BrokerageIPO / M&A

United Real Estate gains 1,000 agents with Pearson Smith merger

The merger increases United’s network to more than 21,000 agents across 630 offices globally

United Real Estate announced that Pearson Smith Realty has merged with United’s national network. The alliance expands United’s and Pearson Smith’s service footprint in Metro Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

The partnership brings together Pearson Smith Realty, which ranked among the top 100 real estate companies by transaction sides in the nation by RealTrends 500 brokerage rankings, and United Real Estate, the 8th largest brokerage firm by transaction sides in the nation, per the RealTrends 500 rankings.

The merger increases United’s network to more than 21,000 agents across 630 offices globally.

“Eric [Pearson, CEO and co-founder of Pearson Smith Realty] is the poster child for the future of real estate,” Dan Duffy, United’s CEO, told RealTrends in an exclusive interview. “His energy, vision of where the market is going and deep relationships with his agents are the best we’ve ever seen. He built a business that’s off the radar, and we love that approach.”

The future of lead gen

Duffy said the United team was deeply impressed with a lead conversion program that Pearson built. “The way he distributes leads, builds accountability and cleverly makes investments into procuring organic leads is sophisticated,” said Duffy, who made clear at the company’s annual meeting in Orlando that United plans to take market share during the coming downturn.

“We do not care how much money we make during this up-and-coming downturn. We are going to take market share. We are going to invest just like we did in [in the past] on our agents’ behalf,” Duffy said in May. “We’re very open to new ideas and new approaches especially when it comes to changes that are implicit in making a lead program work.”

Duffy also said he was impressed with the culture at Pearson Real Estate. He attended the company’s awards recognition program in March. “What I found was a positive, energetic group of agents and staff who love how cohesive the leadership team is and who want to achieve,” he said.

Agent-centric culture

“Pearson Smith Realty and United Real Estate share the same agent-centric model where support and culture are at the heart of our operations,” Pearson said in a prepared statement. “By combining our programs, resources and talent, we are creating exciting opportunities for our agents to serve their clients with excellence. Our agents are our stars, and we will continue to work to make them shine in our marketplace.”

Duffy said that United merges with less than 10% of brokerages it considers investing in.

“We are really excited to incorporate a number of Pearson Smith Realty’s best-in-class offerings into our national agent and broker programs,” Duffy said.

Pearson and his team have developed processes and systems that United is busily integrating to benefit its national network of agents, said Rick Haase, United’s president.

“When two fast-growing, dominant companies combine their tools, resources, leadership and agent talent, it becomes a catalyst for growth for both,” he said.

While other companies are shrinking or pulling back on expansion, United will continue to prioritize growth, Haase added.

Together, Pearson Smith Realty and United’s DC Metro Region office will now serve customers in the multi-state region. Pearson Smith will retain its company name and leadership team moving forward.

The merger with Pearson Smith Realty follows previous mergers with Platinum Realty, Leading Edge Real Estate Group, Texas United Realty, Virtual Properties Realty, Benchmark Realty, Charles Rutenberg Realty Fort Lauderdale and others yet to be announced.