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RISMEDIA, August 11, 2009-RE/MAX International, Inc., recently welcomed the countries of Colombia and Morocco to its growing global franchise network, which now boasts offices in more than 70 countries. The international growth of RE/MAX is especially welcome in major U.S. population centers, such as the metro Chicago real estate market, where a diverse population, including many immigrants, has strong personal and commercial ties to other countries.

“The RE/MAX presence in Columbia is most welcome,” said Jim Merrion, regional director of the RE/MAX northern Illinois real estate network, “because there are thousands of Chicago-area residents with deep connections to that country.”

Since the beginning of 2009, seven countries and territories have joined the RE/MAX network, and RE/MAX International has sold nearly 300 franchises worldwide.

“These are exciting times for RE/MAX International and for these new regional owners,” said William Soteroff, senior vice president of international development at RE/MAX International. “Both RE/MAX Colombia and RE/MAX Morocco have the potential to bring a new professionalism to the real estate industry and provide added value to homebuyers and sellers in those nations.”

Leaders of the two new regions, Soufiane Elaamili and Mehdi Belaabas from Morocco, and Francisco Paillie and Nestor Arenas from Colombia, were at RE/MAX International headquarters in Denver recently for the formal signing.

“We want to be affiliated with the best in the world, which is why we chose RE/MAX,” said Elaamili, general manager of RE/MAX Morocco. “Our biggest challenge will be managing growth, as people in our country and around the world want to join RE/MAX for its brand name and reputation of having the most exceptional real estate agents.”

RE/MAX Morocco will be headquartered in Casablanca, and Elaamili and Belaabas hope to rapidly open offices while building a network of trained, professional real estate agents.

Morocco is located in North Africa and has a population of nearly 34 million. The country’s real estate market is growing with an influx of foreign investors and an increase in homeownership among the Moroccan middle class. While the real estate industry is still unregulated, RE/MAX Morocco will make training and education available to real estate professionals in the region.

RE/MAX Colombia franchise owners Paillie and Arenas also plan to open a host of new offices in and around their headquarters in Bogota, the nation’s capital. They know the RE/MAX brand name will be an added asset in recruiting experienced agents.

“Homebuyers and sellers in Colombia will appreciate working with RE/MAX real estate agents because they are trained professionals who know the local market and have extensive experience,” said Paillie.

Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America but is the second largest in population with close to 45 million residents. The Colombian government is focused on improving the country’s real estate market and recently created new incentives for homebuyers that Arenas and Paillie believe will improve sales throughout Colombia’s major population centers.

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