The Launch of a Refreshed Icon

When Taylor Hack joined a RE/MAX brokerage in 2013, he was recently licensed and launching a new career. Experienced in the mortgage and auto industries, he thought his skill set would serve him well in the real estate business.

In choosing a company, Hack wanted the advantages of a leading brand, a global network, a collaborative environment, a sky’s-the-limit mentality and a forward-thinking culture. He found it all at RE/MAX—and, specifically, at RE/MAX River City in Edmonton, Alberta.

“I stepped into a winning atmosphere from the start,” Hack says. “I know you’re influenced by the company you keep, so I wanted to keep company with top-producing agents. I wanted to learn from the best. Plus, the RE/MAX mindset rewards people who innovate and share great ideas. And that’s what I’m all about.”

Fast-forward to 2017, and Hack’s career is flourishing. His results have climbed in each of the past three years, and he’s already a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame and Titan Club.

“RE/MAX is a major factor in my success. The brand is incredible. When you tell clients you’re with RE/MAX, they have confidence in you and the service you’re able to provide,” he says. “That’s a huge advantage for me when I’m competing for business. The RE/MAX attitude is service-oriented and innovative, which helps me as an agent.”

Charging Ahead
Innovation is a prevalent theme at all levels of the RE/MAX network. It’s demonstrated by the entrepreneurial, full-time agents and brokers. It’s part of the organization’s global vision. It’s evident in aggressive digital and social marketing strategies. It’s apparent in disruptive business expansions such as Motto Mortgage, which launched in October 2016. And it’s a clear priority for corporate leaders.

“We’re an established brand with 44 years of history, but still have the mindset of a start-up,” says Adam Contos, who shares co-CEO responsibilities with real estate legend Dave Liniger. “The rebellious spirit that launched the brand is still very much a part of our culture today. You see it everywhere.”

The spirit of constant innovation has helped lift RE/MAX to its status as one of the industry’s elite brands. In addition to being the only network to top 1 million U.S. transaction sides last year, RE/MAX is No. 1 in brand name awareness (according to an MMR Strategy Group study of unaided brand awareness) and has a global footprint unmatched in the industry, with a presence in more than 100 countries and territories.

The power of the brand is most evident in the industry-leading productivity of its agents. In the 2017 RISMedia Power Broker Report on the nation’s largest brokerages, RE/MAX agents averaged 16.2 transaction sides each—a figure more than double the 7.5 average of all other agents in the survey.

Productivity is a major edge in a fiercely competitive industry, especially when an agent is competing for the business of a quality-conscious buyer or seller.

“We have the best agents; it’s really as simple as that,” says Dave Liniger, who co-founded RE/MAX with his wife Gail in 1973. “We’ll always be the go-to choice for both top producers and new agents who aspire for greatness. We’re ideal for people with fire in their belly and a drive to learn, whether they’re new to the business or not.”

The result when professionals like that come together is that nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX, based on closed residential transactions. With five consecutive years of growth in agent count, the global real estate leader has no intention of slowing down.

In fact, a recent change will add to the network’s momentum.

A Refreshed Icon
A RE/MAX “brand refresh,” revealed at the 2017 RE/MAX Broker Owner Conference in August, impacts all visual aspects of the brand—from yard signs and office signs to logos, and even the iconic RE/MAX Balloon itself.

“We’re charging full steam ahead with the refresh,” says Contos. “This will be a significant upgrade for the entire network. The new designs look great on yard signs and work brilliantly across mobile, social and digital platforms.”

The refresh is a natural, evolutionary step that helps great brands stay current and relevant with customers, preferences and delivery channels, Contos adds. The strategic, data-driven process took nearly two years and incorporated the opinions of more than 20,000 consumers.

Jennifer Atkisson-Lovett, a Hall of Fame broker/owner with RE/MAX of Stuart in Stuart, Fla., was all-in on the designs from the moment she saw them.

“I love the new look,” says the 22-year RE/MAX affiliate, who leads an office of about 40 agents. “It’s light, it’s fresh, it’s more contemporary and modern. It connects to the traditional branding while showing how RE/MAX continues to look forward.”

Brad Whitehouse, co-broker/owner of the multi-office RE/MAX Professionals in metro Denver, is equally enthusiastic.

“I’m really excited about the refresh,” says Whitehouse, a RE/MAX Hall of Famer who joined the network in 1995. “It’s great to see such a cool, modern version of the iconic balloon, and I love that it’s a very recognizable version of what people already know. It’s going to be a huge success.”

Importantly, the refresh was developed from a position of strength. Leaders have emphasized that it’s “an evolution, not a revolution.” The intent was to enhance and modernize the brand, not change its identity.

“We’re at the top of our game. The refresh takes something great and makes it even better,” says RE/MAX President Geoff Lewis. “It retains the strength of the past, and at the same time connects the brand to the tastes and preferences of today’s consumers.”

Whitehouse sees the refresh as a natural step for a forward-thinking brand.

“The RE/MAX brand is always evolving, and the logo redesign is a big part of it,” he says. “The redesign shows everyone­—consumers as well as people inside our industry­—that RE/MAX is moving forward with more energy and creativity than ever.”

Disrupting Another Industry
When the leaders at RE/MAX see a new opportunity for broker/owners, agents and clients, they act quickly. That’s part of their no-limit mentality­—and the brilliance of a top brand willing and able to evolve.

So in October 2016, RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. launched its newest industry disruptor and the second member of its family of brands: Motto Mortgage.

The complementary business provides a way for an owner of a real estate brokerage to provide a one-stop solution, via a Motto Mortgage franchise, for both homebuyers and borrowers. The broker operates two completely separate businesses—generally within steps of each other—in which real estate agents help find clients the right house, and loan originators work with multiple wholesale lenders to help secure financing.

The concept is simple: Focus on transparency and compliance, anticipate the wants and needs of consumers, and simplify the process. It’s yet another innovation from a company renowned for embracing new concepts.

Several RE/MAX brokers are among the first Motto Mortgage owners.

“We’re part of something dynamic and truly groundbreaking,” says Jack Fry, owner of Motto Mortgage Center in Wyomissing, Pa. “This is a smart step for my business. This would’ve been a massive undertaking to start from scratch myself, but the support from Motto Franchising made it possible.”

Opening New Doors for New Agents
RE/MAX has long been home to experienced agents; a place where agents come after learning the ropes elsewhere. When they felt ready for the big time, they’d make the leap.

Currently, RE/MAX agents in the U.S. average 15.2 years in the industry, and 8.6 years with RE/MAX.

But in the past few years, more newcomers are seeing RE/MAX as a smart place to begin their careers. Passionate, driven and confident, they’re embracing the productive, collaborative environment in RE/MAX offices throughout the network.

Take Corey Casper of Texas, for example. A millennial now in his mid-20s, Casper served in the U.S. Army for five years before joining RE/MAX 1 in Cedar Park, Texas, in 2013.

“When I left the Army, I didn’t have a passion for typical nine-to-five jobs,” Casper says. “I wanted a career I could put all of my energy into and see a real, tangible result from my work.”

Casper’s life took a turn when a friend suggested real estate might be a good option for him. Casper hasn’t looked back since. He’s become a successful agent with a thriving career.

“I’m so glad I chose real estate as my career and joined RE/MAX. I feel a sense of fulfillment with every closing and every happy client. I can’t believe I’m fortunate enough to have this opportunity,” he says. “With all the competitive advantages at RE/MAX, why would you start somewhere else?”

Big Advantages in Digital, Social
No longer a “nice-to-have,” a comprehensive social media campaign and digital strategy are an essential “must have” for any modern marketing plan. RE/MAX, LLC is an active player in the social and digital space, with effective behind-the-scenes and consumer-facing programs that benefit agents, offices and the brand as a whole.

A few highlights:

Big Benefits
Social
: Having a social presence and not staying on top of it is worse than not having a social presence at all. RE/MAX makes it easy for agents to post regularly. The “We Are RE/MAX” Facebook page offers a steady stream of professionally produced social graphics, consumer tips, videos and other resources. Agents enjoy similar support on Instagram, LinkedIn and even Snapchat.

Digital: By analyzing trends and other signals, RE/MAX digital initiatives reveal where a customer may be in the buying/selling process, so agents can then reach out with tailored messaging. Personalized ads for specific circumstances go a long way in furthering the conversation, building trust and establishing connections. The process lays the groundwork for lifetime business relationships that go far beyond a single home sale or purchase.

Big Initiatives
Social
: RE/MAX, LLC—in collaboration with the award-winning Camp + King creative agency—is constantly innovating on social media. A new social portal at remaxhustle.com enables RE/MAX agents to socially connect with consumers in fun, engaging ways. A few examples: They can present customized, digital “Welcome Mats” to new homebuyers, and they can provide real estate tips through a system called “First Flight.” Huge impact. No cost. Tiny investment of time.

Digital: The comprehensive digital media plan includes search, display, retargeting, video, content, social advertising, app prospecting, and more. RE/MAX digs deep into data to pinpoint how different marketing efforts impact brand awareness, lead generation and agent results. One initiative involves data-crunching techniques for audience segmentation, with resulting messages tailored to individual demographic, interest group or population segments. RE/MAX has even partnered with BuzzFeed to create content specifically for millennial and Gen X consumers.

Lead-Driving Machines
The RE/MAX online presence attracts millions of visitors and generates an average of 3,000 referral-fee-free leads sent to RE/MAX agents every day.

remax.com
The RE/MAX flagship site, remax.com, is real estate’s most visited franchisor website.*

global.remax.com
Displays listings in more than 80 countries, with results displayed in over 40 different languages and almost 60 different currencies

theremaxcollection.com
Promotes high-end properties to millions of qualified buyers

remaxcommercial.com
Features properties from around the globe in all areas of commercial real estate— industrial, land, multi-family, office and more

RE/MAX Mobile App
A convenient way to browse properties on mobile devices. Agents can brand the app with their own information.

And there’s more…
RE/MAX offers a series of free, turnkey sites provided to agents and offices. Modern, robust and completely customizable, sites are available specifically for agents, teams, offices and multi-office brokerages.

For more information, please visit www.remax.com.

*Source: Hitwise January-December 2016 report of all U.S. real estate franchisors among websites in the “Business and Finance – Real Estate” category

Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at paige@rismedia.com.

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