New York City-based franchisor Rapid Realty, a rental company whose unconventional business practices and rapid growth have turned heads in recent years, will open the doors of its first California office in late September, the firm announced today.

Rapid Realty San Diego will join the more than 60 Rapid Realty franchises — mostly concentrated in New York City but also located in Boston, Philadelphia and Miami — that have sprouted since the company became a franchisor in 2009.

“Just four short years ago, this company consisted of a single office in Brooklyn. But you know what they say, ‘Time flies when you’re one of the fastest-growing companies in America,’ ” wrote Rapid Realty CEO Anthony Lolli in an email.

Rapid Realty, which focuses on rentals, has drawn attention for its “assembly-line” approach to real estate. The model helps the firm close deals quickly by using specialists to help clients with different stages of the rental process.

But it also seems to have alienated some customers. In the past, the company issued an apology in response to negative reviews on Yelp, TheStreet reported.

The franchisor attracted widespread media attention earlier this year after Inman News reported a Rapid Realty program that offers raises to agents who get tattoos of Rapid Realty’s logo.

Lolli has broadcast the company’s interest in an initial public offering or private equity partner.

In pursuing an IPO, Rapid Realty may be seeking to capitalize on investors’ growing interest in cashing in on the housing recovery, which has helped prompt Re/Max’s plans to go public and bolstered the stock prices of real estate companies like Zillow and Trulia.


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