Thursday, August 17, 2006

New RE/MAX Franchise To Open in Southampton - SOUTHAMPTON PRESS

:Southampton East; :Aug 17, 2006; :Residence; :R9

New RE/MAX Franchise To Open in Southampton

By Jennifer L. Henn

One day after the East End real estate industry bid adieu to a major competitor, it prepared to welcome a new player hoping to carve out a chunk of the Hamptons market.

Michael and Barbara Daly, owners of True North Realty in Sag Harbor, are set to open a new RE/ MAX franchise in Southampton Village called RE/MAX Beach Properties. The new agency, which will incorporate True North, is expected to open during the first week of September with 10 agents, Mr. Daly said. In the next year, Mr. Daly said he hopes to increase his staff of agents to 20 or more and open two more office on the South Fork.

True North was a two-person operation run out of the Dalys’ home.

Beach Properties will be the second RE/MAX franchise doing business on the East End. RE/ MAX Coast and Country, owned and operated by Jeanette Pallister, has offices in Hampton Bays and Bridgehampton. But Beach Properties will be the only East End RE/MAX franchise operating under the Renowned Properties division for high-end homes.

“Our brokerage will be specializing in residential real estate,” Mr. Daly said, “and will focus on the second home and resort sales markets.”

Mr. Daly’s announcement came the day after NRT Inc., a subsidiary of the national real estate conglomerate Realogy, bought out Hamptons real estate stalwart Allan Schneider Associates in a deal that will fold Schneider’s operations into The Corcoran Group, an NRT holding with a much broader reach in the national market.

According to Mr. Daly, the Corcoran-Schneider deal is a good one for the local industry. “I think it’s great news. Allan Schneider has been the Mercedes Benz of Hamptons real estate for years, so it was a good move on The Corcoran Group’s part to pick it up.

“The merger certainly reduces the number of real estate companies competing for the market share,” Mr. Daly said. “That will benefit RE/MAX and some of the other brands out there in terms of competition for agents, listing and customers, because there will be one less brand to choose from.”

Mr. Daly got his start in the business by joining Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate as an agent in 1998. He was later promoted to managing director, then left to become a senior executive at NRT and The Corcoran Group. He started True North with his wife, a licensed real estate agent, about a year ago.

The Dalys have been in talks with RE/MAX, which approached them about the possibility of creating the high-end Hamptons franchise, for about two years. Rather than struggle through building True North on his own, Mr. Daly said it just made sense to tap into the vast resources, referral network and brand equity RE/MAX had to offer.

“It’s about being in business for yourself, but not by yourself,” he said.

“RE/MAX is not well known in the Hamptons, but it is in virtually every other market in the country,” Mr. Daly added. “And I think the way RE/MAX does business will be a real strength in attracting good agents.”

At most brokerage firms, agents are provided with the basic tools they need to operate—a desk, a telephone, support staff, supplies and advertising—in exchange for a 40 to 50 percent share of their sales commissions. That means the agents get to keep only 50 to 60 percent. At RE/MAX, the agents share in the fixed operating expenses—rent, utilities, supplies and advertising—and keep 95 percent of their commissions.

“Consequently, it’s attractive to agents doing successful business,” Mr. Daly said. “It tends to draw the most motivated, professional and productive agents.”

The RE/MAX franchise network is a global real estate system with more than 6,522 independently owned offices and 120,000 sales associates. RE/MAX of New York Inc. has a sales force of more than 1,900 agents and 135 offices throughout the state, including 23 offices in Suffolk County.

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