On Sept 26 Foxtons announced it had filed bankruptcy and would be auctioning off all of it's assets. This announcement was to the chagrin of some of it’s clients, as one of their key assets was their listing contracts.
After a week of legal battling between Foxton’s clients and the bankruptcy trustee, Judge Michael Kaplan dismissed the homeowner’s objections and allowed the listings auction to proceed.
Century 21 Atlantic (by way of Maplewood Homebuilders LLC) and Fillmore Real Estate emerged victorious and collectively purchased the entire 4,300 listing agreements up for sale. Century 21 purchased 3,000 New Jersey listings for $100,000 (yes, apparently $3.33 per listing is all a 4% New Jersey listing is worth!), and Fillmore Real Estate purchased 1,300 New York listings for $110,000 (just under $10/listing). On top of the guaranteed cash price, they both agreed to pay an additional 10% referral commission on all listings.
Now if I was Fillmore Real Estate or Century 21 Atlantic, I would look at this purchase as a golden opportunity to receive some of the best press/marketing $100k can buy, and release any client from their listing that wishes to be released. I would do this by immediately writing a letter to every client with straightforward instructions on how to be released from the listing. I would make the process as simple as calling a special number and asking to be released. Then I would take that letter and send it to my local real estate news reporters, and real estate bloggers.
Doing this would go a long ways to winning over the new relationships that they have purchased. This is a company defining move that would be remembered by local home owners for a long time.
And anyways, who wants to work with clients who don’t want to work with you?