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Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate enters the Australian market, backed by Charles Tarbey

After a master franchise agreement between Realogy Holdings Corporation and CT Investment Holdings Pty Ltd, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has announced it will be expanding its global presence with offices in Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Tarbey is chairman and owner of CT Investment Holdings Pty Ltd, and his company will be responsible for the growth, marketing and operations of the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand throughout Australia and New Zealand.

In Australia, the Better Homes and Gardens brand is currently better known for its lifestyle offerings, in the form of a magazine and television show, which provide styling, renovating and gardening content.

It is hoped that the real estate brand will be able to seamlessly blend with the existing lifestyle brand, to provide content and traditional real estate services.

The real estate brand will be promoted via the magazine, its database and digital channels, while the website and magazine will be promoted via the real estate agency shopfronts and digital channels. Currently the magazine and digital channels real more than 3.5 million Australians.

Sherry Chris, the global President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate said, “This announcement marks a momentous point in Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s strategic growth story in a milestone year for our brand.

“Better Homes and Gardens’ lifestyle magazine brand has an unparalleled scope and reputation in Australia, as it does in the United States. These benefits pave a path of competitive advantage for the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand as it launches in Australia and New Zealand, and there is no better person to oversee the brand’s strategic growth and development than Charles, a seasoned and respected leader in the real estate market.”

Mr Tarbey said that the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand will have a very different offering to other real estate brands throughout Australia and New Zealand, and appeal to a unique demographic.

“The franchisees affiliated with the new business will not only offer traditional real estate services, but also what I would describe as a ‘complete lifestyle experience’ that leverages lifestyle content that complements and relates to Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

The model on offer in Australia will be very different to the US model, Mr Tarbey told Elite Agent. In the US they work off a commission only structure, and the real estate industry is very brand driven. The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate model will be changed to fit the Australian market, but it’s the integration with the existing brand in Australia, and also the cross-promotion with the magazine, that will be the difference.

Mr Tarbey said the connection with the magazine would extend into free subscriptions for buyers and sellers, and also a shared editorial database which would allow sellers to access the wealth of information the Better Homes and Gardens magazine currently offers.

“It’s a full experience in real estate, not just coming in to buy or sell a house with us,” said Mr Tarbey.

“You can walk into a Better Homes and Gardens office, there’ll be a booth where you can make yourself a coffee, download the latest podcast, get recipes, get renovation tips, walk out and not even have talked to an agent.”

“It’s about building that relationship over a long period of time, in a significant number of areas to do with buying and selling a home,” he said.

In regards to Century 21, Mr Tarbey says both agencies are completely seperate brands, and since he stepped away from leadership at Century 21, and plans to do the same at Better Homes and Gardens, there won’t be any clash between the two networks.

“Yes I own both businesses, but I sit in the IT, marketing and finance division of the business, and the two CEOs, never shall they meet basically,” said Mr Tarbey.

“A lot of people look at it and think you’re conflicting against your own brand, your own C21 people, not so. They have the opportunity to open a second brand, they will receive the rights to open it in their suburb free of charge – so there will be no upfront joining fee or costs for C21 people, and anyone else who considers joining it will probably be a competitor already to a C21 office.”

The growing Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate network includes more than 11,500 affiliated sales associates and hundreds of offices serving home buyers and sellers across the United States and Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

It is expected that the first Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate offices will open their doors in Australia towards the end of 2018 and in New Zealand in 2020.

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