January 23, 2008 // Franchising.com // MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. - Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., the franchise arm of Weichert, Realtors®, announced the signing of its 350th affiliated office, as it closed on yet another year of impressive nationwide growth.
Since launching its first independently owned and operated franchise in January 2002, Weichert Real Estate Affiliates has mushroomed to more than 7,500 sales associates serving some 330 markets in 35 states. Significantly, Weichert's young affiliate network is now expanding at a pace that's right in line with, or even exceeds, the growth rate of other major real estate franchises at a comparable stage of development.
Martin J. Rueter, president of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, said, "Needless-to-say, we're elated by how favorably our progress-to-date stacks up historically with our competitors. What we're finding now, as we talk to broker-owners in all parts of the U.S., is that while they're valiantly coping with the challenges of today's business climate, they've heard good things about us and are very open to hearing what Weichert can uniquely bring to the table."
As Weichert Real Estate Affiliates moved closer to its goal of claming franchise offices in all 50 states, the organization marked notable milestones in 2007, including:
* The extension of its affiliate network into eight additional states, as "first" Weichert franchise offices opened in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah.
* The introduction of one-stop-shopping services to more affiliated offices through Affiliates Solutions Groups, a dedicated new division of Weichert Financial Services providing mortgage pre-approvals, financing, title insurance, and other move-related services. Where offered, affiliate customers can take advantage of the popular Weichert Gold® Services program with its peace-of-mind Performance Guarantee of a timely closing.
* The hosting of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates' third annual national convention in Naples, Fl. – an educational and motivational three-day event that offered a nostalgic review of Weichert, Realtors' nearly 40-year history while celebrating the achievements of franchise offices and sales associates and reinforcing Weichert's commitment to their future.
Key to the Weichert value proposition is that Weichert Real Estate Affiliates offers its affiliates a carefully structured, yet highly flexible platform for growth. Weichert's precisely defined operating systems, market-driven programs, and readily customizable, field-proven tools address every area of business management, growth, and performance. Affiliates join a broker-owned and broker-managed organization that offers "live" and online training through Weichert University, an award-winning Internet lead-generation platform, a multinational relocation company, and recruitment programs aimed at assuring the influx of new sales associates needed to stay competitive.
New Weichert affiliates, whether established companies or start-ups, enjoy full assistance in effecting a smooth transition, from printing new business cards to formulating a strategic business plan. That close support continues as Weichert's business consultants – all experienced in managing a successful real estate office – regularly connect with franchise owners to help them stay on track with their goals.
As for 2008, Rueter foresees "surging growth in every region," as Weichert Real Estate Affiliates strengthens its presence in existing markets and enters new states. Already, several signed affiliated offices are slated to unveil in January – including Weichert's first franchised office in Louisiana.
Weichert has nearly 18,300 sales associates in over 520 company-owned and franchised sales offices in key markets throughout the U.S. A family of full-service real estate and financial services companies, Weichert helps customers buy and sell both residential and commercial real estate, and streamlines the delivery of mortgages and home and title insurance. For more information, call Weichert's customer service center at 1-800-USA-SOLD or visit Weichert's Web site, www.weichert.com. Each Weichert franchised office is independently owned and operated.