Latter & Blum and Thibodaux-based Century 21 Acadia Realty have merged in a move that will make the company the biggest residential real estate firm in Houma-Thibodaux.
Terms of the deal, which led to renaming Century 21 Acadia as Latter & Blum Inc. Realtors, were not disclosed.
The move comes after Latter & Blum acquired Houma-based Patterson Real Estate Agency Inc. in September.
Richard Haase, president of New Orleans-based Latter & Blum, said the company’s strategy is to be the leader in the markets it does business in, either by acquiring the biggest local firm, like it did in 1995 when it bought C.J. Brown Realtors in Baton Rouge, or bringing together a couple of different real estate offices like it did in Houma-Thibodaux.
“The synergies we get by having the right critical mass, that allows us to build tools and services for agents and clients,” Haase said.
Century 21 Acadia has been in business for 43 years and has 16 agents, said George Diedrich, who owned the agency. Diedrich will become the managing broker for Latter & Blum’s Thibodaux office.
The deal with Latter & Blum gives Diedrich the advantage of working with a regional company with many resources.
“Our agents will have access to more tools and better training to help them put people together with houses they want to buy,” he said.
Despite the drastic drop in oil prices, the Thibodaux housing market has remained steady. Sales at Century 21 Acadia are up about 15 percent this year over 2014, and Diedrich said home prices “are holding pretty steady.” He credits this to a diverse local economy, which includes Nichols State University and Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, which is building a $62 million wellness center that will open in early 2016.
The expansion in Houma-Thibodaux continues Latter & Blum’s effort to fortify its business within the state’s energy corridor, stretching from New Orleans to Lake Charles, Haase said. “The smart money is betting on the oil and gas industry in Louisiana,” he said.
Latter & Blum, founded in 1916, is the nation’s 33rd-largest real estate firm based on unit sales. The company has 1,400 agents in 31 offices and nearly $3 billion in annual sales.
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