Often, the closer you look at something, the more flaws you see. That wasn’t the case with Realty One Group, says Harrison Milborne, who along with Vicki Schmidt has acquired the rights to franchise the real estate brand in Eastern Canada from Ontario to Newfoundland and Labrador.
“The more I looked into it, the better it got,” Milborne says.
The Toronto duo, who have almost 40 years of combined real estate experience, say they “have seen different models come and go.” Schmidt, CEO at Realty One Group Eastern Canada, says that’s why they immediately recognized a model that stands apart. “It captured us from the moment we started speaking to them and doing research about where the industry is going. We want to be part of it.”
Milborne, who is president of the new company, says it’s time for a change in the industry. “The un-brokerage model is the model for the future,” says the early adopter. “The hero is the agent. (The Realty One) model gives the agent the tools to transform into a real, real estate business and to run and operate like one.”
Offerings include technology and branding, full training, mentoring and support at every level, the company says. Schmidt says it has a proven formula for success – one that focuses on the agent, their business goals and giving them to the tools to reach those goals, no matter if they are at the beginning of the business or at the end of their career and preparing to sell or pass along their business.
The model also offers a 100-per-cent commission model. The agent pays a transaction and monthly fee and there are no hidden costs, Schmidt says.
It’s refreshing in the industry to know what you’re getting up front, Milborne says. “A 100-per-cent commission model may exist with some discount brokerages and offer agents an office and logo and no support. But the Realty One package is best in class.”
Realty One Group is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world. He says, “It’s one of the top real estate companies in the U.S.”
Founder and CEO Kuba Jewgieniew started the company in 2005 in Las Vegas and it has experienced explosive growth in the last six years, Schmidt says. In the last three years, the company went international, in 2021 expanding to Singapore, Spain and Costa Rica. The banner has more than 17,000 real estate professionals in more than 400 offices in 45 states, Washington D.C. and five locations in Western Canada.
Schmidt and Milborne are currently looking for property for their central hub in Toronto and say it will be an energetic space. It will be up to franchisees if they want a bricks-and-mortar location. It will be one big team, although franchises will be independently owned. They will be like mini-hubs, Schmidt says. “Our Eastern Canada Hub will be in Toronto but our franchises will be throughout the GTA, Southern Ontario and all of Eastern Canada,” she says.
Schmidt and Milborne are in the process of getting the brokerage registered and want to speak to like-minded individuals. They expect to be up and running in the new year.
Schmidt says they are offering speciality designations, which have to be earned and will mean something so that clients will know they’re getting one of the best agents.
She has experience in commercial, residential and new construction and says she knows the challenges that face builders big and small, and the industry as a whole.
Milborne has 18 years of real estate industry experience, from sales and marketing pre-construction residential development to resort projects in Canada and internationally. He opened and operated Toronto’s first online/virtual brokerage that offered a full suite of real estate brokerage services in 2011.