Brokerage

United Real Estate announces largest affiliate conversion to date

Franchisor now has presence in 15 metros with addition of Indianapolis firm

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United Real Estate, the brokerage and franchise brand that’s grown rapidly on the strength of a royalty-free business model and an established sister company, has signed Indianapolis-based Sycamore Group Realtors to its franchise network.

The 70-agent, 10-year-old firm, now known as United Real Estate — Indianapolis, is the largest conversion yet for the Kansas City, Missouri-based company, which has more than 1,100 agents affiliated with its brand, counting both company-owned offices and a franchise network spread across 15 metros.

United Real Estate agents keep 100 percent of their commissions. They pay their broker $65 per month for access to United Real Estate’s tech platform, and a flat fee on each transaction that’s set by the brokerage. The per-transaction flat fee ranges from $295 to $895, United Real Estate CEO Dan Duffy told Inman News in July.

Brokers pay no royalty fees to United Real Estate, either. Instead, they pay $30 of each agent’s $65-per-month tech fee, and a $60 transaction fee to the franchisor.

Another fast-growing brokerage and franchisor, Realty One Group, also features a royalty-free business model. Its 2-year-old franchise wing now includes 30 brokerages representing more than 900 agents.

Instead of royalties or annual fees, Realty One Group has a flat-fee agent commission model. All agents pay a flat monthly fee of $100 (of which the franchisee keeps $75) and a per-transaction fee of $200 (of which the franchisee keeps $150). Realty One Group also collects $50 for each $500,000 of a transaction.

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United Real Estate, which established its first brokerage in 2011 and branched out into franchising last year, is an outgrowth of the 89-year-old rural- and land-focused real estate firm United Country Real Estate, which has approximately 4,000 agents in 475 offices in the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama and Belize.

United Country Real Estate has also honed an in-house auction system that Duffy says its urban-focused counterpart, United Real Estate, plans to introduce to the residential real estate market.

The firm operates company-owned offices in Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and has franchisees in the following metros:

  • Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Indianapolis
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Lexington, Kentucky
  • Los Angeles
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Fair Lawn, New Jersey
  • Orange County, California
  • Scottsdale, Arizona

By year’s end, Duffy expects to have 22 brokerages in its franchise network in more than 30 exclusive territories. Territories are defined by the area that can support the business goals of a franchisee, Duffy said. United currently has segmented out approximately 400 territories in the U.S.

United Real Estate is currently focused on building out its franchise network, said Ted Laatz, chief operating officer of United Real Estate. The goal is to eventually bring brokerages onto the network in 200 U.S. metro markets, he said.