GMAC GMAC Deal Sets Up Realty Services Unit Mortgage's parent, General Motors Acceptance Corp., has launched a real estate services unit with a deal to acquire Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service from Meredith Corp.
The new unit, GMAC Home Services, based in Horsham, Pa., is to license the Better Homes and Gardens brand name. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service is a franchised residential real estate network with more than 800 member firms, 1,500 offices, and almost 26,000 sales associates in the United States and abroad.
Dick Schlott, the former head of ERA Real Estate who will head GMAC Home Services, said the addition of Better Homes and Gardens is a way to offer customers a more complete range of products and services.
"Cross-selling certainly would be a part of the plan," Mr. Schlott said. But he added that he sees the acquisition as part of a broader strategy to create better service for its clients.
The new venture echoes the strategy that last year created Cendant Corp., which includes PHH Mortgage and an array of real estate-related businesses.
GMAC Mortgage services loans for 1.1 million customers and originates loans through a nationwide network of 217 branches. The parent company manages more than $110 billion of assets at more than 700 offices worldwide and has operations in 34 countries.
Mr. Schlott will work under Ben Smith, vice chairman of GMAC Home Services and executive vice president of GMAC Mortgage. Allen Sabbag will continue as president of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Service.