With over one lakh sales associates worldwide, RE/MAX is India’s first organised group dedicated to the real estate broking. Sam Chopra, Director, RE/MAX India, talks about the entry of RE/MAX into India, its franchise journey and achievements so far.
Neha Malhotra (NM): Tell us about the entry of RE/MAX in India?
Sam Chopra (SC): RE/MAX, the world's largest network of real estate professionals entered into the Indian market in January 2009. Seeing the enormous potential in this industry, I immediately applied for a national franchisee. My entrepreneurial success in the past and my association with various national and international industry bodies helped in strengthening my candidature.
NM: How many franchisees does RE/MAX presently have in India?
SC: In a short span of about 12 months, we have already appointed more than 75 franchise offices and 21 regional offices across India with a head office in Gurgaon. Our network has now spread across northern, western, central and southern India. Although we have retained Delhi/NCR region ourselves to maintain first hand experience with the trade, we have been able to find highly capable partners across these regions to expand our network.
NM: What kind of training and support do you provide to the franchisees?
SC: Training is the USP of RE/MAX. All franchisees undergo a mandatory training at the regional and national offices. The regional owners are trained in RE/MAX International at Denver, Colorado, USA, where they learn about the RE/MAX heritage, goals and values. The broker owner and broker associates are trained at the Gurgaon head office. They are also provided sessions on soft skills, negotiation skills, customer relationship management and relationship building exercises. Besides training, the franchisees enjoy the technology support of one of the world's most advanced real estate technology platforms and also get the advantage the corporate marketing support and the power of the world's leading brand in real estate.
NM: How much investment is required by an aspiring franchisee?
SC: The investment depends upon two factors, first is the level of the hierarchy one wishes to join and second is the location. For a regional owner we provide a license for 10 years, while for a broker owner, we provide a license for five years. The investment brackets for these categories are:
NM: What is the break even period for a RE/MAX franchisee?
SC: There is no stipulated break even period; it all depends upon the level, value and volumes of the transaction on which the franchisee joins us. In the normal course of business, regional owners should break even by 12 to 18 months, broker owners should break even in six to 12 months.
NM: What are the future plans of the company in terms of expansion?
SC: RE/MAX India plans to expand its foot prints throughout the country in a span of three to five years. We have divided India into 32 regions depending upon the market potential and regional dynamics. In about a year of operations, we have already expanded into 21 out of the 32 regions, with more than 75 broker offices in these regions; we intend to take this tally to 1,000 offices by the next five years.
We want the citizens to have access to a safe, secure and transparent global network for making real estate transactions. We want to inculcate a new value system in this industry, which is otherwise marred with various negative accusations. Further, our services will help in organising this highly unorganised sector and infuse global standards of operation for better facilitation to the customers.