United Real Estate merges with Charles Rutenberg Realty

Charles Rutenberg Realty will continue operating under the same name

Oct.October 31, 2019 08:00 AM
Rick Haase

Rick Haase

United Real Estate merged with Charles Rutenberg Realty in Florida, adding 1,000 agents to the Dallas-based brokerage.

United, led by president Rick Haase, said the merger brings its total agent count to 8,000 across 40 states. Charles Rutenberg Realty, with one office in Fort Lauderdale, will keep its name in Florida. The deal does not include unaffiliated Charles Rutenberg brokerages in Orlando and Clearwater, or in other parts of the country.

Both United Real Estate and Charles Rutenberg Realty offer their agents 100 percent commissions with a transaction fee, which will remain the same. Cynthia Benchick, owner of Charles Rutenberg Realty, will remain as co-owner and managing broker.

Haase declined to disclose the terms of the merger.

Real estate brokerages have struggled to remain as profitable as they have in the past, amid rising commission splits and the cost of operating brick-and-mortar locations. As a result, consolidation has been rampant.

Haase said brokerages are changing dramatically, and that the business now requires “enough scale to be able to do what you need to do.”

Earlier this month, virtual brokerage eXp Realty acquired Miami-based Kurz Real Estate, adding 200 agents to the firm, which entered Florida in 2010.

Other firms in South Florida, like the Keyes Company, One Sotheby’s International Realty, and Douglas Elliman, have expanded via acquisition in recent years.

Mike Pappas, owner of Keyes, has said that as technology costs continue to rise, “size and scale to run an operation is necessary.”

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