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Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC has announced that Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Champions, based in Riverside, Calif., has merged with Elite Realty Group of nearby Redlands. The combined company, which now has more than 100 real estate affiliated agents, will retain the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Champions name.

John Schulte, who has been the broker/owner of the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate franchise since launching the firm last October, will head the company, while Dennis Miller and Lavonne Webb, who previously led Elite Realty Group, will remain with the company and continue to serve key integral roles in the ongoing business and future development of the merged and growing brokerage.

Schulte came to real estate in 2000 after a successful corporate career. He has worked as an agent, office manager, regional manager and broker/owner. Schulte launched his new company in October 2018 and quickly grew to more than 90 agents with a 2018 sales volume of $110 million. This is his company’s first merger. Previously independent Elite Realty Group is a leading Redlands real estate firm with more than $70 million in 2018 sales volume.

Schulte will provide his new affiliated agents with a variety of BHGRE® marketing assets including the brand’s Distinctive Collection to more effectively work with the region’s affluent, and PinPoint, which utilizes Better Homes & Gardens magazine and its publisher Meredith Corporation’s consumer behavior data harvested from its 175 million consumers, allowing agents to reach appropriate buyers for specific properties.

This marks the first Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate presence in San Bernardino County and continues its aggressive Southern California push that has seen the addition of three new firms over the last several months: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Leaskou Partners (Palm Springs); Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Registry (Temecula); and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Vogler Feigen (Hemet).

“John is a natural leader, having held CEO positions in corporate America prior to joining the real estate industry,” says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. “He has grown his company organically with a strong focus on marketing and participation in a wide variety of community activities, and wanted to grow further. He worked closely with our national development team on identifying the right partner in the right market where the brand’s focus on lifestyle can pay immediate dividends.”

“We wanted to expand, but only if it made sense from a strategic growth and culture standpoint,” Schulte says. “We found that Lavonne and Dennis had built a similar company culture to ours with a tight-knit, family feeling. We are really excited about our growth opportunity in Redlands and nearby Yucaipa, Loma Linda and Highland, where the lifestyle focus of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate will really resonate. Our existing affiliated agents are excited to take advantage of our now stronger regional presence and our new affiliated agents are thrilled with the opportunity to grow their businesses and take advantage of the marketing systems we currently have in place, which should help open doors to more listings.”

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