The new owners of Coldwell Banker Island Properties have expanded the firm with the acquisition of the Maui operations of Century 21 All Islands, and CEO John Ferguson said they plan to keep adding on to Maui’s largest residential real estate firm.
Ferguson and Steve Houle of Houle Financial Corp. bought Coldwell Banker Island Properties from former owners Bob Cella and Doug Fitch several months ago, at the same time rolling Ferguson’s company, Makena Wailea Real Estate, into the Coldwell Banker business.
Ferguson told Pacific Business News that when he and Houle heard that James Wright, who owns Honolulu-based Century 21 All Islands, was interested in selling his Maui operation, they got together — facilitated by someone in the corporate office of Realogy (NYSE: RLGY), which owns both brands — and agreed on the acquisition.
Wright told PBN that it was a good time for the company to sell the Maui operation, since he “just turned 67 and we’re starting to look at our end game.”
“We thought he had a really good business plan for Coldwell Banker on Maui, and we wanted our agents to be part of it,” said Cheryl Dillon, executive vice president of Century 21 All Islands.
As part of the deal, the Century 21 Kahului office closed over the weekend — the lease had expired and Coldwell Banker already has an office there — and Century 21’s three dozen agents joined the Coldwell Banker team. The Century 21 Wailea office will remain open, however, under the Coldwell Banker brand.
Wright said there are no changes to the Century 21 All Islands offices on Oahu and the Big Island. Ferguson said Coldwell Banker Island Properties now has about 230 agents, and that his firm is “agent centric.” He said the agents joining the firm from Century 21 complement his firm.
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“The agents that they have with them are in the luxury market, and in the median price market and the entry level market,” he said. “It’s a perfect fit.”
And now with two acquisitions completed — Ferguson’s firm and the Century 21 offices — Coldwell Banker Island Properties is looking to acquire more businesses on the Valley Isle. The company is the eighth-largest residential real estate firm in Hawaii, and the largest based on Maui, according to PBN research.
“We are very aggressively planning growth, and we expect to talk to other agencies,” said Ferguson, adding that the firm would like to acquire smaller agencies with 15 to 30 agents. “If someone is considering retirement we’d like them to reach out and say ‘we’re interested.”
The company also recently launched a $100,000 community investment fund that will invest in charities and nonprofit organizations focused on Maui’s youth, including such organizations as Boys and Girls Club of Maui, Maui Youth and Family Services, Friends of Childrens’ Justice, Lokelani Middle School lunch program, Southside Boxing Club, and Kihei Dolphins Football.
Janis L. Magin
Real Estate Editor
Pacific Business News