New Real Estate Brokerage Created

June 20, 2003
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GRAND RAPIDS — Prudential West Michigan Realtors announced Tuesday it had merged with Preferred Carlson, Realtors to create one of the largest real estate brokerages in West Michigan.

The merged companies will operate as Prudential Preferred, Realtors, and the company will remain independently owned and operated.

Steve Fase, current owner of Prudential West Michigan Realtors, and Don Tinney, Ralph Leino and Jerry Carlson, current owners of Preferred Carlson, Realtors, comprise the new company's ownership team.

Prudential West Michigan has served this region for 50 years, has been affiliated with the Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. for more than 13 years and currently has 120 agents.

In 2002, the company had a sales volume of $380 million, with more than 2,500 transactions.

Preferred Carlson is the largest real estate brokerage in Southwest Michigan, with more than 200 agents. Last year, the company reported a sales volume of $370 million and more than 2,800 transactions.

The combined company will serve Kalamazoo, Portage, Richland, Plainwell, Three Rivers, Battle Creek and metro Grand Rapids out of 12 offices.

It will offer both residential and commercial real estate services, including relocation services.

"This merger combines the best of the best in terms of sales professionals, technology and resources, Fase said. "We're bringing together two very strong companies that have both demonstrated great success at gaining client loyalty through exceptional customer service and consistent expertise in negotiating and closing transactions."

Earl Lee, president of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, said the merger creates the 22nd largest company in the affiliate network, and that the combined company will have a 37 percent market share in southwest Michigan.

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