Two longtime players in the area real estate market, Jack Waldrip Real Estate and Prudential Georgia Realty, have announced they are merging.
The combined company will operate as Prudential Georgia Realty and will operate out of the former Jack Waldrip Real Estate offices at 200 W. Academy St., Gainesville, according to a news release issued Thursday.
“The merger brings together two of Gainesville’s most respected firms. Our companies share a similar philosophy, which makes this an ideal fit,” said Dan Forsman, president and CEO of Prudential Georgia Realty, which is based in Roswell and has had offices at 351 Jesse Jewell Parkway.
Jack Waldrip, president of Jack Waldrip Real Estate, said he believes the new company “is now a real estate powerhouse.”
“Our agents will now be able to deliver many advantages to their clients. This merger is a great fit for our team and the combined entity will establish a higher level of real estate services for Gainesville, Hall County and Northeast Georgia.”
Waldrip has a 40-year history in real estate and development. He developed his first subdivision in the early 1970s and has since developed numerous residential communities, retail, office and industrial properties, the news release states.
He will serve as a “strategic adviser” with the new firm, said Tony Floyd, Prudential Georgia spokesman.
Waldrip “will work with our teams on strategy and planning to help the agents be more productive and grow the office,” he added.
Also, Waldrip will continue as president of the Jack Waldrip Development, Jack Waldrip Investments and Jack Waldrip Management companies.
Kerstin Crawford, managing broker for Jack Waldrip, and Kim Crumley, managing broker for Prudential’s Gainesville office, will lead the new office.
Prudential’s Jesse Jewell office will simply be vacated. “The lease is expiring,” Floyd said.
The plan is to forge “a major presence in the Northeast Georgia market and (the company) will be looking to add more agents who want to build a sustainable business by delivering more value to their clients,” Forsman said.
Waldrip and Forsman have had “strategic discussions” about the merger for several months now, and “they’ve been working out the details, more formally, in the last 30 days or so,” Floyd said.
“All these companies are getting calls from each other. In the end, this (merger) is just a great combination for our agents and their clients, and it works out for Jack,” he said.
The economic downturn has hampered the real estate industry overall, “but a huge element (for companies) is the pace of innovation and change associated with the Internet, mobile phones and things like that.
“It’s very difficult for a small company to keep pace with all that,” Floyd said. “We’re a larger entity and have the resources and infrastructure to be able to do things that other companies simply cannot do and we can do much faster.
“That was a great appeal for Jack on behalf of his agents and clients.”
Prudential Georgia has been in the metro Atlanta market for 49 years, 20-plus of those in Gainesville-Hall County.