by BRAD ROLLINS
WIMBERLEY — Three months after gobbling up Century 21 franchises in San Marcos and New Braunfels, Randall Morris & Associates real estate brokerage has acquired its two chief rivals in Wimberley.
The Morris’ purchase of Century 21 Hill Country Properties and Jim Henderson Real Estate make their company the fourth-largest Century 21 franchise in Texas and the 49th largest in the nation based on gross sales, supervising broker Carter Morris said.
“Our goal was to become, and is to remain, the No. 1 real estate company between Austin and San Antonio. Over the last four months, we’ve grown considerably and solidified our position,” Carter Morris said.
The nineteen new Wimberley agents bring the companies’ total roster to about 100, Morris said. Those agents facilitated $100 million in sales the last 12 months, an estimated 60-70 percent of San Marcos and Wimberley residential real estate sales during that period, Morris said.
Morris’ purchase of Hill Country Properties was completed March 11 and of Jim Henderson Real Estate on March 21. Both acquisitions were announced last week at the celebration of the Wimberley Land Co.’s 40th anniversary.
Locking down more of the Wimberley market gives the company a bigger share of the valley’s lucrative riverfront and ranch property transactions.
The median home price in Wimberley, according to the U.S. Census bureau, is $223,700 compared to $125,000 in San Marcos. More than 10 percent of Wimberley homes are valued at $500,000 or more while 2.5 percent of San Marcos homes reach that price point. Moreover, 23.1 percent of Wimberley homes are valued between $300,000 and $499,000 compared to 5.6 percent in San Marcos.
“We do a lot of the retirement home and a lot of homes on the creeks and rivers out here which generally just cost more money. There’s a more expensive product available here,” said Randall Morris, who started his real estate career in Wimberley.
Morris was working as a stone mason in 1978 when he was encouraged by a cousin, Marsha Johnson, to get a real estate license and go to work for her. She told guests at last week’s anniversary celebration that recruiting Morris was part of her longterm retirement plan.
“I had an ulterior motive. All the time in the back of my mind, I’m going, ‘Boy, when I get ready to retire — ” Johnson said to laughter. Morris started his San Marcos company in 1980 and bought the Wimberley Land Company from Johnson in the mid-90s.