Santa Cruz Real Estate Industry Consolidation

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Holy Smokes, batman! Good morning!

[From Santa Cruz County real estate firms respond to downturn: American Dream acquires competitor, Flat Rate closes office – Santa Cruz Sentinel]

American Dream Realty acquired a competitor, Network Alliance, on Monday, creating the largest locally owned real estate company in the county. Two smaller real estate firms closed some of their offices.

All I can say is, gulp! That’s a bitter pill to swallow, but actually it goes down OK with my likewise bitter morning black coffee.

It’s not a real shocker that Network Alliance got bought up. There’s excess capacity. And it’s no surprise, either, that Flat Rate Realty closed an office – these discount brokerages do good when times are fat, but when times get lean, it’s hard to discount your services like that on a regular basis. What’s kind of a surprise is that Cenutry 21 Showcase closed its office right there at Highway 9 and Graham Hill Road – that’s Ronnie Trubek’s office, for heaven’s sake! It’ll take her days to move all her awards to her new office.

Another interesting tidbit in that article is that there are 1,209 Realtors at the Santa Cruz Association of Realtors – that’s down from a year ago figure of 1,300. The article says that “most Realtors renew in the spring” hinting that there may be more drops to come. Ya think? I didn’t renew in the spring – you renew on your anniversary date, or just before it, and I got in in the winter. But, we can’t forget the Watsonville Association of Realtors – not quite sure how many Realtors they have, but I thought it was like 600. Maybe now they’re down to 500.

Anyway, just thought I’d pass that along. Back to my coffee. Gulp.

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