13 Feb 2013
RE/MAX, one of the world’s most recognised property brands has expanded beyond the borders of the US where it first launched and is now present in 89 countries and has a team of 90 000 sales associates across the globe.
The growth of the brand is not going to stop there. This is according to Rick Yohn, Regional Vice President of Global Business and Franchising Solutions at RE/MAX LLC in Denver, Colorado.
Yohn is visiting South Africa to attend the RE/MAX of Southern Africa convention being held at Sun City this month and says that in the last two years, RE/MAX has expanded into three of the four BRIC countries, with Brazil and India particularly enjoying great success. He says the brand expanded rapidly and now enjoys a national footprint in both countries. "This impressive rate of growth has been achieved within a very short space of time.” Yohn believes that the leverage of the internationally recognised brand name has assisted with the fast, successful growth in these countries.
Late last year the brand announced its entry into the Chinese market but the growth has not been as big as Brazil and India. Yohn says there have been regulatory requirements that have impacted on the expansion of the brand in China, particularly the 2+1 rule which states that a business has to operate two company-owned stores for a period of one year before it is able to franchise a brand. This way, the Chinese government ensures that the company has a viable business model, he says.
Russia is the only remaining country within the BRIC nations where the brand doesn't have a presence. Yohn says that RE/MAX hopes to establish itself there soon, but doubts it will be this year. “At this point we are focussing on providing Brazil and India with the support they need to build on their infrastructure in order to continue their expansion and growth," he says, adding that they are working with RE/MAX China on a regular basis to help them through the process they need to follow before they can expand and grow.
During the year ahead the expansion focus will continue to centre around Asia, as that is where they have the least brand presence and they see opportunities for growth at this point. Yohn says they have negotiated franchise rights in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines and they are in the process of working their way through government regulations to get the right systems in place for successful growth in these countries. “Other countries where we are looking to establish a brand presence this year include Japan, South Korea and Malaysia.”
With the continued global expansion of the brand firmly in their sights, Yohn says the brand have noted opportunities being present in Eurasia, the grouping of countries between Europe and Asia which includes the likes of Armenia, Georgia and Kazakhstan.
Locally, RE/MAX of Southern Africa has seen solid growth, with more than 30 franchises opening in the Southern African region. Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that this brings the RE/MAX of Southern Africa network to over 170 offices and 1 800 agents. “We are confident that in the year ahead our footprint will continue to expand within the Southern African region which includes South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mauritius and the Seychelles,” he says.
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