Armand D’Alfonso, Nothnagle Realtors’ president and chief executive, recently announced that Nothnagle Realtors plans to offer franchise opportunities to real estate agencies across the country “similar to Century 21 and Coldwell Banker.” According to an article in the Democrat and Chronicle:
Nothnagle will initially offer franchising rights in cities such as Buffalo, Syracuse and Albany and areas downstate, said John Arquette, vice president of franchise sales and new business development… The most likely franchisees would be small agencies that could benefit from Nothnagle’s technological and marketing knowhow. Under a franchise arrangement, the agencies would remain independently owned.
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Nothnagle also has a history of franchising. In 1950, John T. Nothnagle opened the first Gallery of Homes at the Granite Building in downtown Rochester, where prospective buyers could view photos of houses for sale. Before that, houses were sold to buyers visiting the property. John Nothnagle franchised the concept and, at its peak, there were more than 1,200 galleries around the country. The gallery franchise was sold in 1983, Arquette said. The Gallery of Homes concept was the forerunner of today’s Internet marketing, said John Masters, broker at Nothnagle’s Greece office.
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Some competitors said Nothnagle’s plan makes sense because it reduces the cost of doing business for franchisees while enabling Nothnagle to become a national player. The company already ranks 36th in the country with more than $1.2 billion in annual real estate transactions. “It’s very difficult for a mom-and-pop to keep their costs down,” said Larry Mastrella, manager of RealtyUSA’s Pittsford office, explaining why a small agency in some other part of the country might want to affiliate with Nothnagle.