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Real estate group RE/MAX kicks off Aussie franchisee hunt

Monday, 3 December 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

Real estate veteran Michael Davoren intends to double the number of local RE/MAX offices to 120, after being named the first-ever Australian master franchisee of the US company.

 

Davoren, a former president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia and the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, is now the owner of the RE/MAX Australia and New Zealand master franchises.

 

The move comes after Davoren was named the Australian managing director of RE/MAX in October last year.

 

He is joined by co-owners Keith Walker and Chris Chapman. Walker is the current RE/MAX Australia franchise director, while Chapman is the current RE/MAX New Zealand director.

 

RE/MAX, based in Denver, was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, who continue to lead the company today. RE/MAX operates in more than 85 countries.

 

It first came to Australia in 1996 and has grown to include more than 60 offices with more than 500 real estate professionals.

 

Under his ownership, Davoren intends to double the number of RE/MAX agents and offices within five years.

 

“There’s a number of things that will be different. One of the things most important to the network is that we do get consistent growth through both countries,” he told StartupSmart.

 

“[RE/MAX is] a very powerful company in the US but not here in Australia yet… [A local ownership group] will allow a more entrepreneurial attitude towards growth.

 

“When it’s owned by an American company, it’s very difficult for them to take into consideration the local culture, local environment, etc.

 

“We’ll be able to take a business model that has been successful around the world and tailor to the specific interests of our Australian consumer.”

 

The new RE/MAX Australia region will continue to be managed from its headquarters in Queensland, and will include six states and the Northern Territory.

 

RE/MAX Western Australia, a separate region, is headquartered in Perth and is owned and operated by Geoff Baldwin, a longtime local real estate professional.

 

According to Davoren, the focus will be on NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

“We’re quite strong in Queensland but we need good growth in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. We’re strong in WA, so it’s those three states that are our main target,” he says.

 

With regard to what he’s looking for in a franchisee, Davoren says it all comes down to business acumen and leadership.

 

“To be a good franchise owner, you have to have a good business brain and be a good leader,” he says.

 

“If you’ve got those two, regardless of whether you’ve got 50 years’ experience in real estate or not, [you’ll be successful].

 

“It can vary between $100,000 and $300,000 that you would need to set up a real estate business.”