Two brokerages operating in the greater Houston market have swapped franchise affiliations, with the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate network boosting its total agent count at the expense of the Prudential Real Estate franchise network.

Anderson Properties, which affiliated with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in March 2010, has merged its operations with Alvin, Texas-based Prudential Reyes-Planka Realtors. The combined 202-agent firm will operate as Prudential Anderson Properties, with 10 offices in the greater Houston area, Austin and Lubbock.

The deal was announced June 15 by Prudential Real Estate franchise network owner BRER Affiliates Inc., a Brookfield Residential Property Services company. Brookfield RPS acquired Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services last year for $110 million.

Prudential Anderson Properties broker-owner Mike Huff told Inman News that he’s been "very growth oriented" since purchasing the company seven years ago. The company has more than tripled its business in the last two years, Huff said, with gross commission income expected to top $7 million this year.

Huff said he hopes to double Anderson Properties in the next 12 months, both by recruiting agents in the markets it already serves, and through acquisitions should opportunities arise.

"We can’t do that without a good support partner, and we’ve got that now," Huff said. "We’re very excited to step up our brand … it’s not often that you get the opportunity to affiliate with somebody like Prudential (Real Estate)."

On Tuesday, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate announced that Gary Greene Realtors, a firm with more than 850 agents operating out of 20 offices, was dropping its Prudential Real Estate affiliation and will operate as a Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate franchisee.

The company — which will do business as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene — was among the top 60 U.S. brokerages last year, racking up $1.58 billion in sales volume and 6,509 transaction sides, according to data compiled by Real Trends.

Gary Greene Realtors co-owner Marilyn Eiland said in a statement that the firm’s decision to join the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate network "provides a positive change that enables our agents to take advantage of a dynamic brand. Our agents are excited to utilize the brand’s innovative technology and resources to target new customers and offer additional value to our clients."

Brookfield RPS entered the U.S. market in 2008, acquiring GMAC Real Estate and merging it with another established brand, Real Living, the following year. Most brokerages operating as GMAC Real Estate affiliates made the switch to the Real Living brand.

Brookfield RPS has allowed Prudential Real Estate affiliates to continue using the Prudential brand name, based on the terms of their franchise agreements. Asked if the Prudential Real Estate brand name might eventually be phased out, Huff said, "A rose by any other name is going to smell the same — we’re excited about the long-term relationship we have with Prudential (Real Estate)."

Prudential Real Estate claims more than 1,500 franchise offices and 50,000 sales professionals as of Dec. 31, 2011. In addition to Prudential Real Estate, Brookfield RPS’ portfolio includes the Real Living, Royal LePage, and Brookfield Global Relocation Services brands, among others. Altogether, 80,000 real estate professionals in more than 2,800 locations in North America, the United Kingdom, France, China, Singapore, India, Brazil and Australia are affiliated with the company.

The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate network includes approximately 7,500 sales associates and more than 200 offices in Canada and 24 U.S. states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Parent company Realogy Corp. claims 241,800 affiliated agents as of Dec. 31, 2011 through its Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, Sotheby’s International Realty and other brands.

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