Lasting Impact: Realogy’s Henry Silverman brought a new model to the business

Lasting Impact: Established that a brokerage enterprise could operate multiple real estate brands across markets

Originally known as HFS (Hospitality Franchise Systems), Silverman who led the development of a company with multiple hotel brands, brought that thinking to the real estate brokerage franchise business.

Between 1995 and 1996 he acquired CENTURY 21, ERA and Coldwell Banker. Shortly thereafter, he added the nation’s largest relocation management business — Home equity — to his stable of companies.

Between 2005 and 2007, the company added license agreements for both Sotheby’s and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brands, as well as moving into online real estate with the acquisition of Zip Realty.

The industry’s reaction to Silverman’s moves was initially one of incredulity. There had been no true thought that this was possible. Today, the successor to HFS/Realogy is Anywhere and is the largest combined seller of homes in the US, has more agents than anyone in the country and has two brands in the top four in terms of transactions closed. Anywhere’s luxury brand — Sotheby’s — has been one of the fastest growing franchises in the country over the past few years.

Silverman’s move to have multiple brands in markets opened the door for others to do the same as the years have passed. One example is with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, which operates in numerous markets with both Berkshire Hathaway branded firms and independent brokerage firms, some of which are owned by the parent company. Other regional brokerage firms, such as Keyes and Real Estate One also operate more than one brand in their regional markets.

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