HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- The signs are up and the word is out -- Tinkham Real Estate has merged with Prudential Manor Homes.
The new partnership for the Hoosick Falls firm represents the second similar announcement in as many months for a local real estate group. In July, Brenda Jones Real Estate in Bennington, Vt., joined with Keller Williams Realty Green Mountain Properties, part of Texas-based Keller Williams Realty.
The new affiliation produces the "best of both worlds," according to Rick Tinkham and Jay Christiana, Prudential Manor president and chief executive officer. Prudential Manor, they said, ranks as the third largest residential real estate firm in the Capital Region. Its commercial arm is Prudential Blake Commercial.
Nine satellite offices
"Bringing the two companies together made a lot of sense," said Christiana, in Hoosick Falls on Thursday speaking about the latest addition to Prudential Manor. The merger brings the number of satellite offices for the Latham-based company to nine, covering the greater Capital Region north to Lake George.
The addition of "Team Tinkham" extends Prudential Manor’s reach eastward, encompassing Stephentown to Salem, where local brokers are "resident experts."
"From our standpoint, we realized we just couldn’t service our customers (as well) as a small company," said Tinkham, who established Tinkham Real Estate in 2000 with wife and associate broker Pam Tinkham. After two years of research, the merger just made sense, he said. "We’re convinced we’re in the best situation."
"(Tinkham Real Estate) is the same great company -- with new tools," said Christiana. The offices at 53 High St. will remain, as will the local team of brokers. But the affiliation now brings the local office new multimedia marketing and online exposure, including automatically generated visual tours and YouTube videos. "The first place people go," Christiana reports, is "online, YouTube, (or through their) mobile phone." Fully half of all sales now begin online, according to Prudential Manor.
Recognizing a trend in the industry toward mergers, "it’s hard for a small company" to provide new digital services, Christiana said. "It’s very difficult if you’re handling all those things."
Prudential Manor also provides relocation services for employees of large corporations, including 35 percent of Fortune 100 companies. The list of clients includes Global Foundries, whose computer chip manufacturing facility in Malta is expected to bring thousands of new hires to the area. "The company relocations are huge," said Tinkham, noting an easy commute from the Hoosick area to Malta.
The new affiliation appears well-timed particularly "now that the market is coming back," said Christiana, who serves as president of the Capital Region Multiple Listing Service. (The fourth-generation Realtor was recognized earlier this year as one of "40 under 40" by The Albany Business Review.)
After a five-year slump, Capital Region housing sales are on the rise, with total completed sales up 12 percent during the first six months of 2012, compared to one year prior. Year-to-date sales in Rensselaer County were up 14 percent. Average and median home prices are up as well, leading the president of the Greater Capital Association of Realtors, Nina Amadon, to say "with a great deal of certainty" that the local housing market is "headed back towards an active market."
"The market is far from the hectic pace we saw in 2005, 2006, and 2007. But improvement has to come slowly," said Amadon, in a July 19 written release following the first half of 2012 report. "The ideal market is one without extremes. We haven’t reached that ideal market, but we’re headed in that direction."
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