Pelican, Blue Marlin announce merger

Special to The Log
Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican team celebrates the recent merger. [SPECIAL TO THE LOG]

Century 21 Blue Marlin recently announced its merger of Pelican Real Estate to form Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican.

Pelican Real Estate, established in 1996 by Bill Smith in Seagrove Beach, has grown into one of the largest locally-owned real estate companies in Northwest Florida, with 11 offices from Panama City Beach to Pensacola. In addition to its presence throughout Florida’s Emerald Coast, Pelican Real Estate has sales offices within two area developments including Magnolia Cottages by the Sea in Inlet Beach and Calypso Resort & Towers, which sits adjacent to Pier Park in Panama City Beach, Florida.

“I could not be happier about this merger with Century 21 Blue Marlin,” said Smith. “Jerry and Johnathan’s charisma and love of educating agents will bring a much-needed energy to Pelican. I never thought I would ever consider working with a franchise, but Century 21 Blue Marlin is not your run-of-the-mill franchise. The tools and technology they have mastered and utilize is far superior to any I’ve seen.”

Smith has been in business with his sister, Julie Lawson, who shares in his excitement for the upcoming merger.

“This is very exciting. I’ve been considering stepping back from the business over the last couple of years and I’m so glad to put Pelican into good hands,” said Lawson. “This merger will allow me to pursue other interests and passions outside the world of real estate.”

As founder and longtime real estate broker, Smith will stay on board with Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican. The same can be said for Pelican Real Estate’s qualifying broker, Ron Jones.

“The joining together of Century 21 Blue Marlin and Pelican Real Estate will truly be an exciting event for all of us,” said Jones. “Combining the resources, personnel, and knowledge of these two successful real estate entities will result in a superior experience not only for our customers but for all of our agents and administrative personnel. Watch out, Emerald Coast, here comes a real estate powerhouse.”

Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican will continue to offer property management services including short-term vacations, long-term rentals, HOA management and commercial property management (CAM) as Blue Marlin Vacations and Pelican Properties.

Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican will act as the exclusive onsite real estate agency at Calypso Resort & Towers, Jetty East in Destin, Emerald Isle in Panama City Beach, Magnolia Cottages by the Sea, and The Breakers on Okaloosa Island.

“Having played a role in the merger of Century 21 and Blue Marlin, it is overwhelmingly exciting to see the growth of this company and be involved in another successful transition,” said Rick Ellis, mergers & acquisitions/franchise development of Century 21 Corporate. “With the leadership of Bill Smith, Jerry Sullivan and Johnathan Hughes, this is bound to take the Emerald Coast by storm.”

The merger between the two real estate companies means an expanded footprint for Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican, which will now include more than 16 offices spanning a 125-mile radius and boasting over 150 agents.

“Having known of Bill both professionally and personally I have always admired his work ethic,” said Century 21 Blue Marlin Co-Broker Jerry Sullivan. “Bill built this company from the ground up, much like we at Century 21 Blue Marlin have done, and the opportunity to merge the two companies to create an overall better experience for our clientele was an opportunity we did not want to pass up.”

“Most people admire athletes, musicians or actors, but for me I have always revered successful real estate brokers and developers, and Bill Smith tops that list,” addedHughes, Century 21 Blue Marlin co-broker.

Many may remember that at the end of 2015, Blue Marlin Realty Group affiliated with Century 21 and has since been operating as Century 21 Blue Marlin.

“I was fortunate to cut the ribbon when we celebrated Blue Marlin becoming part of Century 21,” said Greg Sexton, CEO of Century 21 Corporate. “It was an exciting day for both the brand and Blue Marlin who has since gone on to become one of the fastest growing companies within the Century 21 system. Even more exciting is to be able to combine forces with Pelican Real Estate, which we recognize as one of the most respected real estate companies in the region. The combined companies will be one of the most dominant real estate firms throughout all of Northwest Florida.”

Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican is currently adding training facilities across the Emerald Coast and is actively recruiting agents. If you’re interested in joining the Emerald Coast’s largest real estate team, call 850-837-7800 or go to