|Traded as||NYSE: RMAX|
|Headquarters||Denver, Colorado, U.S.|
|Revenue||$177 million (2015)|
|Number of agents||100,000|
RE/MAX, short for "Real Estate Maximums," is an American international real estate company that operates through a franchise system. The company has held the number one market share in the United States and Canada since 1999, as measured by residential transaction sides. RE/MAX has more than 100,000 agents in 6,800 offices. RE/MAX operates in about 100 countries.
Early history: 1970-1976
RE/MAX was founded in January 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger. The company was established with a maximum commission concept, meaning agents would keep nearly all of their commissions and pay their broker a share of the office expenses, rather than a share of the commission. In 1975, Dennis Curtin purchased the first RE/MAX franchise outside of Colorado, in Kansas City, Missouri. The company had 100 franchises in two years. RE/MAX held its first convention in Las Vegas in 1976. It became an annual event.
International expansion and introduction of hot air balloon: 1977-1998
RE/MAX opened its first office outside the United States in Calgary, Canada in 1977. In 1978, the RE/MAX red, white and blue hot air balloon became the official RE/MAX logo. The RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon was first introduced at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in 1978, representing the company's "Above the Crowd" slogan. It was about seven stories tall and became one of the most recognized corporate symbols in the world. By 1981, the company had 30 franchises in the RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canadian region. RE/MAX became the top real estate company in Canada in 1987. In 1985, the company had about 48 hot air balloons in the United States and Canada.
In 1994, RE/MAX expanded outside North America with the establishment of RE/MAX Europe by Canadians Frank Polzler and Walter Schneider. The company also expanded its regional operations in Germany, Italy, Spain and South Africa. RE/MAX expanded to Australia and New Zealand in 1996.
In November 1994, the RE/MAX Satellite Network (RSN) was launched with four hours of programming daily, which was released to U.S. real estate agents using satellite dishes. The network started broadcasting more than 60 hours of programming monthly. The network programming included training and company news.
In 1998, RE/MAX CEO Dave Liniger attempted the first manned balloon flight around the world in a stratospheric gas balloon. The flight was canceled due to design and weather problems. At the time, RE/MAX had 88 balloons, making it the largest hot air balloon fleet in the world.
Online expansion and IPO: 2006-current
In 2006, RE/MAX updated their corporate website to include listings for all U.S. homes for sale, including homes being sold by competitors. In 2007, the company established RE/MAX University which is an online educational platform that includes a training library. By 2011, the company had more than 6,000 franchises. By 2009, the company had franchises in 70 countries.
In April 2010, the Obama Administration announced the "Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives" (HAFA) program. The day the announcement was made, leaders from the U.S. Treasury Department and Bank of America participated in a live, national broadcast detailing the initiative at RE/MAX Headquarters in Denver held by CEO Dave Liniger.
In 2013, UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk released a report which alleged that real estate groups, such as RE/MAX, found to promote or sell properties in Israeli settlements may be held liable for complicity in the crime of promoting settlement activity in occupied territory. As of November 2015, RE/MAX Israel was still selling properties in 18 different Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
RE/MAX, LLC's parent company, RE/MAX Holdings Inc, raised $220 million in its initial public offering (IPO) in 2013. RE/MAX Holdings, Inc, completed a secondary offering of approximately $185 million in November 2015. REMAX Holdings owns 58.3% and RIHI owns 41.7% of RE/MAX LLC. Total diluted share count (public and private) as of December 31, 2015 was 30.2 million shares.
RE/MAX expanded into China in 2014 by opening an office in Beijing. By the end of 2015, RE/MAX agents outside North America was more than 25,000, marking an annual growth of 15.4%. The company's agent count in Europe was more than 15,000. As of 2016, RE/MAX operates in about 100 countries and has more than 115 hot air balloons in operation — largest corporate hot air balloon fleet in the world.
In 1992, RE/MAX became a sponsor of Children's Miracle Network. The company hosts art auctions, organizes golf tournaments, and encourages agent fundraising activities. When buying or selling a home through RE/MAX, listing as a Miracle Home with the balloon logo helps the local Children's Miracle Network hospital. RE/MAX affiliates have raised $147 million for the Children's Miracle Network hospitals in over 20 years of sponsorship.
In 2002, RE/MAX became a sponsor of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race For The Cure events in the United States.
Local RE/MAX offices use hot air balloons for educational programs and non-profit organization fundraisers.
Awards and recognition
RE/MAX University has been featured in Training Magazine's Top 125 Organizations recognizing employee development.
In 2016, RE/MAX was recognized as the top real estate franchise, for the fourth consecutive year, in the annual Franchise 500 survey by Entrepreneur magazine. The company has held the top spot for 13 out of 17 years. RE/MAX was also included as the leading real estate franchise on the Franchise Times Top 200 list for the eighth consecutive year in 2016.
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- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (A/68/376, 10 September 2013, Item 69 (c))
- "US, European finances tied to Israeli settlements". UPI. October 30, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- Murtaza Hussain: Why is RE/MAX selling properties in illegal Israeli settlements? The Intercept, 11 February 2016
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- "Creating Real Miracles by Raising Funds for Local Hospitals". Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
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- "Training Magazine Ranks 2015 Top 125 Organizations". Training Magazine. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "2015 Top Brokers". National Real Estate Investor. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
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