Stone Path Real Estate, a 100-agent brokerage based in Gilbert, Ariz., has joined one of the largest real estate brokerages in the country, Phoenix-based West USA Realty Inc.

West USA Realty is the 17th-largest brokerage in the U.S. by 2012 transaction sides and the largest brokerage in the Phoenix area by 2012 sales volume, according to the latest report from Real Trends. The firm has 11 offices and more than 1,300 agents.

As a result of the merger with West USA Realty, Stone Path will become Stone Path Real Estate Group at West USA. The three-office brokerage is joining West USA as part of its “Internal Broker Alliance” pilot program.

Duane Fouts, a past president of the Arizona Association of Realtors who left a consulting position with Zillow in August, joined West USA in October as managing broker and head of the IBA program.

Duane Fouts

Duane Fouts

Through the program, West USA provides participants with administrative, broker and agent support services, allowing them to focus on maintaining their company culture and on providing training and support to their agents, Stone Path said.

While a broker-owner joining the program could stay on as a salaried employee and/or be bought out, in this case Stone Path is joining with West USA, not being bought out, and both entities will share future revenue, said Michael Weinstein, West USA’s vice president of marketing. Stone Path will also maintain autonomy when it comes to making personnel decisions.

“The goal of the IBA model is to take the administrative hassles out of running a brokerage and allowing participants to focus on the sales side of the business. We believe this is the future of real estate brokerages,” Weinstein said.

Six other Arizona brokerages have also joined the program, each with just a few agents. While those firms fly under the West USA name only, Stone Path is the first IBA participant that will have its own boutique branding, and West USA plans to bring on other firms in similar arrangements, Weinstein said. Stone Path is the largest firm to join the program so far.

Patti Haugland, who founded Stone Path two years ago, will continue as CEO.

“At West USA we are honored that Patti and her leadership team has chosen our IBA brokerage model above all others to provide the brokerage support and service to lead her business into the future,” said Todd Menard, West USA’s chief operating office, in a Facebook post.

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