The Sotheby’s brand is now set to expand. Managers at Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc. announced today that the company is now authorized to sell franchise affiliate memberships in 47 states, with registration still pending in Maryland, Minnesota and North Dakota.

“We are very enthusiastic about this milestone as we can formally address the incredible amount of inquiries we have had from interested potential affiliates,” said Rich Green, senior vice president, membership sales, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates Inc. “We have collected an extensive list of leading firms interested in affiliation, and we are now in position to determine whether they meet our eligibility requirements.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty brokerage network was founded in 1976 and has grown to 155 affiliates and 15 company-owned brokerage offices in the United States. Sotheby’s, which has a reputation for handling luxury residential properties, also has international offices. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates Inc. began offering membership in the franchise system last month. The Sotheby’s network includes independently owned and operated offices and offices owned and operated by NRT Inc., a subsidiary of Cendant Corp.

Cendant in February announced a $100 million deal that included the acquisition of Sotheby’s International Realty residential brokerage operations and licensing rights. During a Cendant Corp. shareholders meeting in April, Cendant president and CEO Henry R. Silverman said the Sotheby’s brand was ripe for expansion, and “there are 3,100 ZIP code areas where it would be appropriate to operate Sotheby’s offices.”

Mike Good, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates Inc., said in a statement, “We are working to benefit every facet of our prospective affiliates’ local brokerages – from their back-office operations and marketing efforts to their management, recruiting, education and development needs.”

In addition to Sotheby’s, NRT also oversees The Sunshine Group, The Corcoran Group, Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial and ERA brands, and employs about 55,000 sales associates in 950 offices.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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