Pure Realty, formerly RE/MAX 1 in Austin, Texas, is ending its affiliation with RE/MAX after a decade. Owners say franchisee fees no longer made sense.

A 120-agent RE/MAX franchisee announced Monday it’s ending its affiliation with one of the nation’s top franchisors in favor of going the indie route.

Tammy Kress, one of the owners of Pure Realty, told Inman that it just didn’t make sense to pay the franchise fees anymore, which would have continued to trend upward with a franchise renewal.

Pure Realty, formally RE/MAX 1 in Austin, Texas, has affiliated with RE/MAX for the past decade.

“The bottom line is it’s the financial savings for all our agents,” Kress said. “The boutique agencies seem to really flourish in our area.”

“We’re just not seeing the value,” Kress added.

RE/MAX has doubled down on technology in the past year, launching its booj-powered platform that includes transaction management and a customer relationship management tool. A consumer-facing experience is expected in early 2020, which includes a new website and mobile app.

But Kress said her team has been using Chime CRM for the past two years and they feel that it’s an even better platform than what RE/MAX can offer.

“We’ve got a great system already that works even better than what RE/MAX is coming out with,” Kress said. “We compared it side-by-side, the company that we’re using versus booj, and it’s already far and above.”

“It provides a lot more to the agents, a lot more tools and things that are going to be more productive,” Kress added. “It would be going backwards to go with RE/MAX’s platform once it gets going.”

Overall, Kress believes going independent will provide the brokerage with more flexibility. It will be able to use the money it’s saving on franchise fees and spend it elsewhere to provide agents with what it believes will be better tools and platforms.

Kress said they chose the name Pure Realty because it’s a mission-driven company that wants to give back by working with nonprofit companies to dig water wells in India, South America, and wherever else they find a need.

RE/MAX Holdings, in a statement, confirmed that the brokerage has decided not to renew its franchise agreement.

“That said, we remain confident of our future in the Austin market,” Nick Bailey, RE/MAX’s chief customer officer said, in a statement. “We have already received inquiries from several individuals interested in opening their own franchise in that market, and met with a number of agents from within that office who intend to stay because, as they have told us, ‘the power of the RE/MAX brand with consumers equals professionalism.’”

Email Patrick Kearns

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