HomeSmart International tallies Q1 franchise sales spike

New franchises in Florida, Kansas and Kentucky are the latest in a whirlwind expansion bid that later this year could include locations along the Eastern Seaboard

HomeSmart International, the Scottsdale, Arizona, franchisor, reported a 33 percent year-over-year increase in franchises nationwide for the first quarter of 2018, according to quarterly results released Wednesday. The rapidly growing company, which boasts 133 offices in 17 states, also increased its agent count by 28 percent, ramping up to 14,611 agents in April.

New franchises in Florida, Kansas and Kentucky are the latest in a whirlwind expansion bid coming up that could include locations along the Eastern Seaboard in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, said Wendy Forsythe, chief operating officer of HomeSmart International. The company has opened 42 new offices since early 2017.

“Our focus is on markets where we don’t have a presence and, generally speaking, we see lots of opportunity on the East Coast,” said Forsythe, who said the company added eight franchises in the first quarter of 2018 compared to six a year earlier.

“HomeSmart is committed to adding great franchises that will excel, rather than a large quantity of franchises saturating the same market,” added HomeSmart founder and CEO Matt Widdows in a prepared statement.

Widdows pointed to the fact that 16 HomeSmart franchises were in the Real Trends 500 report based on growth and performance while three others snagged positions in the Top 500 list of the largest brokerages. One of these is HomeSmart, the corporate brokerage, which has 31 offices in Denver, Phoenix and Palm Springs. It came in at no. 5 in Real Trends’ 500 largest brokers, with 33,600 sides and more than $10.3 billion in sales.

Forsythe said the company, which launched in 1999 and started franchising in 2006, is also developing a franchise success team to properly advise and consult with its franchises.

Last year, HomeSmart acquired Cherry Creek Properties in Colorado, a brokerage boasting more than 1,500 agents, and earlier this month, it took ownership of a Coldwell Banker brokerage in Mesa, Arizona. Forsythe said the company will continue to seek out acquisition opportunities throughout the year, but declined to reveal any specific deals on the horizon.

“Real estate professionals are attracted to our innovative technology and integrated brokerage business systems, and we’re very excited to welcome our new franchisees aboard,” Forsythe said.

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