Industry News

The week in real estate industry deals: Feb. 27-March 3

Mergers, integrations, acquistions, partnerships and more

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While real estate agents chase leads and close deals on houses, there’s another level of deal-making that takes place within the real estate industry: mergers, acquisitions, integrations and partnerships.

We’ll be recapping every week’s noteworthy deals that didn’t make it into print (and some that did) for your perusal.

We missed you last week!

SoFi, a modern finance company taking in the lending and wealth management sphere, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to raise $500 million in Series F financing led by technology investor Silver Lake, bringing the the company’s total equity funding to $1.9 billion. “We’ve seen tremendous growth at SoFi because we know what people expect from their financial partner: they want speed, transparency, and alignment with their interests,” said Mike Cagney, SoFi co-founder, chairman, and CEO in a statement.

American Advisors Group (AAG) announced its designation as an approved reverse mortgage lender for United Real Estate, an innovative and fast-growing real estate and franchise company. As an approved lender, AAG will educate United agents on reverse mortgage loans to present senior clientele an additional financing solution for home purchase. “More than forty-three percent of our selling clients are baby boomers,” According said United Real Estate President, Peter Giese in a statement. “It’s critical to our growth, and to our ability to serve this large segment, that we are able to share the available tools to assist them through their real estate decision-making process.”

This week’s deals

February 27

South Carolina Realtors (19,000-plus members) has added zipLogix’s zipForm Plus Broker Edition to its transaction tools for managing multiple agents in various office locations from a secure, online workspace. Additionally, the interwoven zipTMS transaction management system’s Broker Dashboard empowers administrators with the ability to manage and monitor monthly transactions, agent activity, weekly tasks and quarterly performance. “One of the primary challenges that we’ve heard many brokers face is the ability to track agent activity and critical business metrics, which is why we developed the zipTMS Broker Dashboard,” said zipLogix Chairman Mark Peterson.

February 28

ERA Real Estate, a global franchising leader, announced the affiliation of The Fite Group Luxury Homes in Palm Beach, Florida. With three offices across Palm Beach County and 120 independent affiliated sales associates, the firm will now do business as The Fite Group Luxury Homes ERA Powered. “Our strong local brand will continue to distinguish us in our market as we tap into the power of ERA to bring our business to the next level and allow us to provide an even greater degree of service to our clients,” said Nadine Fite, chief marketing officer, in a statement.

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DIY 360-degree virtual tour app immoviewer announced a partnership with KoaWare, a website builder for real estate professionals. Real estate pros can now integrate immoviewer’s 3D home tour software into their KoaWare website. This partnership also offers a simple solution for KoaWare customers to incorporate interactive 3D tour technology to their websites. KoaWare and immoviewer were both featured in Startup Alley at Inman Connect 2017. “After meeting at ICNY, it was clear the partnership was natural. We were able to fast-track the integration with agile development and roll it out to customers quickly,” said Steve Bintz, immoviewer Key Account Manager, in a statement.

Wells Fargo, in conjunction with the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), announced an initiative to create at least 250,000 new black homeowners by 2027. “Wells Fargo’s $60 billion lending goal can contribute to economic growth by making responsible homeownership possible for more African Americans in communities across the country,” said Brad Blackwell, executive vice president and head of housing policy and homeownership growth strategies for Wells Fargo, in a statement.

In August, Re/Max and DocuSign announced a “strategic alliance” to build on their 2011 agreement. This week they shared plans to deepen their partnership with an additional integration initiative to simplify Transaction Room sign on, reduce data entry and provide pricing discounts to Re/Max’s broker and agent affiliates. Georg Gerstenfeld, the vice president and general manager of real estate solutions at DocuSign, explained the purpose of the new features in a statement: “With a single click, users will be able to create new Transaction Rooms that can be automatically pre-populated with listing and lead data so they don’t need to enter it twice.

March 1

Related Realty today announced its acquisition of Streeterville Properties Group, a 23-year-old residential real estate brokerage based in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. Led by veteran residential broker Gail Spreen, the team will continue to operate under the Streeterville Properties Group name. “For more than two decades, Streeterville Properties Group has enjoyed a stellar reputation throughout Streeterville and downtown Chicago, establishing itself as a sales leader in its namesake neighborhood,” said Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest and founder of Related Realty, in a statement. “Like Gail and her team, Related is deeply rooted in Streeterville, home to our first luxury rental property, 500 Lake Shore Drive; ongoing developments like One Bennett Park; and next-generation sites like 400 N. Lake Shore Drive that will reshape the downtown skyline.”

Long & Foster Real Estate is pleased to announce that it opened a new office in downtown Roanoke, Virginia, on January 17. Located at 108 Salem Avenue, the office is led by Anders Dill and it will be managed by Bitsy Davis, managing broker of Long & Foster’s Roanoke office. “Long & Foster is committed to growing our presence in southwest Virginia, and the opening of the a-Bode office allows us to increase our footprint and better serve home buyers and sellers throughout the area,” said Scott Shaheen, senior regional vice president of Long & Foster Real Estate, in a statement. “Additionally, having a leader like Anders, who is active in the community, provides us with a unique understanding of the local market and the needs of its residents.”

March 2

Coldwell Banker Preferred, a leading residential real estate brokerage company in the greater Philadelphia area, has acquired the assets of Applebaum Realty, Inc., in Wilmington, Del. Applebaum Realty has approximately 20 affiliated sales professionals serving homebuyers and sellers in the greater Wilmington area since the firm was established in 2009. “I am very pleased to welcome this group of talented real estate professionals from Applebaum Realty who have a strong history of providing quality service to homebuyers and sellers in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland,” said David Krieger, president of Coldwell Banker Preferred in a statement. “This addition to Coldwell Banker Preferred will strengthen our position in northern Delaware and further reinforce our commitment to providing superior service to buyers and sellers in the region.”

Dotloop, which is owned by Zillow Group, has announced an improved application programming interface (API) that will make it easier for programmers to bake dotloop features and connectivity into other real estate apps. The API exemplifies Zillow Group’s ongoing push to become an integral part of the real estate tech ecosystem.

Crye-Leike Real Estate Services, the nation’s fourth largest privately-held residential real estate brokerage firm, has opened Crye*Leike Premier Properties in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, its second franchise office in the Gulf Coast region of Florida. Crye*Leike Premier Properties is owned and operated by Paula Andrews, who will serve as its managing broker, along with her son, Jesse Andrews, and father, Ron Glime. Mrs. Andrews has been helping people with their real estate needs since 2002. She previously owned Anchor Realty & Property Management in Destin, Florida. “Even though we are not natives of Fort Walton Beach, our family has been visiting the area since 1987,” said Glime in a statement. “We always said that we would one day make this are our final destination and here we are establishing a family business together.”

March 3

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate announced the addition of Properties West in Saint Louis to its franchise network. The newly named Better Homes and Gardens Preferred Properties, led by brokers Charles and Laura Davis, will move to a new location in Town and Country in April and continue to serve the St. Louis metropolitan area. “The leadership team at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Preferred Properties has such passion and energy when it comes to providing an authentic and personal experience to every customer,” said Sherry Chris, president and CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. “This mindset is fully embraced by the entire company and makes them a perfect fit for our network. We are thrilled to be working together to serve the St. Louis metropolitan area.”

Email deals and partnerships information to press@inman.com.