Real estate firm Real Living merges with Columbus company

The Southwest Ohio brokerage of Real Living Realty Services has merged with HER Realtors of Columbus, the companies announced Tuesday.

Real Living Realty Services has 18 offices with approximatley 275 real estate agents in the Cincinnati, Dayton and Springfield areas, including a Middletown office. The local region brokerage is agent-owned, and partner agents now own shares in HER, said Jim Stevenson, spokesman for HER.

The merger creates one of the largest and fastest growing real estate firms in Ohio, HER Realtors said. Pre-merger, HER had more than 40 offices and more than 600 real estate agents in Central Ohio, a region ecompassing Zanesville, Delaware, Columbus, Logan and Bellefontaine, Stevenson said.

The combined sales volume of the merged companies in 2012 was about $1.4 billion.

Tuesday’s annoucement follows a series of company changes in the real estate industry.

HER Realtors was founded in 1956. It formed in 2001 the national franchise company Real Living Realty. Real Living was later sold in 2009 to the Canadian firm Brookfield Residential Property Services, with HER staying a Real Living franchise.

Things changed in recent months. Brookfield sold last fall the Real Living and Prudential brands to the firm HomeServices of America, affiliated with investment firm Berkshire Hathaway. That moved prompted HER to exit last October the Real Living franchise network it founded and become an independent real estate firm again, Stevenson said.

By merging with HER, the local Real Living offices also exit the national franchise business. Local Real Living agents will be changing their names to HER Realtors, he said.