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Howard Hanna realty chain acquires Nothnagle Realtors

Nothnagle Realtors, the third-largest brokerage firm in New York, has agreed to be acquired by the nation’s fourth-largest real estate firm, joining two family-owned companies and bringing a potential powerhouse to Western New York.

Rochester-based Nothnagle, which has five offices in the eight counties of Western New York, will merge with Pittsburgh-based Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. The combined firms posted $11.3 billion in closed sales volume and 61,776 closed transactions in 2014, and will have more than 7,300 agents and employees in 205 offices in eight states – Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Virginia, Michigan, West Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland.

Howard Hanna already has four offices in Chautauqua County, in Fredonia, Mayville, Lakewood and the Chautauqua Institution. But the acquisition of Nothnagle instantly gives it the No. 1 market share in the Greater Rochester area, while extending its presence into both the Buffalo and Central New York markets.

However, locally, the combination will still trail far behind RealtyUSA and Hunt Real Estate Corp., who are the dominant brokerage players in Western New York.

There will be no change to Nothnagle’s name or local leadership, but Nothnagle agents will gain new services, products and resources to offer clients, said Nothnagle President and CEO Armand D’Alfonso. Both firms use the same colors for logos and marketing materials – green and gold.

“I’ve known the Hanna family for years,” D’Alfonso said. “Their innovative technology, commitment to top-quality service and family ownership closely mirror the culture of our company.”

Nothnagle was founded in 1948 by John T. Nothnagle, using $400 saved from his job at Eastman Kodak, where he learned to use photos to sell houses. Today, the firm has 32 offices in Western New York, the Rochester and Finger Lakes region, and the Southern Tier, with over 9,000 agents and employees. It’s ranked 40th nationally, with $1.4 billion in sales volume and 9,568 transactions last year.

Locally, it has two offices in Orchard Park and one each in Amherst, Batavia and Kenmore.

Hanna was founded in 1957 by Howard W. Hanna Jr. and his wife, Anne Freyvogel Hanna, who opened a one-room office in Pittsburgh with just $25, plus $20 for a phone and $15 for a Realtor’s license. The company is now the largest real estate brokerage in both Pennsylvania and Ohio, with 6,400 agents and employees in 173 offices across eight states.

Besides residential and commercial brokerage, Hanna also offers mortgage, closing, title, insurance, appraisal, corporate relocation, property management and land development services.

“Armand D’Alfonso is an old friend who has truly built a remarkable real estate organization,” said Chairman and CEO Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna III. “We believe the business philosophies and corporate cultures are very similar and provide the best products and services in the real estate industry.”