RE/MAX International, a major real estate franchise company, on Tuesday announced an agreement to acquire RE/MAX of California & Hawaii, an independently owned regional operation that serves 448 independently owned and operated franchise offices and 10,270 sales associates.

Transfer of the regional operations to the Denver-based company is expected to be concluded by mid-April.

It is the latest — and largest — in a series of regional acquisitions for RE/MAX International. Regional operations provide advertising such as television and billboard ads, and also conduct training and meetings for local franchise offices.

In addition to the 12 company-owned regions, there are about 20 independently owned RE/MAX regions in the United States, and most of the company’s international regions are operated independently, said RE/MAX chairman and co-founder Dave Liniger.

“I would anticipate that RE/MAX International will continue to make acquisitions like this. All of our independent regions understand that we’re probably their exit strategy when it comes to retirement,” Liniger said.

Decades ago, the company sold regional operations, called master franchises, to help drive growth. The evolution of communications technology allows for more centralization and operating efficiencies, he said, which is why the company is working to buy these independent operations. “Most of the franchisors have closed their regional offices,” he said, and RE/MAX, too, is following this trend in centralizing its operations.

Regional operations for franchise offices in the California & Hawaii region will “operate pretty much the same way” that they have before, he added.

RE/MAX International owns regional operations in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and will this year enter into a joint venture for company operations in China. There will be 30 regions in China, he said. Other RE/MAX international regions are independently operated, he said.

Adam Contos, who has served as regional director of the RE/MAX Mountain States region since September 2005, has been named the new regional director of the RE/MAX California & Hawaii region, effective immediately.

Sid Syvertson and Steve Haselton, the owners of Spring Realty who joined RE/MAX when they purchased the company’s Southern California region in 1982, later acquired and merged the Northern California and Hawaii regions to form RE/MAX of California & Hawaii. 

“In recent years, Syvertson and Haselton had limited involvement in the daily operations of the region. For several years, numerous discussions were conducted between the region owners and RE/MAX International regarding a potential purchase of the region,” RE/MAX officials stated in an announcement.

“We feel confident that the leadership of RE/MAX International is fully committed to the continued enhancement of the system, the profitability of each broker/owner and continuing benefits for all RE/MAX members,” Syvertson said in a statement.

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