Lori Rea

Real Estate Consultant

Why Use RE/MAX



History of RE/MAX of Texas

Frank DeCicco, an intuitive businessman and entrepreneur who had been in business since 1936, founded RE/MAX of Texas in 1977. DeCicco, his wife Jean, and their five daughters moved to Houston from upstate New York in 1965, attracted by the bustling Houston real estate market. They established Sun Aero Real Estate, but after five years the company was not growing as fast as their ambitions. In 1974, DeCicco opened Century 21''s first Texas office, but he still was not quite satisfied. "I knew that something bigger and better was lurking just over the horizon," stated DeCicco.

DeCicco found what he was looking for in 1977 when he purchased the franchise rights for Texas RE/MAX operations. He carried on with Dave Liniger''s unconventional concept of allowing the Houston realty professionals to keep the maximum amount of their commissions, with the stipulation that they contribute to the shared overhead expenses plus a small management and promotions fee.

"We''re the greatest untold story on the face of the earth, because this is a program that should not have worked," DeCicco says. Old-line brokers and others in the industry tried to discredit Texas RE/MAX agents, indoctrinating agents against Liniger''s plan and even denying RE/MAX Texas real estate agents access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Colorado''s state real estate commission audited the company''s trust accounts weekly, and the state attorney general''s office investigated RE/MAX after competitors complained the firm was violating fair trade practices. Things changed in 1977 when Liniger decided to franchise. RE/MAX was not the first real estate franchise business, but it was the first to combine the maximum commission concept with franchising-and the combination sparked a revolution. That year the company''s growth of Sales Associates exploded by 274 percent, and has been escalating dramatically each succeeding year.

In Houston, real estate was big business, and DeCicco jumped on the RE/MAX bandwagon quickly, but he admits the first 10 years were tough-even though the late 1970s and early 1980s were boom years in the market. Luckily, he was also selling real estate to survive. "It seems to me, if you''re going to be a Houston RE/MAX agent, where your only compensation is commission, you should be retaining the maximum amount," he says. "The key was finding enough Houston real estate professionals who had the courage to cast themselves as individual contractors and agents instead of splitting their commissions."

Richard J. Filip, a licensed real estate broker since 1969 and the owner of a custom homebuilding company, began his association with the Texas RE/MAX organization in 1979 in a marketing capacity. Beyond his various real estate businesses, he additionally owned a company called Air Adventures that provided pilot instruction of hot air balloons. Frank DeCicco contacted Richard Filip about putting a balloon-marketing program in place for the region, which resulted in the sale of the first hot air balloon to RE/MAX of Texas. It was at this time that the now familiar red, white and blue hot air balloon was adopted as the official RE/MAX logo.

In 1990, Filip became an Executive Vice President for RE/MAX Regional. In January 1997, he was named Chief Operating Officer and Regional Director for Texas RE/MAX operations, and later that same year, became Regional Co-Owner. This occurred with the formation of a partnership between RE/MAX of Texas, Inc. and KEMCO, Inc., a company owned by Filip. Filip held the positions of Chairman of the Board and President, serving as Managing General Partner of the RE/MAX of Texas, Inc./KEMCO, Inc. partnership, doing business as RE/MAX of Texas, until June, 2002.

June 2002 marked the completion of the ownership transition process begun five years earlier, as Filip announced his acquisition of the assets of his joint partnership with DeCicco.

In the more than twenty years since Richard Filip joined the Texas RE/MAX system, he has been integral to the continued growth and success of the RE/MAX organization in Texas.

Today the RE/MAX concept seems to be more practical than radical. "The same thing that''s happening in the retail business is occurring in our industry," says Filip. "Mom and Pop operations are going out of business, because they''re no longer able to keep up with the technology." RE/MAX has grown so phenomenally, it now offers its Texas real estate agents access to training On Demand, which offers educational courses, keeps Associates abreast of the latest industry trends, and makes readily available the referrals of nearly 90,000 other sales professionals across the globe.

RE/MAX enjoys Premier Market Presence in virtually every area served by "The Real Estate Leaders."? RE/MAX has captured the lion''s share of the real estate market in most major markets area they service throughout Texas: Corpus Christi, the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, Houston, San Antonio, and many additional medium and smaller cities and towns. In Houston, real estate agents in RE/MAX offices have outsold their next three competitors combined nearly every year, according to the MLS.

"RE/MAX of Texas ended 2010 with our Sales Associates and Franchises demonstrating exceptional financial strength and growth," said Filip. "These factors contributed to a total sales volume that surpassed $10 billion worth of Texas real estate. The sales volume, as well as the fact that RE/MAX was involved in more transaction sides across Texas in 2010 than any other franchiser, simply makes us the strongest Texas real estate presence. And I expect the coming year to be even better because we are maximizing the use of technology with an expanded on-line service, and we are continuing to emphasize our policy of providing our Associates with the best educational curriculum, which keeps them apprised of the latest industry trends and enables them to pursue professional designations in the comfort and convenience of their own home."

The RE/MAX network in Texas is comprised of approximately 4,300 members affiliated with over 260 offices across the state. Under the RE/MAX franchise name, these independently owned and operated offices provide residential and commercial real estate services. Where available, offices also provide loan counseling. Since its inception in 1977, the RE/MAX organization in Texas has experienced 34 consecutive years of growth, attracting Sales Associates who lead the industry in professional designations, experience and productivity.