The Tracy Tidwell Team at ERA Henley Real Estate has flipped roles with Richard Henley, owner of ERA Henley Real Estate.

Henley has owned the real estate company for 18 years, but as he saw the industry begin to change, he decided it was also time for him to make a change, he said.

Henley will be listing and selling properties as an agent under new owners Mark and Tracy Tidwell of the Tracy Tidwell Team.

"In the void of him thinking in a different direction, we felt ourselves being pulled more and more — it’s not like we set out and decided to own our own real estate company, but pieces of the puzzle started coming in to place and it became clear this is the direction we needed to go," Tracy said.

Richard Longing founded ERA Henley Real Estate in 1974 with the name Dick Longing Real Estate. Henley got his real estate license in 1993, and then purchased the business, renaming the company Henley-Longing Real Estate. In 2002, Henley joined ERA and changed the company name to ERA Henley Real Estate. Henley successfully grew the company from $12 million to $15 million in annual sales to more than $69 million in annual sales in 2013.

"To this point, it has been an easy and almost natural transition," Henley said. "Because of Tracy’s importance to the company over the past several years, she has been involved in not so much the day to day management, but the vision and the direction of the company for years serving as an advisor."

After 18 years of running the company, Henley said, he finds himself with not quit as much enthusiasm or motivation, and being owner requires someone who is very proactive, looking for the next tools that will help agents serve clients.

Mark retired in 2011 giving he and Tracy more time to attend conferences, and look for the next best resource or training for agents to better serve clients.

Henley will now be able to take a step back to focus more time on his own real estate business of listing and selling properties. He also has plans to open a real estate school.

"I’ve always been a little bit envious of our agents because I was always under the gun with the management end that when we brought in ERA, I never got to work as an agent with the knowledge and stuff that we have and I can’t wait to do that," he said.

The school will be housed in the back of the ERA Henley offices. The classroom will hold 20 to 30 people. The first class will be held in February or March.

"I really feel like there is an opening for a quality school where agents can get their license and for continuing education," Henley said.

Henley will also retain the property management portion of the business, managing about 200 residential properties in Central Arkansas.

(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to