A RE/Max Franchisee, Rosemary Sauter, in St. Thomas closed her doors and went missing. Along with approximately 2.5 million dollars in the escrow account. This is the account hard working people put their money into to buy a house. Their dream house in St. Thomas. All gone. Poof.
It’s quite a story in St. Thomas. Many angry folks. You can read all about it here.
One of the people who commented actually contacted RE/MAX and received this response back:
I am in receipt of your correspondence addressed to Mr. Dave Liniger, Chairman of the Board of RE/MAX International, Inc. and other officers of our company concerning a complaint you have which involves Rosemary Sauter of RE/MAX Dream Properties, in the USVI.
RE/MAX Dream Properties has been terminated by RE/MAX Caribbean and Central America, Inc., because of violations of their franchise agreement.
RE/MAX International, Inc., which operates in the USVI under the name RE/MAX Caribbean and Central America, is an international franchising organization made up of thousands of independently owned and operated real estate offices. Although the offices are given the right to use the RE/MAX® name and service mark, each is a separately owned business and responsible for their own activities. Real estate sales associates work as independent contractors out of each office and are licensed by the state real estate commission, wherever applicable. RE/MAX Caribbean and Central America legally cannot and does not manage or control the day-to-day activities of either the independently-owned real estate office or the individual sales associates who work within the office.
RE/MAX has no knowledge of the circumstances that have led to the unknown whereabouts of the Broker/Owner of Dream Properties. Because law enforcement officials are conducting an official investigation, RE/MAX Caribbean and Central America, Inc., and RE/MAX International, Inc. cannot comment further on the case and will cooperate fully with the authorities.
Ricardo Cardenas, IRES, TRC
Regional Vice President
RE/MAX Latin America and Caribbean
5075 S. Syracuse Street
Denver, Colorado 80237, USA
So there it is, the RE/MAX response. I found this sentence to be telling: Although the offices are given the right to use the RE/MAX® name and service mark, each is a separately owned business and responsible for their own activities.
What about the RE/MAX brand here? Should they do more than just sweep this under the rug? Or is it how they say? What say you kahunas?