Region served: Central Ohio (Columbus and surrounding counties)
Years in real estate: Larry: 23; Chris: 22
Number of offices: 2
Number of agents: 85
Jordan Grice: You previously operated your own independent brokerage. Why did you decide to explore other franchise opportunities?
Chris Harpster: The main reason we decided to pursue a franchise opportunity is that we didn’t see a short or quick path to growing our company independently. We thought we needed the brand name. If you looked in our market, there weren’t examples of independent brokers growing into large companies. RE/MAX was appealing because they gave us the ability to focus more on productive agents and the higher-level stuff.
JG: What attracted you to the RE/MAX brand?
Larry Schottenstein: When I talked to other brokerages, it was “we can get you leads,” but when I spoke to RE/MAX, it was more “we’re a business that builds businesses,” and that’s the one thing I wanted but didn’t have. I was in the same lane they were in.
CH: When we were independent, people would pronounce our name wrong or say they had never heard of us. RE/MAX eliminated all of that. The most important thing for us is when talking to consumers, especially agents, and you say the name RE/MAX, they understand. No further explanation is needed.
JG: What was the transition like in terms of converting to RE/MAX?
CH: It was a relatively smooth process. We got a lot of help from corporate as far as creating and managing expectations for the agents. We had 10 to 12 agents at the time, so it wasn’t near the size of what we have now, but I think they did a nice job of giving us an idea of what to expect and then how to execute.
JG: You have witnessed incredible agent growth over the last few years and even took on a second office location. How has aligning with RE/MAX helped you grow?
CH: It’s been a very nice opportunity to see what other owners are doing in other parts of the country and what’s working and what’s not. It would take us forever—and cost us a lot of money—to figure it out on our own, so it’s nice to be able to call on somebody like RE/MAX who is willing to share their ideas, processes and systems.
JG: What tools and resources provided by RE/MAX do you and your agents find most valuable?
LS: Our agent productivity is significantly better than the brokerages we compete with because our agents are just busier full-time people, so the tools we use make them more productive and efficient. Those tools and our processes are designed to make people more efficient.
JG: What do today’s agents find most valuable when considering which brokerage to join, and how do you ensure your office provides that value?
CH: At the end of the day, I think everybody is after more deals and fewer headaches. We view our agents as our clients, so for us, it’s all about more sales, less time and making the client experience better. Our focus is on what we can do to make the workflow smoother.
For more information, please visit www.remax.com.
Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to email@example.com.