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RISMEDIA, January 19, 2009-RE/MAX International announced that Master Franchises have been purchased for both Uruguay and the Republic of Ecuador. In 2008, RE/MAX sold over 700 franchises worldwide, and now has nearly 7,000 offices in more than 70 countries and territories, an international presence greater than any of its competitors.

“We are privileged to have these two Regions from South America join the RE/MAX Network,” said William Soteroff, senior vice president of International Development at RE/MAX International. “We look forward to a strong RE/MAX presence in both Regions and know that the training, education and brand name recognition we provide will attract both professional agents and clients.”

Brothers Esteban and Antonio Serrano purchased the rights for RE/MAX Ecuador and plan to aggressively recruit a host of new real estate agents and open local franchises. Antonio Serrano’s wife, Isabel Aguirre, will be Regional Manager and oversee daily operations.

Ricardo Sarniguet and Juan Carlos da Silva purchased the rights for RE/MAX Uruguay and will be Director of Franchise Sales Development and Technology, and Director of Legal, respectively. Patricia Perez will be the Assistant Manager for RE/MAX Uruguay.

RE/MAX Ecuador will be headquartered in Quito, birthplace of both Antonio and Esteban Serrano. RE/MAX Uruguay will be headquartered in Montevideo, the hometown to Sarniguet, da Silva and Perez.

“When you own a real estate office in Uruguay, you’re locally known,” said Sarniguet. “But when you own a RE/MAX Franchise office, the world automatically knows you and the brand starts working for you on day one. We strongly believe that RE/MAX will be a great asset to the professionalism of the real estate market in our country.”

“We’re excited for the opportunity we have to bring RE/MAX to Ecuador and to make a positive contribution to the development of the real estate industry here,” said Antonio Serrano, whose family has been involved in real estate for nearly 30 years. “RE/MAX is a perfect fit for the region and the power of the RE/MAX brand will help others who share our vision to sell real estate.”

With the addition of the new Regions, RE/MAX extends its presence in South America with existing franchises in Argentina, Chile and Venezuela.

Ecuador and Uruguay are on opposite ends of South America – Ecuador on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and Uruguay, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Ecuador has a population of 13 million while Uruguay is home to 3.46 million people, almost half of which reside in the capital, Montevideo.

In related company news, RE/MAX International Inc., announced that the company is the nation’s number one real estate franchise – an honor the company has held for the past nine out of ten years – according to Entrepreneur Magazine’s 30th Annual “Franchise 500 Survey.” RE/MAX is also the top real estate franchise in two other survey categories, Best Low-Cost Franchise and Top Global Franchise.

“We have so much to offer our franchise owners, from a fundamentally sound business model with excellent education resources, to global brand recognition. So, we’re honored, but not surprised to find ourselves on the top of this list each year,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX International. “We’ve enjoyed decades of growth and success and this ranking is recognition of the viability of the RE/MAX Network.”

The 30th annual “Franchise 500 Survey” appears in this month’s edition of Entrepreneur Magazine. All companies in the rankings are evaluated by financial strength and stability, size, growth rate, startup costs and financing options. These and other factors are entered into the Franchise 500 formula, with each eligible company receiving a cumulative score.
Entrepreneur Magazine’s The initial survey was conducted in 1980, and it was the first ever franchise ranking. Over the years, the ranking procedure has been refined to provide the most accurate formula for identifying today’s top franchises.

In 2008, RE/MAX was the only real estate franchisor to be ranked among the country’s “50 Top Franchises for Minorities,” by the National Minority Franchising Initiative. RE/MAX was also recognized as one of the “Top 25 Franchise Opportunities” by Hispanic Enterprise, and the Denver-based real estate franchisor was also ranked on the list of America’s “Top 10 Military Spouse-Friendly Employers,” according to Military Spouse Magazine.

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