Industry News

RealEstate.com acquisition grows brokerage biz

Company-owned operations expand to 6 new markets

RealEstate.com has expanded its company-owned brokerage operations, picking up 200 agents from Tampa-based New Homes Realty and that company's NewHomes.com Web site. RealEstate.com, Realtors, along with affiliate LendingTree.com, spun off on Aug. 20 from parent InterActiveCorp (IAC) to form an independent company, Tree.com. The acquisition of New Homes Realty, which includes that company's NewHomes.com Web site, brings the company total to about 1,300 agents in 20 market areas across the country. The move bucks a general trend of downsizing across the industry, and membership in the National Association of Realtors has fallen 9.24 percent form November 2007 to November 2008. Meanwhile, RealEstate.com grew its agent force from 600 in third-quarter 2007 to more than 1,000 in third-quarter 2008 - a 67 percent gain. New Homes Realty has operated in 12 markets and the acquisition "helps us bolster presence in our existing markets" while adding a handful of new markets,...