North Augusta-based Presley Realty has merged with Meybohm Real Estate’s commercial division, a deal the companies say creates the metro area’s largest commercial brokerage.

Presley will adopt the Meybohm Commercial brand and will operate out of Meybohm’s main office on Wheeler Road in Augusta. Financial terms of the deal, which became official Oct. 1, were not disclosed. A formal announcement is expected Oct. 7.

In an interview following the deal’s closure, Meybohm Chief Operating Officer John Cates said the combination will give Meybohm more expertise in marketing industrial property, as well as expand Meybohm Commercial’s presence in Aiken County and Augusta’s urban core.

“Putting that all together allows us to completely cover this market,” Cates said. “We felt like that not only the people would be a good fit, but it would really allow us to be what you would call a full-service commercial group.”

Cates and Presley Realty President Joel Presley had discussed a deal for the past year after realizing the companies’ shared a similar corporate culture and could create an entity to rival regional and national firms showing increased interest in the metro Augusta market.

“We are going to have the very same tools and capabilities as the nationals,” Presley said. “We can offer the same thing, but with a local adviser that you know and trust.”

Presley’s team of six will join Meybohm Commercial’s 10 on the third floor of Meybohm’s west Augusta headquarters, but will be able to operate from any of Meybohm’s six metro-area offices.

Jordan Collier, Meybohm Commercial’s director of commercial development, said Presley’s expertise in industrial, office and multi-family residential will complement Meybohm’s strengths in retail and land development.

“I think the key point in the merger is that we will get a depth of knowledge across multiple asset classes that you don’t see anywhere else,” he said. “Whereas most people are generalists, we now have the ability to have someone working in specific asset classes.”

The Presley brand will largely disappear from listings, except the large timber properties and land tracts Presley markets in North Augusta and Aiken County. Those properties will be co-branded with Meybohm Commercial.

Presley’s property portfolio includes numerous downtown Augusta properties as well as 1,400 acres off the Palmetto Parkway in North Augusta. That tract, the largest piece of undeveloped land in North Augusta, is being planned as a 1,500-home neighborhood and commercial zone.

Presley’s company grew out of a land-development business created in 1949 by his father, Bill. The firm was instrumental in developing the 300-acre Sweetwater area off Edgefield Road in North Augusta. Those developments include the Walmart-anchored Sweetwater Square shopping center, several out-parcels and the 200-unit Sweetwater Commons cottage community.

Meybohm Real Estate was created in 1977 when company founder and Chairman E.G. Meybohm acquired the Southern Finance Corp. and renamed it Meybohm Realty Inc. The company grew organically as well as through acquisitions – including Noel Schweers Realtors in 1992; Crowell & Co. in 1995; and Trotter Realty in 1997 – to become the area’s largest residential brokerage firm.

It strengthened its commercial division in 1999 by acquiring Davis Commercial Properties, and it established a toehold in Aiken by purchasing The Real Estate Shoppe in 2002. Prior to Presley, the company’s most recent acquisition was the residential property management division of Century 21 Larry Miller Realty in July 2018.

Meybohm has 300 licensed agents and 50 employees providing administration and support services.

The company’s “back-office” support staff and its customer-relation management software will enable Presley agents to have more face time with clients and fewer administrative duties, said Jonathan Aceves, a Presley agent focused on downtown Augusta.

“I do think the partnership gives us the ability to have more support,” Aceves said. “A lot of the market information and reports we provide is labor-intensive, so I think we’re going to have some assistance doing that, but also generate some of that content for buyers and sellers in other asset classes.”

Presley said a merger would not have occurred if Meybohm values didn’t mesh with his company.

“Our clients, many of them, are longstanding relationships and they rely heavily on us to have those values,” he said. “Combining that with the latest and best technology and tools and data allow us to bring both to the table for clients.”

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