Mason-McDuffie, founded in 1887, has signed a long-term franchise agreement and will now operate as Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate, serving Northern California and western Nevada. The company will remain independently owned.
Mason-McDuffie Co-CEO Frank Richards said the franchise deal will let the company take advantage of new digital tools and strategies.
"Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate understands how to engage consumers in a way that is smart and intuitive. They have a fresh approach to the business that is redefining how we connect with clients, and ultimately how people buy and sell homes," Richards said. "We are committed to continuing our company's legacy of growth and innovation, and to integrating Web 3.0 tools that will help our agents support today's buyers and sellers."
Mason-McDuffie will bring 1,900 real estate salespeople and 36 offices to the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate network. Two of the company's East Bay offices, Ruby Hill/Livermore and Pleasanton-Hopyard, will now operate under the name Better Homes and Gardens Tri-Valley Realty.
Mason-McDuffie is the largest franchisee ever to join Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand, said Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.
"There is a true synergy between Mason-McDuffie's commitment to innovation and our brand's reputation for developing next-generation tools and resources," Chris said.
Among those tools are Better Homes and Gardens' "social media boot camp" and PinPoint, a direct marketing platform with a database of more than 85 million consumer contacts. Agents will be able to connect with clients in the ways they prefer to communicate, increasingly via mobile, video and online.
With a sales volume of $2.8 billion in 2009, Mason-McDuffie ranked among the Top 20 real estate brokerages nationally, according to "REAL Trends" magazine. The company handled more than 7,600 real estate transaction sides last year, ranking it among the Top 50 nationally, and Mason-McDuffie has consistently been named the top residential real estate brokerage in the East Bay by the SF/East Bay Business Times.
Under the agreement, Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate was appointed a co-principal of the Cartus Broker Network, a real estate referral network. A subsidiary of Realogy -- Better Homes and Gardens parent company -- Cartus provides employee relocations worldwide and serves the corporate, government and affinity markets.