RE/MAX International Inc. topped the list of real estate brokerage franchises in an annual survey by Entrepreneur Magazine, ranking 44th overall out of 500 companies.
RE/MAX also ranked 38th overall on a list of the top 200 global franchises and 10th out of 100 top low-cost franchises — the company was also the highest-ranked real estate franchiser in these categories. In last year’s Franchise 500 survey, RE/MAX ranked 10th overall.
In an announcement, the company reported that it sold more than 700 franchises worldwide in 2008 and has about 7,000 offices in 70 countries and territories.
Financial strength and stability, growth rate, size of the system, number of years in operation and total time franchising, startup cost, litigation, percentage of terminations and other statistics factor into the franchiser rankings, according to Entrepreneur.com.
The Franchise 500 survey revealed that RE/MAX had 4,122 U.S. franchises, 672 Canadian franchises, 2,194 foreign franchises and 42 company-owned offices in 2008 — a combination of 7,030 franchise and company-owned offices.
That compares with 4,344 U.S. franchises, 655 Canadian franchises, 1,974 foreign franchises and 41 company-owned offices in 2007 — a total of 7,014.
Keller Williams Realty, which grew from 651 U.S. franchises in 2007 to 679 in 2008, ranked 71st on the overall Franchise 500 list and 61st on the global franchise list (the company had 13 Canadian franchises). Keller Williams ranked 66th overall in the 2008 survey.
United Country Real Estate, which offers real estate brokerage, auction and marketing services, ranked 95th overall (up from 101st in 2008) on the top-500 list and 24th among low-cost franchisers. The company had 656 U.S. franchises in 2007 and 686 in 2008.
Realty Executives International Inc. ranked 179th overall among franchisers, 36th among low-cost franchisers and 140th among global franchisers, with 585 U.S. franchises, 67 Canadian franchises and 55 foreign franchises in 2008 — 707 in total.
By comparison, the company had 736 U.S. franchises, 45 Canadian franchises and 30 foreign franchises two years earlier, in 2006 — 811 in total.
Realty World Inc. ranked 187th on the overall list of franchisers and 145th on the global list — Entrepreneur.com reports that the company had 980 total franchises in 2007 and 345 in 2008. Gary Longobardo, Realty World Inc. president and chief operating officer, said that the Entrepreneur.com 2008 statistics do not include 111 foreign franchises, and Realty World has licensed a separate entity to use the Realty World brand for an additional 475 offices.
Homes & Land Magazine, a real estate advertising magazine franchiser, ranked 205th on the overall list (down from 136th last year) and 159th on the global list.
Discount real estate franchiser Assist-2-Sell ranked 243rd overall (down from 127th in 2008) and 188th among global franchisers. Assist-2-Sell had 474 total franchises in 2008, according to Entrepreneur.com, compared with 583 total franchises in 2007.
Weichert Real Estate Affiliates Inc. ranked 245th on the overall list of franchisers (down from 147th last year), with 306 U.S. franchises and 183 company-owned offices in 2008, compared with 342 U.S. franchises and 192 company-owned offices in 2007.
Crye-Leike Franchises Inc. ranked 437th on the overall list (compared to 395th in 2008) — the company had 35 U.S. franchises and 98 company-owned offices in 2008, compared with 36 franchises and 83 company-owned offices in 2007.
Flat Rate Realty, meanwhile, ranked 488th on the top-500 list, with 17 U.S. franchises, one Canadian franchise and three company-owned offices in 2008 — the same as in 2007.
Realogy Corp.’s major real estate franchise brands, including Century 21, Coldwell Banker and ERA, were notably absent in the 2009 Franchise 500 rankings, as Entrepreneur.com does not list 2008 data for those franchisers.
ERA ranked 43rd overall in the 2008 Franchise 500 list, while Century 21 ranked 45th and Coldwell Banker ranked 48th.
In 2007, Century 21 Real Estate had 4,340 U.S. franchises, 370 Canadian franchises and 3,670 foreign franchises; Coldwell Banker had 2,531 U.S. franchises, 241 Canadian franchises, 446 foreign franchises and 854 company-owned offices; and ERA had 1,189 U.S. franchises, 1,741 foreign franchises and 29 company-owned offices.
Other real estate franchisers not ranked on the Franchise 500 list in 2009 that were in the 2008 rankings include: Realty Direct Franchise Corp., WPI International, Sell4Free Real Estate Systems Inc. and SellSmart Real Estate.
What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.