Coldwell Banker enters Canadian residential market

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BY KATHY BEVAN

 

Another volley has been fired in what may prove to be an all-out bidding war for Canada's independent real estate brokers.

  With a strategic plan which calls for a network of 200 associate brokers by mid-1992, Coldwell Banker Affiliates of Canada Inc. has entered the Canadian residential marketplace. The corporation brings with it the extensive marketing research support of its parent company, Coldwell Banker Residential Affiliates Group in the U.S.

   Although only 12 Ontario real estate brokers have initially affiliated with the new company, Coldwell Banker's move has increased the pressure on independent brokers to go the national franchise route.

   “The day of the true independent is almost over,” says Alan Freeman, whose A. Freeman Real Estate Company in Oakville is one of the dozen charter members of Coldwell Banker's new Canadian company. “Very few independents can match the financial clout of the national companies. And for potential clients, and potential salespeople, having a nationally 'pre-sold' name like Coldwell Banker working for you makes a big difference.”

   Independent broker-owner Peter Brady of Metro Toronto's Peter Brady Realty is also convinced he made the right move by joining Caldwell Banker.

   “They are the only ones we felt comfortable with, in terms of their size, stature and presence. And the Sears Financial Network connection will have huge benefits for us once it is in place in Canada,” Brady said.

   The U.S. parent company, Coldwell Banker Residential Group, is owned by Sears, Roebuck & Co. and is part of the Sears Financial Network. It advertises itself as one of the largest full-service real estate companies in North America. Coldwell Banker's industrial, commercial and investment

group has been operating in Canada for several years.

   According to sources within the new residential company, Coldwell Banker has set its sights on controlling 10 percent of the Canadian real estate market within two years. It plans to have about 45 affiliated offices by the end of 1989 and to be represented across Canada by the end of 1990.

   The charter affiliates who commented on Coldwell Banker exude confidence. “It is one of the best things that has happened to the real estate industry in Canada,” says Alan Freeman. “I think we've stirred things up a little.”

   One of Freeman's competitors feels Coldwell Banker's entry into the Canadian marketplace won't hurt his business, and in fact may have the opposite result.

   “It's the old cliche-success breeds success,” says Augy Carnovale, broker-owner of Re /Max Aboutowne Real Estate in Oakville. “That should prove true with a good company moving into the market-it should be good for business.”

   But established Canadian franchisors may nott be as confident as they once were about their expansion plans with Coldwell Banker on the scene. There are only so many independent brokers left to bid for, and it appears that Coldwell Banker may have significantly upped the ante.

 

 

SEPTEMBER 1989

 

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