliver more services and tools to our agents so they can better serve our clients,” he added.
With significant presence in New Orleans, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge Lafayette, Alexandra and Southern Mississippi, Latter & Blum’s leadership has proven experience in managing operations in multiple markets.
ERA Real Estate is an innovative franchising leader in the residential real estate industry with 40 years of experience in developing consumer-oriented products and services. The ERA network includes approximately 35,000 brokers and sales associates and approximately 2,300 offices throughout the United States and 34 countries and territories. Each office is independently owned and operated. ERA Real Estate is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE:RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services.
SOURCE ERA Real Estate
ERA Real Estate is an innovative franchising leader in the residential real estate industry with nearly 45 years of experience in developing consumer-oriented products and services.