Recently, I’ve been approached by several residential real estate franchise brands to have Ford Realty (aka to join their company. It seems that they all claim to have the largest market share and the best real estate “brand.” I was told that If I join their franchise my profits will soar. So I did a little research:

Here are the candidates for the most prominent residential real estate franchise brands of 1989.

1.Century 21
2.Coldwell Banker
5.Realty World
6.Merrill Lynch
7.Red Carpet
9.Gallery of Homes
10.Better Homes and Gardens

The candidates for the most prominent residential real estate franchise brands of 2009 are:

2.Coldwell Banker
3.Century 21
4.Keller Williams Realty
5.Prudential Real Estate
7.Realty Executives
8.Sotheby’s International Realty
9.GMAC Real Estate

So I was wondering: With the web 2.0, social networking and Google search, is it even necessary to join a real estate franchise? Other thoughts:

1. Will the three brands that have dominated for the past 20+ years maintain their stronghold, i.e. RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker and Century 21?

2. Will newcomer Keller Williams Realty, which surged into the top five, be able to continue its rise and unseat one of the top three established brands? If yes, who will be the one to lose its top 3 ranking?

3. Twenty-year-plus top brand ERA has for the first time dropped out of the top 5. Is this a sign that they will continue a downward slide and ultimately out of the top ten? BTW they like to call me … a lot.

4. Will companies such as Realty World, Red Carpet and Help-U-Sell, which dropped off the top ten and are staging a comeback, be able to regain their former top ten status?

5. There and numerous new franchise brands such as Weichert Realty, Assist-to-Sell, ZipRealty and Redfin. Will they be ranked as one of the top 10 real estate brands next year.

6. Will discount real estate companies like Redfin & ZipRealty be the new trend? And can a blog/real estate service like me survive?

When all is said and done, it’s all about what you the consumer thinks. And based on my research only 3% of buyers select a real estate company based on a real estate brand name.

So for now, I’m just John Ford, from the Boston Real Estate Blog, without a brand.

File Under: The unknown brand broker.

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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