Prudential to Enter City Real Estate Market

Article excerpt

Oklahoma City and Tulsa are about to be invaded by franchises of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates.

The national firm, a subsidiary of the giant Prudential Insurance Co. of America, has decided to enter the two state markets as early as next month, an official said Wednesday.

"It's a question of `when,' not `if,' " said Walt Bayless, vice-president and regional director of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates' central region.

"Initially, we'd like to be in the 15 to 20 percent market share range" in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Bayless said. "That's our general plan for any area. That percentage produces synergistic benefits for our brokers."

Individual franchisees may be chosen soon, Bayless said: "I'd like to see us make a marketing decision by the third week of March."

Franchising by Prudential Real Estate Affiliates in the Oklahoma City area market would be the second entry by a national residential real estate firm in the last four months.

In November, Coldwell Banker Residential Affiliates Inc. sold a franchise to Marolyn Pryor & Associates, creating Coldwell Banker Marolyn Pryor Realtors Inc. Coldwell Banker also aims to capture 20 percent of the Oklahoma City market.

Prudential Insurance is "the largest non-bank corporation" in the United States, Bayless said.

A 114-year-old Newark, N.J., company started 1989 with $17.8 billion in premiums. It entered real estate in May 1988 after about a year of planning, via a $40 million investment by Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, one of its 175 divisions. Other divisions include Prudential-Bache Securities Inc. and a home mortgage division.

"Our goal for the end of this year is 1,000 (franchise) offices," Bayless said. The current total is "well over 200," he said.

"We will probably be in six or seven more states by the end of 1989," Bayless said.

"Quite a few" real estate companies in Oklahoma City and Tulsa are candidates as Prudential franchisees, he said, following completion of a survey of the two markets. The exact number and names of those possible franchisees were not disclosed.

Prudential Real Estate Affiliates also used input from "quite a few" Oklahoma City and Tulsa area lending institutions.

"That is part of our survey process," he said.

Survey parameters for Oklahoma City were area real estate activity and market trends in the previous 18 months, interest rates and new business activity, input from the Oklahoma City Board of Realtors, Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce data on economic growth, and home buying and building forecasts.

Bayless said each franchisee would bear the name Prudential, followed by the company name and wording identifying its real estate capacity. …