Change is happening at RE/MAX, LLC. Much like the client experience their franchisees strive for, the brand is bringing its broker/owners personalized service and training—all baked into a fresh initiative that pares down its regions from 10 to four, and assigns brokerages to categories, in line with their needs, in order to provide them with structured support.
Announced last week, the change will designate franchisees to the following stages:
- Base – For broker/owners new to RE/MAX
- Grow – For broker/owners with a clear operational strategy and vision
- Thrive – For broker/owners with an established market presence and systems
- Summit – For broker/owners on a large scale, with an emphasis on expansion
In addition, to efficiently evaluate franchisees—and better serve them, ultimately—the brand has consolidated its 10 company-owned regions in the U.S. to four: Northeast, Southeast, Central and West. Each will be assigned a Growth & Development team, charged with developing franchisees in the region. This entails:
- Contract negotiations
‘A Business That Builds Business’
According to Amy Somerville, senior vice president of Professional Development & Engagement at RE/MAX, the initiative is a pivot to a proactive strategy—one that allows broker/owners to expand and grow with specialized support.
“We are constantly in communication with our broker/owners and our agents,” explains Somerville. “It’s been clear and obvious that they have different needs—new franchise owners who’ve signed a franchise agreement in the last year have very different needs from a development standpoint. We’re a business that builds business, and what it takes to build and drive business is very unique to each brokerage.”
To deliver these distinct resources and tools, Somerville and Josh Bolgren, newly promoted to senior vice president of Business Growth, are heading up two reorganized teams: Development & Engagement, which was formerly Training/Education, and Business Growth, formerly known as Region Development, respectively.
“We are continuing to evolve and innovate, and we’ve always looked to the give the best service possible to our franchisees,” says Bolgren. “This is our attempt to become more of a needs-based organization, not a one-size-fits-all, as we have been.”
On the Business Growth side, brokerages are gauged in various ways—data-driven and otherwise—to identify their needs, then classified into one of the four stages.
“We’re looking at empirical data and subjective data,” Bolgren explains. “Base is going to be our starting point—building the foundation, the infrastructure for success. Grow has a little bit more structure in what their business should be and what their operating model looks like—their vision, their values, etc. Thrive are the ones that have their systems in place, they have a profile of high success, and they’ve gone through potential expansions. At the top is Summit, which are the ones that have operational efficiencies, large-scale agents and footprints, and are focused on mergers and acquisitions.”
“[Our broker/owners] are not segmented based on success, but more so on their needs,” says Somerville.
According to Bolgren, formerly region executive vice president, redrawing the map was an important part of the process.
“It’s effectiveness and efficiency—from a leadership standpoint, to be able to focus on our broker/owners, go from vertical to lateral, and segment our customers across regions and boundaries so that we can implement best practices in multiple states,” he says.
With the categories established and the regions restructured, the brand is building out the Development & Engagement team, which is focused on technology and training, including the Momentum program and RE/MAX University.
“We’re shifting resources and adding resources to support development from a professional business focus and in technology engagement,” Somerville says.
For now, the brand is busy determining where its franchisees are on their growth path, with the anticipation that, once established, broker/owners will be evaluated once per year.
“We sent a survey out to our broker/owners asking them specific questions about where they are in their journey with RE/MAX and as a RE/MAX franchise owner,” says Somerville. “We’re at the first level of assessment now, and then we’re going to talk to them on a yearly basis.”
All Part of the Plan
RE/MAX has long been known for productivity—”Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX”—and, in August of last year, adopted a brand-new mission, centered on the concept of “M.O.R.E.”:
- Deliver to the Max
- Customer Obsessed
- Do the Right Thing
- Everybody Wins
There have been changes in leadership, as well, most recently the appointments of Bolgren to his new role; Brett Ritchie to senior vice president and chief accounting officer; and Roy Schwalm, III, to senior vice president, Finance and Strategy; as well as the hiring of Kerry McGovern as vice president, Communications and Jerry Modes as senior vice president, Information Technology.
All of the changes are a direct reflection of RE/MAX’s shift: not just to deliver on expectations, but to exceed them. Now, with a more efficient model, the brand is cementing its connection to franchisees, and its broker/owners are gaining the leverage they need to succeed.
“What this is doing is giving us the opportunity to take an intentional and proactive look at the needs of our partners,” Somerville says.
“This is going to be a monumental shift in the organization,” Bolgren adds. “We’re so excited to be behind and at the forefront of it.”
RE/MAX will host R4, its annual convention, at the end of this month.
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at email@example.com.