Harcourts’ global expansion is gathering momentum, with growth in existing markets and considerable interest from other countries too, according to the Head of International Development for Harcourts International Aaron Hodson.
Mr Hodson says Harcourts, which is the largest real estate group in New Zealand and the fastest growing in Australia, is rapidly expanding in other existing markets, in discussion with potential franchise owners in both India and Brazil and continually receiving genuine enquiry from many other countries.
“In South Africa for example, where last year we entered into a joint venture with the high-profile Homenet group, Harcourts South Africa is now the fourth largest and fastest growing real estate group in Africa
“As well as progressively rebranding their existing offices they have also opened more than 20 new franchises since April and also just acquired a substantial stake in a new property management company, enabling Harcourts South Africa franchises to access that company’s systems to manage and grow their rental property portfolios through either co-branded or stand-alone Only Rentals outlets,” Mr Hodson says.
“With strong, ongoing interest in South Africa from independent operators and realtors within other franchise groups who are interested in joining our group and benefiting from our world-class systems and support, along with genuine enquiries from Nigeria and Ghana Harcourts’ presence in Africa looks set to increase.”
Mr Hodson says Harcourts’ presence in the People’s Republic of China has also grown since the first Harcourts China office was established last year, with further expansion happening soon.
“Harcourts China now has 10 offices and 130 staff across Shanghai with four additional offices in the city due to open shortly, offices in Beijing and Hong Kong coming soon and expansion elsewhere in China set to follow,” he says.
“Meanwhile, the Harcourts Indonesia team is busy recruiting new office owners and following a recent research trip to India we are now in discussions with several parties there with a view to entering the Indian market in early 2010.
“In addition in Brazil our representatives Global Franchise Consultants are talking with several large real estate groups interested in progressing further with Harcourts, we are dealing with genuine enquiries from Uruguay, Romania and Japan and getting continued interest from the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Europe.”
As Mr Hodson explains, founded in New Zealand in 1888, Harcourts expanded into Australia in 1997 and now has more than 600 offices in nine countries and is also the exclusive South Pacific member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™ - the world's largest real estate network with more than 5000 offices and 150,000 sales associates in 35 countries.
Earlier this year leading world real estate authority Stefan Swanepoel noted Harcourts in his 2009 Swanepoel Trends Report as one of four international real estate brands that best exemplify the race towards becoming a global real estate company.
Mr Hodson says the strength of the Harcourts brand, its superior business and information systems, proven marketing tools and strategies plus the group’s talented and committed team have all contributed to Harcourts ongoing success.