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LAKE PLACID – Two local real estate firms have merged, bolstering their position in the local market.
The news was announced Tuesday, Jan. 27 by Select Sotheby’s International Realty, a real estate company that sells luxury homes. The company will double its personnel by adding eight employees from Century 21 High Peaks, including owner Mike Damp. The newly added employees are expected to work out of Select Sotheby’s office on Main Street in Lake Placid.
Both Select Sotheby’s and Century 21 High Peaks are mid-level companies in terms of number and amount of sales they made locally in 2014, compared to their competitors in the crowded Lake Placid real estate area market. Merrill L. Thomas, Adirondack Premier Properties and Fesette Realty are industry leaders in the Adirondack-Champlain Valley market, according to research conducted by Merrill L. Thomas.
Select Sotheby’s CEO John Burke described the merger as a “natural fit.” Burke said he and Damp have developed a friendly relationship over the years that made the merger possible.
The two men had been negotiating a deal for about a month, according to Burke. The terms of the merger were not released.
“We feel having the additional personnel on board, along with their listing inventory and well established rental program will add to the quality of what we will bring to the table in Lake Placid,” Burke said.
Burke said his company has a deep referral network of homebuyers that goes beyond the Adirondack Park, and that was what led Damp to agree to the merger. Most of Select Sotheby’s second home buyers in the Adirondacks come from the Saratoga Springs-Albany area and the New York metropolitan area. Select Sotheby’s Lake Placid office is a branch of its Saratoga Springs-based operation.
Damp said Select Sotheby’s is a “high-quality franchise” and the merger was in both companies’ best interests.
“I love real estate and our team and people,” Damp said. “I just looked at what was best for everybody.”
Century 21 High Peaks, with offices in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, is a family business founded in 1928. Damp took over the company in 1995 after the passing of his father, former owner Edward Damp.
Damp is also the part owner of the Saranac Lake Marina company, which is trying to revive and expand the old Crescent Bay and Annex marina on Lower Saranac Lake. Damp said the marina business venture did not play into his decision to merge his real estate company. He said many of the homes he sells are on waterfront properties, and described the two jobs as more of a symbiotic relationship.
“I plan on getting stronger with real estate property listing through the marina,” Damp said. “It’s going to be a beneficial relationship.”
Select Sotheby’s, a company with offices in 56 countries, had a total of 120 million in overall sales last year. Burke said his company is “one of the most rapidly growing firms in the region.”
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