Hudson -- Two real estate agencies will merge their offices into one on Main Street after Howard Hanna Real Estate services purchased local real estate firm Royster Realty Jan. 30.

Members of Royster Realty, 126 W. Streetsboro St., moved to the Howard Hanna office at 122 N. Main St. that day.

Howard Hanna purchased Royster Realty at "fair market value," according to Howard W. "Hoby" Hanna IV, president of Howard Hanna Ohio and Michigan. He did not specify the purchase price.

Royster Realty's five employees will work for Howard Hanna as the Royster Group LLC.

Gail Royster established Royster Realty in 1992. She has been a resident of Hudson since 1983 and posted "Hudson's Hometown Broker" on her signs.

Royster said the economy and the current real estate market didn't influence her decision.

"It had to be with being a sole proprietor," Royster said. "The time had come after 20 years of having a business to plan some kind of exit strategy, and the best opportunity was offered by Howard Hanna."

A couple of other companies had approached Royster, looking for a presence in Hudson, at the same time she was talking to Howard Hanna.

"Howard Hanna allowed me to maintain autonomy as Royster Group LLC and operate under the umbrella of Howard Hanna," Royster said.

The Royster Group LLC will be on listings and marketing materials.

"It keeps the Royster name out there, which is well-known and respected in the community," she said.

Royster said the quality of the people at Howard Hanna was a determining factor in her decision. Howard Hanna Vice President Mary Brennan and Royster grew up in the business working together at Smythe Cramer. They were both branch managers and have known each other for more than 30 years.

Royster and her four employees will move into office space at the Main Street Howard Hanna Real Estate office, where Brennan is office manager.

"They're thrilled to be joining Howard Hanna and we're thrilled they're going to be with us," Brennan said. "We can offer so many tools."

Hanna said he was "excited" about the new partnership.

"We look forward to offering the customers of Royster the Howard Hanna customer experience and services like the 100 percent Money Back Guarantee," Hanna said. "We love that we can be an on-ramp for ambitious entrepreneurs like Gail who understand the value proposition in partnering with Howard Hanna."

Royster Realty recorded 28 sales for $7.475 million in 2012, according to Brennan. The Howard Hanna Hudson office recorded 270 sales for $95.88 million for the last 12 months, she said.

Hanna said Royster Realty was a great competitor and worked at cultivating a relationship with the community of Hudson.

"Her market share gave her company prominence in Hudson," Hanna said.

The Royster Group will focus on sales while Howard Hanna handles the business duties, Hanna said.

"We can focus on the day to day business of the company and she can focus more on the day to day business of her clients," he said.

Royster said she looks forward to focusing on clients rather than dealing with overhead.

"It allows me to be relieved of some of the responsibilities of running a company," Royster said. "I'm really thrilled with it."

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