With a background of more than 20 years in real estate, Scott MacDonald is acutely aware of how the industry has pivoted. From changes in compensation and consumer demands to growth in the iBuyer space, there are a bevy of fresh opportunities—but also challenges.
For MacDonald, broker/owner of RE/MAX Gateway in D.C./Northern Virginia, addressing those challenges is crucial to maintaining profitability through the shifts, and beyond. That’s why he and other franchisees of RE/MAX formed the RMX Franchisee Association, a coalition with a focused, singular strategy: growth and improvement. As of Jan. 21, the association has 38 members.
“In the last couple of years, the real estate market has seen a lot of change—there are a lot of different business models now, and a lot of venture capital money coming into the market,” explains MacDonald. “In order to protect and promote our franchises and have profitability, we thought it was a good idea to collaborate with RE/MAX on how best to do that.”
According to MacDonald, the concept evolved out of a need for unity.
“We’ve been talking with RE/MAX for a number of years, and we recently decided as owners that instead of everybody individually speaking to [corporate], we’d get together as one voice,” MacDonald says.
The RMX Association is expected to meet regularly, and has RE/MAX’s support; in fact, Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX, will be in attendance at the group’s meeting in two weeks. According to MacDonald, the brand has been behind the group from the outset, and is ready and willing to work with them.
“A lot of people are fearing there is going to retribution,” says MacDonald. “That is not at all the case.”
“RE/MAX was built through partnership and collaboration with our outstanding broker/owners, and we are the global real estate leader as a result,” Contos said in a statement. “The leadership team at RE/MAX, LLC welcomes this opportunity to collaborate with our broker/owners in an organized, productive manner. We look forward to continuing to build a bright future together.”
The RMX Association has concerted goals and objectives, chiefly focused on fostering mentorship, networking and profitability. There are annual dues for members, but the group is a not-for-profit organization; the board, which includes MacDonald as president, is comprised strictly of volunteers. According to the association’s website, dues “will fund the operating budget of the RMXA, including…legal fees for review of the RMXA activities and Franchise Agreements…insurance, committee projects, meetings and events.” The association is also adding admin and bringing on an executive director—once hired, dues will fund their payroll, as well.
In addition to MacDonald, the board consists of: Vice President Lori Reece, broker/owner and founder of RE/MAX Whatcom County; Secretary Jimmy Dulin, broker/owner of RE/MAX Ability Plus; Treasurer Megan Wyatt, broker/owner of RE/MAX Around Atlanta; Board Member Eric Malmberg, broker/owner of RE/MAX Advantage Plus; Board Member Kevin Simrin, founder and president of RE/MAX Integrity; Board Member Matt Van Winkle, broker/owner of RE/MAX Northeast; and Director of Communications Kristen Jones, broker/owner of RE/MAX Around Atlanta.
In its early stages, the association has been hard at work—just this week, MacDonald met with five brokers to discuss the group’s initiatives and membership. The association is also preparing to present at R4, RE/MAX’s annual convention, being held on Feb. 25-28.
Day to day, the association communicates through email and phone, as well as in-person meetings.
“We’re having conference calls every week and doing emails,” MacDonald says. “We have a closed private Facebook group for the founding members that we’re communicating on multiple times a day.”
For MacDonald, bettering the brand’s franchisees, and the larger network, is worth it.
“We’re doing this for the benefit of all brokers within RE/MAX.”
For more information, including on dues and membership, please visit www.rmxassociation.com.
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.