The partnership between John Wareck and Frank D’Ostilio has blossomed into a national franchise. The veteran brokers, who first teamed up in fall 2011, recently signed on with Real Living Real Estate to become Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate.
“We didn’t want to rebuild the wheel,” explains Wareck, who expanded his commercial real-estate brokerage into residential over a year ago. “Frank had done this once, building a residential franchise, William Orange Realty, and selling it to Coldwell Banker in 2005. We wanted not just a branding opportunity with national advertising and support. We also wanted a systems platform and technology platform that would really benefit the office and the agents. We did a lot of research and came up with Real Living.”
The national company is a full-service residential real estate firm with “a comprehensive and integrated suite of resources” for brokers, agents and clients. Among its franchisees in Connecticut are Page-Taft Real Estate in Guilford, Madison and Essex and Five Corners Real Estate in Fairfield and Westchester (N.Y.) counties.
“It’s all Web-based, and really quite extraordinary,” Wareck says. “Every agent has their own log-in to a supercharged system that any agent can contact from anywhere. All their clients and all their contacts are on their personal site, and they can design their own website and do all their own marketing. It’s a sophisticated system that would cost a lot to build on your own, and you wouldn’t want to do it as a regional company.
“Being part of a national organization also gives us outlets,” Wareck adds. “We have a client who wants to buy a home in Florida. Just a year ago, we wouldn’t have been able to help them, so the real advantage is the level of customer service, to seamlessly be able to send them to another agent in our network who has all the tools we do.”
The franchise arrangement also includes Web-based and live training.
Wareck wouldn’t disclose the financial details of the franchise, saying a confidentiality agreement preventing him from doing so.
“We pay them for their products and services, and I’m not at liberty to discuss the fee structure,” he says.
But he stresses Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate is “still quite local, and Frank and I completely control the direction of our company.”
The brokerage is decidedly in a growth mode.
“In March 2011 I had three Realtors,” Wareck says. “Then I bought Audubon Associates, and that added two, and over the last six to eight months we have added nine, and we’d like to have 20 agents by the end of .
Recent additions include customer-service specialist Wendy Hall, Seth A. Hershman, a new agent whose father and siblings are real estate attorneys, and Realtor and IT Manager Joe Cafasso Jr., a former William Orange agent.
Wareck says he and D’Ostilio also plan to move from their third-floor office at 129 Church Street to a “more full-service streetfront” venue. They’re currently looking at listings in the downtown area.
Residential is not the main focus of the business, according to Wareck, “but it’s where the larger part of our growth is coming from.”
As for when the investment in the franchise is likely to pay off, Wareck says, “We hope to be profitable by the end of 2012.”