Three Gulf Coast brokerages that operate under the umbrella of venerable New Orleans-based Latter & Blum Cos. are adopting ERA Real Estate’s lead management platform, training and referral network, while retaining their local branding.

The Realogy Corp. franchise says the agreement with Latter & Blum Cos. is the first implementation of a new "ERA Powered" business model it hopes will fuel growth by attracting large, independently owned and operated brokers.

Founded in 1916, Latter & Blum Cos. operates Latter & Blum Inc./Realtors, C.J. Brown Realtors Inc. and Noles-Frye Realty, which together have 28 offices with 1,200 sales associates in Greater New Orleans, Greater Baton Rouge, Alexandria and Southern Mississippi, and closed more than $1.2 billion in sales in 2010.

Although the Latter & Blum Cos. brokerages will operate under the "ERA Powered" mark, they will not rebrand as ERA franchises.

With roots in the Gulf Coast dating back nearly a century, "It is important that we retain our hard-earned local identity, but equally important to position ourselves for success over the next 100 years," said Robert Merrick, chairman and CEO of Latter & Blum Inc., in a statement.

The ERA network includes approximately 30,000 brokers and sales associates and approximately 2,500 independently owned and operated offices throughout the United States and 46 countries and territories.

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