Ever since going public in October 2013, Re/Max has made a beeline for the pure franchise play. It had only a handful of company-owned offices at the time. Today, it announced it sold its last two.
The Denver-based global franchisor is humming: it reported a net profit of $15.2 million in the third quarter 2015, with over 103,000 agents.
By comparison, Zillow Group reported a net loss of $26.0 million in the same quarter. Zillow Group's in a period of high growth (or so it hopes) and is selling a bigger upside, which potentially justifies it spending nearly half of its $176.8 million third quarter revenue on "sales and marketing."
You could say it's apples and oranges, franchise and tech, but I think it's closer than that. Zillow's always done a great job of being a moving target, can't hit -- or understand -- what you can't see clearly: Trulia acquisition, dotloop acquisition, cases in point.
I smell a listing leads product on the way, likely centered around Zillow Group's agent profiles, which have become amazingly robust: transaction histories, unfiltered consumer ratings and reviews.