RE/MAX reported higher than expected earnings in Q4 with total revenue up 23.1% to reach $89.2 million as the franchising giant appears to have struck gold with a major acquisition, even after it adjusted its expectations for agent additions downward late last year.
In its Q3 earnings report, RE/MAX said that “slower-than-expected global growth” required the company to revise the expected growth of agents for 2021 from 5% to 6% down to 2.5% to 3.5%. It ended up landing in the middle, with a 3.1% increase in agents from last year, reaching 141,998 worldwide, with 85,471 in the United States and Canada.
“The strategic investments we’ve made have significantly diversified our revenue and broadened our growth opportunities,” said incoming RE/MAX CEO Steve Joyce in a statement. “Those investments started to pay off in 2021, and, as evidenced by our 2022 financial guidance, we expect that to continue in the year ahead.”
Joyce, a RE/MAX board member and current holdings director, was tapped earlier this year to replace CEO Adam Contos. He will serve as co-CEO starting March 1st as Contos, who has been with the company since 2004, steps down “to spend time with family and pursue new entrepreneurial endeavors,” according to an earlier release from RE/MAX.
With Joyce poised to take the helm, RE/MAX appears to have been boosted by the acquisition of RE/MAX Integra last summer, adding to 19,000 agents in 1,100 offices spread across New England, the Midwest and Canada—areas Contos called “strategically and geographically desirable” at the time. RE/MAX added 1,078 agents in Canada between June 30th and December 31st of 2021 according to the report (the acquisition was finalized in late July).
At the same time, RE/MAX saw its total agent count in the U.S. dip by about the same amount in the same period (losing 1,101 agents). The total number of agents for both the U.S. and Canada was up 1.4% on the year, however, after the company saw total agents in those countries drop slightly in 2020 (down 0.5%). U.S. agents still fell 1.6% in 2021.
In 2020 RE/MAX’s overseas footprint increased dramatically, with its agent count growing by 7,341, or 15.9%. In 2021 this growth continued but slowed dramatically as the company only gained a net total of 2,985 agents, or 5.6%.
Looking ahead to the remainder of the year RE/MAX joins other real estate giants in projecting cautious optimism, with a full-year 2022 expectation of growing overall agent count by 2% to 4%, and revenue to range between $366 million and $376 million—up between 11% and 14% over 2021.
Joyce said he hoped to make his mark on the company through amplified growth, focusing particularly on the U.S. agent count.
Jesse Williams is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.