Brokerage

Howard Hanna acquires large brokerage in western New York

Acquisition of 770-agent Nothnagle Realtors bolsters Howard Hanna's New York presence

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The massive Midwest brokerage Howard Hanna Real Estate is set to acquire Rochester, New York-based Nothnagle Realtors on Friday.

The acquisition of Nothnagle Realtors’ 770 agents and 32 offices gives the large Pittsburgh-based firm a stronger foothold in New York state, where it now has just three offices and 80 agents. In 2014, Nothnagle Realtors did $1.4 billion in sales volume and 9,568 units.

When the deal closes, Howard Hanna, which did $9.3 billion on 47,753 sides in 2014, will have over 7,300 agents and employees in 205 offices in eight states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Virginia, Michigan, West Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland.

The current leadership of Nothnagle Realtors, including current President and CEO Armand D’Alfonso and Vice President of Sales Jay Teresi, are staying on board and will help run the firm as execs within Howard Hanna, Howard “Hoby” Hanna, president of Howard Hanna’s Midwest region, told Inman.

Picture of Howard Hanna.

Howard “Hoby” Hanna

As it did with William E. Wood and Associates, Realtors, a 700-agent firm the brokerage acquired in January 2014, Howard Hanna will continue to operate Nothnagle Realtors as a separate brand.

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By building out its presence in New York state, Hanna said his firm has its sights set on eventually expanding into New York City, but that it will start with building out its presence in Buffalo, given Nothnagle Realtors’ strength in the western half of the state.

In 2012, Nothnagle Realtors publicly pulled its listings from Zillow and Trulia, citing the inaccuracy of the portals’ listings databases and their practices of showing ads from competing agents on its listings as reasons.

Howard Hanna has a syndication strategy that could be considered the opposite: With a philosophy of “our listings, our leads,” Howard Hanna pays to enhance all of its listings on Zillow and realtor.com.

Even though Nothnagle Realtors will be coming into Howard Hanna’s fold later this week, its current syndication strategy won’t change, Hanna said. Instead, the firm will use Nothnagle Realtors as a syndication testing ground, a counterbalance to its own strategy.

It’s an opportunity to measure if its stance is smart, dumb or could use a tweak, given the rapidly changing online real estate space, Hanna said.

Howard Hanna has been on an upward trajectory recently.

In addition to the recent acquisition of William E. Wood, which brought the firm into Virginia and North Carolina, it entered Michigan in 2012 with the acquisition of a 200-agent regional firm. In November, it acquired the lead management tech platform One Cavo to streamline its online lead process and up its conversion rate.

Email Paul Hagey.