It’s been less than three months since RE/MAX launched its new, free tech platform for agents, but the company is already eyeing a future where bolt-on acquisitions offer premium, paid services. The revelation was made during the company’s third-quarter earnings call Friday.
On Oct. 15, RE/MAX filed a shelf registration statement – essentially a placeholder filing – that would allow the company to raise an additional $400 million through the offering of common stock, preferred stock, depositary shares, warrants rights, debt securities, or a combination of multiple offerings.
“RE/MAX filed a universal shelf registration statement with the SEC to continue to position the company for growth,” a company spokesperson told Inman in a statement, at the time of the filing. “This is a common business practice by public companies to provide increased financial flexibility and efficient access to capital to finance future business opportunities as they arise.”
Karri Callahan, the chief financial officer at RE/MAX, added additional context during the earnings call on the company’s plans for extra capital if the need should arise.
“With regards to the shelf, we really looked at this as a blocking and tackling exercise,” Callahan said. “With bringing on [chief customer officer] Nick Bailey and really having leaders of both brands cemented in place, we wanted to make sure that the company had all of the necessary financial flexibility to allocate capital to those initiatives that would really derive the most value.”
As it relates specifically to technology, that could mean acquisitions to bolster to the booj-developed platform, which is centered around a proprietary customer relationship management tool and other things the company says that aim to streamline the day-to-day tasks of its agents from lead generation to post-closing nurturing.
“There may be opportunities from a bolt-on technology perspective that we could look to enhance that platform and potentially do a pay-as-you-go type of model to create a better service offering and a differentiated value proposition that would really satisfy what some of our strategic goals are around increasing our already very strong agent productivity and helping our agents deliver a better consumer experience,” Callahan said.
The company first hinted at a premium version of the booj tech platform in its first-quarter earnings call back in May.
RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos was later asked directly if those “bolt-on acquisitions” were intended to create premium offerings that could be monetized with agents that are willing to pay for them.
“The short answer is yes,” Contos said. “We built out a platform, we’re creating an app store around it that has an offering of additional monetized products. That’s the direction that whole thing is going.”
Contos declined to provide any specific examples, adding that the company is, “always looking at the market place.”
Since launching the booj platform, RE/MAX has been rolling out the technology this fall to company-owned regions in the U.S., getting agents familiar with the platform and loading up contacts into the backend, while starting to manage deals. The company has started beta-testing the platform with agents in Western Canada and will be slowly rolling out more consumer-facing tools over the coming months.