1851 lists leading brands in the real estate segment with 50-plus locations.
Real estate. One of the most challenging industries to predict making it one of the most exciting to be a part of. The main reason? Consistent evolution.
Recently we’ve been seeing the impact new technology is having on the perceived value of a home from companies like Redfin and Zillow that are constantly recycling their inventory. And with the improving economy, home prices have been gradually been on the rise, between 5% and 10% within the last few decades according to Forbes, making it a great time for those looking to sell to make a reasonable profit. Build out is happening in cities across the U.S. that are ripe for growth, particularly in meccas like Chicago, Miami and Houston, providing a great opportunity for realtors to get a piece of the pie.
As a result of this current surge, real estate franchises are reaping the benefits. Many are seeing consistent unit count growth and, in many cases, revenue growth. Below are some of the brands capitalizing on the industry’s success the best.
Unit Count: 60 territories across the U.S.
Investment range: $48,800-$88,000
Franchise Website: https://www.showhomesfranchise.com/
Showhomes, a home manager and staging franchise, has logged the sale of more than 25,000 residential properties since its founding in 1986. The brand works with sellers and realtors to transform upscale vacant houses into fully-furnished valuable homes to better entice buyers. Showhomes draws on the experience of its tenured interior design and real estate professionals to provide services ranging from home staging and redesign for vacant houses, to single-day revamps for occupied homes. The brand also offers its signature home manager program to clients, where it matches sellers with vacant luxury homes with people with opulent furniture and artwork to stage and look after the property during the selling process.
Unit Count: More than 7,930 locations worldwide
Investment Range: $40,000 - $230,500
Franchise Website: https://www.remax-franchise.com/
With reported revenue of $53.4 million in the second quarter of 2018, RE/MAX makes the top of our list. RE/MAX recently celebrated its highest agent count in the franchises 45-year history according to a company release, reaching 123,082 agents, and continues to receive national recognition from publications like Entrepreneur Magazine, which recently ranked RE/MAX fifth on the Franchise 500 for its three-year revenue growth and NREI, which named the mogul a top 15 commercial real estate brand in the world.
But what really sets RE/MAX apart is the company’s innovative approach to further support its franchise network, launching its own mortgage franchisor (Motto Mortgage) and most recently, acquiring its own real estate technology company (booj). Motto Mortgage has given RE/MAX the opportunity to strengthen the support offered to its network of customers and ultimately improve the homebuying experience, while booj is giving RE/MAX the opportunity to network with other real estate brokerages. By continuing to establish its global presence and looking for new ways to remain an industry leader, RE/MAX is setting its franchisees up for a successful future.
Unit Count: More than 970 locations worldwide
Investment Range: $183,947 - $336,995
Franchise Website: https://www.kw.com/kw/
Another industry leader continuing to see revenue growth is Keller Williams, which aside from seeing growth statewide has been committed to expanding internationally. The company currently has more than 1,330 agents across Asia alone, more than 6,8000 total internationally, and recently introduced a new master franchisee to Cambodia.
The brand also recently added new technology, but instead of it directly benefitting the customer, it’s driving the success of the Keller Williams’ realtors. The real estate franchise recently announced a partnership with CognitiveScale to strengthen its artificial intelligence infrastructure, offering recommendations and support on things like price and market analysis based on the past behavior of its realtors. This is just one of the ways Keller Williams has been leveraging technology according to HousingWire.com. The company also recently launched virtual brokerages and partnered with a Philadelphia-based tech startup to create their own apps.
This innovative approach is how Keller Williams is managing to stay competitive in a saturated segment.
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
Unit Count: More than 360 units
Investment Range: $190,970 - $513,550
Franchise Website: http://www.bhgrefranchise.com/
Aside from being a real estate giant, Better Homes and Gardens also has access to a magazine with millions of followers (a circulation of 40 million and more than 12 million site visitors to be exact), making it a unique value proposition for its franchisees by having an exclusive direct marketing tool at their fingertips. The company has immediate brand recognition and offers its agents a suite of educational tools including new agent courses, certifications, a luxury course and staging course, financial aid towards continuing education, and more.
The company’s core values, passion, authenticity, inclusion, growth and excellence, can be found in everything they do, from the level of support they provide to their franchisees to talent attraction and agent retention. Better Homes and Gardens also measures franchisees against those core values annually, recognizing those that go above and beyond to support their local communities or have performed at a high level.
United Real Estate
Unit Count: More than 70 locations
Investment Range: $54,500 - $285,500
Franchise Website: http://www.growwithunited.com/
United Real Estate is a division of the United Real Estate Group that provides its agents and brokers with the tools they need to be successful in a 100-percent commission-based structure. While the company has just more than 70 locations, it supports more than 3,000 agents and has reported year over year transaction growth of more than 121 percent and agent growth of 106 percent. As a result, it was ranked on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies List. United Real Estate also added seven new units in the last quarter in Utah, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Virginia, Arizona and Washington.
Aside from unit growth, the company pushes its franchisees to give back through its partnership with Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, and celebrates those that go above and beyond to support their local communities, helping them get engaged and ultimately attracting more customers to United Real Estate.
HomeVestors of America Inc.
Unit Count: More than 1000 locations
Investment Range: $53,000 - $421,250
Franchise Website: https://homevestorsfranchise.com/
Unlike many real estate companies that look for houses generally in good condition to sell to their clients, HomeVestors takes a different approach. The company looks for that have significant repair issues because the homeowner generally doesn’t want to go through the typical sales process. Thinking differently is what has ultimately led to HomeVestors success.
In August of 2018, the company celebrated the signing of its 1,000 unit, making this a milestone year for the brand. Just nine years ago, the company only had 165 independently owned and operated franchises according to a release and shows no signs of slowing down. This achievement helped HomeVestors make the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 this year, coming in at number 20.
Epcon Communities Franchising Inc.
Unit Count: More than 100 locations
Investment Range: $638,500 - $3,288,000
Franchise Website: https://epconfranchising.com/
Epcon is a home building company that creates a community for its customers. Its key target demographic? Baby boomers who are looking for a place to settle down and call their own. Epcon builds entire neighborhoods for its customers and offers association fees, so those entering retirement don’t have to worry about any kind of maintenance. And while buildout is templated, the company allows their homeowners to customize their interior space, connecting them with local builders to decide what floor plan, materials and finishes they would like to use.
After beginning to franchise in 2015, Epcon Communities is a perfect example of what kind of growth can happen in just a few short years under the model. The company started with a small presence, mostly in its home state of Ohio, and has since expanded its operations throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
ERA Franchise Systems LLC
Unit Count: More than 2320 units
Investment Range: $47,700 - $209,900
Franchise Website: https://www.era.com/franchise?src=nav
The global real estate franchisor has found recent success through merging brokerage firms in its existing markets. Earlier this year, ERA merged HUNT Real Estate ERA and ERA Key Realty Services, two of their largest firms, to better service clients in competitive markets throughout the Northeast like New York, Massachusets and Connecticut. These mergers ensure that while their network continues to grow, the brokers can continue offering world-class service to their customers. A move that will drive their success in other competitive markets moving forward.
ERA Franchise Systems LLC also brought on Simon Chen as the new president and CEO in 2018, with the goal of enhancing agent recruitment, productivity and market share to further growth according to a company release. Chen has also been committed to helping ERA utilize new technology and is focused on creating a company culture its franchisees can get behind.
Unit Count: More than 500 locations
Investment Range: $23,500 - $171,000
Franchise Website: https://www.realtyexecutives.com/joinus/franchise
Realty Executives understands that technology is shaping the future of the industry and has adapted its approach to ensure that their agents and brokers stay ahead of the competition. Realty Executives was the first 100-percent commission company which they attribute to their global success, with locations across Australia, Canada, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon and Turkey, among others.
Choosing to invest in their future growth, Realty Executives brought on Patrick van den Bossche as the company’s new president in 2018. Bossche has more than 30 years of industry experience and is known for taking companies to the next level, meaning we could see Realty Executives reaching that 1,000-unit mark quickly as well.
Weichert Real Estate Affiliates Inc.
Unit Count: More than 500 locations
Investment Range: $62,500 - $364,700
Franchise Website: https://www.weichertfranchise.com/
Weichert is a great example of a company that’s expanding by offering a full suite of services. Aside from its focus on real estate, the company also offers financial service (Weichert Financial Services), global relocation services (Weichert Workforce Mobility, Inc.), interim housing support (Weichert Corporate Housing) and course training for new and experienced sales associates (Weichert University), among a number of other service offerings.
Since franchising in 2002, the company has expanded into 39 states and continues to develop in new territories by ensuring that their franchisees have strong, healthy businesses before promoting new growth. It’s all about intelligent growth with Weichert, not how rapidly they can achieve new growth. The company also invests millions of dollars each year in new technology, helping Weichert drive leads and web traffic, fast-track training and maximize the quality of their realtor’s listings.
Realty One Group
Unit Count: More than 150 locations
Investment Range: $54,250 - $227,500
Franchise Website: https://ownaone.com/
Realty One Group’s goal is to be the “unbrokerage,” aiming to change the negative stigma typically attached to the industry. Similar to Realty Executives, Realty One runs on a 100-percent commission system to help drive the success of their agents. The company is all about their culture, which they define as their “coolture,” ensuring that everyone’s voices are heard, that they feel proud of what they’re able to accomplish and empowered to make the impossible possible.
With more than 11,000 people in network, Realty One is quickly becoming a top contender and is doing so by inspiring their franchisees to built their own business. Yes, they’ll provide their team with the support and the resources to make them successful but ultimately, their success is up to them, making it a great place for driven entrepreneurs to win.
*Brands marked with an asterisk are clients of 1851 Franchise or No Limit Agency.