RE/MAX, Keller Williams and a cash buyer among top ranked franchises of 2019

The ranking by 'Entrepeneur Magazine' looks at franchises of all kinds in the US and includes 3 real estate companies in the top 50

RE/MAX, Keller Williams and a business known for buying “ugly” houses all got another feather in their proverbial caps this week: They’ve been ranked among the top franchises in the U.S. for 2019.

Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2019 Franchise 500 Ranking placed RE/MAX in the 15th spot, the best showing for any real estate company on the list. In a statement Thursday, RE/MAX said that its success among the more than 1,000 companies that applied for the list was due to “its unit growth, financial strength, stability and brand power in 2018.”

RealScout interview of Re/Max CEO Adam Contos

Adam Contos. Credit: RealScout/Inman

RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos added that “we truly are the number one name in real estate, and industry professionals want to experience the competitive advantages of our brand power, progressive on-demand training, technology and unmatched global footprint.”

This year’s list drops RE/MAX five spots compared to 2018, though the company did note in its statement that it has been the top-ranked real estate company in 16 of the last 20 years. The full list will not be published until Jan. 15, but Entrepreneur Magazine provided Inman with a preview showing how real estate companies ranked.

The rankings are based on companies’ financial stability, branding, growth and fees, among other factors. Last year, the top three spots went to McDonalds, 7-Eleven, and Dunkin (the new name of Dunkin Donuts), respectively.

This year, in addition to RE/MAX, real estate franchisor Keller Williams nabbed the 32nd spot.

Perhaps even more intriguingly, however, HomeVestors of America ranked 30th — the second-best showing for any real estate company on the list. HomeVestors purchases houses with cash and also goes by the name “We Buy Ugly Houses.”

Credit: HomeVestors

HomeVestors has garnered relatively little attention and few headlines in recent years, but its business model is quite similar to buzzier iBuyer companies: It makes cash offers on houses, spruces them up if necessary, and resells them. Though the emphasis on “ugly” houses implies the company puts greater emphasis on remodeling than iBuyers, the company does state that it’ll purchase a home in any condition.

And unlike RE/MAX and Keller Williams, which both dropped in this year’s rankings, HomeVestors actually rose seven spots on the 2019 list. That showings suggests that established, big-but-lower-profile companies still have a strong footing in the rapidly diversifying world of cash offers.

(Big iBuyers such as Opendoor and Offerpad are not franchises, and thus not eligible to appear on the list.)

Other real estate companies that made it onto this year’s list include New Jersey-based Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, ranked 103, California-based Realty One Group, 134, and Florida-based Help-U-Sell Real Estate, 489.

Email Jim Dalrymple II