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Harcourts opens doors in the US

Harcourts opens doors in the US

International real estate group Harcourts has opened its first offices in the United States with the official launch of its joint venture with California group, Altera Real Estate.

Harcourts Altera Real Estate has 26 offices and 750 salespeople in total, with 25 offices in the state of California, and one in Hawaii, This is Harcourts’ biggest ever undertaking.

Paul Wright, the newly elected chairman of Harcourts International, said that this expansion means the company now has offices in 10 countries and more than 7000 agents.

“This is really the second stage of our goal to become a global brand The first step was our expansion into Australia in 1997 and now we have a foothold on the west coast of the United States, which is a huge market,” he said.

The global financial crisis and, in particular, the negative impact that the subprime collapse has had on the US real estate market, has helped Harcourts with its entry into the US.

“To be honest, it would have been much more difficult to find a suitable joint-venture partner if the market was still buoyant. They probably would not have wanted to know us. However, the US real estate industry has lost its way over the last two years and now companies are looking to refresh their brand and the services they offer.

“Unveiling a new name is an advantage as it does not bring with it any brand damage that may have occurred over the last two years.”

When introducing the Harcourts systems into joint venture partnerships such as Harcourts Altera, the company brings its own team to assist with the implementation of “The Harcourts Way” of doing business.

“Our people understand what makes us successful and having them on the ground makes it so much easier to introduce our systems over a large number of offices.

“We’ve only started rolling out our Harcourts systems in the last few days and already the response has been fantastic, particularly our business planning and accountability processes,” he said.

Wright paid tribute to the stewardship of the former chairman of Harcourts International, David Spence.

“David was a board member for 10 years and chairman for nine and during that time the company doubled in size and opened offices in Fiji, Indonesia, Singapore, China, South Africa, Zambia and Hong Kong.

“As well as fostering our franchise growth in New Zealand and Australia and our master franchise development in China and South Africa, a key focus for David was providing franchises with a wider offering in terms of commercial and rural opportunities, property management, insurance, mortgage broking and to a limited extent, conveyancing,” he said.

ENDS

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