An Earthquake of Sorts Hit the Cincinnati Real Estate Landscape!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

The real estate landscape shifted this week for the Cincinnati area as RE/MAX Unlimited merged into local firm Comey & Shepherd.  It's almost a case of the mouse swallowing the snake, as Comey & Shepherd is currently listed in Cincinnati MLS with 288 associates and RE/MAX Unlimited with 366!

Considering that Comey & Shepherd is a local brand and RE/MAX an international brand, it will be interesting to watch what transpires over the next few days and weeks!  How many agents will accept moving to Comey and Shepherd and how many will instead transfer to other available RE/MAX franchises?

Also interesting to see will be how many sellers decide which is more important to them, the franchise or the agent?

Considering how part of the "sell" for RE/MAX is the brand's wide reach, we would hate to be one of those agents having to backtrack to their clients and trying to explain why that is no longer relevant!

Personally, no way we would trade the freedom our RE/MAX office offers us to best market our seller's homes to the buying public, whether they be local or national! 


We'll see what happens for the rest!
Liz and Bill

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REALTORS(S) Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth & William Spear
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EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
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Bill direct: 513-520-5305     
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Rainmaker
635,088
Dawn A Fabiszak
Keller Williams Real Estate ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

L & B ~ so how will this affect you or not?  It's interesting to see how the puzzle pieces will all fit.

Aug 11, 2010 07:43 PM #1
Rainmaker
264,277
Kristen Wheatley
The Maine Real Estate Network - Auburn, ME
Lewiston/Auburn Maine Real Estate Agent

Ok, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the 288 and 366 agents!  Wowie!  I guess a team meeting would be like a giant high school reunion?

I think that is also the first time I have heard of a large franchise being merged into a local company.  Very interesting.

Aug 11, 2010 08:02 PM #2
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1,487,758
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Dawn, Our RE/MAX Franchise (Elite) has stuck to the more typical RE/MAX model, sticking with experienced, productive agents.  Unlimited (we worked with two of the three brokers until about 2+ years ago when they absorbed into Unlimited) was more of the butts in seats model, collect office fees and see who stuck around.  In a downturn, not a successful model.  If rumors are correct, they needed to be bailed out by someone.

As far as us personally, we should be able to stand out even further from the local competition (dependent upon how many of the acquired agents actually stay with the new brokerage).  The other benefit to us is with RE/MAX's Leadstreet lead distribution system, we should have fewer agents having what I would assume to be the same number of leads to distribute, so our share should go up slightly.

Mostly, it's just strange to see.  A number of years ago we watched these same two brokers get an award from RE/MAX Regional for being the fastest growing brokerage.

If rumor is correct, there's a fair number of agents at Unlimited pretty torqued off!  No idea it was coming until announced this week, and supposedly only being given a couple of days to decide what they want to do.  Our work lives are hectic enough, how'd you like to have that unplanned helter skelter thrown in to the mix??

Glad it's not us!

Bill

Aug 11, 2010 08:02 PM #3
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Kristen,

Those numbers are everyone assigned an agent or admin ID in our MLS, so definitely a whole pile of people.  Unlimited had about 10 local offices, C&S about 1/2 that.  I'll have to remember to go back and check the totals in about a month and see how many stuck! 

The merger is definitely the opposite of what you usually here about.  After I posted this, got an email with an announcement letter trying to say with the Internet, big brands are "obsolete".  At least that's the spin they're trying to put on it.  The reality, anyone relocating from across the nation isn't going to be looking for Comey & Shepherd's website to look.  It may be a marginal difference, but when every client and closing counts, how much should you give up?

I think we'd bolt to another RE/MAX or KW before we'd be handled as they've done.  So much unproductive effort in to rebranding everything.  Wonder how many of them only have a remax.com email address?  Talk about being up the creek in a hurry!

Aug 11, 2010 08:07 PM #4
Rainmaker
264,277
Kristen Wheatley
The Maine Real Estate Network - Auburn, ME
Lewiston/Auburn Maine Real Estate Agent

Wow, now I'm trying to process the fact that people were only given a couple of days to be able to decide what to do.  THis just has incredibly poor management written ALL over it.  Not the norm for a Re/Max franchise.  They must have strayed WAY outside the model!

Aug 11, 2010 08:37 PM #5
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Kristen, It's second hand hearsay, so hopefully it's not as bad as we heard regarding the short time frame.  Unfortunately, we kinda/sorta saw something like this coming, part of the reason we left.  Didn't necessarily expect them to get absorbed, but we'd heard rumors of money trouble for awhile.  Expanded too big/too fast and right into the teeth of the housing market falling out.  Perfect storm of bad timing for them.  Fortunately for us, we left long before this came around and the move has been fantastic for us!

Aug 11, 2010 08:47 PM #6
Rainmaker
895,258
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

And now the team of Liz and Bill Spear are going to be the standout team in the area. 

Aug 11, 2010 09:15 PM #7
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

There's a few 800 pound gorilla teams roaming our neighborhoods.  We figure 20 to 25 listings is probably about the max we could handle the way we want to without needing to start hiring help!  We've got 11 on the market now, another tomorrow, two more doing the fix up routine before hitting the market, and another interview Saturday.  Who said the market's down?  Now if the buyers would just come out of their shells!!

Aug 11, 2010 09:19 PM #8
Rainmaker
331,851
Judy Jennings
508-209-5000 - Plymouth, MA
Sales Director

Liz & Bill - That is a very large number of associates. Sounds like you will handle the shake-up and weather the storm. Best of luck.

Aug 12, 2010 07:07 AM #9
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Judy, It's a pretty big shake up.  RE/MAX Unlimited was at one point the #2 brokerage in Cincinnati.  We'll keep plugging away and doing what we do and we should be fine.  Kind of highlights always having an escape plan ready if your brokerage folds!

Aug 12, 2010 07:57 AM #10
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