Realty Executives Sold to New Firm

August 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

by: Maria Hass –

The Phoenix Business Journal recently reported that real estate firm Kinetic Cos. has bought Realty Executives Phoenix, one of the region’s largest residential brokerages.

Jeff Murtaugh — a Kinetic partner and CEO of Realty Executives offices in Tucson and Yuma — is taking over as CEO of the Phoenix operation. Rich Rector, the former CEO of Realty Executives will remain focused on the international arm of the business. Rich Rector’s parents owned Realty Executives since 1965. Gerry Russell will remain designated broker.

There is no specific reason cited for the bold move takeover, except that the new regime believes the future for Realty Executives is bright.

As a former Realty Executives Realtor, the news doesn’t come as a surprise to me. When the real estate market tanked between 2008 and 2012, many Realtors at Realty Executives found the high agent fees charged by the company to be economically unsound. Lots of those Realtors left the company to find a company that offered realistic agent fees appropriate for what were then collapsing market values.

A lot of seasoned mentors, Realtors and brokers found HomeSmart to provide the best value for their money. HomeSmart is now the No. 1 broker in Arizona with $4.8 billion in residential sales volume in 2013.

During the market collapse, Realty Executives CEO and owner Rich Rector also encountered a legal battle with former Realty Executives President John Foltz, and Foltz ended up winning a $2.2 million award in a defamation lawsuit against Realty Executives earlier this year. The legal costs, mounting debt and exodus of Realty Executives agents resulted in Realty Executives filing for bankruptcy.

In its prime, Realty Executives carried a public image of integrity and respect, which slowly eroded as new, more innovative real estate brokerages came forward. It is perhaps a good move to make a leadership change at an organization that was once at the top of the realm. Only time will tell if this move will offer the “bright future” described in Realty Executives’ purchase announcement.

Entry filed under: Arizona Real Estate, Chandler Real Estate, Phoenix Real Estate. Tags: , , , , , .

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