While real estate agents chase leads and close deals on houses, there’s another level of deal-making that takes place within the real estate industry: mergers, acquisitions, integrations and partnerships.
We’ll be recapping every week’s noteworthy deals that didn’t make it into print (and some that did) for your perusal.
This week’s deals
Zillow announced the launch of Instant Offers, its pilot program for homesellers. The new Zillow product allows prospective homesellers to receive all-cash offers from a hand-selected group of 15 large private investors along with a side-by-side comparative market analysis (CMA) from a local Zillow Premier Agent. Zillow says that the program is a direct response to its research about homeseller concerns: “Sellers are looking for more solutions when selling their home,” said Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow Group’s chief marketing officer, in a statement. “For some, selling in a short time frame with certainty around the closing date is attractive, or even necessary.” For now, the pilot program is only in Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida.
Elizabeth Macy announced that her successful Coldwell Banker real estate franchise has joined the Re/Max network. Now Re/Max Regency, the firm has served greater Atlanta home buyers and sellers for more than 28 years with more than $1.5 billion in transactions. Macy plans to open a second office in Cumming this summer. “We wholeheartedly agreed that Re/Max was a company that fit better with our established company culture. I decided it was time to take advantage of the visibility, support and unrivaled benefits of being a part of the Re/Max brand,” said Macy, in a statement. “Joining the number one name in real estate will allow us to attract the area’s best and most dedicated real estate agents; offering superior customer service to our residential buyers and sellers,” Macy added. “To complement our 20 agents, we’re going to recruit the top notch agents who want to exceptionally grow their businesses. Re/Max has the training, tools and online presence to help us achieve that.”
Elm Street Technology (EST) announced the acquisition of Consolidated Knowledge, which “offers a full range of capabilities and expertise in branding and identity, online marketing, social media, mobile app creation, all the way to full scale custom software platforms aimed at large Brokers and franchisors,” according to its website. EST says the purchase is part of an ongoing effort to bring together the real estate industry’s leading technology and marketing providers. “Our team is excited to join the portfolio of EST’s companies and I’m personally looking forward to joining such an experienced and well respected leadership team,” said Consolidated Knowledge founder and CEO Lucas Haldeman, in a statement.
Realogy has received the CEO Cancer Gold Standard re-accreditation for the sixth consecutive year, a sign of the company’s consistent performance, growth and dedication to its employees. “We are proud to be an employer that takes a strong stand on providing access to wellness programs that our employees are using to their fullest advantage,” said Richard A. Smith, Realogy’s chairman, chief executive officer and president, in a press release. “It is commendable for the CEO Roundtable on Cancer to ask companies to do more to promote the health and well-being of their employees, and we are committed to being a part of those efforts.” The CEO Roundtable on Cancer, a non-profit created under former President George H. W. Bush, recognizes employers who go above and beyond to ensure the health and well-being of their employees.
HomeVestors of America welcomed 75 new franchises during Q1 2017, including the brand’s 800th franchise in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a new market for the “We Buy Ugly Houses” company. “Homeowners throughout America enjoy the efforts of franchises like these who are working to once again turn ugly houses into an asset to their communities,” said David Hicks, HomeVestors co-president, in a statement. “The franchises that come to HomeVestors have an entrepreneurial drive and passion that has helped build our company over the last 20 years. We are happy to welcome these additional franchises, and to recognize Sjaun Lobdell, our 800thfranchisee.”
Sotheby’s International Realty announced it has signed a long-term franchise agreement with Greece One Realty Limited to further expand the Sotheby’s International Realty brand presence in Greece and with Rodon Realty P.C. for the opening of Rhodes Sotheby’s International Realty in Rhodes. “Greece and its islands are emerging as an attractive luxury real estate market in the Mediterranean,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, in a statement. “Rhodes is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece known for its rich history, beaches and 300 days of sunshine, and we are proud to have Savvas Savvaidis at the helm of this expansion within the country.” In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. “The luxury real estate sector in Greece has a promising future,” says Savvaidis. “Greece’s luxury tourism market is expanding rapidly while state-of-the-art golf resorts and branded mixed-use developments are creating a strong luxury footprint in the Mediterranean. Being a part of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand allows us access to unparalleled marketing platforms for these high-end developments, an excellent recipe for a successful business operation.”
Real Estate Business Services, a subsidiary of the California Association of Realtors (CAR), announced its partnership with WikiRealty to promote WikiRealty’s online community that connects homebuyers with lifestyle neighborhood information. The partnership allows CAR members to add insights about neighborhoods and the homebuying process in communities throughout California. Real estate professionals across the country use WikiRealty to share their neighborhood knowledge, and both companies recognize the value the platform provides to the entire real estate verticalm offering a digital destination where consumers and industry professionals can ask questions and share information.
Re/Max announced its expansion into Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Latvia during Q1 2017, further widening its global presence in over 100 countries and territories. “The Re/Max global footprint continues to expand,” said Larry Oberly, vice president of global development at Re/Max, in a statement. “Our agent-centric business model has been successful around the world. We’re able to attract and support productive agents who embrace high standards, collaboration and professional development, which all help them provide outstanding service to their clients.” Office and agent count grew 8 percent and 15 percents, respectively, year-over-year through the end of the first quarter; and growth in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe was noteworthy.
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