Re/Max Leading Edge, the large franchisee with multiple New England locations and 180 agents, is splitting from the Re/Max brand and will be known as Leading Edge Realty moving forward.
Pamela Alexander, the CEO of Re/Max Integra — a North American Re/Max brand with 950 franchise agreements and more than 40,000 agents across Canada and the northern United States — told Inman that the split is due to a contract dispute.
“We’re really sad about this decision,” Alexander told Inman by phone. “We care a lot about the 180 [Re/Max Leading Edge] agents that are associated with the Re/Max brand. This really impacts them. Change is always difficult.”
Re/Max Leading Edge is the largest of the Denver-headquartered company’s franchises in New England and recorded 2,076 transactions and $1.2 billion in sales volume in 2017, coming in at 160th on the Real Trends 500 list of brokerages by sales volume.
Many agents wish to stay loyal to the Re/Max brand, Alexander said, and for those who do, Re/Max will work to find them new employment with Re/Max franchises in the markets served by Leading Edge. Re/Max is also in talks to start new franchises in those markets.
“We’ll definitely put Re/Max franchises in those specific areas with the right candidates,” Alexander said. “We’re in discussion already with a number of prospects.”
Paul Mydelski, co-owner of Re/Max Leading Edge, told the Boston Business Journal today that Re/Max has franchisee contracts go through an annual renewal process, and it had reached a point where Leading Edge could no longer agree to its terms. So he attempted to renegotiate two years ago, according to the report.
Negotiations reached a stalemate, and according to Mydelski, Re/Max Integra ordered Leading Edge to de-identify four offices with the Re/Max brand that were not currently under contract, the report says. Alexander confirmed to Inman that Re/Max Integra terminated four unrenewed Leading Edge franchises this month —those in Cambridge, Belmont, Lexington and Winchester, Massachusetts.
“We understand that the owners have stated that they will formally breach the other five contracts early next week and become Leading Edge Realty,” she added.
Mydelski initially refused and filed a lawsuit in Middlesex County Superior Court requesting a preliminary injunction, but was denied by Judge Christopher Barry-Smith, according to court filings obtained by Inman. Mydelski argued, according to the Boston Business Journal report, that it wasn’t feasible to operate with half of its franchises with the Re/Max name and half without it.
Founded in 2001, Re/Max Leading Edge boasts more than 180 real estate agents in Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Cambridge, Lexington, Melrose, Reading, Wakefield and Winchester.