• Re/Max president Geoff Lewis views Keller Williams as the company's biggest competitor when it comes to recruiting.
  • The franchisor will be striving to continue taking market share from other brands as the housing market grows relatively slowly.
  • Lewis said Upstream would be the biggest thing to happen to the real estate industry since MLSs.

At today’s Re/Max R4 gathering, comments made by some of the top voices at the company indicate that they aren’t concerned about other franchisors hiring high quantities of agents — because they maintain the quality.

The elephant in the room

Dave Liniger

Dave Liniger

“Keller Williams have positioned themselves as a family where everyone is valuable, and they take everybody,” said Re/Max CEO Dave Liniger, speaking at an exclusive Inman Select Live session at the company’s annual conference, taking place this year in Las Vegas.

“I have heard 50 percent of their agents have not taken a commission in 12 months — but they do have some quality agents,” he allowed.

A headshot of Geoff Lewis

Geoff Lewis

The shared equity program at Keller Williams would not trump Re/Max when recruiting agents, said president Geoff Lewis.

That worked out well earlier on for Keller Williams when there were fewer agents, but with bigger agent numbers, he said the profit sharing returns have shrunk per agent to about $1,800 a year.

“That is less than half of a commission — one more deal at Re/Max and they’d be better off there than Keller Williams’ profit-sharing,” said Lewis.

Meanwhile, he said: ‘We’ re going to drive growth in the market and take market share from some of our competitors.”

Recruiting and retention

The emphasis is on recruitment and retention in the year ahead. “The pool we are recruiting from is a smaller pool,” Lewis noted.

Why would agents come to Re/Max? “They want to be in an office of top producers from whom they can learn and grow,” he said.

“Re/Max has the no. 1 brand awareness and is no. 1 in selling homes. That’s more than anyone else,” he added.

Market insights

Lewis said that the housing market would continue to grow well this year — but not as fast as some might like due to a shortage in inventory and millennials being held back by wages and student debt.

“Millennials are a big part of it — they are taking longer to get established and to form families, but this will lead to some pent-up demand,” he said.

The mortgage industry would be trying some creative products to attract these careful potential homebuyers, he said.

“Without going too crazy, like 10 years ago,” he added.

Lewis — who’s on the board of Upstream — said that the broker data management platform would be testing beta markets across the country from June to July this year.

“We have got a lot of people in the industry aligned,” said Lewis. “It’s really going to be the biggest thing to come along in our industry since MLSs.”

The initial beta markets, he said, would likely include the NorthstarMLS and Re/Max Results in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is Re/Max’s largest franchise in the world, with 34 offices and 950 agents.

Email Gill South.

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