New Orleans-based Latter & Blum doubles its size with acquisition of Houston real estate firm _lowres (copy)

Latter & Blum President Rick Haase

Latter & Blum Inc. is set to acquire Lafayette-based Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate, a move that will strengthen the company’s share of the Acadiana residential and commercial real estate market.

Under the deal, which takes effect Monday, the residential agents at Coldwell Banker Pelican will join Van Eaton & Romero Realtors, Latter & Blum’s Lafayette-based residential company.  The commercial agents from Coldwell Banker be part of NAI/Latter & Blum.

Rick Haase, president of Latter & Blum, said the deal will give his company a 40 percent share of the Lafayette real estate market. Van Eaton & Romero is the biggest residential firm in the market; depending on what measurement is used, Coldwell Banker Pelican is second or third largest.

“By combining our operations, we will grow to a new level,” he said.

Van Eaton & Romero has 250 agents and staff with two offices in Lafayette and one each in Carencro, Opelousas and New Iberia. Coldwell Banker Pelican has 130 agents and staff, with offices in Lafayette and New Iberia.

New Orleans-based Latter & Blum entered the Lafayette market in late 2012 when it merged with Van Eaton & Romero. The deal with Coldwell Banker Pelican reflects the company’s growth strategy by taking on the top brands in each market, Haase said.

Coldwell Banker Pelican was founded in 1978. The company is owned and operated by Steve and George “Buzz” Thomson, brothers who will remain as brokers with Latter & Blum.

Steve Thomson said in a statement that the deal will improve the services his agents can offer to clients. “Van Eaton & Romero and NAI Latter & Blum’s values and cultures align with ours and were key factors in our decision to merge,” he said.

“The market is evolving very rapidly,” he said. “We want to provide the sellers and buyers with the right set of services.”

Latter & Blum has under its umbrella such prominent residential real estate agencies as C.J. Brown Realtors in Baton Rouge, ERA Moffet Realty in Lake Charles and Noles-Frye Realty in Alexandria. Latter & Blum, which was founded in 1916, posted gross sales of $4.5 billion in 2017.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.