One of the largest residential real estate brokerages in Indiana has changed its affiliation to Prudential from Century 21, the brokerage announced Wednesday.

One of the largest residential real estate brokerages in Indiana has changed its affiliation to Prudential from Century 21, the brokerage announced Wednesday.

Realty Group Companies LLC is no longer Century 21 Realty Group, rebranding as Prudential Indiana Realty Group. The Indianapolis-based company has signed a 13-year contract with Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services Inc. and is the only Prudential affiliate in the state of Indiana, according to Realty Group spokesperson and broker Greg Cooper.

The company had been with Century 21 since its founding in 1980; its contract with the Realogy subsidiary expired April 1. The company has 12 offices and 500 sales professionals and employees throughout the state.

According to Realty Group, the company’s annual sales exceed $1 billion. In 2009, Real Trends ranked the company 47th in closed transaction sides and 92nd in terms of sales volume among the nation’s 500 largest brokerages participating in its annual study.

The company’s corporate structure is unchanged and remains under the independent ownership of its president, Kevin Kirkpatrick, and its CEO, John Dick.

"With our Prudential Real Estate relationship we will benefit from a protected market area, many technology tools and the support and stability of a 135-year-old company," Kirkpatrick said in a statement.

With the transition, the company’s agents have access to Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services’ Online Advantage lead-generation and customer contact system, and its LearnCenter education portal for additional training.

"The tech tools are better for us top to bottom," Cooper said. Another plus, according to Cooper, is that agents will be able to participate in group health insurance and other benefit programs that Prudential offers.

In response to requests for comment, Century 21 issued a statement:

"The Century 21 Real Estate network continues to have a strong presence in the greater Indianapolis market with a combined total of 15 offices and more than 400 sales associates. As the world’s largest residential real estate sales organization, Century 21 has more than 7,700 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 67 countries and territories worldwide.

"We remain committed to serving the needs of homebuyers and sellers in greater Indianapolis, and will make every effort to expand our presence in the marketplace."

Century 21 declined to answer any specific questions about Realty Group’s rebranding. …CONTINUED

Both companies have downsized somewhat since 2008. In the middle of that year, Prudential Real Estate Affiliates had about 2,100 offices, according to reports, while Century 21 had about 8,800 franchise offices. As of Dec. 31, 2009, Prudential had nearly 1,700 franchise offices and approximately 60,000 sales professionals in its the franchise network.

Realty Group’s 500 or so agents and staff heard about the change at a company meeting Wednesday morning. Agents contacted by Inman News said they were surprised by the change, with some expressing excitement about the transition.

Neither Cooper nor any of the agents Inman News spoke with had heard of any agents that might potentially leave the company as a result of the change.

"I don’t know what the charges (for technologies) are compared to Century 21, but I’m sure I will (stay with the new Prudential affiliate). I don’t use any of the technology, but I like the people that I work with," said Tracy Snyder, an agent in the Muncie office who’s been with Realty Group for about five years.

"I think no matter what company you’re with, I think it’s the people who make the company. I don’t think it’s the name that makes the company," said Kathy Good, an agent in Realty Group’s Lafayette office.

"I started out with some reservations, but I started hearing about the system and started becoming very excited about it. We’ll have the ability to have enhanced technology on our Web site, enhanced opportunities to capture leads, and additional tools available for our marketing online," said Dick Richwine, a broker and agent who’s been with Century 21 for all but four months of his 33 years in real estate. He leads the company’s Dick Richwine Group and said he’s one of the company’s top sellers.

"Instead of being one of several Century 21 companies in Indiana, now we are Prudential Indiana. We will be getting more business because of less competition for Prudential leads," he added.

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