n Mitchell Scruggs is working with the real estate company to create a new franchise.
By Dennis Seid
TUPELO – Prudential Magnolia Realty is getting a new name – and a new location.
Lee County farmer and businessman Mitchell Scruggs is working to get a new Prudential franchise in Tupelo, after several weeks of uncertainty with the Tupelo office.
“We’re getting an all-new franchise from Prudential,” Scruggs said. “All the agents are staying and it’s business as usual. They’re doing what they’ve always been doing.”
Scruggs also is moving the real estate company to Spanish Village on Thomas Street, once all the details are finalized, he said. A new name hasn’t been selected, but Scruggs said he’s working with Prudential to get one.
Former Prudential Magnolia owner Dustin Gifford bought the franchise last fall. Gifford heads Corinth-based Gifford Global, an umbrella company that has interest in construction, building supplies, excavation, landscaping and dirt work.
But Gifford apparently ran into some financial difficulties, which in turn sparked rumors that the business was closing. Gifford could not be reached for comment.
Scruggs said that the business is in fine shape and is not in trouble.
“The agents are the same, they have the same phone numbers, they have the listings – again, it’s business as usual,” he said.
And Scruggs knows quite a bit about the housing business. His Mitchell Scruggs Properties LLC has built homes across the area, and he said he was quite familiar – and impressed – with Prudential.
“Prudential is the strongest and best real estate company out there,” Scruggs said. “They’ve done really well, and even today, it has a 41 percent market share. That’s saying a lot, considering the quality of the companies in the area.
“That’s what really intrigued me.”
Scruggs said he’s been working on the deal for about a month and is “90 percent sure that I’ll get the new franchise. I feel really good about it.”
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Esther Brown, the former broker/owner of Prudential Magnolia who helped build the company, had stayed on a consultant after Gifford bought the company.
While no longer connected with Prudential, she said that she supported Scruggs’ move.
“They’ll continue to serve the community and do what they’ve always done,” she said. “I have every confidence that it will continue to be very successful.”