The Coldwell Banker Devonshire Realty residential sales offices in Central Illinois, including the Decatur office, will officially have a new owner Saturday.
Some 17 Devonshire offices and more than 400 agents will become part of Joliet-based Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell. The deal, already in place but taking effect Saturday, includes Coldwell Banker Devonshire offices in Monticello, Arthur, Lincoln and Springfield.
Ed Prodehl, president of Honig-Bell, says that local buyers and sellers will not notice any immediate change as the existing staff of agents and management team at Champaign-based Devonshire will stay in place. He did say some small offices “just miles apart” will be consolidated, but that won’t involve losing any agents.
“We’ve met with agents, and everybody is excited and very receptive,” says Prodehl. “And I am excited, absolutely. We’ve met great, great people, there’s a great management team already in place and that is all staying the same.”
The Devonshire Realty deal, the price of which was not revealed, will give Honig-Bell 1,000 agents in 33 offices scattered across the state. The company now ranks as one of the largest real estate firms in Illinois and is in the top five of Coldwell Banker franchises in the nation.
Prodehl says the company had been looking to expand into the Central Illinois market and jumped at the opportunity when Devonshire said it wanted to sell its residential operation to concentrate on commercial real estate services. Prodehl says he wasn’t put off by the lackluster state of the current real estate market nationwide and saw instead a great buying opportunity.
In fact, on the same day it closes on the Devonshire deal, Honig-Bell also will close on the acquisition of another real estate franchise in Sycamore near Chicago.
“We think it’s an ideal time to expand our markets,” he says. “And we also realize the real estate market is coming back and want to be a main player in it.”
He said he was particularly pleased to have acquired a presence in Decatur, an area he knows well because his wife has relatives living here. “We are thrilled to be in Decatur, and we’re very optimistic that is going to be a really great situation for us,” he added.
Reacting to news of the Prodehl expansion, Coldwell Banker said the Central Illinois operations were in good hands.
“There is no doubt that Ed (Prodehl) and his management team at Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell have built a real estate power in Illinois,” said Jim Gillespie, chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “i 1/2 I am confident that their successful approach to real estate will translate well in Central Illinois.”