When earning his Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation, Moojan Azizi was impressed by a RE/MAX Commercial rep’s presentation. Azizi’s interest was piqued; he wanted to know more about the rep’s claims, so he took him out for coffee.
“I did not have a thought in my mind about buying a franchise,” says Azizi. But, by the end of that first meeting, RE/MAX asked if he would be interested in opening a Commercial office in Vancouver. Azizi said he would think about it.
“As an individual,” he explains, “I can never own a Colliers or a Cushman Wakefield, these massive publically traded organizations. But RE/MAX is a huge name to have behind you.” So, he met with the RE/MAX region team in Kelowna, excited about the focus on projected growth.
“I wasn’t a residential guy wanting to open a commercial franchise,” Azizi says. “Commercial is all I know. It’s in my family, it’s in the blood.” That’s exactly the background RE/MAX Commercial was looking for. “My mindset was already in the commercial world; that was attractive to them.”
Moojan’s strategic approach and vision intrigued RE/MAX. He did not want to be seen as a competitor to the large firms that dominate the market; rather, as an alternative to them.
“The RE/MAX fee schedule is very different,” he says. “Where the big firms are on a 50/50 split, here you pay a fee [as a REALTOR®] every month, and the split is very small.” Resisting standard fee structures is an exclusive differentiator for RE/MAX. “The other big firms haven’t followed suit, and I prefer they don’t,” Azizi says. “That leaves this market niche to us. Only we do this.”
Moojan says it took about a year for the Vancouver franchise to become profitable. He pulled it off during the financial crisis of 2008, no less. “It took a while to get my feet wet. For me to be cost-effective, I needed to be the managing broker, which I was happy to do. As the managing broker I’m creating a positive and productive culture. I’m hands-on: hiring my brokers and having them work together as a team. It was attractive to RE/MAX that I could bring people from the other big commercial companies to work for me. They came because of relationships they had with me, so they needed me as their point of contact. It was win/win for both of us.”
Eleven years later, Moojan has 30 realtors. Within another five years, he’d like to grow to 50. “Nothing comes overnight,” he says. “I put no limitations on myself.”
For the franchise cost of $17,500, which renews every five years, Azizi enjoys exclusivity and the full support of RE/MAX.
“They wanted to establish a commercial franchise in downtown Vancouver to build the commercial brand and I got the chance to have ownership within a big company. We’re the only RE/MAX Commercial franchise in the lower mainland. My agents work throughout the region—Surrey, Langley—they’re not restricted. The entire market is growing.”
Growing not only in the mainland and across the Fraser Valley—with large office buildings, land for industrial use, and rental operations—but across Western Canada in general.
“They are at the forefront for residential and now for commercial as well,” says Moojan. “RE/MAX of Western Canada leads the way and provides the model for the rest of the country to follow. RE/MAX Residential has done its thing, it’s a huge brand. Now RE/MAX Commercial is a growing brand, and there’s strength in that. RE/MAX Commercial has agents and offices all over the world. You get access to those markets, and all the networking.”
Are you considering exploring franchisee opportunities? Learn more at: joinremaxcommercial.ca