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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on April 26, 2000. All rights reserved.

Henderson to Nilson To General Motors

E-mail: BarbaraFox@princetoninfo.com

Less than two years after one of Princeton’s most prestigious

family-owned brokerages — Henderson Realtors — merged with

a Shrewsbury-based firm, Gloria Nilson Realtors (www.glorianilson.com) that firm has itself

been sold to a division of one of the largest corporations in the

nation, General Motors.

The 350 agents will still do business under the Gloria Nilson name,

at least for now, but will operate as part of GMAC Real Estate’s New

York Metro Division. Founded in 1998, GMAC has more than 1,450 brokerage

offices and 25,000 agents. It also has the third largest relocation

company in the nation (www.gmacrealestate.com).

Gloria Nilson Realty did almost $800 million in business last year.

The Princeton office leads the area when it comes to sales of homes

worth more than $500,000. At the time of the Henderson sale, real

estate professionals wondered whether or not the acquiring firm could

maintain the Henderson reputation, developed over 40 years, as a specialist

in the selling of high end Princeton houses (U.S. 1, September 16,

1998). The answer then was that Nilson, the woman who wears the trademark

hats in her photos and in person, had a similar reputation in the

upscale areas of Monmouth County. Now Nilson is selling to a bigger

player but she will remain as executive vice president and director

of the Luxury and Elegant Homes Division for the division.

Pat Bell is president of the GMAC Real Estate New York Metro Division,

headquartered in Liberty Corner. Bell had sold her business, Country

Heritage Real Estate, to Richard Schlott in 1985, and she became regional

vice president for Coldwell Banker/Schlott in 1991. With 22 offices

she had one of the top regions in the country for Coldwell Banker


"A well established high-end company in Central New Jersey has

chosen GMAC as the company that will serve the needs of the agents

and has recognized the need to retain the quality of character of

the firm," says Maureen Penta, senior vice president and general

sales manager of Gloria Nilson Realtors GMAC.

"The salespeople have been very positive about the acquisition,"

says Penta. "We made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon at

the Oyster Point in Red Bank. GMAC recognizes the importance of maintaining

the character and philosophy of the existing company. The organization

will be built on the foundation of the company that they are happy

with presently. This is the company they have worked to build. It

has been good to them. GMAC is not going to change our company but

support our company in technology."

Insiders noted two years ago that the Hendersons sold to Nilson at

a time when the industry was becoming more complicated and more technology

dependent. Now Nilson seems to have reached a similar conclusion.

"In excess of $200 million will be invested in technology overall,"

says Penta. More than $20 million of that will be put into real estate

over the next 12 to 18 months. The lion’s share of the money, nevertheless,

can be used to build an immense database, the kind of database that

GM can use for many purposes.

Home purchase, home financing, home relocation, auto purchase, auto

financing — everything will go into this database. Bell says GMAC’s

ultimate goal is to meet the needs of the consumer, not only during

the transaction process, but long after, to have them as customers

for life. An international company with a database so comprehensive

is a long way from a 40-year-old family business.

Penta says that Gloria Nilson Realtors GMAC will indeed be the permanent

name. "Promises like that are promises that are kept in real estate,"

says Penta. Schlott’s name lasted with Coldwell Banker for 10 years,

she points out. "But with the merger of the offices of Gloria

Nilson and Henderson, there was never a promise to keep the name."

— Barbara Fox

Gloria Nilson Realtors GMAC, 33 Witherspoon Street,

Princeton 08542. Catherine McCool, manager. 609-921-9300; fax, 609-921-3299.

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Gloria Nilson Realtors GMAC, 1970 Route 33, Hamilton

08690-1709. John Burke, office manager. 609-890-0007; fax, 609-584-1247.

Gloria Nilson Realtors GMAC, 2 Route 31 South,

Suite 1, Pennington 08534. Anne Nosnitsky, manager. 609-737-9100;

fax, 609-737-1215.

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