Charles Stanley Hunt, a native of Delavan in Cattaraugus County, founded what is today's HUNT Real Estate Corporation in 1911. Mr. Hunt began the business by selling theatres he owned in the villages of Springville and Arcade. In the same year he opened a real estate office in the old Arcade Building on Main Street in downtown Buffalo, specializing in the sale of moving picture theatres and other ongoing businesses and associated real estate. In its early years, the firm was known as HUNT Business Agency.
Soon, the business expanded into the sale of all types of real estate, including farms, office buildings, hotels, vacant land and homes, as well as the sale of ongoing businesses. Mr. Hunt served his country in World War I and, in his absence from the business, his sister, Edna, carried on.
In 1920, upon his return to Buffalo, Mr. Hunt moved his offices and staff to Suite No. 410 in the Brisbane Building in downtown Buffalo. Throughout the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, the company continued to diversify its activities while being primarily focused on the brokering of businesses. Still, residential real estate grew as a mainstay and, after World War II, as Buffalo expanded, it became an increasingly important part of the HUNT portfolio.
By 1947, Mr. Hunt's sons, C. Stuart Hunt and Myron M. Hunt, had returned to Buffalo from service in World War II and joined the company. Their arrival signaled an expansion of the firm and an increased focus on residential real estate. HUNT opened its first Buffalo suburban branch office in Kenmore at 3189 Delaware Avenue in 1948. An additional office was opened in Hamburg in 1948. In 1952, the Amherst Office was opened at 4140 Main Street near Fairlawn Drive. In 1955, HUNT left its Brisbane Building headquarters for 47 W. Huron St., where operations were based until the early 1980s.
On June 20, 1958, HUNT Real Estate Corp., formerly HUNT Business Agency, was officially incorporated; HUNT previously had been a sole proprietorship. Charles Stanley Hunt was named President and his sons, C. Stuart Hunt and Myron M. Hunt, became vice presidents. In 1962, C. Stuart Hunt was named chief executive officer. In 1968, Charles S. Hunt was named chairman and C. Stuart Hunt became president.
Recognizing trends in suburban population movement and demographics, a fourth residential office was opened on Main Street in Williamsville in February 1972. In September 1978, the Amherst Office was relocated to 4363 Main Street, a much larger and more modern facility. At the new location the company established its first fully equipped and staffed training center under the leadership of Peter F. Hunt, son of C. Stuart Hunt.
In March 1980, an Orchard Park location was established when HUNT purchased the Caine Real Estate Company, creating the firm's fifth residential sales office.
The steady drumbeat of expansion resounded throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In addition to expanding to new offices around the Buffalo region, the company embarked on a number of innovative ventures. In April 1984, Devere Capital Corporation, a mortgage banking firm and HUNT's first subsidiary, was created. That company known as HUNT Mortgage has grown to be the market leader in Western New York. A marketing center was opened in 1986, and in January of that year HUNT became only the second real estate firm in the United States to produce a program-length television show to showcase residential listings. In 1990, HUNT opened the nation's first Real Estate Information Center, a telemarketing center through which homebuyers could access property data on all HUNT listings. This was followed in 1989 with the launch of HUNT-Vanner Associates, an insurance firm that handles property and casualty insurance for HUNT customers.
In 1993, with the goal of creating a new more streamlined model for the closing process, HUNT acquired Title Network LTD from three local attorneys and launched what is now known as Network Title Agency of New York which works closely with HUNT Mortgage. To aid the do-it-yourself home seller, in 1996 HUNT launched Realty Express, a flat-fee service that allows sellers to access multiple listing services and advertising.
As HUNT began its second century in 2000, the company began to cast its gaze to the East. In 2001, HUNT entered the Rochester region with the acquisition of Judy Columbus Relocation and Real Estate, a market leader in high-end residential real estate. More acquisitions in Rochester followed and, as sales volume topped $1 billion in 2003, HUNT entered the Syracuse market. The company has enjoyed steady growth in both regions.
Another key development in the first decade of the 21st century was creation of an alliance for its residential brokerage in March 2002 with ERA, the nation's fastest growing real estate franchise organization, thus giving HUNT, our agents and customers a National reach.
In 2005, upon the death of C. Stuart Hunt, Peter F. Hunt, the company president at the time, became its chairman and CEO. Charles F. Hunt, Peter Hunt's son who represents the fourth generation of the Hunt family, joined the company in 2007.
Acquisitions in Sarasota, Florida and Phoenix, Arizona followed in 2008. In 2009, HUNT entered the Albany market. Today, in 2011, the company is ranked 23rd in the nation and operates over 40 residential branch offices, three commercial brokerage offices, the administration and education center, the title agency, mortgage company, two insurance agencies and two fee-for-service brokerages.
As HUNT enters its second century of service, the company remains committed to its Western New York roots, while continuing to seek expansion opportunities around New York and the nation. Now, as always, we are committed to offering our customers premium products and services through our leading team of the most elite real estate professionals in the industry.
We invite you to celebrate with us, over 106 years of excellence - proudly assisting tens of thousands of families with all of their real estate and homeownership needs.