Red Oak Realty is a great company on the east side of the San Francisco Bay. Some of the major cities include Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito, Layfette, Concord, Walnut Creek, and of course, Oakland. This area provides a lucrative place for independent brokerage firms like Red Oak Realty to thrive.
Pacific Union was the last company to focus on independent firm mergers in this area before their sale to Compass. Now Red Oak Realty has announced an acquisition with Marvin Gardens Real Estate. The companies combine to host 160 real estate agents with a combined broker volume of $1.2 billion in sales across 1200 transactions (January through June 2019). Each company was about the same size. WAV Group reached out to Vanessa Bergmark, CEO of Red Oak to learn her perspective on the transaction.
Bergmark shared that despite being competitors for many years, Red Oak and Marvin Gardens have always been like-minded in their focus of being a locally owned and operated company with deep community roots. But there were many other alignments too.
First and foremost is the company culture, but many of their systems are aligned, too – they have the same broker website vendor, same MLS, very few overlapping offices as far as market share. One focuses on the northern part of the east bay and the other on the southern part of the bay. The Marvin Gardens exec team and staff will be staying with the company and continuing to manage their offices.
Post-merger, Red Oak will lift its sales volume near the 200 mark of largest brokerages in America. This is an extraordinary accomplishment. WAV Group has long recognized that there is something magical about pushing though the $1 billion mark as a brokerage. The balance sheet and the capabilities for the firm to invest in innovation and roll it out effectively to agents and customers. Remarkably, the new company will be very focused on agent support with a ratio of 8 agents to every staff member. A keynote to this is the Red Oak Arbor – an intranet solution that delivers support for agent marketing, listing presentation statistics, and transactions.
Here is a video that Red Oak produced to announce the merger:
WAV Group has been fans of Bergmark for a long time. A subplot to this acquisition is the recognition of Bergmark’s growth as one of the top ranking senior female executive CEOs in the SF Bay area and in the Real Estate Industry. WAV Group has recognized that despite women constituting the majority of REALTORS®, they are a minority within the demographic of CEOs and Brokerage Owners. Vanessa stands out as a truly great human being and we look forward to applauding her ongoing success.