RE/MAX to continue ambitious global expansion plan in 2013

During its 40 years of operation, RE/MAX, one of the world’s most well known and recognised property brands, has expanded well beyond the borders of the US where it first launched as a single office in Denver, Colorado, to now boast a presence in 89 countries and a team of 90 000 sales associates across the globe.

The growth of the RE/MAX 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, who is visiting South Africa to attend the RE/MAX of Southern Africa convention being held at Sun City this month, 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. “RE/MAX has expanded rapidly into Brazil and India and now enjoys a national footprint in both these 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 RE/MAX also announced its entry into the Chinese market. But the growth here has not been as big as Brazil and India. Yohn explains: “There have been some regulatory requirements that have impacted on the expansion of the RE/MAX 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. We are working closely with our Chinese franchise owners to navigate the way through this process.”

Russia is the only remaining country within the BRIC nations where RE/MAX does not 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. In addition, we are working with RE/MAX China on a regular basis to assist them through the process they need to follow before they can expand and grow. We don’t want to bite off more than we can chew.”
During the year ahead the RE/MAX expansion focus will continue to centre around Asia, as that is the continent where RE/MAX has the least brand presence and sees the greatest opportunities for growth at this point. “Franchise rights have been negotiated in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, and we are in the process of working our way through government regulations to get the right systems in place for successful growth in these countries,” says Yohn. “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 that RE/MAX have also noted the amazing opportunities presented in Eurasia, the grouping of countries between Europe and Asia which includes the like of Armenia, Georgia and Kazakhstan to name a few.

Locally, RE/MAX of Southern Africa has also seen solid growth, with more than 30 new RE/MAX franchises opened 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 1800 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.”

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