We first reported Monday night that Keller Williams Realty Sioux Falls is buying out HJN Realty. Tuesday, the two businesses came together to let employees know what this means for the future of the business.
"Keller Williams is the largest real estate company in the world. Sioux Falls Realty, I believe, is probably the largest real estate company in the state," said Tony Ratchford, owner of Keller Williams Realty Sioux Falls.
And according to the Sioux Empire Realtors Association, that's correct. With about 180 agents, after acquiring HJN Realty, Keller Willams Realty Sioux Falls is now the largest agency in state history.
The company is worth about half a billion dollars in home sales.
"I'll just let you know this, we have 24 market centers in the upper midwest that we work with. And this is the fastest launch we've ever had out of 25 market centers, so 24. Fastest launch ever," said Keller Williams Regional Director, Todd Butzer.
Former HJN Realty owner, Jeff Nelson, says he may have underestimated the Keller Williams team when they first came to town.
"You know, I look around here and I see a lot of people I taught in Real Estate School, and I see a lot of people I interviewed to come to work with me that did. And then left to come here," said Nelson.
Talks between Nelson and Ratchford just started about 6 weeks ago. Because it happened so fast, some employees were surprised.
Teresa Schurz works for Keller Williams and serves as Treasurer for the Realtor Association of the Sioux Empire. She says this is exciting, and shouldn't take a huge toll on other companies in town.
"Probably the average agents here in Sioux Falls probably won't feel that much of a difference. I think that it's very exciting for the agents of Keller Williams and HJN of course. And there's a lot of other really talented and professional people in the other companies as well. So it's fun for Keller Williams to be the largest company, but I don't think for the average agent they're going to see that big of a difference," said Schurz.
There are about 680 active realtors working in Sioux Falls. Some of the other big agencies in town include; Hegg Realty as the second largest, AmeriStar comes in third, and ReMax rounds out the top four.