New Jersey-based real estate franchisor Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BHGRE), a Realogy company, today announced plans to expand to New Zealand and Australia with Charles Tarbey — who has a track record of building franchise networks for Century 21 in these countries — leading the charge in building up a network in BHGRE’s new markets.

In 10 years Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has grown into 39 states in the U.S. with a presence in Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas; 350 offices; and more than 11,000 agents.

The move into the Australia and New Zealand markets, where the Better Homes & Gardens media brand has been established for the past 40 years, was a natural choice. Better Homes & Gardens magazine alone is the most read magazine in Australia with 2.5 million readers, according to the company’s media kit.  The brand also boasts a popular TV show on Australia’s Channel 7 network. In all, the media brand has a reach of 7.4 million people in Australia spread across the magazine, TV, digital and social media spaces in a country with a population of over 20 million.

“This announcement marks a momentous point in Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s strategic growth story in a milestone year for our brand,” said Sherry Chris, president and CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, in a statement.

Tarbey, chairman of CT Investment Holdings and based in Sydney, Australia, is already calling for companies and sales agents to affiliate themselves with BHGRE in both Australia and New Zealand.

Speaking to Inman from Australia over the weekend, Tarbey said he had already been in communication with his 200-plus Century 21 franchisees in the two Pacific Rim countries. A number of them would be interested in launching BHGRE franchises in addition to their C21 operations, he said, if they feel their market is a right fit for the mid- to upper-end lifestyle brand.

“I’ve had preliminary conversations with top franchisees and the interest just there alone is considerable,” said Tarbey, who will be working with the Better Homes & Gardens media brand on a number of ventures to introduce BHGRE to the market. Agents or sales professionals in Australia and New Zealand are salary-based and also receive a commission.

“We chose Charles to lead the charge in Australia and New Zealand because he’s built the proper back-end system so it’s easy for him to launch a brand,” Chris told Inman.

Chris noted that BHGRE would be accelerating its international growth this year beyond Australia and New Zealand.

India and China, where the Better Homes & Gardens brand is also well-known, is also on the list.

“We do have our sights on other markets and are engaged in talks with other impressive large partners,” Chris said.

Email Gill South.

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