Executives at Coldwell Banker and parent company Realogy are open to the idea of merging the leadership of the brand’s franchises and company-owned businesses, and they are currently watching how a similar move plays out at Realogy-owned Sotheby’s International Realty.
In a conversation with Inman, Realogy Franchise Group president and CEO John Peyton said that the leadership at Sotheby’s was consolidated because “we believed that running the business as one company with one strategy and one leader, making decisions for the entire business and not one side or the other is a good thing.”
“We think that at some point Coldwell Banker might benefit from that same principle,” Peyton said.
Peyton said that uniting the two sides of Sotheby’s business allows the company to take advantage of combined websites, training platforms and other resources. Sotheby’s is smaller than Coldwell Banker — which similarly includes both franchises as well as company-owned NRT — but leadership is now watching to see if it offers a template that might be duplicated at other brands in the future.
“Coldwell Banker in the long term may benefit from that,” he said. “So we want to learn from our effort of putting Sotheby’s together before we do it anywhere else.”
Coldwell Banker CEO Charlie Young had a similar outlook when he spoke to Inman this week. Young said the franchise and company-owned sides of the business work together closely and there already “are a lot of synergies and a lot of connections.” Asked if those two sides would ever be fully united under the same leadership team, he replied “perhaps.”
“I think for us, anything is possible,” Young said, adding a moment later that “we need to make sure that we’re serving everyone that operates under the Coldwell Banker banner equally.”
Both Young and Peyton spoke with Inman while in Las Vegas for a set of conferences held by Realogy and its brands this week. They also both stressed that there are no current plans to consolidate Coldwell Banker’s leadership.
But like Peyton, Young pointed to Sotheby’s saying that “we are certainly interested in what they are up to.”
“There’s not a plan,” Young added. “Would we someday do that? Perhaps. We’re looking at Sotheby’s and seeing how that goes.”