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RE/MAX Holdings Inc (NYSE:RMAX)
Q3 2020 Earnings Call
Nov 6, 2020, 8:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good morning and welcome to RE/MAX Holdings Third Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call and Webcast. My name is Tarkan [Phonetic] and I will be facilitating the audio portion of today's call.

At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Andy Schulz, Vice President of Investor Relations. Mr. Schulz?

Andy Schulz -- Vice President of Investor Relations

Thank you, operator. Good morning everyone and welcome to RE/MAX Holdings third quarter 2020 earnings conference call. Please visit the Investor Relations page of remax.com for all earnings related materials and to access the live webcast and the replay of the call today. If you are participating through the webcast, please note that you will need to advance the slides, as we move through the presentation.

Turning to slide 2; our prepared remarks and answers to your questions on today's call may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include those related to agent count, franchise sales, financial measures and outlook, brand expansion, competition, technology, housing and mortgage market conditions, including statements about recovery of those markets, capital allocation, dividends, strategic and operational plans and business models. Forward-looking statements represent management's current estimates. RE/MAX Holdings assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements in the future. Forward-looking statements address matters that are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements. These are discussed in our third quarter 2020 financial results press release, and other SEC filings. Also, we will refer to certain non-GAAP measures on today's call. Please see the definitions and reconciliations of non-GAAP measures contained in our most recent quarterly financial results press release, which is available on our website.

Joining me on our call today are Adam Contos, our Chief Executive Officer, Karri Callahan, our Chief Financial Officer; Ward Morrison, President of Motto Mortgage; and Nick Bailey, RE/MAX Chief Customer Officer.

With that, I'd like to turn the call over to RE/MAX Holdings CEO, Adam Contos. Adam?

Adam Contos -- Chief Executive Officer and Director

Thank you, Andy and thanks to everyone for joining our call today. Looking at slide 3, RE/MAX Holdings had a very encouraging third quarter. Execution of our strategy, continued investment in our businesses, and a focus on profitable growth, alongside the housing industry's remarkable run, has helped our business recover quickly. We believe we've recaptured the momentum we had at the start of 2020, before the pandemic upended everything, and that we are well positioned for future growth. Overall, I'm proud of our results. I'd like to thank our entire team for their continued diligence, dedication and perseverance amid these historic conditions.

Highlights of the third quarter included, revenue of $71.1 million, adjusted EBITDA of $30.3 million, adjusted diluted EPS of $0.64, total RE/MAX agent count increased up over 5% and finished at almost 135,000 agents. Motto Franchise sales continued at a record pace, and we completed two exciting tuck-in acquisitions, wemlo and Gadberry Group.

Turning to slide 4, I want to talk about our overall M&A strategy and then provide a bit more color on our third quarter acquisitions. We're very fortunate at RE/MAX Holdings to have two accomplished seasoned industry operators in Ward and Nick, as well as a strong team behind us. Together, we continue to surface creative ideas on how to grow our company, both organically and via acquisitions. M&A has been an important part of our growth strategy for many years. Much of our focus over time has been on the reacquiring independent regions, but we also continue to explore intriguing and complementary opportunities in and around our core businesses of franchising, mortgage and real estate. Ultimately, as part of our ongoing and disciplined capital allocation process, we focused on those opportunities that we believe have the highest value creating potential.

A key objective of our M&A strategy is reinforcing and enhancing the value proposition of our two franchise brands, and helping drive their long-term growth. We're also interested in opportunities that diversify and broaden our revenue and growth potential. Ideal M&A candidates, such as a September acquisitions of wemlo and Gadberry Group, enable us to pursue both goals simultaneously. We view both wemlo and Gadberry as nice bolt-on acquisitions, that naturally enhance and expand our business.

In early September, we announced the acquisition of wemlo, a 20-month-old start-up reshaping loan mortgage processing in the mortgage broker channel. Wemlo developed a First cloud service for mortgage brokers, combining third party loan processing, with an all-in-one digital platform. It's product offers the only enterprise grade solution of its kind in the mortgage brokerage space. We'll integrate wemlo products into the Motto Mortgage ecosystem, and importantly, also continue to market to independent mortgage brokerages. Ward will provide more on wemmlo in a moment.

Later in September, we announced the acquisition of Gadberry Group, an industry leader in location intelligence data. We've been a client of theirs since March 2019 and their location data is integral to remax.com. Founded in 2000, Gadberry is comprised of a team of outstanding engineers, data scientists and customer success experts, who help clients solve geospatial challenges, through accurate and precise location data. We are very excited to bring this experienced world-class data talent in-house. The ultimate payoff for the RE/MAX network is attracting more consumers to remax.com, which we believe will in turn increase the number and quality of leads generated for RE/MAX agents. Location Intelligence has never been more critical, especially in the real estate industry. Address data must be precise, complete and properly correlated, to unlock value for brokers, agents and consumers, and this is Gadberry Group specialty.

By acquiring Gadberry Group, we're retaining our current services with no disruption, locking down our data supply chain, and integrating high demand quality talent with existing resources. But that's just a start. We can dive much deeper into the data world now, and that could open up all sorts of interesting new possibilities for us. Gadberry Group has a variety of clients spanning many industries. We plan to grow its existing business, and retain its diversified client base, providing RE/MAX Holdings with a new revenue stream.

Turning to slide 5; the U.S. housing market's historic stretch continued in September, as closings rose 21% from a year earlier, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. On average, homes sold in a mere 39 days, a full week faster than in September 2019, based on the 53 metros surveyed. Delayed by pandemic related lockdowns, summer's peak homebuying season has pushed into the fall. September sales were only 3% lower than August, in sharp contrast to the average 15% seasonal August to September drop off, over the previous five years. High demand and tight inventory are driving higher prices. The median sales price of $289,900 was 13% above September 2019. September's large year-over-year increase in home sales, was the latest reminder of the housing markets overall strength and resiliency.

Demand remains strong. Buyers are coming into the market determined to improve their quality of life, through amenities and community, and they continue to value the security that comes with homeownership. They're working through the challenges of tight inventory, high prices and competing offers to take advantage of historically low interest rates, and in many cases, the greater mobility they now enjoy working remote. Generational factors and historically strong interest rate environment, and the continuing rebound in home construction, support the notion of an active housing market moving into next year.

The limited housing supply however, remains a potential headwind. Inventory fell almost 32% year-over-year, as the number of homes on the market dropped to an all-time low in the 13-year history of the report. In addition to carefully watching inventory, we're also monitoring employment trends, as well as the effects of the ongoing pandemic. In general, we see the current trends in the housing market as a reason for optimism, and we're confident that our brokerages, agents and loan originators are positioned to take full advantage of the more favorable conditions.

With that, I'll turn it over to Ward.

Ward Morrison -- President of Motto Franchising, LLC

Thanks Adam. Moving to slide 6, Motto had another quarter of strong results, accelerating franchise sales and the acquisition of wemlo were the highlights. First, robust franchise sales continued. We sold 70 franchises on a trailing 12-month basis through September 30, a record, and through the first nine months of 2020, we have nearly matched our full year sales total for 2019. We have multiple marketing efforts still scheduled for the remainder of 2020, and we remain focused on leveraging our existing franchise base for referrals. Both efforts continue to yield positive results. Our market presence continues to grow, as word of mouth about our many successful franchisees has contributed to our momentum.

The other headline from Q3 was the exciting acquisition of wemlo, that Adam mentioned. Based near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wemlo's products uniquely combine third party loan processing, with an all-in-one digital platform, providing customers software and services. Wemlo's innovated system automates and streamlines processing tasks and is marketed and sold to mortgage brokerages and loan originators across the country. Processing support has traditionally been one of the biggest pai points in the mortgage brokerage channel. Brokerages across the country struggle to recruit and retain talented loan processors, whether they are in-house or third party, which can negatively impact turn time and quality. Simultaneously, non-standardized and often outdated mortgage systems present challenges.

Wemlo's technology helps solve both issues; first it's automated task at speed and efficiency. Second, it's intuitive framework enables loan processors regardless of experience, to efficiently manage workflow, and provide a high level of service to loan originators. The result is a streamlined solution, that enhances the experience for the consumer and that can be tailored to meet the needs of any sized mortgage brokerage. The wemlo platform also help solve the industry problem of technology fragmentation, as it covers virtually all the steps in the mortgage loan processing workflow in one convenient, easy to use system, and because the platform is diagnostic, users enjoy freedom of choice and can plug in their preferred software from a menu of leading mortgage lenders. RE/MAX Holdings is bullish about the mortgage brokerage channel, and expects market share to continue to grow, a view also expressed by many wholesale lenders.

The best in class wemlo technology provides the only enterprise solution of its kind in the mortgage brokerage space. While purchase primarily to support Motto Mortgage franchisees, wemlo will continue to serve clients and market its products throughout the mortgage brokerage industry, serving as an additional channel of growth for RE/MAX Holdings. We believe wemlo's total available market opportunity is substantial, perhaps as large as or even larger than Motto's potential. We are currently ramping up resources to handle processing for anticipated Motto loan buyer, we expected to begin processing loans for Motto franchises after the New Year. Motto is the first and only national mortgage brokerage franchisor in the U.S., and we believe our consultative support model is unlike anything in the industry, further differentiating us from the other mortgage organizations. With more than 130 open offices in over 30 states, Motto's footprint continues to expand, and we believe it is poised to accelerate.

Current interest in owning the Motto franchise remains strong and the status of our pipeline is encouraging. We have real momentum right now, particularly when it comes to franchise sales, and our recent acquisition of wemlo only adds to our future growth potential.

With that I'd like to turn the call over to Nick.

Nick Bailey -- Chief Customer Officer

Thank you, Ward, and good morning everyone. Looking at slide 7; agent count rebounded nicely during the third quarter, with sequential growth in each month. We added over 800 agents in the U.S. and Canada combined since June 30. Importantly, about half of the total was from our company-owned regions. Despite the pandemic, we have brought a tremendous amount of focus to recruiting and retention over the past year, and we believe our efforts are paying dividends. We craft unique comprehensive recruiting campaigns quarterly, and they have contributed to our recent success.

We continue to challenge virtually every facet of the organization, our value proposition and how we partner with our brokers, to ensure they're taking full advantage of the many competitive advantages that RE/MAX has to offer. Strong agents and teams create strong offices. Our business endured during the great recession and now during the pandemic, by not cutting costs, but by providing value. At a time when average agents and teams are looking to low service, low fee models, RE/MAX really stands out by focusing on productivity. We want agents to be drawn to what we offer and what RE/MAX offers, is about making money and selling more real estate.

We also see the success playing out internationally, outside of the U.S. and Canada. During the third quarter, we hit a milestone by surpassing 50,000 agents internationally for the first time ever. This represents a doubling of our total from just five short years ago. We've got tremendous momentum worldwide, and believe that this will continue to be a strength in our growth strategy.

Now turning to slide 8, over the past couple of years, we've added many talented colleagues and powerful technology and functionality, as we've acquired booj First, and now Gadberry Group alongside our very experienced RE/MAX technology team. We've recently completed a substantial organizational realignment, to create one technology team, a team of over 200 members that maximizes collaboration, focus on user experience, and operates with purpose, passion and excellence. The goal is to harness our tremendous capabilities, to deliver the best unified agent consumer experience possible. We continually solicit and receive valuable feedback from our network, concerning our technology, especially during the lockdown, and our environment, coupled with our network feedback, allowed us to move very quickly to provide tools that agents and consumers needed during this time. Tools such as virtual experiences, websites, and we continue to drive further adoption and overall usage.

For example, we have had over 20,000 websites created on our booj platform, which is a notable milestone to expand the digital brand footprint. Our enhanced web presence, and mobile app usage, in addition to an enhanced remax.com experience continued to drive business in our network of highly productive agents. We saw leads grow year-over-year by over 75% for each month in the third quarter. This is significant progress, given the new platform was launched less than a year ago.

In addition to the ongoing expansion we have seen with respect to our booj platform, our website and app, our network continues to see the value in our proprietary First app. The industry is experiencing an overall shortage of inventory, and the First app is specifically designed to help agents identify and drive new listings. We have over 3,000 paying customers, and the number continues to grow each quarter. We're also in the process of determining productivity gains of these agents, who use the First app, and although it's early, the initial results are showing on average, a First user has higher productivity than a non-user.

With that, I will turn it over to Karri.

Karri Callahan -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks Nick. Good morning everyone. Turning to slide 9, we had a strong third quarter, and it was encouraging to see the sequential increases in our key leading indicators. RE/MAX agent count, especially in company-owned regions, and Motto franchise sales. Revenue, profit and margins all recovered from earlier in the year, and our cash flow generation remained solid, as we converted almost 70% of adjusted EBITDA into free cash flow during the trailing 12-month period ended September 30. We also expect our recent acquisitions of wemlo and Gadberry to broaden our revenue base, and enhance our future growth opportunities.

Total revenue was $71.1 million, a decrease of approximately $500,000 or just under 1% compared to the third quarter of 2019. Excluding the Marketing Fund fees, revenue increased 0.5% to $53.8 million, as higher broker fees, stemming from higher existing home sales, incremental revenue from acquisitions, and Motto growth, offset the impact of previously announced agent recruiting initiatives, and lower agent count. Recurring revenue stream, which consists of continuing franchise fees and annual dues, decreased $1 million compared to the third quarter of 2019, and excluding the Marketing Funds, accounted for 61.3% of revenue in the third quarter of 2020, compared to 63.5% in the comparable period in 2019.

Looking at slide 10; selling, operating and administrative expenses were $28.2 million in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of $3.7 million or 15.3%, compared to the third quarter of 2019 and excluding the Marketing Funds, represented 52.5% of revenue, compared to 45.7% in the prior year period. Selling, operating and administrative expenses increased primarily due to higher equity-based compensation expense, increased headcount, principally from acquisitions, and higher legal fees, partially offset by cost saving measures implemented in 2020, many of which we expect to remain in place, through the end of the year.

Moving to slide 11, we acquired wemlo and Gadberry Group using a combined $10.6 million of cash on hand, plus RE/MAX Holdings equity. Notably, this is the fourth time the sellers of an acquired asset took equity as part of their compensation, which we think is a testament to the inherent and future value they see in RE/MAX Holdings equity. Our equity continues to be a competitive advantage for us, including in our M&A efforts. Wemlo is a start-up, so its legacy business is fairly nominal. But we think its near-term growth prospects are compelling. We are making strategic investments in wemlo during Q4, focusing on fortifying its compliance infrastructure, and hiring additional loan processors, to be able to support the expected inflow of loan processing activity from our Motto franchisees, once we roll out the program to the network, sometime early next year.

In contrast Gadberry Group is a more mature, slightly profitable business at the time of acquisition. We will also invest in it during Q4, particularly in securing additional sales and development resources. We expect the two acquisitions to adversely impact adjusted EBITDA in the range of $1 million to $1.5 million in Q4. Looking ahead, we expect that modest net investment to unwind during 2021 and turn slightly profitable sometime in the second half of next year, before becoming accretive in 2022.

Turning to slide 12; the company's fourth quarter and full year 2020 outlook, includes the acquisitions of wemlo and Gadberry Group and assumes no further currency movements, acquisitions or divestitures. For the fourth quarter of 2020, we expect agent count to increase 4.25% to 5.25% over fourth quarter 2019, revenue in a range of $69 million to $72 million, including revenue from the Marketing Funds in the range of $17.5 million to $18.5 million, and adjusted EBITDA in a range of $20 million to $23 million. For the full year 2020, we expect agent count to increased 4.25% to 5.25% over full year 2019, revenue in a range of $262.5 million to $265.5 million, including revenue from the Marketing Funds in the range of $64 million to $65 million and adjusted EBITDA in a range of $88.5 million to $91.5 million.

Now, I'll turn it back to Adam.

Adam Contos -- Chief Executive Officer and Director

Thanks Karri. Moving to slide 13, we enter the fourth quarter with positive momentum, and we are encouraged to see the positive trends in our key leading indicators, as well as the continued strength in housing. Our end markets are enjoying a nice tailwind right now, but we have made some targeted strategic moves to capitalize on those dynamics, as we continue to execute on our strategy and make strategic investments to support our long-term growth, we believe we are well positioned for the future.

With that, operator, let's open it up for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions]. Your first question comes from Ryan McKeveny of Zelman & Associates. Your line is open.

Ryan McKeveny -- Zelman & Associates -- Analyst

Hey, thank you very much. One quick one on the agent count growth, so nice to see the sequential kind of uplift, both in the U.S. and Canada. I'm curious, when you look across the country geographically, so obviously housing has picked up in a meaningful way across the vast, vast majority of markets. But I'm curious when you kind of dig into things, are there any specific states, regions or anything geographically you can point to, where you guys are either incrementally focused or seeing stronger better performance, relative to other parts of the country? That's my first question, and then secondly, one for Karri on the expense side of things, so, personnel costs, the first three quarters this year, I think have averaged around $16 million a quarter, and I think there is some benefit in there from kind of the COVID actions, especially in 2Q. I'm curious, without giving specific guidance or anything on 2021, but I'm just curious with the different moves you've made related to this COVID actions this year and what comes back, and also some of the M&A side of things, how we should think about the personnel expense side of things into next year, relative to this year? Thank you so much.

Karri Callahan -- Chief Financial Officer

Sure. Good morning, Ryan. Thanks for the question. I'll go ahead and answer your second question first, and then pass it over to Nick on the agent count side. So yeah, I mean we definitely, in conjunction with the pandemic, did put into place, some cost containment measures that did impact our personnel. We're definitely in the planning process for 2021, and we'll continue to provide more guidance as we look ahead, next year. A couple of things though that I can talk about for next year, that will impact personnel. You mentioned the acquisition, we're really excited about both of the acquisitions over the -- we're waiting to see really how quickly we can ramp some of those up. Obviously, wemlo being a younger company, more of a start-up, Gadberry more established. But as we look at what we're really focused on next year, is the revenue ramp. I really think that both acquisitions could be kind of eight digits over time, in terms of revenue contribution, and then in the cost structure side, we'll continue to manage investments, both development and sales resources, as I mentioned, as well as loan processing. So, really a lot of excitement there. We'll have more visibility there.

And then lastly, with regards to personnel, there was some equity based compensation that was issued in conjunction with those acquisitions. We do expect that equity comp will increase on a quarterly basis, call it $1.5 million to #2 million that will run through personnel per quarter going forward. So with that, I can turn it over to Nick, to talk about the agent count.

Nick Bailey -- Chief Customer Officer

Yeah. Thanks Karri. Hi, Ryan. First off, we're obviously very pleased with where agent count is going and the investments we're making in our growth initiatives and engagement from our network continue to show signs of success. As far as specifically the question around the country, I would say our footprint is very large and there is not one particular area that we could point to, one or two, that we see it coming from. It's fairly consistent across the country. But usually what we see and what we continue to see, is the Midwest always doesn't fluctuate as much as the coastlines. And so all around the country, the coastlines usually have the highest amount of growth. They have the highest amount of contraction when markets change, and that has been consistent for us this year as well.

Ryan McKeveny -- Zelman & Associates -- Analyst

Got it. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Operator

Your next question comes from Vikram Malhotra of Morgan Stanley. Your line is open.

Vikram Malhotra -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Thanks for taking the questions. Maybe just first one on the agent itself, you've obviously spent and acquired various platforms and tools to help position the agent, kind of to drive incrementally more growth. And I'm just wondering sort of at a high level, where are you in this process of bolt-on acquisitions or new programs or technology to kind of help position the agent in a place? Where are you in that process? Is there more to go? Do you see more bolt-ons from here on? And then is this sort of now positioning the agent to kind of both -- kind of be a competitor in the brick and mortar space and maybe in the newer kind of platform that people talk about, in terms of intermediation. I'm just wondering where are we in this whole process of bolt-ons and positioning agent for the future?

Adam Contos -- Chief Executive Officer and Director

Hey, good morning Vikram. It's Adam. Great question, thank you. The reality is, I don't think we're in a polarized either/or marketplace, with respect to agents. I think what the future holds and the direction that we are headed, is taking great agents and making them extraordinarily efficient. So when you look at the amount of effort that goes into getting a listing or helping a buyer win a contract on a purchase, it takes a great deal of skill, as well as a great deal of data and insight into the transaction itself, and all of our bolt-ons are pointed toward how do we help great agents do more business through efficiency and the use of big data.

So that's really what we've been working on behind the scenes quite extensively, and everything from the First app to -- on the Motto side with wemlo, where we control a lot of the efficiencies, we control a lot of the information behind the scenes, in order to help our agents do what they do best, which is that work with the customer in the highly emotional process of the homebuying and selling situation, as well as being that expert counselor during that process, and leading in and out of that process.

So we're just -- if you can think of utilizing the available data, utilizing the infrastructure, and all of those key points that are out there, getting rid of the noise and helping them focus on what matters, in order to create the efficiencies and effectiveness is, in the homebuying and selling process, as well as the mortgage process. Nick, do you have anything you want to add to that?

Nick Bailey -- Chief Customer Officer

Yeah, I had a couple of things. You talk about disintermediation. I think what this year has shown the entire industry, is the agent is at the center of the transaction, and if you look at the millennial group, which is the number one demographic of first time homebuyers, are using agents more than any other generation. And so the agent continues to be first and foremost. As we position them though, a couple of things that we're seeing, I mean, we're less than a year since we launched booj and some of the other products, but we're positioning agents to make sure that they are at the heart of the consumer experience. And so we've seen an increase in leads of 121% in less than a year of launching a product, as well as increased traffic and usage of all the tools that help connect the consumer to the agent. And we believe that's exactly where we need to position the agent moving forward.

Vikram Malhotra -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Okay. That's helpful. And then how does this translate into sort of pricing power for RE/MAX with respect to sort of views and franchise fees. Can you remind us what's the -- with all the tools that now you provided for the agents, what's the net increase, whether its these reviews [Phonetic] and is there an ability to sort of start to have a program, where you systematically increase this going forward, even if it's very modestly?

Karri Callahan -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, good morning Vikram. So I think that's a great question. I definitely would point to our First app. It's something that we're really excited about. As Nick mentioned in the scripted remarks, thousands of agents now using that app and the initial analysis that we've done, we're seeing some productivity list. Now as we think about pricing on first, and you think about the overall revenue per agent contribution, it's definitely significant, kind of 20% uplift in terms of revenue, in terms of people that are utilizing that. And then obviously, pricing continues to be an arrow in our quiver, as we continue to expand the value proposition. And so, we're always evaluating, as we are enhancing the value, what levers can we pull in terms of pricing, because we do think in times of a healthy housing market, that's one lever that really can help propel us back to that kind of low to mid-single digit rate of organic growth, and the third quarter was a step in that direction. And all of the acquisitions that we're doing, is really focused on accelerating that top line performance.

Vikram Malhotra -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Okay, great. And then just last one, if I may, where -- I'm sure I can do some calculation to get number, but if you have it handy, where is agent penetration today for RE/MAX versus say a few years ago? And specifically, if you can give us some examples of where this penetration is in the regions you acquired over the last few years?

Karri Callahan -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, so in terms of kind of agent count as a percentage of NAR, we've been pretty consistent. But I think the thing that's really important to realize right, is that RE/MAX isn't for everyone, right. We like to say that, a RE/MAX agent can work anywhere, but not any agent in the industry is going to work at RE/MAX. And so we've been kind of pretty consistent in that 5% of NAR transactions, market share has also been pretty consistent. You mentioned some of the acquisitions. We continue to have some outside penetration, especially up in the Northeast, we have a lot of opportunity to grow market share in New York and we've successfully executed on that opportunity. And so I think everything that we're doing in terms of enhancing the value that we provide, really focusing on enhancing the tools that improved productivity, are really all kind of in the right direction, as we focus on the productive agents.

Vikram Malhotra -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from Anthony Paolone of J.P. Morgan. Your line is open.

Anthony Paolone -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Great, thank you. Good morning. My first question is, Karri you mentioned each of the acquisitions you felt like they had eight digits revenue potential. Just wondering how -- if you could put a little bit more color around our timeline, or just what we should be looking at, to see if that's on track or what that looks like over time?

Karri Callahan -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. So, I mean just to frame that a little bit on the wemlo side, if you think about the -- just Motto network. last year the Motto network did, served about 5,000 families, so it did about 5,000 transactions. Given the momentum that we're seeing in Motto, looking to double that this year. We believe given the momentum from that business, that that could even double into the future. And then you couple that with pricing, in terms of loan processing services, kind of in the $700 to $1,000 range profile, and so that's how we can just kind of frame up what we think that opportunity looks like. Now obviously, we are aware and Ward can jump in here as well, but there is constraints just in the market, in terms of hiring just given the strength of the mortgage market right now, and that's really what we're focused on, as we think about rolling out the products to the networks -- to the Motto network. And then also more broadly throughout the mortgage brokerage channel.

And so, once we have a little bit more visibility on that, we'll be able to provide some more color, in terms of timing of that revenue ramp. Ward, anything else on Motto that you'd add?

Ward Morrison -- President of Motto Franchising, LLC

No. I think you hit on the fact that we will be selling outside of Motto, so that opens up the market. Thinking about the mortgage broker channel, we're still bullish on it, it continues to grow. We'll probably finish a little bit above 20% market share this year, and you know, probably almost $8 million in loans. So the mortgage broker channel has potential, and that's where we think wemlo, not only within the Motto network, which is very important to service our current customers, but does provide us opportunity outside the Motto network, just like we're selling Mottos outside the network, it definitely opens up the total addressable market.

Karri Callahan -- Chief Financial Officer

That is a great point. And then on the Gadberry side, it's just a more well-established company, a little bit larger revenue base to begin with. Again, we'll have more visibility in that, in February as well. But as we think about how we can leverage that to further support our RE/MAX piece, really improving the quality and the quantity of leads that are generated, and other opportunities there, we'll have more visibility in that, in February as well.

Anthony Paolone -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Okay. And then just staying on Motto for a minute, it seems like the sales are going real well. The opens -- opened I think six from last quarter, what is the lag time like there? Is that just a timing matter to get them opened or how does that work?

Ward Morrison -- President of Motto Franchising, LLC

There's a couple of factors going on. We have had some slowdowns in state agencies as it related to COVID. So licensure has slowed down a little bit at the state level. The other thing is we did have quite a few investor sales in that sort of quarter, and because of that, the market being so frothy on the mortgage side, that some of them getting their qualified individual to open up, has been more difficult than, let's say, prior quarters. So we really made a new focus recently on getting back to selling to mainly real estate companies, and real estate teams, and we're already seeing their ability to recruit that qualified individuals much easier in this marketplace, because they have the transactions and people realize we're going to move out of refi market into a purchase market at a certain point, and being around real estate agents is going to be key.

So I think we're going to see the opens start to accelerate and Q4, and I think we'll be able to move the needle a little bit more than we have. Some of it being COVID related, some of it not, but I think our new focus on some of those other people, will allow us to open more quickly.

Anthony Paolone -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Okay, thanks. And then just last question, you've made a couple of these acquisitions, and so just trying to understand like, how should we think about just capex, I guess either for the year, or maybe just outside of the dollar amounts on the acquisitions that you outlined?

Karri Callahan -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. So in terms of capex for the year range right now kind of in the $9 million to $11 million range. Again as we move forward and finalize our plans for next year, we'll have more visibility on that in February.

Anthony Paolone -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Okay, great. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from Tommy McJoynt of KBW. Your line is open.

Thomas McJoynt-Griffith -- KBW -- Analyst

Hey guys, good morning. Thanks for taking my questions. Sticking on the topic of Motto, I think last year it was on EBITDA basis, I think a loss of about $2.7 million. Any sense of what this year is going to shape up to be, as our business continues to scale?

Karri Callahan -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, so I mean, we're still anticipating Motto will be a net investment this year. But that net investment is declining. What we're really excited about, if you go back to 2016, when we launched Motto, we've been saying pretty consistently that we thought that given the focus on driving the topline performance, we thought that we would turn over to profitability and hit breakeven in the middle to back half of 2021, and even with COVID and everything else, and we're still on track, we believe at this point for that.

Thomas McJoynt-Griffith -- KBW -- Analyst

Okay. And is that assuming the current sales pace or returns of offices are getting open space pretty constant around, I think it's about 50 to 60 per year?

Ward Morrison -- President of Motto Franchising, LLC

Yeah, that would be pretty correct. And we think we really have sort of reached our inflection point. We've been -- on a trailing 12 month, selling about 70. So we have seen an increase. I think some of the -- even the virtual events that we've been doing, where we do, we call it Virtual Meet Mottos. We're having three coming up very quickly. We just had one with two more remaining. some of those have been actually better than some of the in-person events we've had. So the attendance has been fantastic. [Indecipherable]. So I still think sales at that, tens of Mottos, but above 50 into that 60 plus range is very, very doable moving forward.

Thomas McJoynt-Griffith -- KBW -- Analyst

Okay, thanks. And then just last one, looking at the broker fee revenue line, obviously had a very strong third quarter as home sales rebounded. Was here any impact, what was the contribution from the brokers that selected or the agents that selected the Pay Later option from earlier in the year?

Karri Callahan -- Chief Financial Officer

It was nominal Tommy. The vast majority of our franchisees selected the Pay Now option. So that really didn't have a material impact on the broker fee performance.

Thomas McJoynt-Griffith -- KBW -- Analyst

Okay, got it, thanks.

Operator

Your next question comes from Matthew Gaudioso of Compass Point Research. Your line is open.

Matthew Gaudioso -- Compass Point -- Analyst

Hey, good morning. Just a question on the international piece. Obviously, another solid quarter there with agents about 50,000. Just wondering, have international real estate markets recovered in a similar manner to the U.S., and then just wondering if you have any later thoughts on kind of developing these technology solutions to monetize on the international agent front?

Nick Bailey -- Chief Customer Officer

Yeah, thanks. Great question. We have been very pleased with the global growth, notably Europe has done very well, and we have pockets, Portugal. Brazil, Turkey, Peru, Paraguay, those all are standout regions for us that have grown. What we've seen that has been similar, is the recovery by most markets in some countries, it varies. However, in general, housing being deemed an essential service, has pretty much gone through most of our countries, just as it has in the U.S., and when you look at some of the unemployment numbers in some of these countries, it's driving people to the real estate industry, and they're looking at franchise instead of unknown. And so that's a big piece that's pushing it as well.

As we continue to expand the tech offerings, it's too early to get overly specific on global, but it is a discussion and opportunity for us to consider taking our tech assets outside of U.S. and Canada, and looking at ways to monetize those possibly. A little early to give you more detail on that.

Matthew Gaudioso -- Compass Point -- Analyst

Got it, thanks. And then just shifting gears; on First, you mentioned that there were 3,000 paying customers. Wondering what the demand looks like or kind of where you think penetration for first can ultimately go in your network?

Nick Bailey -- Chief Customer Officer

I'll start on that one. As I mentioned in the remarks, it's coming up close to a year. And so, we're watching very carefully, not only the usage, but the productivity and early signs is, we've just recently seen is, the average user, First user is significantly more productive than a non-First user. And so as we get more detail coming up to year one launch, I think that being able to take that message to the network to show where people can gain inventory, matches beautifully to what's happening in the industry, because we have an inventory shortage, and we have a tool that seeks out and finds inventory for agents. So I think those two things, coupled together going into next year, we are optimistic about increasing overall usage and adoption.

Karri Callahan -- Chief Financial Officer

And I think one other thing that I would just add to that, is that when we look at M&A opportunities, we're also looking at opportunities that can be synergistic across both brands. So in addition to what Nick was talking about, we do think that there is opportunities for First on the Motto side, and other opportunities that we can leverage that technology to continue to help our franchisees, and our agents both, grow their businesses across both brands.

Matthew Gaudioso -- Compass Point -- Analyst

Appreciate it. Thanks.

Operator

There are no further questions at this time. I will turn the call back over to the presenters.

Adam Contos -- Chief Executive Officer and Director

Thank you, operator and thanks to everyone for joining the call today. This concludes the call. Have a great weekend.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks].

Duration: 44 minutes

Call participants:

Andy Schulz -- Vice President of Investor Relations

Adam Contos -- Chief Executive Officer and Director

Ward Morrison -- President of Motto Franchising, LLC

Nick Bailey -- Chief Customer Officer

Karri Callahan -- Chief Financial Officer

Ryan McKeveny -- Zelman & Associates -- Analyst

Vikram Malhotra -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Anthony Paolone -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Thomas McJoynt-Griffith -- KBW -- Analyst

Matthew Gaudioso -- Compass Point -- Analyst

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