Red Oak Realty acquires Marvin Gardens to become largest independent brokerage in East Bay

Smaller residential brokerages are merging to compete with bigger rivals like Compass
August 07, 2019 12:00PM

Red Oak owner and CEO, Vanessa Bergmark and Marvin Gardens owner Todd Hodson

Red Oak owner and CEO, Vanessa Bergmark and Marvin Gardens owner Todd Hodson

To compete with Goliath-sized real estate agencies, some David-like independent brokerages are acquiring former direct rivals to stay in the game.

The Bay Area’s Red Oak Realty is set to become the largest independent brokerage in the East Bay with its acquisition of Marvin Gardens Real Estate, according to Inman. Marvin Gardens’ 60 agents will join Red Oak, which had 100 agents.

In a statement, Red Oak said the new company “will generate over $1.2 billion in sales volume and over 1,200 transactions.”

Marion Henon and Todd Hodson, owner of Marvin Gardens, will become sales managers, and Vanessa Bergmark will remain the CEO at Red Oak. It will be the largest brokerage for areas like Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond and Kensington.

The move comes as Compass continues to cut into market share in Northern California. The Softbank-backed company launched in the Bay Areas area in 2016 and has grown through acquisitions into a 3,000-agent brokerage over 97 offices in the region. In March, Compass acquired the 1,300-agent Alain Pinel Realtors — which had 33 offices in Northern California.

Meanwhile, Red Oak said its strategy was to double down on a specific area rather than expand geographically in the face of that increased competition.

Similar to Red Oak, Seven Gables Real Estate revealed earlier this year that it had merged with Star Real Estate, which are both small Southern California brokerages. [Inman]Gregory Cornfield