Chaos. That’s the only word for the current real estate market, according to Bob Endsley, owner of Turlock’s Coldwell Banker Endsley & Associates.There are fewer homebuyers. Overhead costs are steadily increasing, due to a push for expensive, high-tech virtual house hunting options. The recession shows no signs of letting up.“This has been going on now for over four years and it’s just gotten to the point…” Endsley trailed off.Endsley and Associates, a Turlock institution for more than 33 years has been scraping to make ends meet for some time, Endsley said. Where past downturns were weathered, this one has hit a bit harder.In part, it’s due to the small, tight-knit nature of the Endsley & Associates operation.The firm long ago set – and achieved – the goal of dominating the Turlock-area market, with no aim on expanding. Just 45 agents make up Endsley & Associates, compared with the 450, 700, or 750 agents claimed by local competitors with offices stretching up and down the Valley.In this changing economy, those larger realtors can better weather the storm and fund tech upgrades. But out of respect for his staff, some of whom have been with him since the 1970s, Endsley kept looking for an answer. “I wasn’t going to just quit and go on to something else,” Endsley said.That’s where Century 21 M&M and Associates came in.Endsley has long been friends with the two M’s – CEO John Melo and President Larry Matos – through the real estate world. Their companies thought about merging years ago, back when times were good, but differing business strategies quashed the plans. Century 21 M&M wanted to grow across the state, while Endsley remained steadfastly local.“They’ve done what they’ve done. We did what we did,” Endsley said.But times change. Businesses change. A few months ago, Century 21 M&M and Associates made an offer to buy Coldwell Banker Endsley & Associates and save the struggling company in the process. Endsley jumped on it, and the deal became finalized on Tuesday. “It’s a joining of the forces,” Matos saidThe resultant firm will have 150 agents in the City of Turlock. Century 21 M&M and Associates will hold 30 percent of the Turlock real estate market share, firmly in first place in the area.“We like that,” said Rick Davidson, Century 21 Real Estate CEO, who journeyed to Turlock from the corporate headquarters in New Jersey to be present for the announcement.The 17 year old Century 21 M&M and Associates isn’t just another Century 21 company, it’s the largest in a corporation that spans 67 countries, 50 states, and 117,000 employees. With 1,250 agents and 24 branches that stretch from Fresno to Napa Valley and the Bay Area, the company dwarfs most other Century 21 firms. “Not only did they work through the decline in the market, they took the opportunity to build,” Davidson said.But Century 21 M&M and Associates isn’t jumping into Turlock haphazardly. And Endsley didn’t just jump at the first opportunity that came along.“When you do these things, it has to be for the right reasons,” Melo said.Cultures have to mesh, Melo said. And Endsley said he wouldn’t have accepted the deal if the two companies didn’t have the same philosophies of caring for community, customers, and employees – despite their differing sizes.Melo and Matos both know and care for Turlock. Both grew up in Turlock on dairy ranches. Their first real estate office was in Turlock. Matos graduated from Turlock High alongside one of Endsley’s children.Buyers and sellers alike will benefit from M&M’s multi-million dollar investment in technology, with virtual tours, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and flickr sites. Customers will have the benefit of purchasing from a large, regional realtor with easy access to homes in multiple markets.And Endsley and Associates’ employees, all of whom will retain their jobs, will enjoy the job security of working for a larger firm. Even Endsely’s & Associates Main Street presence will remain intact – though new Century 21 M&M and Associates signs should be up on the firm’s former home by the end of the day.While the sale of Endsley & Associates seems to be the best for everyone, it’s been “a tough ego trip,” Endsley admits.Endsley will continue to work in the new office, doing some management and public relations duties though largely divesting himself of the day-to-day real estate business. Though he turns 70 this year, Endsley hopes to spend 10-15 more years working, focused on making Turlock a better place.Despite the changes to his former business, things already seem to be getting better for Endsley.“I’ve been stressing big time for the last two and a half years,” Endsley said. “Now I’ve had three good nights of sleep.”To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.