HomeSmart International, the 19-year-old Scottsdale, Arizona-based brokerage, has acquired TriStar Realty, a Mid-Atlantic based independent brokerage with more than 650 agents, it was announced Wednesday.
In announcing the transaction, the company – which also owns a franchise division – revealed ambitious plans to expand to double its nearly 18,000 agent count over the next three years.
“HomeSmart is the only brokerage in the country with the right foundation and system of people, processes and technology to allow growth at this rate,” Matt Widdows, HomeSmart’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “In less than two decades, we’ve scaled our model to 35 states. Expect a similar trajectory in 2020.”
The acquisition of TriStar Realty gives HomeSmart its first presence in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. With the acquisition, HomeSmart plans to update TriStar Realty’s current offices with new conference rooms, computers, virtual receptionist technology and access to HomeSmart proprietary systems and technology.
Agents will also work on HomeSmart’s 100-percent commission plan. At HomeSmart, agents retain 100 percent of their commission and instead pay a monthly fee and a transaction fee on each side of the transaction they represent. There are capped and uncapped plans for individual agents and the fees vary by market.
In one market, an individual agent’s monthly fee is $25 and on each side of the transaction, they pay a fee of $299 plus a $50 risk reduction fee. For the capped plan, agents pay $75 per month plus the transaction fee of $299 until they reach a cap of $5,000. When they become capped they pay no additional transaction fees but the risk reduction fee is still applicable.
The plan for teams includes a monthly fee of $75 for the team leader and $25 for each team member. The team pays a transaction fee of $299 per transaction plus the risk reduction fee of $50 – which can be split between team leaders and members at the discretion of the team leader.
“HomeSmart’s commitment to its agents is unparalleled,” Cindy Sinanan, TriStar Realty’s designated broker, said in a statement. “I’ve worked with our agents in this region for 15 years and I’m so excited to introduce them to HomeSmart’s technology, training, and resources that will allow them to better serve home buyers and sellers in the Mid-Atlantic.”
The acquisition comes as HomeSmart begins to celebrate its 20th anniversary and continues to grow aggressively. The brokerage ranked fifth in transaction sides, according to the Real Trends 500 and 11th in sales volume according to the Swanepoel Mega 1000, in 2018. As a holding company, HomeSmart also ranked 11th in total transaction sides, with 60,777, according to the Swanepoel Mega 1000.
Combined, the two brokerages and HomeSmart’s franchise division would have topped the 70,000 transaction mark last year, according to a HomeSmart spokesperson.
“Expansion to this region of the United States has been a key objective for some time,” Bryan Brooks, HomeSmart International senior vice president of franchise sales, said in a statement. “Our model performs at a higher rate than any other in the industry and rigorously captures operational data to back it up.”