I am not sure if you have heard about RE/MAX! If not, for your information, it is an American multinational company for real estate brokering services. It has been very popular and successful in the USA, Canada and some European countries too. It has entered Indian market in 2009 and expanding its network since then.
Before I talk about why I left RE/MAX, I should tell you why did I choose to try that!
Actually, I was looking for some business opportunity on franchisee basis so that there will be a brand back up and training, set up and such other supports from them, instead of starting my own and then struggle to market it. On one fine day, I got a call from RE/MAX regional office in Mysore, Karnataka, India and they explained to me that they would give marketing support, there is a huge market name for this brand blah blah blah… I checked with some of my contacts in the US and they also said that it is a big brand in real estate market there. So, I decided to take it up and started RE/MAX Homes & Properties in Mangalore city of Karnataka, India.
Why did I leave it then?
I tried all my level best before taking a decision to abandon the business. But, I could not continue any further and lose more for the following reasons…
- The RE/MAX brand is not known even to 1% of people after nearly 3 years of its operations in India! In spite of this scenario, there is no effort of marketing and brand building from the Indian HQ in this regard. Assured advertising is not done at regional or national levels (even though they collect monthly advertisement fees from franchise offices). Thus the whole purpose of paying huge money for the sake of a “brand” is failing here. I was spending my money and I had to educate people about the brand and its ‘strength’. I was paying for the brand but I was building the brand for them! If it was an established brand like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Tata, Mahindra or even LIC, we didn’t have to explain to every customer so much about the brand and what it is all about…! Just the name would bring in business and specific customers.
- Indian real estate market is different from the market in the US or such other countries. The quality and service oriented mindset is not that huge here. Instead, the market is more price conscious. Saving a rupee is more important than availing better service! Also, the market is more tricky in terms of payment of commission, sharing the revenue etc. So, RE/MAX and its professionalism will have to wait more to penetrate this market.
- The straight forward and transparent transactions in real estate in India couldn’t work I think. It might be my weakness that I couldn’t do the business by hook or crook…!!!