A large South Florida real estate franchise company is the first to complete its rebranding from GMAC Real Estate to Real Living, the companies announced today.

Canada-based Brookfield Residential Property Services, which operates Royal LePage and other real estate brands in Canada, picked up GMAC Home Services LLC, including its real estate brokerage operations, in a deal announced in September 2008.

In November 2009, Brookfield announced a merger of GMAC Real Estate and Real Living and a rebranding to Real Living for its franchise offices — under Brookfield the company had sold off its company-owned brokerage offices, with most operating as franchise companies.

Eduardo "Eddie" San Roman, who founded First Service Realty with his wife Maria in 1984, said the company — now Real Living First Service Realty — plans to add 15 offices within the next three to five years, focusing its expansion on Broward and Palm Beach counties. Most of the company’s current offices are in Dade County, with one in Tampa and one in Broward County.

The rebranding effort has been well-received by agents, San Roman said, with more than half of the company’s agents on hand for the rebranding party.

The housing market, while it still has its troubles, has been showing some positive signs, he said, and the favorable commercial leases make it a good time to grab new office space.

We’re getting some good deals on spaces," he said. "We think this is a great time to expand because commercial leases are coming together very nicely."

Condo prices have dropped to a point that those units are now fairly attractive to buyers, too, he said, and the worst of the home-price declines may have passed. San Roman also noted that South Florida is a hot spot for sales to international buyers.


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