Realogy to Launch ‘At Least One’ New Franchise in 2019
August 8, 2018
With nearly 2,500 franchises and more than 190,000 U.S. agents already, Realogy will launch “at least one” new brand in 2019, company officials announced in a second-quarter earnings call last Friday. Realogy's brands include big names such as Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, NRT, ERA, and The Corcoran Group.
When pressed for more specifics about the new franchise, Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider was short on details. “We’re looking actually at more than one,” Schneider said. “We think there’s at least a couple of niches in the market that are both a little bit underserved overall and a little bit underserved by Realogy. And we think we have access to the kind of brands that could actually fill those niches.”
Realogy seeks to drive substantial agent growth in its franchise business and believes launching a new franchise brand will be a cornerstone to achieving that strategic mission, Schneider said. “With approximately half the agents in the market today still with independent companies, not affiliated with national brands or major regional players, we believe we have unexplored opportunities to attract those agents to our franchisees.”
Realogy also announced that part of its expansion plan includes supporting multibrand franchisees and startup brokerage companies, a new move for the company. For example, Schneider said Realogy is investing in two new technology platforms: OJO, an artificial intelligence startup focused on enhancing real estate leads, and Notarize, which enables remote notarization to pave the way for digital closings. Realogy also is expanding capital programs that are available to franchisees for helping to recruit new agents. “We want to be on our front foot helping agents and their customers as the real estate transaction becomes increasingly digital,” Schneider said.
In its second-quarter earnings report, Realogy reported revenue of $1.82 billion, attributing the increase to a 4 percent bump in overall transaction volume and an expansion of its NRT brand. Still, Realogy plans to standardize commission rates across NRT brokerages, which currently have varying rates.
Updated: August 17, 2018