[photopress:property_chill_slideing_down.jpg,full,alignright]Parts of the real estate business in China are in strife. According to a recent article in the Financial Times shares in some of the country’s largest listed property developers fell more than 50% last year.
Shenzhen-based Zhongtian recently shut most of it branches and the owner went into hiding. Chuanghui, also Shenzhen based, closed more than half of its 1,800 branches. A company representative said, ‘We are doing our best to get cash.’
Knowing that gives new insight to the deal that that Realogy, the U.S.-based real estate conglomerate, is acquiring a minority stake in Century 21 China Real Estate, the independently-owned company that franchises Realogy’s Century 21 brand in China.
This is the largest real estate franchiser in the country and owns 300 Century 21 offices in Beijing and Shanghai. And it claims that its franchisees operate 950 stores in 40 cities. The overall claim on its web site is that Century 21 China Real Estate has 1,300 offices.
The press release quotes Donald Zhang, chairman of Century 21 China Real Estate, as saying, ‘With this added support from Realogy Corporation, we are even more confident that we can continue the growth of our company and the Century 21 network in the People’s Republic of China.’
Another press release claims that more than 11,000 sales associates work under the Century 21 real estate brand in China and that the company is among the three largest residential real estate brokerages in 90% of its markets, and is the largest firm in 30% of those markets.
Realogy’s franchise systems have approximately 15,000 offices and 315,000 sales associates doing business in 87 countries around the world. It has about 13,000 employees worldwide.