Griffin Co. real estate firm expands through Fort Smith acquisition

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,508 views 

Weichert, Realtors-The Griffin Co. at 3500 Old Greenwood Road in Fort Smith.

Springdale-based real estate agency Weichert, Realtors-The Griffin Co. has acquired Ramona Roberts Realtors, a family-owned real estate business in Fort Smith that began in 1980. The business sale’s financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal closed in December. Brandon Long, broker/owner of The Griffin Co., said the deal included Ramona Roberts Realtors’ 5,100-square-foot office building at 3500 Old Greenwood Road. According to Sebastian County property records, that transaction was worth $600,000. The building houses The Griffin Co.’s new Fort Smith office.

“Fort Smith is a great market,” Long said. “It doesn’t have the price point that we have in Northwest Arkansas, but there’s a lot of real estate being sold down there. Just a little bit lower price point.”

Long said the acquisition added 18 new agents to The Griffin Co., bringing its agent count to 200. The agency now has 70 agents in Springdale, 60 in Bentonville, 45 in Fort Smith and 25 in Fayetteville.

Ramona Roberts has joined The Griffin Co. as an executive broker in the agency’s Fort Smith office.

It’s the second Fort Smith acquisition for The Griffin Co. in three years. In January 2018, the firm acquired a Weichert franchise in Fort Smith owned by Kevin and Elizabeth King.

Long said The Griffin Co. had 2,100 transactional sides in 2020 and $535 million in sales, up from $500 million in 2019.

Long, Carter Clark, Philip Taldo and Gary Griffin are The Griffin Co. franchise owners, which has divisions for both residential and commercial properties.

Long and Clark bought the Weichert franchise in 2007. The company was officially formed in December 2009 by merging two companies: Weichert, Realtors-Clark Long & Associates and Springdale-based The Griffin Co., owned by Griffin and Taldo.

Long said the regional real estate market in 2021 is so far picking up where 2020 left off. Northwest Arkansas home sales in 2020 increased nearly 13% from the comparable 2019 figure, more than double the growth rate from the previous year. In the Fort Smith metro, home sales were up more than 16% last year.

“It’s a robust market,” Long said. “Every house gets multiple offers. You’ve got to position yourself to make a good offer.”

Long said getting more people vaccinated quickly will help increase the market’s low housing inventory.

“When the majority of Northwest Arkansas gets vaccinated, I feel like there will be a little let-up with the inventory,” he said. “Some sellers are [not listing] their homes because they don’t want people walking through their homes that they don’t know. I believe that is a big part of it. Come summer, hopefully, somebody will let the gates open with some listings.”