In news from Atlanta, a metro area RE/MAX agency there has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Greater Atlanta Brokerage Solutions LLC filed on Monday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Atlanta, apparently left owing millions in unpaid debts according to associated news from Atlanta. This RE/MAX franchise, while a large entity, is independent of several there in the Atlanta area.
Greater Atlanta Brokerage Solutions LLC operates several offices in Atlanta including; Sandy Springs, Atlanta, Johns Creek and Dunwoody. WSBTV in Atlanta made a brief report and spoke with CEO Raymond Morris about the Chapter 11 and its effect on RE/MAX clients:
“The clients won’t be affected at all. The business will go on as usual. We’ll continue to list and sell homes and we’ll continue to have closings.”
Apparently a number of clients were caught unaware and had earnest money or other business in process with Greater Atlanta. Morris also belayed those fears with; “Earnest money, deposits, trust accounts are all in federally insured banks and they're governed by the banks, so they’re all safe and sound.” Of course being directed to Federal insurance red tape rather than a direct refund is a bit circuitous for most people.
Just my own cursory look for information online about Greater Atlanta Brokerage Solutions LLC leads me to believe the agency was a dinosaur destined to flop under the current economic pressure. Finding a name attached to the company online requires the services of a modern day Sherlock Holmes. Their cookie cutter RE/MAX site leads nowhere expect to limited social engagements. RE/MAX Greater Atlanta's Facebook updates seemed to stop about two weeks ago, as did their limited Twitter broadcast effort.
It is actually easier to find top sellers like Russ L. Robinson having left for greener pastures than it is to find even a mention of Greater Atlanta's BIC. Some affiliations of the agency being apparent (PDF), this company has a digital footprint that looks like they do not want to be found. Sorry to be critical here, it's no small wonder they went under without a real face or faces for their brand. Russ Robinson announcing he has joined the Around Atlanta "Family" - need I say anything here? But the dude did announce "same" to his 33 Facebook peeps (sorry this is just so funny).
Atlanta's real estate market has been decimated, so seeing some agents go under like this is not really surprising. What is surprising for us is how pitifully so many of Atlanta's and other city's agents used the web as a tool. Just look at Robinson's new company "Around Atlanta" - if Greater Atlanta RE/MAX was horribly inept and had no faces - Around Atlanta is a nightmare of a digital real estate entity.