Page 1

Tipper Williams, Operating Principal, Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group

Giving Everyone a Stake in Success Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group – Page 90



A selective community of 565 firms spanning six continents, we bring together the people behind the world’s top independent real estate companies to do business, collaborate on ideas and share opportunities. Supporting them with an international referral network, marketing and technology resources, professional development programs and worldclass events, we make the best brokerages better. ™

“Cannot say enough good things about Quicken Loans! Clear-to-close 10 days ahead of the scheduled date, highly communicative, and always positive and upbeat!” Brenton Seifert Real Estate Agent, Greenville, SC

Experience the confidence that comes from working with Quicken Loans. Quicken Loans Inc.; NMLS #3030; Equal Housing Lender. Licensed in 50 states. AR, TX: 1050 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226-1906, (888) 474-0404; AZ: 16425 North Pima, Ste. 200, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, Mortgage Banker License #BK-0902939; CA: Licensed by Dept. of Business Oversight, under the CA Residential Mortgage Lending Act and Finance Lenders Law; CO: Regulated by the Division of Real Estate; GA: Residential Mortgage Licensee #11704; IL: Residential Mortgage Licensee #4127 – Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation; KS: Licensed Mortgage Company MC.0025309; MA: Mortgage Lender License #ML 3030; ME: Supervised Lender License; MN: Not an offer for a rate lock agreement; MS: Licensed by the MS Dept. of Banking and Consumer Finance; NH: Licensed by the NH Banking Dept., #6743MB; NV: License #626; NJ: Licensed Mortgage Banker – NJ Dept. of Banking, 1st (and/or 2nd) mortgages only; NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Banking Dept.; OH: MB 850076; OR: License #ML-1387; PA: Licensed as a 1st Mortgage Banker by the Dept. of Banking and licensed pursuant to the PA Secondary Mortgage Loan Act; RI: Licensed Lender; WA: Consumer Loan Company License CL-3030. Rates subject to change. Conditions may apply. ©2000 – 2017 Quicken Loans Inc. All rights reserved. Lending services provided by Quicken Loans Inc., a subsidiary of Rock Holdings Inc. “Quicken Loans” is a registered service mark of Intuit Inc., used under license.

This is home. It’s a place called confidence. It’s home because your clients feel positive and sure about the choice they’ve made. In partnering with you, they place their trust in your advice, counsel, and expertise to lead them there. Our commitment is to always be there for you, and them, on this journey home. Each office independently owned and operated.

{Contents} November 2017/Vol. 33, No. 11 •

{On the Cover} 90 Giving Everyone a Stake in Success Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group



Lots of companies talk the talk when it comes to collaboration, but how many really walk the walk? According to Tipper Williams, operating principal of Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group, it comes naturally at her firm because it’s part of the DNA of the Keller Williams brand itself. “I have found the support from this franchise to be incredible at all levels—there’s this great spirit of camaraderie we share,” she explains. Combine that with a profit-sharing system that allows agents a retirement avenue and the autonomy to approach real estate as a true business, and you have an environment where everyone can— and does—win.

{Highlights} 32 Which Real Estate Portals Can You Trust?



69 Double Your Business With

15 Policy Matters: Real Estate

70 From Contract to Closing: It’s

Professionals: Reduce the Legal Risks of Cyber-Crime Victimization 16 NAR Power Broker Roundtable: Straight Talk With 2017 NAR President-Elect Elizabeth Mendenhall 18 REBAC Report: Getting Personal About Productivity 20 Executive Appointments 28 Blog Spot: How to Make Buying a Beach House an Affordable Thing to Do 30 Big Data, Big Opportunities: How Predictive Analytics Is Changing the Business of Real Estate 40 Answering the Call: HomeSmart CEO Pilots Irma Rescue Mission

Double the Tweet Length Smooth Sailing With REALTOR Benefits® Partner Transaction Management Tools 118 Rethinking Legal: Transforming a Cost Center Into a Value Center 120 2017 REBAC Hall of Famers Share Their Secrets to Continued Success 123 W  ebinar Recap: Can’t Beat the Real Thing: Following Coke’s Lead to an Unfair Advantage 130 Trending: The Search Is On: It’s Prime Time for Amazon’s Second Headquarters 135 Webinar Recap: 5 Tips for Practicing Better Real Estate Scripts

In this exclusive feature, learn how keeps agents at the center of the real estate transaction.

38 Upping the Ante With Accurate Home Improvement Valuations Here, learn how CRS Data’s Refined Values tool is making waves in the home valuation process.

55 Elizabeth Mendenhall Writes the Next Chapter at NAR In this exclusive feature, 2018 NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall shares her thoughts on how she believes the industry must evolve.

112 Industry Icons Converge in NYC Take a look inside our annual Real Estate CEO Exchange in this special photo recap.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 3





26 T urning Opportunity Into Profit 49 Investing in Tomorrow 50 Power Broker Perspectives: Jim Sparkman, Donald Sturgeon and Mark Farrow, Dottie Herman 61 Forward-Looking Market Data Delivers a Competitive Edge 62 Strategies: American Home Shield; Buyside; Clareity; DocuSign; Moxi Works; NAR-GRI; Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) 72 Differentiating With the Team Approach 74 Power Up Your Prospecting Strategy 88 Building a Referral Business Through Innovative Means 90 Giving Everyone a Stake in Success 94 Out in Front and Ahead of the Game 98 A Commitment to Community and Professionalism 102 All for One 126 RISMedia’s Great Spaces 137 Ask the Experts: Marketing Essentials

{Interviews} 86 Susan Hanson, Steve Hanson and Joe Balestriere, William Raveis Exceptional Properties 106 J esse Zagorsky, Live. Love. San Diego Homes 107 D  awn Lahlum, Park Co. REALTORS® 4 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE


108 T erry Jones, HomeSmart Real

81 Rick Geha - Everything Works,

Estate Associates 109 L eah Wolfe-Kraemer, Realty ONE Group

82 Brooke Sines - 3 Tips to Work

{Experts} 23 Brian Buffini - How to Win in Business and Life

24 Desirée Patno - Emerging Trends: Women Entrepreneurs and Single Women 43 Geoff Lewis - 3 Undeniable Truths of Goal-Setting 44 Terri Murphy - Focus Makes the Difference 47 Lisa Mihelcich - Cybersecurity and Wire Fraud 59 Chris Bennett - Adding Value to Broker Platforms 77 James A. Clark - Relevancy in a Shiny Object Digital World 79 Verl Workman - Live a Better Life 80 Cleve Gaddis - 5 Steps to Increasing Your Average Sales Price

and Nothing Doesn’t Less and Make More

111 Bryan Brooks - One Platform, Five Systems: Gaining Total Operational Efficiency 125 Reggie Nicolay - Wooing Amazon: Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Amazon HQ2 Right Over 136 Burke Smith - You Only Get Paid on Conversions

{Every Issue} 6 RISMedia Online 9 Publisher’s Desk 12 Did You Know? 139 Service Profiles 147 Referrals 152 RE: Real Estate – Brokers: Leverage Your Influence to Help Shape the Legal Landscape

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CEO Exchange

In Your Own Words

Trending on View these and more at!

Attendees of RISMedia’s Real Estate CEO Exchange turned to Twitter to share thoughts on the event.

Live in a Loud Area? Here’s How to Reduce Sound Inside Your Home Take action through these easy steps to protect you and your loved ones from unnecessary stress and poor sleep.

Bob Goldberg tears it up (in a good way) on behalf of @NARLeadership at #CEOX2017

Fall Maintenance for Your Rental Properties

Routine maintenance will ensure that your properties are protected from the harsh fall and winter elements, and most can be done without detracting too much from your time or pocketbook.

A Front Door, Flooring and Other ‘Happy’ Home Upgrades

It’s no secret that an improvement or remodeled room can make being at

-@MIFuller home that much better. Amp the feelgood factor up with these upgrades.

4 Reasons Why Now Is the Time to Buy a Luxury House Successful young buyers want more than just four walls and a parking spot. Here are four reasons why now is the right time to buy.

5 Actionable Ways to Attract Millennial Homebuyers

Millennials will close much more readily when they understand the process.

Great evening with some amazing #realestate leaders - @ReferralExch

Great two days of sessions and networking! - @QLforBusiness

Honored to be part of this interesting panel!

- @JoanDocktor

It was a beautiful night on the Hudson River for the RISMedia CEO Exchange dinner

- @LizNunann

Connect with RISMedia @RISMediaUpdates






6 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Our #FirstTeam president is out at #CEOX2017 droppin’ knowledge! - @FirstTeamRE

We learned quite a bit about the millennial generation at #CEOX2017 - @JohnChipman








You do the math. Does your current brokerage add up? ©2017 RE/MAX, LLC. All rights reserved. Each office is independently owned and operated. 17_204999

THE 2018



A P RI L 4


5 , 2 01 8

R E G I S T R AT I O N T O O P E N J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8

Vi sit www.N A a ltor/ B roke rS um m it for 2018 program updates and to view highlights and photos from previous events

{Publisher’s Desk} The Essential Role of REALTORS®


n an age of technology and information, the services real estate professionals provide are of more value to homebuyers and sellers than ever before. That’s why Elizabeth Mendenhall is making REALTOR® professionalism such a big part of her agenda for next year. As Elizabeth steps into her role as 2018 president of the National Association of REALTORS®, it’s great to see such a committed and forward-thinking real estate professional at the helm of the membership—someone who understands that the real estate business has changed and, therefore, so must our mindset. “Our old vocabulary is that the REALTOR® has to ‘be at the center of the transaction,’ but that’s not the case anymore,” says Elizabeth in our exclusive interview on page 54. “We have to ensure that the ‘REALTOR® is essential to the consumer in the transaction.’” A wise and critical distinction. couldn’t agree more. In fact, their goal as a real estate portal is to keep real estate professionals a key part of the real estate transaction. In our cover story this month, the executive team explains their approach to the portal space. “Our business model is different; we want to be the broker partner portal that brokers can trust to not compete with them for business,” says President David Mele. Find out more on page 32. Of course, speaking about the central role of real estate professionals brings to mind how when faced with this fall’s terrible onslaught of hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other disasters, the real estate community led the charge to help those in need. Matt Widdows, CEO and founder of HomeSmart, using his skills as a pilot to lead a rescue mission in the Carribean after Hurricane Irma, personifies what so many of our readers did in their own way to help these stricken communities. See Matt’s story on page 40 and read countless other tales of the real estate community’s response to these disasters at Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those still struggling to recover from this widespread devastation.

Generate More Business from Social Media!

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If you’re attending the NAR Conference & Expo in Chicago, please join us for our annual Power Broker Forum on Friday, Nov. 3 at 1:30 p.m. at McCormick Place. And to our Power Brokers, we look forward to seeing you later that evening at our 22nd Annual Power Broker Reception & Dinner!

John E. Featherston CEO & Publisher

Your Company Logo!

Your Headshot & Contact Info!

CEO & Publisher John E. Featherston Executive Vice President Darryl D. MacPherson

EDITORIAL Executive Editor Maria Patterson Online Managing Editor Beth McGuire Managing Editor Paige Tepping Senior Content Editor Zoe Eisenberg Associate Content Editor Liz Dominguez Online News Editor Suzanne De Vita Contributing Editors Lesley Grand; John Voket; Barbara Pronin; Keith Loria; Andrew King

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Chief Information Officer Edward T. Kingston Web Designer Kevin Kirwan Director, Client Solutions Peter Di Salvo Information Technology Manager James Jones

DESIGN Art Director Kelli McKenna Production Manager Susanne Dwyer Senior Designer Christy LaSalle

SALES Senior Vice President Anne Kraft Senior Vice President Kara T. Stripay Senior Vice President Paul Purvis Director, Business Development Brett Johnson Director, Business Development Andy MacPherson

ADMINISTRATION Client Relations Manager Patty Sinisko EVENTS AND MEMBER NETWORKS Events & Network Relations Manager Randi Vannucchi Research Analyst Jaxson Corsi RIS CONSULTING GROUP Vice President, Managing Director John Sculley, CRP Projects Director Peg Guinta, CRP Email:

HEADQUARTERS 69 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851 RISMedia: (203) 855-1234 • FAX (203) 852-7208 Top 5 in Real Estate Network®: (203) 853-2167 • FAX (203) 852-7208 RIS Consulting Group: (203) 852-4304 • FAX (203) 852-4309 • •

PUBLICATIONS & SERVICES Real Estate magazine Annual Power Broker Report & Survey RISMedia’s Automated Content Engagement (ACE) (Daily e-News) (Housecall) RISMedia’s Real Estate CEO Exchange Power Broker Forum, Reception & Dinner at NAR Annual Power Broker Forum & Reception at NAR Midyear Copyright® 2017 by The Relocation Information Service, Incorporated-RISMedia, Norwalk, Connecticut. All rights reserved. Editorial and executive offices at 69 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851. Telephone: (203) 855-1234. Magazine subscription rate $83.40 per year, including postage ($166.80 for two years); Canadian subscription rate $200.00 (U.S.) per year, including shipping and handling ($400.00 for two years). All subscription and advertising correspondence call 1-800-724-6000. Material in this publication may not be stored or reproduced in any form without permission. Requests for permission should be directed to Managing Editor, RISMedia, Inc., 69 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of specific authors and columnists and are not intended to or do not necessarily represent the opinion or views of the publisher, his staff, other authors, advertisers, or subscribers.

{Did You Know?} #REalityCheck

Apartment prices in Manhattan dipped below $2 million in the third quarter of 2017, reaching an average $1,961,480 and a median $1,174,250, according to Halstead’s Third Quarter 2017 Market Report. According to WalletHub, the top 10 happiest states in the U.S. are: 1. Minnesota

6. New Jersey

2. Utah

7. South Dakota

3. Hawaii

8. Iowa

4. California

9. Wisconsin

5. Nebraska

10. New Hampshire

Less than half (39 percent) of millennials submit offers with the recommended 20 percent down payment. Twenty-one percent put down the minimum: 5 percent or less. Source: Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017

12 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Roughly 1.33 million housing starts are forecasted for next year, and new-home sales, together with existing-home sales, are projected to rise 2 percent. Source: Freddie Mac’s monthly Outlook for September 2017

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© 2017 American Home Shield Corporation. All rights reserved.

{Policy Matters} Real Estate Professionals:

Reduce the Legal Risks of Cyber-Crime Victimization by Jessica Edgerton This column is brought to you by the NAR Real Estate Services group.


our business has been victimized by cybercrime, and your clients’ sensitive data has been stolen. In the weeks following the breach, you have hired an IT consultant, paid thousands of dollars to an online reputation manager and spent dozens of hours on the phone with your insurance agent. And now, when you’re finally catching your breath, a process server shows up at your door informing you that you’re being sued by your clients for exposing their data.

It might not seem fair, but the devastation caused by cyber-crime continues long after a hacker has skulked away with his or her ill-gotten gains. What follows are some tips for reducing your business’ risk of cyber-crime victimization in the first place, and for minimizing the prospect of legal headaches in the event that you do experience a breach.

Vet Your IT Vendors Do your homework before contracting with any third-party IT vendors.

Once they come on board, their cyber security practices could have a direct effect on the security of your business. Before onboarding an outside vendor, consider these best practices: - Do your due diligence on the company. What’s their online reputation regarding cybersecurity? Have they experienced any breaches? If so, how did they handle them? - Review all third-party contracts, preferably with your counsel, and negotiate when possible to ensure that the vendor: • provides appropriate security warranties; • indemnifies you for any harm you may suffer because of their bad practices; and • doesn’t try to impose unreasonable limitations of liability.

Know Your State Law Every state has laws that require businesses to take certain data security measures. You’re subject to these laws, and you need to understand them. As a starting point, look up your state’s definition of “personally identifiable information” or “PII,” and determine your obligations regarding the storage, transmittal, and destruction of PII in your possession and control. You should also find out what policies your business may be required to implement pursuant to state law. For example, many states require businesses to maintain a Data Security Policy, a Document Retention and Destruction Policy, and a Breach Notification Policy. Refer to the National Association of REALTORS®’ newly updated Data Security and Privacy Toolkit for more guidance. (https://www.nar.


Consider Cyber Insurance Cyber insurance can add a layer of protection against the devastation of cybercrime. Review your current policies to determine what coverage you may currently have for cybercrime events, then talk to your insurance provider about whether additional coverage may be of benefit. In addition to cyber insurance, ask your agent about social engineering endorsements and crime riders, as each of these products offers a different kind of coverage. Understand that there are vast differences in the various cyber insurance products currently available on the market, and make sure to tailor your coverage to the particular vulnerabilities faced by your business.

Warn Your Clients About Cybercrime Email-based wire fraud continues to be a major threat to real estate transactions. Be sure to warn your clients in writing about the possibility of wire and other cyber-based fraud. This not only helps put your clients on notice about wire fraud; it could also help you in the event of a lawsuit following a successful wire-fraud incident.

Implement Reasonable Security Practices The best way to avoid the legal nightmare that follows a data breach is to avoid a data breach. Period. For a handy checklist of security practices for real estate professionals published by the National Association of REALTORS®, please visit: https:// RE

Jessica Edgerton is associate counsel for the National Association of REALTORS®. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 15

{The NAR Power Broker Roundtable} Straight Talk With 2017 NAR President-Elect Elizabeth Mendenhall MODERATOR:

advocate for property ownership.

Robert Bailey

RB: Where do the greatest growth opportunities lie for brokers?

Broker/Owner, Bailey Properties, Santa Cruz, Calif.; Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations, NAR PANELIST:

Elizabeth Mendenhall 2017 NAR President-Elect; CEO, RE/MAX Boone Realty The Power Broker Roundtable is brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS® and Robert Bailey, NAR’s Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations. Watch for this column each month, where we address broker issues, concerns and milestones.

Robert Bailey: A 20-year, sixth-gener-

ation REALTOR® from Columbia, Mo., the National Association of REALTORS® 2017 President-Elect Elizabeth Mendenhall will be bringing a fresh perspective and important agenda to her tenure at the helm of the membership in 2018. She was kind enough to join me this month to share some thoughts on what lies ahead for the broker community next year. Elizabeth, congratulations! What are some of the biggest challenges facing brokers right now?

Elizabeth Mendenhall: Thank you,

Robert! I’m very honored and excited to take on this important role. As far as broker challenges, I think market conditions top the list right now. We hope that our brokers can be more involved in taking a stake in their communities in order to be leaders in their own market issues. When they’re involved, they can help mobilize programs and development. Brokers are also trying to tackle recruiting and profitability. While NAR doesn’t advocate one business model over another, we do advocate that REALTORS®are essential to consumers in the transaction, and we

16 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

EM: Technology and partnering. The

fastest way to profitability is to use what you already have. There can be big cost savings in scaling. If NAR can help facilitate that, or if your state or local association can help facilitate that by providing brokers with tools to help them with their business, that’s an advantage.

RB: What should brokers focus on in terms of recruiting and retaining agents?

EM: Just like with consumers, agents are exposed to a lot of information, and as a broker, you have to distinguish what makes you and your office stand out. What’s your culture? Your specific model? Brokers have to know what makes them different. I teach a class called “Broker on a Budget,” and sometimes it’s just a really cool, inexpensive thing that can make your firm different or improve the overall office culture. You have to look at all those little ways that touch an agent and that build connections.

RB: How can brokers evolve their firms to best serve their agents and consumers? EM: Stay involved in their association. And I think they need to constantly make sure their firm reflects the market. Are we diverse enough? Do we have enough younger agents? Enough experienced agents? Do we have teams? If we want to continue to evolve, brokers also have to spend time on themselves in terms of education and training, and then they need to involve their team and their staff members.

RB: What trends should brokers pay close attention to?

EM: For starters, the fact that we’re closer and closer to an electronic transaction...brokers need to start preparing themselves now. Brokers also need to be aware of security

“While NAR doesn’t advocate one business model over another, we do advocate that REALTORS® are essential to consumers in the transaction, and we advocate for property ownership.” – Elizabeth Mendenhall 2017 NAR President-Elect; CEO, RE/MAX Boone Realty breaches and cyber attacks. You need to know how to protect your data. You also have to pay attention to changing consumer demographics. All of this is overwhelming, but this is where NAR plays a role as a valuable resource.

RB: How can brokers best lead in today’s challenging environment? EM: When we hired Bob Goldberg as CEO, we learned that people follow people—they don’t follow organizations. People are looking to their leader and wondering, what are their passions? Are they fun? Are they approachable? They also want to know that their broker is available or that they’ve built a team to handle that type of connectivity with their agents. Brokers have to understand that their clients are their agents, so are they coaching and leading? The best leaders are those who know they’re watched, but also don’t care that they’re being watched, because they’re going to do what’s right, no matter what. They’re not afraid to make changes, and they’re not afraid to let people see them fail. They’re going to own it, no matter what. RE 8For an expanded version of this article and other NAR Power Broker Roundtable topics, please visit

Find your path at



TAKE THAT ROBOTS ©2017 Century 21 Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. CENTURY 21® and the CENTURY 21 Logo are registered service marks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Century 21 Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated. *Study Source: 2016 Millward Brown Ad Study.

{REBAC Report}

Getting Personal About Productivity

back to verify the work is finished and meets your standards. Independent contractors and virtual assistants are another excellent resource for moving items off your list.

by Marc D. Gould

Am I overwhelmed by too many todos? Many real estate professionals feel like they’re juggling too many balls. Again, solutions begin with taking a moment to pause and selfreflect.


ime is a precious resource. Everyone wants to use it wisely, but how do you go about making the most of each and every day?

There’s no shortage of advice for improving time management skills. In my opinion, however, the best way to use time wisely begins with understanding yourself. With greater personal self-awareness, it becomes much easier to select among various tips and techniques, and apply them most effectively. For example, I know mornings are my most productive time of day, so I prefer to concentrate on my “heavy lifting” priorities early, and schedule one-on-one staff meetings in the afternoon. That said, I also recognize that self-awareness is a two-way street. If a member of my team has a strong preference for a morning meeting time, I’m open to compromise. Beyond “When am I most productive?,” other questions to ask include: 18 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Would I benefit from a regular routine? I’m a big fan of time-blocking. Each day, I schedule an hour first thing in the morning and another hour at the end of the day to review and respond to emails, and to tackle administrative tasks. The morning session helps establish priorities for the rest of the day, while the end-of-day session wraps up loose ends and helps me prepare for the following day. By eliminating the constant distraction of incoming messages, this is also a great way to stay focused on my most important to-dos. Of course, for many brokers and agents, it’s essential to stay on top of email. If you fall into that category, consider using time-blocking for other chores, like prospecting, managing transaction details or social media updates. Instead of time-blocking, you may prefer the Pomodoro Technique, which promotes working on a single task for 25 minutes, then taking a five-minute break. If your work is interrupted, simply pause your timer, then get back into your flow as quickly as possible. Do I tend to avoid certain tasks? Procrastination is a common malady, but owning up to this tendency through personal awareness is the only effective way to conquer it. It’s also possible that some jobs don’t belong on your list. Delegate tasks whenever possible, but check

Is it possible to parse a big job into specific steps that feel less overwhelming? Can I create systems to simplify and streamline routines? Consider implementing the system in Atul Gawande’s “The Checklist Manifesto.” Gawande promotes turning your work into a series of easy to follow, step-by-step checklists—a good system for recurring tasks, like transaction management. To help execute your new time management system, there are dozens of apps (Asana, Todoist, Remember The Milk, etc.) designed for individuals and/or teams. Read independent reviews and see which offers the best fit for your needs. These are just a few of my favorite suggestions for improving productivity. For more time management tips and related advice specifically for real estate professionals, please watch for the December issue of Today’s Buyer’s Rep—a member benefit for REBAC members. RE Marc D. Gould is vice president, Business Specialties, for NAR and executive director of REBAC. A wholly-owned subsidiary of NAR, The Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 30,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who work directly with buyer-clients. To learn more, visit




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© 2017 Home Security of America. All rights reserved.

{Executive Appointments}

HouseCanary has named Josh Seiff vice president of Business Development in Financial Services. Seiff, formerly at Fannie Mae, will be responsible for driving the company’s strategic initiatives within the real estate capital markets ecosystem. Seiff previously served as vice president of Multifamily Capital Markets & Trading at Fannie Mae for 13 years, where he traded municipal bonds, residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities, structured products, and derivatives, while also leading a variety of key technology and finance initiatives.

HSF Affiliates LLC, operator of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Real Living Real Estate and Prudential Real Estate, has named Troy Reierson franchise sales director.

Reierson, a nearly 20-year veteran of the sales industry, will be responsible for overseeing the strategic expansion of brokerage networks. Reierson, formerly vice president of Sales and Business Development at new construction website provider Graphic Language, Inc., and previously at Zillow Group, says his immediate focus will be on business development for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand.

In other company news, HSF Affiliates LLC has named Allan Dalton chief operating officer of Real Living Real Estate. Dalton will be responsible

20 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

for overseeing franchise sales, as well as repositioning Real Living for longterm growth. Dalton has served HSF Affiliates in a consulting role for two years, and will continue on as a consultant to Gino Blefari, president and CEO of HSF Affiliates.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has named



director of Business Development APAC. Chawla is responsible for leading efforts to recruit real estate firms in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, including in India, as well as working with other members of the organization’s global team to add and improve on member programs. Chawla will also play a role in creating and managing a Developer Program in the APAC region. Chawla brings a diverse background in international property marketing, project management and business development in banking and financial services, as well as in real estate.

Buyside has added three industry veterans to its senior leadership team:

Alissa Harper, Dan McKeehan and Laura Scott. Harper, formerly

with Market Leader, Trulia and Zillow Group, was named vice president of Growth; McKeehan, formerly with Dotloop, was named vice president of Operations; and Scott, formerly of Douglas Elliman and Northwood Realty Services, was named chief success officer.

HER Realtors® has named Tom Hughes vice president of Business Development. Hughes, who joined the company in 2008 as a sales associate, will be responsible for a growth strategy that relates to the establishment of new Community Offices throughout Ohio and adjacent states, as well as corporate networking and joint ventures.

The Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS) has installed David Charron, chief strategy officer for Bright MLS, as 2018 president. Charron, a 25-plus-year veteran of the real estate industry, will lead the CMLS executive team and work to foster MLS innovation across the country. Charron was instrumental in bringing together 43 REALTOR® associations to consolidate nine multiple listing services (MLSs) into Bright MLS.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has named Rich DeNicola chief operating officer. DeNicola, senior vice president of Franchise Sales since 2013, will transition into the role by year’s end. DeNicola, who will report to CEO and President Sherry Chris, will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of domestic and international business operations, including brand oversight, financial management and servicing. RE For more executive happenings, please visit

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connected with them long after the transaction has closed. Do the necessary tasks—daily lead-generating activities and asking for referrals— and the results will come.


Find a mentor. Successful people are always looking to improve. Seek a mentor who’s further along the path you’re on and ask for advice and assistance. Having a mentor will ensure you stay on the path to success.

6 How to Win in Business and Life by Brian Buffini


ur society is captivated by winners—the people who’ve achieved success and the American Dream and make the process look effortless. In America, we’re guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; however, many people feel the American Dream is impossible to reach today. As an emigrant who came to America from Ireland with less than $100 and went on to build wealth and a successful company, I think the American Dream is alive and well. With hard work, persistence, and a commitment to learning, success and the American Dream can be within reach. Here are seven tips that encourage success:


Focus on your goals. When challenges arise, think about the impact that reaching your goals will have on your life. This will help you face and overcome any challenges. If you’ve only recently started setting goals, be sure to write them down… and be specific.


Have a positive attitude. People prefer to work with positive people, and your clients are no different. A positive attitude helps build

relationships, leading to repeat business and referrals. One of the best ways to develop a positive attitude is to fill your mind with positive stories, music, books, etc.


Master the fundamentals. The fundamentals are timeless strategies to use regardless of the state of the market. Instead of relying on gimmicks, focus on the basics—the productive activities that have a proven record of creating results (e.g., phone calls, personal notes, monthly marketing materials and small gifts to your top-referring clients). Do at least two hours of lead generation each day, making it one of your top priorities for the day.


Be consistent. Consistency builds habits, and to be consistent, it’s important to have a system. Systems allow you to provide excellent service to your clients and stay

Do what it takes. One of the common traits found in the stories of successful emigrants is a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed. Tap into this trait by practicing longer and more often in order to build your skills, and seek out solutions to the challenges you face.


Never give up. It’s impossible to achieve anything if you quit when a challenge arises. Determination is crucial when it comes to achieving success. The American Dream is alive and well, and by practicing the tips above, you can get on the path to achieve success in both your business and personal life. My belief in the American Dream is so strong that I wrote a best-selling book about it: “The Emigrant Edge: How to Make It Big in America,” which is in stores and online ( RE Brian Buffini was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and immigrated to San Diego in 1986, where he became the classic American rags to riches story. After becoming one of the nation’s top REALTORS®, he founded Buffini & Company, an organization dedicated to sharing his powerful lead-generation systems with others. Based in Carlsbad, Calif., Buffini & Company has trained over 3 million business professionals in 37 countries and currently coaches more than 25,000 business people across North America. Today, Brian’s a New York Times best-selling author and reaches over 1 million listeners a year through his popular “Brian Buffini Show” podcast. For more information, pick up a copy of his latest book “The Emigrant Edge,” or visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 23

Emerging Trends:

Women Entrepreneurs and Single Women Commentary by Desirée Patno


ith new trends developing at a rapid pace, driven by housing’s changing landscape and the prevalence of technology, it’s essential to know what lies on the horizon. Two of the most important and fastest-growing markets today are women entrepreneurs and single women. Women Entrepreneurs According to Ernst & Young (EY), women are starting businesses at 1.5 times the rate of men in the U.S. While the number of women entrepreneurs is growing at a rapid pace, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) reports that 89.5 percent of women-owned businesses employ no one other than the owner, and data from the SBA Office of Advocacy shows that 60.1 percent of all firms without paid employees are home-based. These growing women entrepreneurs want a place to call their own for their personal and professional lives, a sanctuary for themselves and their families, as well as a stable location from which to grow their business. Homeownership for these women entrepreneurs is precious; 24 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

they’re capable risk-takers making an impact in the home-buying market just like in the business world.

Single Women Single women homebuyers are on the rise. As the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports, single women comprise 17 percent of homebuyers in the U.S., compared with 7 percent of single men. Moreover, according to the Census Bureau, of the 116 million currently occupied housing units, single women comprise 13 percent; in contrast, single men make up only 4.8 percent. With a (slowly) decreasing wage gap and increased presence in high-paying jobs—between 1970 and 2010, women civil engineers increased by 977 percent, pharma-

cists by 434 percent, physicians and surgeons by 334 percent and lawyers and judges by 681 percent—women’s buying power is growing substantially. Furthermore, the Department of Labor (DOL) reports that the unemployment rate for women is 4.8 percent, a significant decrease from 9 percent in November 2010. In addition, Census Bureau data shows that on average, women are entering marriage at age 27, compared to age 21.5 in 1940. This independence coupled with increasing wages and labor-force participation is helping women transform their homeownership dreams into reality. A home is a woman’s sanctuary, a place to call her own, an invaluable asset that cements one’s professional progress and economic foundation. The desire to own a home is an enormous driving force in women; they’re doing what it takes and sacrificing in order to become homeowners. Where are single women buying? A recent survey from found that the top 10 most popular metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for single women to buy homes share affordability. Specifically, these markets are 70 percent more affordable than the next 10 markets. There may be a buzzing market of women homebuyers in your city, so make sure you’re prepared to serve women clients. Leveraging your female agents, or your presence as a women-owned brokerage, can maximize your appeal to women buyers looking to work on their home search with women. The business is here and growing. Are you ready? RE Desirée Patno is president and CEO of the National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB). For more information, please visit

Turning Opportunity

Into Profit CINC powers elite real estate teams with better leads and higher conversion

by Paige Tepping


unning a profitable real estate business in today’s fast-paced, tech-driven environment is a challenging proposition. But for the industry’s elite teams (those doing 40+ transactions a year), CINC (Commissions Inc.) is a key piece of the puzzle, providing the tools needed to attract and engage clients—and turn opportunity into profit. Created to alleviate the frustration associated with having to deal with multiple technologies in order to achieve real estate success, the platform was born in 2011 as a lead generation and CRM solution. The team spent the next two years creating an integrated platform from which team leaders could run their total business. More depth was added to the solution, coinciding with the launch of CRM+—an update to the platform’s pre26 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

existing CRM—in 2015. In September 2016, CINC was bought by Fidelity National Financial, a huge milestone that set the stage for greater success across the board. “There are a lot of people in the industry who do what we do,” says CINC Co-CEO Jason Hoback. “This acquisition was a huge milestone as it provided confirmation that what we’ve done, not only have we done it well, but we’ve done it better than anybody else.” For Co-CEO Alvaro Erize, Fidelity’s acquisition marked a true turning point in the platform’s trajectory path forward. “Everything we do is to strengthen the agent’s position in the market. Fidelity shares our client-first mentality and passion for the agent, giving us the firepower and support we need to grow beyond what we had imagined,” says Erize of the company’s focus on being the best platform on which to run a business, as well as offering the best lead gen and conversion engine in the market. “Even if you put the best fuel in a bad car, it won’t

get anywhere,” says Erize, underscoring the importance a good platform will have on an agent’s efficiency day-in and day-out. “The goal is then for team leaders to take agents selling 10 houses a year and mentor them to be able to sell 25.” While many clients see a boost of more than 20 - 30 percent when it comes to lead conversion, it’s important to note that CINC’s investment on the lead gen side of things is paying huge dividends as well, with their clients’ cost-per-lead down 24 percent year-over-year. “We have the ability to hone in on keywords that will drive the best type of lead to a specific client at the most effective price,” says Hoback. A process that’s been boiled down to an art, automated algorithms ensure leads are tailored to a client’s area of expertise, falling in their conversion sweet spot. More than just a software company, CINC’s culture provides a unique value proposition all on its own. “When it comes to culture, you either have it, or you don’t. Since we’re a no-contract business, we’ve adopted a ‘Whatever It Takes’ (WIT) mentality because we have to earn our clients’ business every single day,” says Hoback. To that end, it’s all about mindset. While the phrase “no problem” is taboo at CINC, Hoback notes that even

though the difference between “no problem” and “my pleasure” is subtle, it’s the small things that add up to big things when interacting with clients. Taking this one step further, Erize believes the company’s strongest asset is the unrivaled community clients become part of when they join the CINC family. “We’ve built what I think is the most impressive community of elite real estate professionals who come together through us, refer business to one another and support each other through times of need,” he explains. “The value of our community is as valuable as CINC, and it will only become stronger as we bring this dream to fruition.” Looking ahead, there’s no end in sight as the company continues to pave the way toward its goal of becoming the undisputed, indispensable piece of technology on which elite real estate professionals run their business. “What’s really interesting from a technology perspective is the fact that we haven’t even scratched the surface with the value we bring our clients and the innovative things we can do to make their lives easier,” says Hoback. “We’ve achieved a lot already, but we still have a significant way to go,” concludes Erize. RE For more information, please visit

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{Blog Spot}

How to Make Buying a Beach House an Affordable Thing to Do nity that’s only open to residents for a set number of months per year. During the colder seasons, it may close down. Due to the fact that you’re unable to inhabit the house year-round, you may have a greater chance of procuring a lower price.

by Hannah Whittenly

Rent the House A beach house is a desirable location for many people, which provides the opportunity to rent it to them. For example, you could rent your house out on Airbnb. Some people decide to rent their houses out for the majority of the year and only spend a short amount of vacation time there themselves, while others choose to rent the house during peak seasons. You can decide what works for you.


he dream of purchasing a beach house is potentially one you’ve had since you were a teenager or young adult; however, setting aside the money for this venture is an entirely different project. Instead of continuing to watch your dream shrink, consider some strategies for making a beach house a reality. Look for Less Desirable Locations In your view, any house on the beach is likely in a desirable location, but that really depends upon what the buyer is looking for. One thing you should consider is how the school district can have a significant effect on the price of a house. If you’re looking for a summer home, or you don’t have any children, the quality of the school district may not affect you at all. As a result, you can buy

28 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

in a community that has a school district of a lower quality, which will likely mean a lower price. Research Seasonal Communities When you’re looking to purchase a house, you might think you need to buy a place that’s yours to visit throughout the year; however, that isn’t necessarily the case. You may be able to find a home in a commu-

Buy Smaller Houses In most cases, people looking to buy beach houses aren’t planning to live in them throughout the entire year. As a result, you probably don’t need a prodigious beach house. Even when you want to make the beach house your fulltime residence, ask yourself what you’re willing to sacrifice to get a house on the beach. If you don’t intend to have children, a beach house with one or two bedrooms might be just right.

Thinking about buying a beach house may feel overwhelming because of the perceived costs, but you can make this wish a reality. RE This article originally appeared on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit us at

Big Data, Big Opportunities: How Predictive Analytics Is Changing the Business of Real Estate by Beth McGuire


his year, the human race is producing more data than the previous 5,000 years combined. Data is so powerful that in the future, nation states will fight over it for power.” This thought-provoking statistic presented by panel moderator Dave Garland, partner, Second Century Ventures and director of Strategic Investments for the National Association of REALTORS®, set the stage for a muchanticipated panel discussion at RISMedia’s 2017 Real Estate CEO Exchange in New York on how brokers are leveraging the application of predictive analytics and big data in their businesses to better serve consumers’ real estate needs. “Predictive analytics is analyzing extracted data, using old data to predict the future,” Garland explained. “The big difference now is we have new data points that we can apply to our industry. We’re moving from the idea of hindsight to insight to foresight.” The idea of using data in real estate isn’t new—think tax records, comps, valuations, or even local school, business and crime statistics. But with consumers demanding more and more information, and more data being available on consumer behavior than ever before, the use of predictive analytics is the game changer. San Francisco-based HouseCanary is a real estate analytics company using data science to accurately value and forecast over 18,000 U.S. zip codes, 3 million blocks and 100 million properties. Co-Founder and CEO Jeremy Sicklick said one of the key opportunities predictive analytics provides in real estate is having the abil-

30 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

From left to right: Jeremy Sicklick, HouseCanary; Mark Choey, Climb Real Estate; John Murray, Key Realty; Scott MacDonald, RE/MAX Gateway

ity to know the property value of a home, and knowing where the value is going to go, to help consumers make better home-buying and -selling decisions. HouseCanary’s home value reports also allow users to add or remove properties or property details to instantly adjust a home’s comparable value, or add a bathroom or remodel the kitchen and see how that affects the home’s value. Arming the agent with that kind of statistic-based data science is key in working with today’s real estate consumers, he said. “When is the right time to sell my home?” Sicklick asked. “We said, ‘Let’s look at the data and see what’s really happening here.’ We now have enough information to help them make those decisions. Should I improve my home, sell my home, or refinance? Being able to quantify and visualize it is where big data is going. Being able to show people and arm people with ‘why’ it’s occurring and explain it to someone who is trying to make a decision—and putting brokers and agents at the center of those decisions to help [buyers and sellers] see their options—that’s the opportunity.” Mark Choey, co-founder and CTO of the innovative boutique firm Climb Real Estate in San Francisco, emphasized the importance to brokerages of collecting data on buyers and sellers, noting the many tools available now to help the effort. One of those that he uses is the Gmail extension Crystal, which uses personality detection technology to predict behavior and help businesses communicate with their clients in a more customized way, based on their personalities. Their tools use the DISC assessment, which uses four primary personality types to determine behavior: dominant, influential, steady, and calculating. “I used the system before sending an email to some-

one I didn’t know, and it showed that the person likes we do with them? Companies providing predictive analyttheir time respected and speaks in short, concise state- ics are emerging, and some are better than others. If you ments and bold language,” he said. “I wrote my email don’t have the expertise, you can work with these comlike that and got a very positive response. That’s one panies. Some bigger shops are hiring data scientists, but example of a great tool you can use to increase sales the majority of brokerages should focus on how to use the data and work with these companies to improve their conversion.” data—then everyone wins.” He also noted, “The No. 1 question He added, “Data is great, but it’s all people ask is, ‘Should I buy now?’ or about how you use that data to find out ‘Should I sell now?’ so arming agents what’s important to your clients.” with data and historical context is important. When we get leads, the No. Scott MacDonald, broker/owner and 1 thing an agent asks is, ‘Who is this president of RE/MAX Gateway in Chantilly, Va., agreed, explaining that the use lead?’ These types of new tools out of data in real estate, like social media there can help figure out who these data, can be effective, but only if it’s people are. used in the right ways. “Most everyone here represents a “We look at where buyers come brokerage that has been using lists for from; we look at their profiles and a long time,” added Choey. “Now we know where to target our marketing,” have much easier automation, more MacDonald said. “But it’s not only refined information, combined with “Predictive analytics is knowing what to look for, but how do good valuations. We can see if offers we use it effectively?” are coming in above or below where analyzing extracted data, MacDonald said it’s all about giving they should be. We can inform [buyers] using old data to predict the agents the best tools to use, especially and say take it and run or hold off for future. The big difference given the competitive complexity of the a better offer. At any one time we’re now is we have new data testing out 10 - 15 different technolopoints that we can apply to industry today. “You have the discountgies for widgets, apps, CRMs, landing ers, the disruptors and the DIYers,” our industry. We’re moving pages, different listing sources. We he said. “The more you can arm your look at lists from CoreLogic and con- from the idea of hindsight to agents with information about what insight to foresight.” stantly benchmark it against our own happened in the past and what’s coming in the future, the better able they data. Our goal is to constantly improve – DAVE GARLAND Partner, Second Century Ventures will be to serve their clients.” sales conversions, and we work on it and Director of Strategic Investments, In an industry where valuations have all the time.” National Association of REALTORS® been called into question, Murray also John Murray, managing broker and commented that while the accuracy of president of Rockford, Ill.-based Key Realty, echoed Choey’s support for brokerages utilizing data is paramount, so is the industry’s ability to interpret it for real estate consumers. “It’s the utilization and interavailable data tools. “One of the core competencies of our brokerage is to pretation of the information that we can all do in our busihelp improve conversion to do more sales,” Murray said. nesses to restore some credibility to the industry—we’ve “We have leads coming out of our eyeballs, but what do lost some of that.” RE

TRUST? Which Real Estate Portals Can You

by Deborah Kearns


s other real estate How Keeps portals focus on Agents at the Center scaling and capturing of the Real Estate more consumer traffic, Transaction is focused on meeting the needs of the industry. The company isn’t worrying about attracting tens of millions of eyeballs to its website. It has a vision that’s much more focused: to be a trusted friend of the industry while driving quality consumers to their advertisers. Gaining—and keeping—credibility with brokers and agents can be challenging when competitors introduce features that can cut real estate agents out of the process completely. It’s no wonder there’s a certain amount of skepticism and fear among agents who are forced to pay to get leads back on their own listings. But there’s no confusion about’s motives. Since its inception in 1992, has connected buyers

32 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

and sellers with professional real estate agents. It also offers direct exposure for agents’ listings without a pay-to-play expectation. And that means directing all leads—whether a listing agent pays for marketing on or not—back to that listing agent for each and every listing displayed on its site, says President David Mele. “Our business model is different; we want to be the broker partner portal that brokers can trust to not compete with them for business,” Mele says. “We’re not growing our brand at their expense.” When brokers decide whether to advertise on portals with more than 100 million monthly views, it becomes a matter of diminishing returns, he points out. “If you’re paying money to market your listings on a site with that many visitors, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack to find the right buyers.” With more than 400 employees spread among its headquarters in Norfolk, Va., and three other offices in Florida and California, is growing at a mea-

Photo taken at’s headquarters in Norfolk, Va., with team members from sales, product development, technical operations, customer service, business planning and analytics, and finance.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 33

sured pace. Its focus on pursuing “transaction-ready consumers” instead of more passive shoppers makes’s value impossible to discount, Mele says. “Our core clients are real estate brokers and agents; we want them to trust us,” Mele says. “That’s why we have no plans to get into the real estate brokerage or sales business, and we’re up front about that.”

KEEPING AGENTS AT THE CENTER OF THE TRANSACTION With a clearly defined business model that avoids stepping into the murky waters of real estate brokerage sales, wants agents to know leads on their listings will always go to them. Simple concept, right? But that’s a challenge to communicate when bigger portals blur those lines, says Andy Woolley, vice president of industry development at “Unless you pay to advertise on some of those sites, you won’t get the leads on your listings,” Woolley says. “Many brokers don’t realize that.” Brokers and agents who want the highest return for their advertising dollars should ask these three key questions before agreeing to advertise on search portals:

1. Do I always get free leads on all of my listings? Don’t assume. “Some of the largest real estate portals don’t always do this and will require that the listing be upgraded for the listing agent to receive leads,” Woolley says. “Brokers need to remember that, as the broker of record, they are in control—and have the power to turn publishing destinations on or off,” adds Woolley. “There must be a fair exchange where you (or your agents) are getting value back in return for providing the content.”

34 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

2. Will your website clearly list my name and contact information on all of my listings? Another point of contention among brokers is that a listing agent’s name and contact information should be displayed on their own listings. After all, they’re investing time and marketing to sell the property. But this isn’t always done on other search portals; you have to read the fine print of your contracts, Woolley cautions. On, however, each listing clearly identifies the listing agent’s name, phone number, photo (when available) and a “listing agent” title to make it clear to consumers who they should contact about that listing, he says.

3. Do your listing pages display all of the property photos uploaded on the MLS? Many MLSs no longer restrict the number of property photos you can upload with your listing, but search portals sometimes do. If all the listing photos are not being displayed, your listing could be missing out on potential buyers. You worked hard to get the business, so make sure all of your photos are being displayed. If a portal limits the number of displayed photos, do you get any say in which images are used? (Another item to look for in the sales contract.)

STARTING AT THE SOURCE You’ll find little disagreement among brokers and agents that listing data from the MLS is the most accurate and timely information about properties. After all, who knows listings better than the agents who are selling and marketing them? That’s why, Woolley says, it’s important for brokerages and industry leaders to work hand-in-hand with MLSs. Doing so ensures that consumers get the latest and greatest data about listings on the market as easily and transparently as possible,


Woolley says. The majority of’s listings are sourced directly from MLSs or franchise groups, with permission from brokers. The scale of’s data aggregation effort is massive, with more than 3 million active listings and 45 million images processed from over 700 local sources. That effort requires significant technical expertise, coordinated with a diligent industry development program. “There are so many MLSs, it’s difficult to coordinate with all of them,” Woolley says. “Each MLS is unique, not only in terms of their data formats, but also their expectations with respect to publishers like us.” is a big believer in the new Council of Multiple Listing Services’ nationwide campaign, “Making the Market Work,” which communicates the fundamental place the MLS holds as a guarantor of basic principles real estate professionals rely upon. Woolley is at the table as a partner and liaison to the industry, having recently been elected to the board of directors of the Council of Multiple Listing Services, or CMLS, which represents some of the larg-


15 million visits per month

3 million

property listings

90%of page

views are consumers searching for their next home

72% of buyers are * Averages compiled by combining data from Omniture SiteCatalyst 2017, internal reports and registered users est and most influential MLS organizations across the country. As business partner director for the Council, Woolley says his goal is to advocate for MLSs. Of course, it’s this type of visible leadership on pressing industry issues that helps reinforce’s position as a friend to the industry.

GEARING UP FOR THE FUTURE OF HOME SEARCH You won’t see in flashy TV commercials, because the company’s focus is on providing value to the real estate industry. Instead of spending on mass marketing, is investing in product innovation. In fact, they are in the process of completely rebuilding their website from scratch to deliver a best-in-class home search experience. Most real estate sites greet users with a search bar that shows only a limited number of items buyers are

not yet working with an agent

looking for, such as the price range or the number of desired bedrooms and bathrooms. won’t mimic that triedand-true and predictable experience. Instead, it will use artificial intelligence, or AI, to generate more precise listing-to-buyer matches based on less rigid filters and more personalized results. “With AI, we can match the consumer to listings in order of ‘musthave’ to ‘nice-to-have’ amenities and features,” Mele says. “Consumers will get a tailored experience that adds value not only to them, but to agents and brokers, as well. By completely reimagining the site, more consumers will find homes they love, resulting in more quality leads sent to advertisers.” Other features of the new include online collaboration and sharing that allows users to send listings to relatives or friends to view photos and details, and gather feedback on the

homes. All in all,’s new consumer search experience will continue to keep agents at the forefront of the home-search process, and provide them more transactionready consumers for a quicker path to conversion.

COMPLETE MARKETING PARTNER Real estate agents have to market listings if they want to get to the closing table with the right buyer. provides exposure to a transaction-ready consumer audience to help agents do just that. In addition to advertising on, the company offers marketing tools for modern-day agents—without abandoning the traditional emphasis on building personal client relationships. One such tool is SEO Fuel, a marketing system that offers a twopronged approach to help real estate websites rank higher in a search engine’s organic results, says Erin Ruane,’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. The


RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 35


higher the ranking, the more likely a consumer will learn about and visit a website.’s SEO experts focus first on onsite optimization to make sure their customers’ content is relevant and crawlable by the search engines. Secondly, the SEO Fuel program publishes relevant content for homebuyers and sellers across the web, linking those interested consumers to their customers’ websites, further driving interested traffic. “Effective SEO is in demand because agents want high-quality traffic to their own websites as they face off against stiff competition,” Ruane says. “We’re focused on helping them level the playing field with SEO Fuel.” Another popular marketing tool is Social Fuel—a comprehensive social media solution for effectively managing social media presence and online reputation for agents and brokers. The program posts regional content and manages Facebook ad 36 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

campaigns on behalf of the agents. It also monitors the agent’s online reputation, gauging it against that of his/her competition. “Social media is the new word-ofmouth,” Ruane says. “We offer Social Fuel to ensure our customers are able to have a conversation with their sphere of influence in a way that’s public, positions them as the market expert and translates into consumer inquiries.” Here’s a list of other key marketing tools offers:

place at the right time to receive those inquiries.

LEAD CONCIERGE - The service screens inquiries on the agent’s behalf, and will live transfer interested buyers and sellers directly to agents so they never miss a chance to convert an inquiry into a prospect.

Since 2005, has powered, the RE/MAX® brand’s consumer-facing website, and has listing display agreements with all the Realogy brands, along with other major brokerages throughout the U.S. and Canada. The value proposition to these enterprise partners, as Woolley calls them, has always been constant: drive their agents as much business as possible—even if the lead comes directly to The goal is to always direct those leads downstream from to a broker or an individual listing agent. The big portals—Zillow, Trulia and®— operate as consumer companies with an outward-facing brand. But having too much control over consumers’ exposure to listings can hurt rather than help the industry, explains Woolley. “If you’re a broker or agent, you want to leverage your presence on a national website to drive buyers and sellers downstream to you, but that’s not how all big portals want the process to work,” Woolley says. “We’re not worried about keeping every consumer on for life; otherwise, we wouldn’t bother offering agent or brokerage websites. Before you advertise on Zillow or Trulia, ask what’s more important to them: your brand...or theirs?” RE

HOMES.COM FUSION WEBSITES These websites are built on a responsive design platform created specifically for real estate, Ruane says. The websites feature simple yet powerful search options, including map search, detailed neighborhood reports, large photo display, and easy save-and-share options. .HOMES DOMAIN NAMES - A new offering, .Homes is the perfect domain name extension for agents or brokers who want a more intuitive URL for their business website. Having a truly unique URL is becoming more difficult, as domain names with a traditional .com extension are harder to secure. The .Homes domain names are also exclusive for use within the real estate industry with only validated, real estate-related businesses allowed to purchase and use the .Homes domain extension. LOCAL CONNECT - On, this advertising product helps agents connect with active buyers and sellers in their target market, by zip code. When buyers and sellers are ready to connect with a local expert, Local Connect puts agents in the right

FEATURED AGENT/BROKER - This program prominently brands the agent/broker and their listings on the search results page of, while driving traffic to an agent/broker’s listings, website, and social media accounts through direct links and calls-to-action.


For more information, please visit

For us, real estate isn’t work ... it’s our passion. That’s why we don’t operate in offices, but in our signature shop locations. Whether in Toronto, Ottawa, Newport Beach, Barcelona or Brussels, you’ll recognize an Engel & Völkers shop when you see one. White façades and large windows are designed to showcase beautiful real estate exposés and draw visitors in as they dream and explore the idea of a new home. On streets around the world, our shops are an expression of our passion for real estate and a shared commitment to support our real estate advisors to provide premium service to their clients at every price point. We invite you to drop in, browse and see what a future at Engel & Völkers might hold for you.

Engel & Völkers 430 Park Avenue · 11th Floor · New York · NY 10022 · Phone +1 212-234-3100 ·

©2017 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. This advertisement is not an offering. An offering can only be made by prospectus filed first with the department of the law of the state of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the department of law. Additionally, depending on where you are located, an offering may require filing with your respective state authorities. Minnesota Registration Number: F-5339

Upping the Ante With Accurate Home Improvement Valuations How CRS Data’s Refined Values tool works for real estate professionals by Zoe Eisenberg


eal estate professionals should always be looking to add more value to their offerings. From garnering a faster response time to acquiring cutting-edge tools and resources, becoming a wealth of knowledge for your community is pivotal to success.

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CRS Data’s Refined Values tool is making waves in the into play when a client invests their hard-earned time and home valuation process by allowing its users access money into a project and expects to see a return. Often, to accurate valuations on a range of home improve- the client over-values what their improvement is worth ments. Acting as an invaluable resource for everyone not only because it’s sentimental to them, but also befrom agents to MLS services, this tool helps fine-tune cause they put a lot of effort into it. The Refined Values the value of a home based on improvements that aren’t tool replaces guesswork with factual data to better serve the client, allowing agents to breathe easier when they reflected in the current tax record property value. To use the tool, CRS Data users can simply log into enter into these tender conversations. Joseph Cullom, executive director at Charleston Tritheir property report, enter the room that’s been improved (living room, dining room, bathroom, etc.), the dent MLS (CTMLS)—a county records provider for aptotal amount spent on the project, and the overall im- proximately 6,500 real estate professionals—has been provement quality to generate the estimated value of the in real estate for 12 years. For the past 10, Cullom has improvement. These geo-specific valbeen using CRS Data to meet his everues are generated based on extensive real estate data needs. “The public demands changing home renovation data collected from “CRS Data gives our members a more knowledge in a clean, modern, intuitive user experiacross the U.S., and the information is backed by Hanley Wood, a leading comfaster period of time, ence that allows members to dive pany in home improvement valuation deep into the details of properties in and the Refined Values the Greater Charleston area,” says Culacross North America. Once the user tool and CRS Data lom, who originally joined forces with has the data they need, they can save the report as a PDF, email it directly allow our members to CRS Data to ensure his members had access to premier technology so that to their client, print it out to bring to a meet and exceed that they could operate as the local market listing presentation or open house, or demand.” expert in their respective areas. Acsimply save it for later. cording to Cullom, the Refined Values “There’s a plethora of data available - JOSEPH CULLOM tool is a perfect example of this top in our industry,” says Kari Autry, direcExecutive Director, Charleston Trident MLS (CTMLS) tor of Marketing and Product at CRS technology in action. Data, who goes on to explain that in “The Refined Values tool allows our addition to the company’s data being members to create estimated values useful, their source is vetted and relifor various home improvements,” says able. “We added this feature to help real estate profes- Cullom, who notes that his members can now estimate sionals and brokers become more knowledgeable and how much value could be added to their seller’s home if present themselves well. They can confidently commu- the kitchen was remodeled, or the bathroom was renonicate home improvement values based on a vetted, vated. “Through the use of the tool, our members have trusted source.” the ability to offer an even deeper level of insight and exSo the information is accurate and the tool is easy to pertise. The public demands more knowledge in a faster access, but how does the Refined Values tool work in period of time, and the Refined Values tool and CRS Data real-life scenarios? Autry offers the following example: “A allow our members to meet and exceed that demand.” However, it isn’t just the Refined Values tool that sets real estate professional has a listing appointment with a potential client. The client has mentioned that they’ve CRS Data apart from the competition. “The ease of use recently replaced the roof and remodeled the master of CRS Data is the first thing that stands out,” says Culbathroom. The real estate professional can plug this in- lom, “but the real differentiator is the company itself.” formation into the Refined Values tool and determine the Cullom goes on to explain that CTMLS looks to partner updated value of their home.” not only with great products, but also with great people, Another example? Let’s say an existing client calls and stresses that they couldn’t have found a better their real estate professional and asks how much money partner than CRS Data. “Acting as more than simply a they can expect to get back when they sell their home software vendor, CRS Data is a true business partner in if they move forward with the kitchen remodel they’ve every sense of the word. They’ve assembled a fantastic had in mind. Autry explains that the real estate profes- team that provides impeccable support. We’ve had comsional can type the information into their Refined Values plex requests and data needs over our 10-year partnertool and give the client an amount based on both dollars ship, and CRS Data was able to solve them every time without fail—and always with a smile.” RE spent and location of the home. For the real estate professional, Autry explains that the tool can level the emotional side that often comes For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 39

Answering the Call

HomeSmart CEO Pilots Irma Rescue Mission by Zoe Eisenberg

Matt Widdows (above) flew his Pilatus PC-12 to devastated areas of the Caribbean after Hurricane Irma.


ost of us have a hobby—baking or painting, a creative interest, a part-time passion or a simple way to pass the time. For

Matt Widdows, CEO and founder of HomeSmart International, that passion is flying his private plane, a Pilatus PC-12 that seats eight passengers. For Widdows described the destruction on St. Maarten as “shocking.”

years, Widdows has been using his flying skills to give back, working with the Eastern division of Angel Flight, an organization that offers air transportation for passengers in need of medical treatment. When Hurricane Irma began to loom, Widdows realized he had the opportunity to put his skills, and his plane, to further use. “If you’ve got the means and you’ve got the abilities and can do something to help, it’s important to do that,” says Widdows. “In my case, I’ve got a specific skillset, and my plane is perfect for it.” Originally scheduled to speak at RISMedia’s Real Estate CEO Exchange on Sept. 12 and 13 in New York City, Widdows passed his opportunity onto HomeSmart COO Ashley Bowers and—along with two pilot friends—flew to the Dominican Republic to relocate relief workers to

40 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

recovering from surgery with a shattered knee when Irma hit—moved her family down to their basement, where they slept on a wet mattress for two days before they were able to travel to a friend’s nearby home with safer accommodations. “We just sat there wondering what to do,” says Glacken, on crutches at the time. A friend’s neighbor knew about Widdows’ relief efforts, and passed his number on to Glacken. “We were on his plane three days later,” she says. “Originally, he was going to take us to Puerto Rico, but the dog couldn’t go, so we switched the plan to Florida, which was fortuitous.” Widdows dropped Glacken and her family in Ft. Lauderdale; they are currently with family in Virginia, wondering what their next move will be. “We want to go back to the island—it’s home,” says Glacken, whose property has extensive water damage and is currently covered in black mold. “But with a three-yearold, we need electricity and running Widdows (above right) and two pilot friends delivered over 2,000 lbs. of supplies per trip, and evacuated 15 people and three dogs.

Turks and Caicos. From Sept. 12 - 17, Widdows and his crew traveled through Florida, San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten, delivering over 2,000 pounds of emergency staples per trip. These deliveries included water, generators, medical supplies, and even chilled soft drinks—a special request made by a team of relief workers in St. Maarten. Widdows notes that he was unprepared for the level of destruction he found on the islands, especially St. Maarten. “It was a whole different deal,” he explains. “There were refugees on airport grounds; it was shocking.” Widdows evacuated several families from airport grounds—approximately 15 individuals and three dogs. Among those evacuated was

Christy Glacken, along with her husband and three-year-old son. A yacht broker, Glacken had been living in St. Thomas with her family for approximately six months, and had recently purchased and moved into a home that the hurricane has now rendered uninhabitable. Glacken—who was

water.” Although it’s been more than a month since their evacuation, Glacken’s family is still processing. “We were living in absolute paradise one second, and now we’re not.” RE For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 41

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3 Undeniable Truths of Goal-Setting by Geoff Lewis


e’re heading into the final stretch of 2017. How are your yearly goals coming along? Truth be told, if you need to check in on your progress at this point, chances are you’re missing the mark.

After all, examining your goals should be part your daily routine (in fact, it should be done first thing every morning, before you start your work day). By this time of year, you should be well acquainted with what you want to achieve and taking the daily steps to get there—no need for a reminder or periodic check-in. As you take inventory of 2017, and before jumping into a fresh set of goals for the new year, here are three undeniable truths of goal-setting:

8They must be realistic If you’ve ever watched “America’s Got Talent” or a similar competition, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You can have all the heart, drive and

determination in the world—but without a natural talent or inclination for what you’re trying to achieve, your goals will surely remain out of reach. Sometimes, no amount of practice or resolve will make you a good singer, no matter how hard you try. The same goes for business. Pull back the lens and self-evaluate to discover what you’re naturally good at, and what you’re not. If self-evaluation isn’t your thing, ask a colleague for honest, unfiltered feedback. Then key in on where your talents are. Your goals will not only be more attainable; they’ll also come to you more naturally.

8Break big goals down Swinging for the fences and setting lofty goals is great as a long-term plan, but breaking major goals into smaller goals is the better way to go. If you’re currently a $100,000 GCI producer, for instance, it simply doesn’t make sense to make a 2018 goal of earning $1 million for the year, or even $500,000, for that matter. Instead, shoot for $150,000

or $200,000 or even $250,000. After two or three years of accomplishing smaller goals, you’ll find yourself at your larger one. Additionally, don’t set too many goals, or you risk spreading your focus too thin to achieve any of them at a quality level. Your goals should be attainable, realistic and small. Setting too large of goals makes it easy to give up altogether if you realize you’re behind pace. It actually works against you— kind of like a person falling short of a weight loss goal who, knowing he’s not going to make it anyway, dives into the chips and french fries. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aspire to significant, realistic long-term goals, which leads us to…

8Little achievements lead to big ones Nearly everybody has rockstar dreams, but only those who buckle down and do the essential daily tasks ever achieve them. It’s practicing and doing and perfecting. Every. Single. Day. In business, it’s setting daily, very reachable goals that inevitably lead to the larger prize. Darren Hardy, founder of Success magazine, perhaps said it best: “The accomplishment of any goal is the progressive accumulation, or compound effect, of small steps taken consistently over time.” The key component of Darren’s insight is the “small steps.” These tasks can be admittedly tedious, but they’re the essential building blocks behind any large success story. These steps should be the first thing you look at each morning, highly defined and actionable, and done Every. Single. Day. RE

Geoff Lewis is president of RE/MAX, LLC. For more information, visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 43

within the community. Check with

Focus Makes the Difference by Terri Murphy


hen does that racehorse really pour on the power? You guessed it…in that final stretch of the race, with the finish line in sight.

It’s hard to believe we’re heading into the final days of the year, when our focus should be all about rocking our numbers as we reach the finish line. It’s time to maximize these final weeks to meet or exceed those goals we set many months ago. Will you meet your goals, or fall short? Many agents use the slowdown of the market as we near the holidays as an excuse to slack off. We all love the holidays, and while life is about enjoying these special times, for the savvy agent, ramping up when everyone else is gearing down offers the best competitive advantage. While everyone else is sipping ci-

44 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

der and decorating for the holidays, here are a few proven ways to take advantage of the lull and score big.

8 Set up a face-to-face touch with everyone you did business with this year. The end of the year is a logical time to contact past clients, your sphere of influence, current prospects and strategic partners to say a special “thank you.” Consider hosting a fun event or a pie promotion to past clients, customers, referral resources and current prospects.

8Contact prospects who aren’t ready to buy or sell, and ask what date they want you to contact them after the holidays. Pop by with a small holiday promotional gift or card that tells them a donation has been made by you in their name. These are solid ways to keep the connection going.

8Support a give-back campaign

your local Chamber of Commerce for details on drives to benefit the local food pantry, animal shelter, homeless shelter or senior center and discover different ways to support them through your sphere of influence. Be present at each of the various venues for the distribution or pick-up of the drive. Make sure to take plenty of photos and videos to post on your Facebook business page. Sharing the combined efforts of you and the participating vendors creates high visibility and endless goodwill.

8Inspect what you expect from your various service providers. Do a deep dive into inspecting what lead generation and CRM (client relationship management) platforms have proven to be profitable. When you study the actual return on the investment, you’re better equipped to make the decision to renew those particular services or start looking for a better solution. As an example, if you’ve been paying every month for a lead-generation service, now is a great time to determine what percentage of those leads have resulted in sales. Service providers count on the fact that a monthly billing will continue to ping your credit card and go unnoticed. Knowing what your real costs are can make the difference between buying leads and actually converting them into real profits. As the year draws to an end, keep your eye on the goal to go, and we’ll see you in the profit zone. RE Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, speaker and coach. She is the author/co-author of five books, and founder of Contact her at, or

Cybersecurity and Wire Fraud Commentary by Lisa Mihelcich


ybersecurity and wire fraud breaches remain valid threats in the real estate industry, despite available precautions. In fact, wire fraud was the No. 1 type of fraud in 2016, causing $50 billion in losses, according to PointPredictive’s Chief Fraud Strategist Frank McKenna.

Worse yet, wire fraud losses happen instantly, and most are untraceable back to the culprit. It can happen in real estate transactions when hackers break into an agent’s or client’s email account and look for upcoming transaction dates. The criminal, posing as the agent or title officer, emails the buyer with wiring instruction changes in the eleventh hour. If the buyer complies, the money is gone—just like that. Unfortunately, the offer for the house usually falls through, as well. Cybersecurity breaches result in major losses, as well. For example, Equifax is offering consumers free credit-file monitoring and identity theft protection for one year since it experienced a massive breach of consumer information earlier this year. Follow these tips to prevent being a victim of fraud or identity theft:

8Do not use public WiFi to conduct any transactions or business.

8Verify wire instructions received via email with a phone call to the sender.

8Use secure applications to collaborate online.

8Sign documents online using digital signature, two-step verification software. Using software designed for security and authenticity like zipCommunity™ by zipLogix™ can help thwart hackers and thieves. zipCommunity™, included in the zipForm® Plus application created by zipLogix™, allows all parties involved with a transaction to communicate live with one another through video, audio or text chat. Users can complete a transaction entirely online in a secure digital environment. All changes to documents are tracked in a history

section embedded within the transaction, creating a paper trail of every edit and document view. Both the agent and client receive a notification any time a change is made by either party. When time constraints don’t allow meeting in person to sign documents, digital signatures prevail over electronic signatures. What’s the difference between digital and electronic signatures? Any signature in electronic form, such as one written on a tablet with a stylus, constitutes an electronic signature. It’s susceptible to tampering or altering, which diminishes legal protection. A digital signature is embedded in the document, securing the identity of each signer, as well as the document’s content. zipLogix Digital Ink®, the company’s secure e-signature solution, ensures that the digital signatures on documents are legal and valid by taking things one step further in the transaction process. Documents signed using zipLogix Digital Ink®are time-stamped, and the signature is permanently attached to the document. Any attempt to change or tamper with the digital signatures will automatically and visibly invalidate the document. Cyber threats and wire fraud will persist as long as real estate professionals continue performing transactions online, but it’s not necessary to resort to the old-fashioned way of doing business just to stay secure. Improvements in protection mechanisms against these crimes are staying one step ahead, outsmarting and preventing criminals from getting access to confidential information. RE Lisa Mihelcich is COO, zipLogix™. To learn more about protecting online real estate transactions, visit, or contact a zipLogix™ representative at (866) 627-4729.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 47

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Investing in Tomorrow: ERA Real Estate unveils new digital program aimed at agent recruitment and retention by Zoe Eisenberg


magine sitting at your computer and getting a pop-up notifying you that Alex Gonzales has sold a home in a neighborhood your brokerage has wanted to penetrate for a while. You’ve had your eye on Alex, and you’ve been wanting to recruit him for months.

You open an email and shoot him a note: “Alex, congrats on the latest sale! Coffee next week to catch up?” He responds with a time and place, and the same pop-up flashes a new message: “Coffee with Alex, Tuesday at 3 p.m.” Tuesday rolls around and you have a great meeting with Alex, who reveals he’s been interested in your brokerage. One month later, you succeed in recruiting him. This recruiting scenario isn’t a faroff reality or pipe dream. It’s happening now at ERA Real Estate. This fall, ERA began rolling out an enhanced ERA TopRecruiterSM program, which includes a new agent recruitment and retention program for brokers. The program, which teaches brokers how to successfully recruit, close and retain agents, includes an automated technology platform that provides insights into agents of interest, and integrates with calen-

dars and other existing systems to schedule appointments. With support from Realogy, ERA has rolled into the program a focused incentive offering designed to support broker recruitment. The program underwent a successful one-day pilot in August with nine ERA brokerages, resulting in 35 calls to agents, 19 appointments for meetings and two direct recruits. In October, ERA launched its first official training course, working with a group of 25 ERA brokers. Shannon Poser, ERA’s Operations and Engagement vice president, says the goal is to get all of ERA’s U.S. brokers trained within the next 12 months. “As our brokerages grow, we want to help them develop a reliable pool of top-performing, passionate and dynamic agents,” says Poser, “and a big part of that is supporting our brokers through training programs that

allow them to be expert recruiters and managers.” Although ERA has invested in recruitment for decades, this enhanced program is different. First, brokers attend an education session on the value of recruiting, and how to prospect and get prospective agents on board. Brokers also participate in a live training session where they make calls to agents to refine their presentation skills. “One of the most important takeaways is helping brokers better showcase their value proposition and deliver that message flawlessly,” says Poser. Brokers also learn to use the new tech platform at the heart of the program. The platform, separate from ERA’s Zap technology, pairs with MLS systems to track agents through the size or number of their transactions or by the neighborhoods in which they’re most active. The second part of the program helps brokers better understand how to retain and support agents who decide to come on board, and how to increase their productivity. Part of that process is Agent Achieve, a fourweek productivity course brokers are trained to deliver to agents. Last is a coaching and accountability session to keep brokers on track. “What we’re doing is providing brokers with a focused process on how to recruit, retain and develop agents, helping them shape a vital part of their growth strategy,” says Poser. ERA hopes the new ERA TopRecruiterSM program will increase the brand’s marketshare and fuel bottom-line growth, helping to build a foundation of future superstar agents. “When you keep agents on their toes, challenged, growing and learning new things, they’re going to make more money and be easier to retain,” says Poser. RE For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 49

{Power Broker Perspectives} by Keith Loria

Jim Sparkman:

Giving Agents an Advantage With Education In 2013, Jim Sparkman, Donald Sturgeon and Mark Farrow were all real estate agents at a firm in Salem, Ore., when all three individually had discussed leaving that brokerage and going in a different direction. Sparkman came up with the idea of the three joining forces to form a HomeSmart Realty Group, a model the other two were not familiar with. “Upon hearing his pitch, we saw that it truly was the future of real estate, and the direction the market was heading,” says Sturgeon. “The model itself and the support from HomeSmart was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up, and we decided doing it together would be more successful than any one of us would be on our own.” Combined, the trio has 46 years of experience in the real estate business, and that knowledge has positioned the firm as a leader in the market in a short period of time. “It’s been a strong year here in the Willamette Valley. Property values are up about 8 percent from 2016, though inventory is still incredibly low and continues to get lower,”

50 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Jim Sparkman (above left), Donald Sturgeon (above center), and Mark Farrow (above right) brought their combined 46 years of experience to the HomeSmart model. Below, the owners with the HomeSmart executive team.

says Sturgeon. “We’re beginning to see properties have a little more days on market, but it’s still definitely a seller’s market here. We can see that we’re plateauing to a certain extent right now.” The biggest challenge as a brokerage, Sturgeon says, is how fast the market has grown and staying ahead of that growth.

VITALS: HomeSmart Realty Group Years in business: 4 Size: 3 offices, 232 agents Regions served: Mid-Willamette Valley and Portland metro market 2017 sales volume (as of Oct. 1): $382,780,332 2017 transactions (as of Oct. 1): 1,349 transaction sides

“We went from 14 agents when we opened to 230-plus,” he says. “One of our greatest challenges is making sure we have all the pieces in place to still deliver a high level of service to all our agents, and as we grow, making sure the level of service doesn’t wane. We also need to make sure we have the backend support. Hiring strategic staff and making sure our facilities are adequate for our agent count and need is also important.” And the growth isn’t going to stop anytime soon. The company started in Salem, grew into Portland, became licensed and took over territory in Vancouver, Wash., and is currently looking at two other strategic sites in the Northwest along the I-5 corridor for more expansion. Farrow notes that the Salem office is also moving its facilities from a 1,600-square-foot office to one nearly three times its size in a recently renovated building. When it comes to its team of agents, the three co-owners all feel that training is an important aspect of success, and the goal is to establish a long-term relationship with agents and set them up with a certain level of success right off the bat. “One of the things we all strongly agree with in our business plan is education,” says Sparkman. “We want to keep our-

selves ahead of the market, and we do that with training. We have regular weekly training classes, and we conduct an extensive new agent training program once they come fresh out of real estate school.” The new building will also include a training facility, and some form of training will be occurring either live or via the web five days a week. “There’s educating our agents on the tools and technology that are available to them and how to use them to their advantage, there’s teaching lead generation and prospecting techniques to help them generate business for themselves, and then there’s contract and transactional training,” says Sturgeon. “We make sure we hit on all those prongs of what we consider to be an effective training platform.” Agents are attracted to the firm, the trio believes, for six reasons: access to the latest technology; a training platform that works for them; strong broker access; a recognizable and respected name in the community; a max commission structure; and being part of a vibrant culture. “When we’re talking with agents, whether it be through persistent email campaigns or direct phone calls, we find out what’s important to them and speak to that because we have all the pieces in place to deliver on all

Dottie Herman, President & CEO, Douglas Elliman

six of those items,” says Sparkman. “Another big part of attracting agents is our existing agents. The vast majority of those interested already know an agent with us who speaks highly of us.” Above all, Farrow says HomeSmart prides itself on its culture. “We believe in heavy involvement in the community and within organizations. If there’s something agents feel passionate about, we want to know how we can support them,” he says. “Secondly, what really sets us apart is our topnotch training and our fee structure compared to the other big national brands in our marketplace.”

Dottie Herman:

Bringing Consumers the Brand They Want As president and CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Dottie Herman leads one of the country’s largest and most distinguished real estate firms, averaging nearly $27.4 billion in annual sales volume. Herman acquired the company in 2003, partnering with Howard M. Lorber, and in the ensuing 14 years, has seen the company achieve record sales and strategically expand into new markets.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 51

VITALS: Douglas Elliman Real Estate Years in business: 116 Size: 110 offices; 7,000 agents Regions served: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey, Long Island, the Hamptons, North Fork, Westchester, Greenwich, South Florida, Colorado and California 2016 sales volume: $27.4 billion 2016 transactions: 38,000 Surprisingly, Herman didn’t set out to be in the real estate business. In the ’80s, she was working at Merrill Lynch on Long Island with a Series 7 in hand when the company decided to expand into real estate. “I was new to them, and they put me on the real estate end of things,” says Herman. “I was able to get involved from the ground up at a very young age and see it from a much broader spectrum. I traveled the country, saw a lot of real estate being done, and saw it globally, rather than from the local end.” From there, she knew this was a business she wanted to be in. Herman helped expand Prudential Long Island Realty into a powerhouse brokerage on Long Island and in the Hamptons, and then made the big move to purchase Douglas Elliman. Herman has made quite a name for herself in the field. She was named among the Top 50 Women

52 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Entrepreneurs in America by Inc. Magazine, was twice named on Forbes’ List of America’s SelfMade Women, and has consistently ranked in Crain’s New York Business 50 Most Powerful Women in New York. While Douglas Elliman has increased in size and business since Herman took ownership, the most substantial growth has occurred throughout the last four years. “We’ve really grown substantially in Florida,” says Herman. “We recently acquired Teles Properties in Los Angeles, opened an office in Malibu, opened another office in Aspen and grew in Connecticut.” The Teles deal brought the firm’s California office count to 21, propelling the company to the second largest non-franchise brokerage firm in the state. The firm also grew its Colorado presence to five offices and 58 associates. “We’ve grown so much

in the last couple of years that we’re just taking a deep breath now to make sure we have the right infrastructure for all of it,” says Herman. “We want to be where our customers are, and our clients recognize our brand and want to deal with us in Florida and L.A., in addition to the other areas we’re in.” Herman has seen the real estate business change a great deal during her time in the industry, and every firm seems to have its own model. “We try to keep up with everything, but when it comes to the consumer, it’s about having a vision,” she says. “People change, industries change. As soon as you have the best tech, someone replaces that. By having the most educated salespeople and being able to deal with the consumer in the way they need to be dealt with, that leads to success.” With millennials representing a greater buyer class than ever before, Herman understands the need to cater to this generation. One of the ways she does that is by keeping the company young. “When I started in New York City, I hired people in their 20s,” says Herman. “Compared to most companies, I would say my average age is much younger. My top producers are in their early 30s. My

millennials are educated and very serious about the business. Many have multiple degrees and they chose real estate. They have PR people and a business plan, and that’s something we didn’t see 15 - 20 years ago.” Herman is also a big believer in training and education, and the firm invests a lot of money for inhouse and other training classes. “Everyone has different pluses and negatives, so I send people out to what they need,” she says. “We spend time on teams because it’s easy to have a team, but not easy to have a team that’s effective. I always invest in the people who work for us.” While Herman sees more growth coming, she’s not looking for the firm to make its way into every market. “We’ve been around a long time, and it’s not about having the most offices or being the biggest. We want to be in markets that our customers and clients are in,” she says. “That’s why we’re in the Hamptons and Aspen, and Florida, and we’ll probably end up in San Francisco. We’re very hands-on and personal, and our business model is about giving our clients the attention they need and being in the markets that interest them.” RE


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Elizabeth Mendenhall Writes the Next Chapter at NAR NAR’s 2018 President Prioritizes REALTOR® Professionalism and Putting the American Dream Back Within Reach by Maria Patterson


ith her engaging, approachable leadership style, Elizabeth Mendenhall will be advancing several critical goals during her tenure as 2018 president of the National Association of REALTORS®. CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty in Columbia, Mo., Mendenhall is a sixth-generation REALTOR® with 20 years in the business. Her list of accomplishments and honors is rivaled only by her many industry roles in associations and committees over the course of her career. “This career provides more flexibility than most 9 - 5 jobs. It offers us the freedom to give back and get so much more out of it,” she explains. In this exclusive interview, hear what tops NAR’s priority list for the year ahead, and how Mendenhall believes the industry must evolve. Maria Patterson: As a sixth-generation REALTOR®, it’s easy to see how you landed in the real estate business! Elizabeth Mendenhall: My family had always been in real estate, so of course, I was curious about the business. My grandmother had a stroke in 1996 and that was the year I started with the company. Something my mom said at the time made a lot of sense. She said, “You’re young enough that if you like it, you’ll get a head start on everyone; and if you don’t like it, you’re young enough to go and do anything else.” With my family being in the business, it was easy to get into…but not as easy to leave!

MP: What are your thoughts upon assuming the role of NAR president for 2018? EM: I’m very excited, and I think our membership is excited, and it coincides with the fact that we have a new CEO. I’m excited to be partnering with Bob Goldberg to develop the future of where we’re heading. MP: You’ve had great success as a broker. What are some of the key factors in that success? EM: Having a family business allowed me to understand as a broker that agents are a critical part of the team. Our agents are our customers—their success equals our success. We need to always keep that in perspective. Because of that, our agents know that we would do anything we can to help them improve their business.

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“Advocacy issues like homeownership, affordability and tax reform will be high on the agenda, and we’re also the main voice for property ownership, making sure America is the place where you can own property—we’ve been seeing housing numbers decline, and we need to change that.” – ELIZABETH MENDENHALL 2018 President, National Association of REALTORS®

MP: You’ve also been very committed to serving the real estate industry through various association and board roles. Why do you believe it’s important to have that level of involvement? EM: There probably isn’t any other resource where I get more industry information and education than NAR. Being involved in the association means you get the information earlier, understand it better, and know how to relate it to improving sales. As managers, it’s our responsibility to give back to this industry. This career provides more flexibility than most 9 - 5 jobs. It offers us the freedom to give back and get so much more out of it. Almost all of our agents are involved on boards—it’s a culture. And I think it contributes to the fact that we have the highest marketshare in our area. They know that they do better when they’re more involved in staying current in the industry; it’s easy for us to equate that to business success. MP: In your opinion, what have been some of the most significant changes to the real estate business over the course of your career? EM: Certainly, the link between contract to close has sped up since I started. Some of the changes in lending through technology are getting people into homes even quicker. Some of the other significant changes include increases in regulations, especially more regulations for us on the brokerage/management side. I don’t know if that always translates to something the consumer sees, but it’s changed the business model, and that’s put more of a pinch on brokers. The other important change is that other parties have taken over key pieces of the transaction. Portals are not just an advertising venue anymore, but are now connecting with the consumer. Portals used to be more of a vendor involved in facilitating the transaction, but now they’re involved in facilitating the relationship with the consumer. I think that’s a

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significant change, and it begs the question: When someone is advising and interacting and providing so much content and information about the real estate transaction, at what point do they have a responsibility to have a professional license? MP: What are some of the biggest challenges REALTORS® are currently facing? EM: The biggest market challenge right now is lack of inventory and increasing development costs. The other challenge we’re facing is that consumers aren’t moving as rapidly. They used to move every 5 - 7 years, and now they’re moving every nine years. That means we have to double the business transactions to maintain our business. MP: And what do you consider to be some of the best opportunities out there? EM: Because there is so much more information out there, the consumer is looking for someone to help them sort through it all. There’s a huge opportunity to be an expert in affordable and first-time housing to 80 million millennials, and be a transitional agent for baby boomers looking to downsize. For top agents, there’s an opportunity for them to form a team. It’s a viable business option for today and the future. We’re in the type of environment where there’s a lot more opportunity for business if we harness the power of collaboration. MP: In your opinion, what is the current state of the overall national real estate market? What are your predictions for housing in 2018? EM: Housing inventory is way below average levels. That, combined with the lack of new construction is creating a massive supply crisis in metro areas. In 2018, I think we’re going to continue to see the pricing out of households—affordability is a problem. But the good news is, people are still moving, and demand is remaining high. I’m also terrified about what these storms and other natural disasters are going to do. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, the wildfires (at press time)—this is a massive crisis that’s going to drive up construction costs and the price of materials. We saw that back with Katrina. We have to be aware of this and help ensure people aren’t taken advantage of. MP: In your opinion, what are the biggest legislative/ regulatory concerns for real estate? EM: Flood insurance was just extended. Now we need

to bring back national disaster insurance. We’ll be looking at tax reform again and we’ll be focused on prohibitive mortgage fees. We already have an appraiser shortage, and with the storms, there’ll be a lot of conversation around that. MP: What will be the most pressing priorities during your term in office, and why? EM: Professionalism is at the top of everyone’s minds, but it looks different than it did 20 years ago when we didn’t have as many teams, and we didn’t have portals, and we didn’t have as much technology. All of that changes the one-on-one relationship and what someone considers professional. Advocacy issues like homeownership, affordability and tax reform will be high on the agenda, and we’re also the main voice for property ownership, making sure America is the place where you can own property— we’ve been seeing housing numbers decline, and we need to change that. We also need to look at managing data and managing it professionally for our members and consumers. We have to get better with the management of our MLS system and sharing data with others. We also have to ensure that REALTORS® are essential to the consumer. Our old vocabulary is that the REALTOR® has to “be at the center of the transaction,” but that’s not the case anymore. We have to ensure that the “REALTOR® is essential to the consumer in the transaction.” MP: What are the biggest concerns of real estate consumers right now, and how can REALTORS® best address these concerns? EM: Consumers want to make sure they’re going to get a good return on their money for the house they invested in. We want to make sure our membership has the professional skill set to help consumers make informed decisions. We also know that consumers are more concerned about buying houses that are energy-efficient. They’re understanding more of the real cost of owning a home, not just what they pay the bank. Consumers are also very concerned about affordability. Some of that is real, and some of that is fear. For REALTORS®, it’s a good opportunity to show consumers that in many markets, it’s cheaper to own a home than rent. RE

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Looking for a change? Ready to take your career to new heights? Join our team. Call your local Weichert® office today or 800-301-3000, or visit *Among traditional real estate brokers. Experian Hitwise 1/2016. **Average based on Google Analytics, 7/2016. © 2017 Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. Weichert® is a federally registered trademark of Weichert Co. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. REALTORS® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Each WEICHERT® franchised office is independently owned and operated.

Adding Value to Broker Platforms Commentary by Chris Bennett


he energy, investment and innovation around real estate technology is bigger than it’s ever been before. Everywhere you look there’s a company trying to change, improve or add value to the real estate transaction. At CoreLogic®, our focus has always been real estate data, and how it can best be used to serve real estate professionals in their daily business. Most applications being built today are completely reliant on data to be valuable. With so many offerings, it can be hard to weed through all the noise and find the products that work best for your business model. In August 2017, CoreLogic acquired Clareity®, with the goal of helping brokers and MLS organizations deliver the technology applications they want—powered with the necessary data, and delivered on a secure platform. As we continue to listen to our client base, specifically our broker partners, a better platform is at the top of their wish list. We’re helping find answers to their common questions, such as:

•H  ow do we increase adoption (8 percent national average, according to internal Clareity statistics) on tools we provide our agents? Better yet, how do we know we’re offering the right tools? •H  ow do we communicate better with our agents? •H  ow do we remain flexible for agents and teams who want to use their own tools, but still connect to our platform? •H  ow do we broach items such as workflow automation and predictive analytics? •H  ow do we eliminate duplicate data entry into various tools? •H  ow do we continue to delight today’s data-driven, information-centric consumer?

Frankly, achieving a useful or scalable solution isn’t possible without the participation and cooperation of the excellent (yet partitioned) tools that our industry already relies on. Starting with the secure identity management platform that Clareity has continuously evolved since 2005, CoreLogic can begin to layer in meaningful data and enhance its existing integrations with a choice of high-quality vendors. These partnerships will allow our broker customers to identify the right tools for them. With a focus on creating meaningful and flexible connection points within the tools and processes brokers and agents rely on daily, we’re aiming to deliver valuable answers to the challenges that exist in fragmented systems today. As we roll out with pilot vendors and customers, there’s been a lot of exciting feedback thus far. We look forward to moving the industry forward, in unison with our partners. RE

Chris Bennett is executive leader, CoreLogic. For more information, please visit

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Forward-Looking Market Data Delivers a Competitive Edge by Barbara Pronin

“In terms of winning listings, there’s no question those reports set me apart from the competition.” – KIMBERLY BEAN Associate Broker/REALTOR®, RE/MAX One


verybody wants to know where the real estate market is headed. In the absence of a crystal ball, today’s agents, investors and homeowners are looking for cur-

rent and accurate insights into what a home is really worth, and, perhaps even more important, what it will be worth in the next three years.

Market analysis is not a new concept. For years, agents have prepared a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for potential clients as part of their listing strategy. But an accurate and trustworthy valuation model can be difficult to find—especially one that can forecast the home’s value three years down the road. That’s why the data scientists behind the HouseCanary platform set out to make the process easy and precise—and it’s why they wanted input from agents to be certain their product delivers. “I’ve been a licensed agent for eight years, and a RE/MAX agent for three, and the truth is, I’m as much of a techie as I am a committed agent,” says Kimberly Bean, associate broker/REALTOR® with RE/MAX One in Southern Maryland. “I’d been doing some research into CMA technology, and I read that Kobe Bryant had invested in a product called HouseCanary, which was then still in beta mode. I figured if someone like Kobe was putting money behind it, it must be something special. So, I signed up to be a beta user, and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Bean, who last year closed 16 transactions valued at over $4 million, was excited to see that the HouseCanary model was both expedient and graphically appealing. “It was comprehensive and easy to use, and the graphics were amazing,” she says. “Even as a beta tester, I was creating great-looking CMAs with ease, and the feedback from clients was fantastic. It was information they could immediately understand—concise, accurate, visually appealing, and very easy to read. In terms of winning listings, there’s no question those reports set me apart from the competition.” For one thing, Bean says, the HouseCanary product helps her drill down on comparables based not just on the location and features of a home, but on condition, square footage, recent sale data and other important distinctions. For another, it enables her to pinpoint the reasons behind the value of a home, such as supply factors, current market demand, and the property’s rental value. Having this deep dataset to rely on is invaluable when it comes to forecasting accuracy. “I have at my fingertips data that was once available only to lenders and appraisers.” Another feature of the product Bean appreciates is the report she creates for potential clients that has her photo and contact information on it. “It supports my standing as both a market expert and pricing specialist,” she says. “It helps me build a reputation in my market area as the agent you want to represent you.” With some property valuation models, she adds, it’s hard to get a handle on the functionalities and benefits. That’s not the case with HouseCanary. “I call it a WYSIWYG,” says Bean. “That’s short for, ‘What you see is what you get.’ This is a product I truly appreciate. It’s a product I will never be without.” RE For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 61

{Strategies} ONE Sotheby’s Dominates the Seller Leads Game in a Whole New Way HOW BUYSIDE GIVES ONE OF MIAMI’S TOP BROKERAGES THE POWER TO WIN MORE SELLERS AND CLOSE MORE LISTINGS by Keith Loria


arina Lopez, marketing director for ONE Sotheby’s International Realty in Miami Beach, Fla., was looking for a new technology that could help her agents capture potential seller clients and differentiate themselves to win listing presentations. According to Lopez, Buyside has proven to do just that. With the company for approximately four years, Lopez has been tasked with providing the best technology and service for the firm’s agents. “We’re fortunate to have an incredible brand like Sotheby’s behind us, but I also work to make sure we have the best local tools,” says Lopez. One of the tools Lopez and the rest of the firm’s team has come to rely on is Buyside, a data science and marketing solution Lopez learned about from an affiliate in a Long Island Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty office. “The system was the exact kind of tool we needed to make sure we not only provide a better service, but also give our associates a competitive edge.” Lopez likes how Buyside allows the firm’s clients to access a huge amount of relevant, engaging data on a home in one simple inquiry, ensuring ONE Sotheby’s captures more seller leads than ever before. “When it came to lead generation, we knew we needed to rely on more than website traffic that would hopefully result in an inquiry,” says Lopez. “Every real estate brokerage allows you to search for real estate, and there are national real estate portals that do the same. Buyside allows us to offer a new service and connect with prospects in a completely different way.” Clients can submit an address and not only see an estimate of what the home is worth, but, more importantly, see exactly what the real-time buyer demand is for a home like theirs. “It’s just like checking your savings account or the value of a stock,” says Lopez. “You want to see how it’s doing, but you don’t necessarily need to speak to a financial advisor—but if you need an expert opinion, it’s just a click away.”

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“Every real estate brokerage allows you to search for real estate, and there are national real estate portals that do the same. Buyside allows us to offer a new service and connect with prospects in a completely different way.” - KARINA LOPEZ Marketing Director, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

The firm’s agents like Buyside because it helps them generate seller leads for prospects they may not have had access to otherwise, while clients like the platform because they can get information on one of their most personal investments. “It allows them to begin instilling trust and building a relationship in a very natural way. The client is able to request more information and control the relationship to a large extent by requesting a formal consultation or signing up to receive updates. At the same time, the agent is given valuable information about a potential prospect in order to start working the lead,” adds Lopez, who goes



hen you’ve maintained a vendor relationship for more than four decades, the scope of service and measure of loyalty has to be pretty high. Such is the case with PMZ Real Estate in Modesto, Calif., and American Home Shield® (AHS®).

on to explain that Buyside’s dashboard allows agents to do so much more. “Our agents are able to input buyer information to see if any of our active listings match their search criteria. In addition, agents working with sellers are able to post pocket listings or listings that are coming soon,” says Lopez. “Allowing our agents to market a home before it goes live on the MLS is a huge advantage. And giving them the opportunity to double-end deals with someone else within the company streamlines the process, allowing everyone to win.” Lopez is also impressed with the relationship she has with the Buyside team. With the success of any new technology dependent on how it’s rolled out and the kind of adoption you get from agents, Buyside doubles down on training and engagement activities. “They’re simply amazing,” concludes Lopez. “Their head of Customer Success, Laura Scott, came down for trainings across our main offices. She expertly explained the system, made it incredibly relevant to the agents, and got them very excited about it.” For more information, please visit

“PMZ has worked with AHS® for more than 40 years,” explains Ben Balsbaugh, who is working hard alongside his team in a challenging market where demand is still running hard against a limited supply of homes. “Like most markets, inventory continues to be a challenge for us,” says Balsbaugh, president of PMZ’s Residential Division. “We’re also seeing many potential sellers stay in their homes longer, given the 2 - 3 percent [borrowing] rate they obtained a few years ago. This, along with the lack of new-home builds, has contributed to our inventory constraints.” Nonetheless, PMZ’s footprint continues to expand. “We just opened a new office in Merced,” says Balsbaugh, “and we’re excited about the opportunities to serve that community in a more efficient manner.” Part of the firm’s strategy to continued success begins with treating every client like family and educating them with regard to the benefits the home warranty can provide. “The commitment to service delivery is high within each company,” says Balsbaugh. A true leader in the industry, AHS recently introduced re-key coverage, the newest feature available in select states, including California. Always looking for ways to provide coverage that works harder for today’s buyers and sellers, AHS’ re-key service provides even more protection. “The most frequent response we continue to hear from clients is that having an AHS home warranty offers comfort that the buyer has some budget protection against unexpected covered expenses after moving in,” says Balsbaugh, who goes on to explain that the firm’s local account executives are a key part of the equation. “We have a few local AHS account executives and the regional vice president for Northern California in our local area,” says Balsbaugh, “and our clients can count

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on them to answer phone calls and help when needed.” And sellers love the convenience of a home warranty, too. “It’s one call to AHS, and help is on the way,” concludes Balsbaugh. For more information, please visit



f there’s one thing Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Alliance Broker/Owner Greg Fox has learned in his 20-plus years in the real estate business, it’s that growth can’t happen unless everyone is on the same page. And having taken his real estate business from its humble beginnings in his basement to a two-office, 80-agent operation in Wichita, Kan., he knows a thing or two about growth.

According to Fox, instilling connectivity among his agent force takes the right system. That’s why he signed on with Clareity’s DASH! Broker Dashboard this past June. Of course, this was not Fox’s first experience with Clareity—having served as president of the South Central Kansas MLS, Fox was familiar with what Clareity’s single sign-on (SSO) dashboard could do in terms of centralizing and streamlining operations. That’s why when the opportunity arose to host a custom-branded brokerage extension of the dashboard, Fox decided it was the right move. “When I started out as a broker, I was trying to deliver technology to my agents that was relatively easy to use,” says Fox. “You didn’t need to be a wiz banger—I did the research, and I’d teach you how to use it. Now, as technology keeps growing more and more, it’s harder for agents to keep up.” But thanks to DASH!, Fox’s agents can now access most of their tech programs, including their email, via a dashboard that pops up when they sign into their MLS every day. Agents no longer have to remember which email and password is associated with which program— thanks to single sign-on technology, it’s all right there in front of them. “Having single sign-on is a biggie,” explains Fox. “We offer so much, that many agents don’t even remember what we offer. Now, when they log into the MLS, all the programs we offer hit them in the face—they know that

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this is where they go to get Cloud CMS or RealSatisfied…even company email. Every agent knows how to log into the MLS, so it only made sense that we included the dashboard. Everything we offer is right in front of them. All they have to do is click on the icon.” Getting agents up and running on DASH! takes virtually no time. “As soon as they turn on the MLS, the dashboard pops right up,” says Fox. “When you try and train someone on 10 different programs, they can get lost and have a foggy look on their face. With DASH!, onboarding an agent is super easy.” DASH! also allows Fox to make sure that priority communications, such as a contract change, are seen by his agents, thanks to a feature that prevents an agent from accessing the MLS until an urgent email is read. “If it’s something that you can’t miss, I can now make sure that you’ll see it. This allows me to have a level of flexibility and influence when I need it.” Overall, DASH! has helped improve communication on many levels. “It’s proactively reminding people of the programs the company offers that they should be using. They don’t have to call me and say, ‘How do I do this?’ because the program is right in front of them.” More importantly, having DASH! gives Fox a competitive recruiting edge in the market. “A lot of people have no idea what their current company offers them,” he explains. “Half the time, brokers and managers don’t know what their brand or company can do for them. The dashboard gives agents, maybe more than anything, a reminder of all that’s offered to them.” For more information, please visit

Streamline Your Team With Moxi Works by Zoe Eisenberg


iane van der Goes, director of Recruiting, Marketing and Corporate Strategy for Star Real Estate in Fountain Valley, Calif., grew up in the real estate business; her mother was an agent, and van der Goes earned her childhood allowance by helping her mother farm for clients, wheeling a wagon around prospective neighborhoods and dropping pumpkins door-to-door. Wagon wheels aside, van der Goes herself entered the real estate game in 2001. With a literal lifetime of industry experience, van der Goes is no stranger to the complexities of the business; she understands how important it is to keep a team running on the same pulse. Earlier this year, she introduced her team to Moxi Works, an open platform connecting agents with their brokerage systems in an effort to streamline communication and business strategies, as well as place a suite of best-in-class tools in one location with one log-in. “We’ve been looking for an all-encompassing platform for some time,” explains van der Goes. When one of her top producers found out about Moxi Works, he shared it with the team and they fell in love. “We had to have it!” By integrating all the tools a real estate professional needs in their business, Moxi Works streamlines the agent’s process by providing a step-by-step, calendared

system for each transaction, in addition to a marketing system to capture future business. Van der Goes notes that the system is evolving constantly, and the Moxi Works team is open-minded to suggestions and partnerships, which her team finds invaluable. “I introduced Moxi Works to our virtual staging partner and now they’re integrated in the system,” she says. “Moxi Works also syncs with Gmail. How can you not love that?!” What Moxi Works tool does van der Goes appreciate most? Moxi Engage. The CRM system helps users manage and analyze customer interactions and data, be it by sending clients Neighborhood News, information about newly listed properties or recently sold properties via Just Listed or Just Sold, or simply allowing agents to access public records so they can better serve their audience. “Our agents are already seeing new business come in,” says van der Goes, who notes that Moxi Engage easily and systematically keeps the agent top of mind among their sphere of influence. In addition to Moxi Works’ suite of best-in-class tools and easy-to-use open platform, van der Goes is impressed with how hard the Moxi Works team strives to meet her company’s needs. “They truly want to help our agents embrace and fully utilize Moxi Works,” she says, explaining that her Moxi Works account manager always makes an effort to return calls and answer questions, no matter what time of day it is. Although their partnership is relatively new, van der Goes predicts a long-term relationship in the future. For more information, please visit

“I introduced Moxi Works to our virtual staging partner and now they’re integrated in the system. Moxi Works also syncs with Gmail. How can you not love that?!” - DIANE VAN DER GOES Director of Recruiting, Marketing and Corporate Strategy, Star Real Estate

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etting agents up for success begins with providing the tools, technologies and systems they need to work smarter and more efficiently. But with so many products to choose from, the decision-making process can be overwhelming for brokerages large and small.

“There are many wonderful products out there, but if agents aren’t going to use them, does it even matter?” asks Jason Lytz. As vice president of Operations at Bradley Real Estate—an independent, family-owned firm in the San Francisco Bay Area—Lytz explains that getting agents to successfully buy in begins with evaluating the product from the brokerage standpoint. From there, it’s all about taking the time to understand how agents are going to use the product, and why. For Lytz, DocuSign is a perfect example of a technology that’s become widely adopted in the industry because of the efficiencies it has created. Working with DocuSign since 2009, Lytz notes that the relationship originated due to the incredible efficiencies their eSignature product provided the firm. “In my opinion, DocuSign is an efficiency company,” says Lytz. “As a 66 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

document-heavy business, the efficiency of DocuSign’s eSignature product is of great value to us. Not only does it allow our agents to get documents signed quickly and in the proper manner—with the right tracking—but it also allows the transaction to happen faster, while providing document security.” With 11 offices spread over three counties in the North Bay, 90 percent of the firm’s agents are currently using DocuSign’s eSignature service. Underscoring the importance of starting small to scale big, Lytz is focused on expanding the firm’s use of DocuSign in the future, beginning with the addition of DocuSign Transaction Rooms. Offering secure, mobile locations to organize and share documents, Lytz has been following the product for some time now. “We require transaction coordination for agents 100 percent across the board,” says Lytz, who points to DocuSign’s ability to bring together the transaction or file from each real estate deal, the eSignature platform and its integration with zipForms as an important piece of the puzzle. “From a technology standpoint, bringing together these three pieces that are heavily used by real estate professionals and integrating them all in one place is very appealing,” says Lytz, who has a lot of confidence in the team at DocuSign. “Not only are they all passionate about what they’re trying to accomplish in the real estate arena, but they’ve always been great to deal with from both the customer service and leadership level,” concludes Lytz. For more information, please visit

Better Your Business by Becoming a Real Estate Resource for Seniors NAR’S SENIORS REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST® DESIGNATION DRAWS ATTENTION TO AN AGING DEMOGRAPHIC by Zoe Eisenberg


s a real estate agent, you may be focused on wrangling in younger clients—millennials making that first big home purchase, or those looking to jump from their starter home to their forever home. But real estate professionals fixated on younger clients alone are missing out on a major demographic that needs attention: seniors. “Our country’s population of older residents has grown significantly over the past several decades,” says Chris Read, managing broker/owner of CR REALTOR® and CEO of CR Strategies LLC in Woodridge, Ill. Read notes that according to the United States Administration of Aging, the number of residents who are 65 and older will more than double by 2040 to represent 20 percent of the nation’s population. “To meet the special housing needs of our maturing population, REALTORS® need special knowledge and expertise to appropriately counsel clients with major lifestyle changes associated with seniors,” says Read.

“The SRES® designation provides the awareness and knowledge of issues facing seniors, in addition to a multitude of resources for client solutions and assistance.” - CHRIS READ Managing Broker/Owner, CR REALTOR®; CEO, CR Strategies LLC

But what exactly are these senior-specific housing needs? Think tax and legal matters, retirement challenges, exploring assisted living options and understanding how to search for properties that allow independent older clients to age in place. How can real estate professionals work to meet these needs? The answer is the NAR Seniors Real Estate Spe-

cialist® (SRES®) designation, which provides the knowledge and resources needed for agents to offer a better level of counseling for senior clients. “The SRES® designation provides the awareness and knowledge of issues facing seniors, in addition to a multitude of resources for client solutions and assistance,” says Read, who was named the 2016 REALTOR® of the Year by the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. “Knowledge is power,” notes Read. Understanding the issues 21st century seniors face will place you ahead of your competition, draw in more business, and allow you to better serve your senior clients by customizing your services as needed. “Many housing and service organizations will market contact info for the SRES® member. It’s a symbol for competency, awareness and skills in navigating a senior through the process of relocating.” To earn the SRES® designation, a licensee must be an active member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Following that, you must become an active member of the SRES®Council, and complete the two-day designation course—available online or in a classroom. “I completed the course online within one week, stopping and starting as my schedule permitted,” says Read. Read is far from the only real estate professional investing in the senior population. The Senior Services activities of both the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® and the Illinois Association of REALTORS® have been making large moves to support seniors in housing. With a membership of 17,000+, the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® is the largest local association in Illinois, and its Senior Service committee is comprised of REALTOR®members maintaining the SRES®designation whose business focuses on servicing the senior demographic, explains Read. The committee’s goal is to provide education, share resources, create tools, promote advocacy and give support to seniors and their communities. In the past, the organization has sponsored senior expos and seminars on powers of attorney, senior housing options, decluttering, senior fraud protection and preparing for the future. Through these services, the organization not only supports their senior community members, but directly connects them with SRES® designees who can meet their needs, driving business for the agents, and a higher quality of aging for the community’s seniors. For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 67

Enriching the Real Estate Conversation With Real-Time Access to Knowledge REALTORS PROPERTY RESOURCE® PROVIDES REAL-TIME MARKET DATA by John Voket


s managing broker for RE/MAX Alliance in Arvada, Colo.—the largest RE/MAX franchise in the country by sales volume—Anthony Rael has played an important foundational role in the development of Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®). A beta tester, initial user and troubleshooter, Rael provided critical feedback that was instrumental in helping solidify RPR as a groundbreaking application that has become a go-to tool for agents and brokers across the nation today. “One of the things I noticed early on was the importance of utilizing visuals that RPR can help agents create. It’s one thing to spout statistics to clients, or show them raw numbers, but depending on that client’s personality, those stats may mean little or nothing,” says Rael, who has spent the last five years instructing other RE/MAX agents in regard to how RPR can interpret and represent its trove of data to best serve clients. By using RPR graphics, Rael teaches real estate professionals how to visually represent the platform’s data,

“If you spend five minutes a month looking at how RPR turns statistics into visuals in the markets where you work, you’ve elevated yourself above almost all other real estate professionals in your market. You bring added value to yourself.” - ANTHONY RAEL Managing Broker, RE/MAX Alliance

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illustrating to clients how their market is changing in realtime. “That’s when people really get it,” he says. “If you spend five minutes a month looking at how RPR turns statistics into visuals in the markets where you work, you’ve elevated yourself above almost all other real estate professionals in your market. You bring added value to yourself.” The reports that RPR can generate for clients are so detailed, Rael advises those just getting started to begin by picking and choosing only the most relevant information to include. “My advice is to start with your own personal residence and practice. Start with the summary and go systematically from left to right to learn how the screen setup works,” says Rael. Interacting with the platform is critical, as Rael goes on to explain that RPR will ultimately perform better as more people work with it because it feeds algorithms that make the entire system operate more efficiently. The platform is also beneficial when sitting at the kitchen table with sellers, providing real estate professionals the data they need to evaluate home improvements, or those the seller is considering doing to improve their ROI once they decide to sell. “Does it make sense to put in a $40,000 kitchen or $10,000 deck? What will I get back? It’s all integrated into RPR, and it’s been a tool that allows me to be the messenger,” concludes Rael. “That immediate, real-time access to knowledge enriches conversation and elevates my position as the real estate professional in the eyes of the client.” For more information, please visit

new business. 3. Post interactive content to engage your audience. You no longer have to sacrifice content when posting videos or pictures. The original 140-character restriction may not be enough to properly describe a video or photo you’re posting, especially if you want to link back to another source. This is a great opportunity to grow your brand awareness by posting more interactive marketing content. Use this as a platform for your virtual tours and add descriptive information about the properties to entice buyers.

Double Your Business With Double the Tweet Length by Liz Dominguez


he time to tweet is now. If you haven’t taken the Twitter world by storm yet, here’s your chance to make a name for yourself. Social media is a great way to boost your real estate business and connect with your younger clients. Marketing yourself with a 140-character word limit can be tough. The right string of words can be powerful enough to evoke a series of retweets and mentions. With the wrong words, however, your thoughts will float into the Twitter void, never to be heard from again. Lucky for you, Twitter is testing out an increased 280-character limit. That’s double the length to make a strong impression. While a site-wide rollout hasn’t been announced yet (at press time), a few will be randomly selected to test out the new tweet length. Here’s how you can use Twitter’s potential word-count extension to increase your business. And by the way, these are important Twitter best practices no matter the length of the Tweet. 1. Tag your clients to increase exposure. All those posts congratulating your buyers and sellers are

wasted if not tagged. You want your clients to retweet these posts so they’re circulated among friends and family. What better way to get referral business than by effortlessly tagging a client? The added space will allow you to tag multiple clients, perfect for homes that are being purchased by a couple or a few family members. 2. Increase your hashtag use to go viral. There’s no easier way to rise to the top than making sure your keywords are working their magic. Search the Twitter feed to find out which hashtags are trending and use the ones that make sense with your tweet. You don’t have to go hashtag crazy, but this will at least give you a chance to add more keywords than before. Use any relevant words that might trigger a search, but don’t forget to include real estate specific terms, as well. Once you go viral, you’ll have an abundant supply of

4. Use your words to spark conversation. Expand on your thoughts and stay away from yes or no questions. With these extra words, you can create interesting dialogue based on information that’s useful to your client base. For example, post home repair content for first-time homebuyers who lack the experience of maintaining a property. Always make sure you’re posting valuable content, instead of words that just take up space. New business only comes to those who can provide value. 5. Expand your customer service outreach. Once clients realize that you’re easily reachable via Twitter, your follower count will soar. The younger generation tends to stay away from phone or email, relying instead on social media for assistance and feedback. You can also use this platform to provide your clients with pertinent industry contact information. Do you partner with a local electrician or plumber? Share the information with your clients and you’ll be seen as a resource for any home-related needs. RE No time to tweet? No problem! RISMedia’s ACE can help. Visit Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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From Contract to Closing: It’s Smooth Sailing With REALTOR Benefits® Partner Transaction Management Tools by Matt Lombardi


etting your clients to the closing table should be routine business—if only it were that simple. After all, each transaction can introduce unique challenges. Plus, there are many important and overlapping de-

tails to manage simultaneously.

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For brokers and agents, it makes good business sense to use tools designed to simplify and streamline the process, especially when those tools are specifically developed for real estate professionals and are available at preferred pricing to members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). That’s exactly what you get when you turn to transaction management products offered through the REALTOR Benefits® Program. Electronic Signatures DocuSign, NAR’s official and exclusive provider of electronic signature services, offers industry-leading technology and security in an easy-to-use system that can be accessed anywhere, at any time. It’s a great tool for busy agents who are constantly on the go. The top benefits include less time on administration, cost savings by eliminating paper and attracting and retaining top-performing agents. Matthew Rathbun, EVP with Coldwell Banker Elite, recognized the problems caused by the paper-heavy workflow that used to dominate his brokerage’s nine office locations. “Using DocuSign has made it a lot easier to submit paperwork correctly and on time,” says Rathbun. Many brokerages are finding that DocuSign has revolutionized the way they do business, impressing both clients and agents with the speed and efficiency of the platform’s automated processes. DocuSign services offered via NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program include special pricing for: DocuSign for REALTORS® eSignature — No matter which payment option you select, you’ll save over non-members and receive unlimited signing/envelopes and exclusive REALTOR®-logo branding. DocuSign for Brokers — Created for offices and teams of 10 or more, this

Give Yourself a Bonus! Maximize Your Tax Refund With Intuit® Tax season is quickly approaching. When you capture receipts and track your mileage and expenses with QuickBooks® Self-Employed from Intuit®, it’s easy to sync your file to TurboTax®and maximize your refund. Through the REALTOR Benefits®Program, Intuit®offers NAR members three ways to save:

• 50 percent off QuickBooks® Self-Employed • Up to $20 off TurboTax® • 29 percent off the QuickBooks® Self-Employed and TurboTax® Bundle To learn more, visit

version lets you define and optimize the way transactions are managed across your business while empowering agents with true work-from-anywhere mobility. To learn more about both DocuSign options and related benefits, visit Comprehensive Transaction Platform As NAR’s official real estate forms software provider, zipLogix™ offers data integrity, security and disaster recovery on a transaction platform that streamlines the entire process. Agents rave about it. “I love zipLogix™,” says Erin Brown, ABR® with RE/MAX Solutions. “It’s very easy to navigate and very easy to manage my transactions. It’s been a real asset to my business.” Gini Pelton, a sales associate with Century 21, agrees: “zipLogix™ makes my life so much easier. I rely on it to communicate with my clients in a nice seamless transaction. Give it a try if you haven’t!” Through a key NAR initiative, all REALTORS®now have access to: zipTMS™ — A robust transaction management system zipVault® — Unlimited and secure document storage Exclusive NAR Library of REALTOR® Forms & Templates — Business letter templates, customizable handouts for consumers, plus ethics, arbitration and mediation forms

zipForm® Plus — Forms, templates, clauses, address book and much more at no cost. If your state and/ or local association has licensed its forms to zipLogix™, these will also be included in your zipForm® Plus library (some fees, which are set by associations/boards, may apply). Brokers may also connect with zipLogix™ to discuss options for their office. To get started, send a message to For additional details on the comprehensive zipLogix™ transaction management platform, and exclusive benefits for NAR members, visit Claim All Your Member Benefits Designed with you in mind, the REALTOR Benefits® Program is your official (NAR) member benefits resource, bringing you savings and special offers just for REALTORS®. Program partners are carefully selected, so you can be assured they understand the unique needs of real estate professionals and are committed to your success. Make the first place you stop when you shop for your professional and personal needs. RE

Matt Lombardi is senior vice president, Marketing, Events & Alliances for the National Association of REALTORS®. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 71

Differentiating With the Team Approach

by Paige Tepping

HomeTeam Inspection Service raises the bar in a competitive industry


or Paul Spires—founder of HomeTeam Inspection Service—the idea to introduce a team of inspectors onsite came from his desire to provide a more thorough home inspection and relieve a common problem he heard about within the real estate industry: the length of time it took to get an inspection. He created a way to speed up the home inspection process for both real estate professionals and their clients. And, for the last 25 years, HomeTeam has been utilizing this unique team concept to deliver a better client experience. “Everything we do is centered around the team concept of having multiple people at the inspection and

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the benefits it brings to the client and their agent,” says HomeTeam President Adam Long. With a greater percentage of homes being inspected today—a trend that will continue to accelerate— HomeTeam’s steadfast commitment to being fast, trusted and accurate is a true competitive advantage in today’s real estate environment. “People, especially real estate professionals, don’t have 3 - 4 hours to spend on a home inspection,” says Mitchell Rothenberg—owner of HomeTeam Inspection Service in Tampa Bay. “Not only does the sophisticated concept developed by HomeTeam cut the amount of time involved in the process, but it also lays the foundation for a better inspection.” While the home inspection industry has continued to evolve over the years, HomeTeam has never wavered when it comes to elevating the home inspec-

tion experience through professionalism and technology—two areas the company has prided itself on from the beginning. “We’ve put a lot of emphasis on professionalism,” says Long, who notes that when Spires started the company 25 years ago, the home inspectors wore ties to be seen as reputable resources to real estate agents and their clients. Today, with the level of professionalism throughout the industry still fragmented, HomeTeam inspectors dress in HomeTeam-branded attire and arrive in a HomeTeam-branded vehicle. “While standards have changed over the years, HomeTeam understands the importance of professional dress and demeanor in earning a client’s trust,” says Long. Setting a high level of expectation among today’s consumers, HomeTeam uses technology to streamline each and every component of the inspection process. Online scheduling has been a critical part of this. Not only can inspections be booked in real-time, but the team approach also makes it easy to book inspections more quickly since the company can get more inspections on the calendar on any given day. Real estate professionals can use a HomeTeam app on their smartphone to access any reports created in the past. “The app is very sophisticated,” says Rothenberg. “It even gives real estate professionals the ability to view open time slots and schedule an inspection with the click of a button.” HomeTeam’s future is focused on continuing to integrate new technology as it continues to advance. “The industry as a whole has improved in the area of technology over the last 25 years, but HomeTeam has always been ahead of the curve,” says Long. “When HomeTeam started out, we used a DOS-based software and reports were printed, bound and delivered to each client. Today, the reports are created using collaborative cloud-based software and are electronically delivered to the agent and the client. Not only do our reports highlight material defects and safety concerns, but they also include a detailed summary, color photos and technology that allows the client to easily access information by hyperlinking within the report to specific items.” Benefitting the company from both a reporting and technology standpoint, Rothenberg notes that HomeTeam’s inspection reports are another point of differentiation that make the company unique.

“Unlike other inspection companies that use a checklist, our report is written in a narrative style,” says Rothenberg, who explains that the consumer is always welcome at the inspection.

“Everything we do is centered around the team concept of having multiple people at the inspection and the benefits it brings to the client and their agent.” – ADAM LONG President, HomeTeam Inspection Service

But it doesn’t end there. HomeTeam is constantly looking at what can be done to make the process easier for clients and agents. “Everything is streamlined from a technology standpoint in order to keep up with client expectations and provide a better experience for both the client and real estate professional,” says Long. Upping the ante when it comes to customer service, the HomeTeam system automatically sends a feedback survey to each client and agent once an inspection has been completed. “We consistently hear from our providers that we have one of the highest net promoter scores they’ve ever seen, and the agent’s and client’s feedback reinforces their positive sentiment about the thoroughness the team concept provides,” says Buddy Stark, director of operations at HomeTeam. Looking toward the future, HomeTeam will continue to raise the bar and shape the professional landscape of the home inspection industry, delivering a client experience that is second to none. And while the industry continues to adapt and change, there’s a lot to look forward to in the next 25 years—and you can rest assured that the team concept isn’t going anywhere. RE

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 73

Power Up

Your Prospecting Strategy Cole Information’s local focus and depth of data put real estate professionals where they want to be by Barbara Pronin


f there’s anything better than selling a home, it’s picking up a listing five doors away before the ink has dried on the contract—and agents have a better shot at doing just that, thanks to the marriage of grassroots data and hyper-local marketing technology.

Enter Cole Information, a proven leader in marketing solutions, whose innovative Realty Resource service gives busy agents instant access to the names and contact information of the homeowners they most want to reach. “We’re here to help agents amp up the power of their Just Listed and Just Sold campaigns,” says Cole Information CEO Jim Eggleston, the force behind Realty Resource. “Waiting for referrals is just too slow. The rainmakers in this business don’t wait for clients to come to them. Our product helps get your name out quickly, positioning you as the local real estate expert. It can literally help you sell the neighborhood.” Armed with a valued mix of current contact data and local market experience, Eggleston notes that agents can provide neighbors of a Just Sold residence with a thoughtful, detailed analysis of current market activity, buyer interest, and smart pricing strategies, establishing themselves as the agent to keep in mind. Prospecting strategies don’t stop there. Cole’s Google® map applications, developed specifically for real estate professionals, enable agents to target a specific street or get a bird’s eye view of any neighborhood they’re interested in farming, along with the ownership details they need to start generating listings. Additionally, with a large percentage of the population still renting, the Realty Resource search engine can help agents generate potential homebuyer leads by browsing the market and collecting data on renters 74 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

they can contact. “We didn’t just dream up these kinds of applications,” says Eggleston. “We went to the agent community and asked them what was missing in their prospecting toolkit, then put our minds to creating the means to those ends.” Collecting information used by sales professionals is not new for Cole Information. Founded in 1947 by entrepreneur Jack Cole, the Omaha, Neb.-based company launched the Cole Directory, a revolutionary reverse directory product that made it possible to locate and market to specific individuals. But by 2003, database technology was fast making print directories obsolete. Eggleston and his partners bought the failing company with the express purpose of moving its vast stores of collated contact information into the 21st century. “We did that by seamlessly integrating our information with online technology that makes the data actionable— and invaluable—to real estate professionals, creating instantly accessible marketing databases tailored to the user’s specific needs,” says Eggleston. Don Bass, associate broker with Bellabay Realty in Grand Rapids, Mich., has been a Premier subscriber since 2014. “I can tell you it works for me,” he says. “In my experience, Cole Realty Resource has the best, most accurate, most accessible contact data, including cells and emails, in the industry.” The company has grown exponentially, today serving more than 33,000 agent subscribers and brokers, many

of whom, Eggleston notes, use the Realty Resource product as a recruiting tool by providing their agents with free access to the prospecting data. The flat-rate yearly subscription provides unlimited access to the data, giving agents the confidence they need to optimize their prospecting strategies by providing timely and useful information to targeted homeowners. “The fact is, there are other companies out there selling marketing lists. But we’re the only one with the power to help agents define precisely who they want to market to and where—right down to zip code, neighborhood and house,” says Eggleston. “We don’t sell leads,” emphasizes Eggleston. “We aren’t a lead producer or appointment setter. Cole Realty Resource is a hyper-local marketing service that empowers agents, teams and brokers to pinpoint target areas and take their marketing skills to the next level.” RE For more information, please visit or call 888-231-0732.

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Relevancy in a Shiny Object Digital World by James A. Clark


n today’s ever-changing, digitally-focused real estate industry, professionals seeking an advantage are looking for the next new shiny object that comes with the promise of changing their business, and, ultimately, their lives. Whether it’s leveraging a non-traditional business model, online leads or predictive analytics, there’s simply no end to the shiny object syndrome. For us at CENTURY 21 Alton Clark, our focus remains being relevant to our clients through innovation, technology, and the very best in service. Yes, we were one of the first to market with professional photography and HD video walk-through tours, as well as 3D technology, and now it’s a norm in our company. That said, the more we chased the shiny object, the more the real answer became clear to me: The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s the secret to lasting success in any marketplace.

I was recently speaking with a new agent, and I asked for their opinion on a metaphorical business model: the idea of opening an old-fashioned gas station complete with uniformed station attendants dressed in all white with a red bow tie and matching hat. They would approach all vehicles greeting their clients by name, checking oil levels, washing windshields, checking tire pressure, getting them a cold drink, and yes, topping off gas tanks. Upon hearing this model, the agent immediately said that this concept would be amazing, and would probably go viral. We agreed that this station would probably outsell everyone in town, but the real question was why. Exemplary customer service coupled with true connection is how to be relevant in today’s digital world. The more we get lost in our smartphones and tablets—those shiny objects—the more disconnected we become from each other. Service and connection, in combination with innovation and technology, and a servant heart and mentality, are the game changers. If you choose this direction, be prepared to give more than you receive, and to stay ahead of the competition, add to your list of shiny objects a white uniform, matching hat and red bow tie to personalize the relationship experience for your clients. RE James A. Clark is a broker with CENTURY 21 Alton Clark. For more information, please visit

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PROFIT FROM THE BIGGER PICTURE Web-based tools that offer insight into buyer demand Buyside unlocks the power of BUYER DATA for real estate brokers so you can win more listings, become more profitable and command greater control over your inventory.

{Power Teams}

Live a Better Life by Verl Workman


hen I first got into real estate, I loved the energy and enthusiasm first-time homebuyers brought to the equation, and this satisfaction factor was why I got my real estate license. As an experienced agent, I learned to manage first-time homebuyers and nurture those relationships. It was amazing to see how maintaining relationships turned into several transactions by simply staying in touch and providing valuable information from time to time. The difference between agents who kill themselves to make ends meet and those who make a lot of money isn’t usually the quality of the agent or their love for their clients. Oftentimes, the only difference is the activities they focus on during the day, and the clients they attract through their marketing efforts.

RISMedia CEO Exchange panelist and Workman Success Systems Coach Nate Martinez of Glendale, Ariz., went from being one of the nation’s largest REO agents to running one of the most successful real estate teams with a focus on high-end golf course properties. The transition wasn’t easy, but it’s worth a closer look. Today, Nate earns a great living working with fewer clients each year. The difference isn’t the quality of the agent, but rather, the activities he focuses on. The median sales price for a home in Glendale is $222,000. Blackstone is a beautiful golf community that

Nate decided to farm over the last 12 months. Farming consists of sending direct mail to the homes in the geographic area along with neighborhood and sales information, establishing oneself as an expert. Nate’s average sales price for the Blackstone area is $884,750, and he’s earned over $95,000 in commission selling just four homes in this single farm. What’s interesting is that in order to earn the same amount with a focus on the average sales price for his area, he’d have to sell 16 homes, work with 16 buyers and sellers, and manage 16 transactions instead of four. While luxury buyers and sellers may seem more demanding, we’ve found that they often know more about what they want, recognize the value and services high-quality agents and brokers provide, and are willing to pay for that service. As you think about where you are in your business and you look at the opportunities that are available, ask yourself whether you’re doing all you can to attract higher-end buyers and sellers. If not, what can you be doing differently? Here’s a short list of things you can do today to move into higher-end real estate:

1. Start working FSBO and expired listings in a higher price point. 2. Begin your geographic farm. 3. Dress for success. When asked what you do, simply say, “I focus on high-end buyers and sellers by providing luxury listing services. Who do you know looking to buy or sell a luxury property?” 4. Build a premium marketing and pre-listing plan that blows away your competition. 5. Become an expert on all things luxury in your market. Know the homes, the sales and the properties. Put yourself in the middle of the action by going on tours and attending agent opens. As you do this, you’ll begin to attract higher-end clients, and your life will simplify because you’ll have to sell fewer homes to earn more and enjoy a better lifestyle.

Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems (385-282-7112), an international speaking, consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and building successful power agents and teams. Sign up today for a free business consult with Verl by sending an email to To hire Verl to speak at your next event, email RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 79

{Power Teams}

5 Steps to Increasing Your Average Sales Price by Cleve Gaddis


hile I wish I could lay out a beginning-to-end program for increasing your average sales price in this short article, a full-length book might be required. If you’re asking why you should care about increasing your sales price, keep in mind that you’ll earn the same amount selling 10 homes at $300,000 as you would selling 20 homes at half the price.

Here are five basic concepts I believe are required if you’re looking to start growing your average commission income per sale: 1. Focus on listings. It’s easier to control the average sales price on the listing side of the business than it is when working with buyers. When we connect with a buyer, we don’t have much influence on their price range. When we focus on getting listings in higher priced areas instead, we have much more control on the average sales price. Additionally, the buyer leads we generate from higher priced listings are looking for more expensive homes, which is a double win. 2. Know your numbers. You must start by knowing exactly where you are currently. To do so, answer the following questions: How many list80 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

ing and buyer sales did you close in the last 12 months? What was your average sales price for listings and for buyers? How much did you earn on your average closing for listings and for buyers? Put these numbers into a spreadsheet, then set goals for increasing each number. 3. One step at a time. Many agents attempt to jump all the way to the million-dollar market in one giant step. The problem is the learning curve involved. It’s easy to feel like you’re in over your head with your first few million-dollar listings. A better alternative is to follow the 50 percent rule. If your average sales price is currently $200,000, try to increase it by 50 percent to $300,000. Believe it or not, you’ll get to the million-dollar market in four short years following the 50 percent rule. And you’ll gain valuable experience along the way. 4. Research the market. Pick a neighborhood that provides the best chances for success by digging up the following information: total number of homes in the neighborhood; number of homes sold in the last 12 months; the

turnover rate and the marketshare of agents in the last 12 months. You’re looking for the turnover rate to be 7 percent or greater, and for no single agent to have 25 percent or more marketshare. If the neighborhood doesn’t meet these criteria, find another. 5. Don’t believe the myths. I speak with agents every day who don’t believe they’re good enough or smart enough to work with higher-end clients. All these clients want is an agent who will work really hard, be 100 percent focused on their interests, and have confidence in their ability to get the job done. While you might want to upgrade your car and wardrobe as you work with more affluent high-end clients, if anyone has the ability to move on up in average sales price, it should be you.

Cleve Gaddis of Gaddis Partners, RE/MAX Center learned sales the hard way, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, and now his real estate team closes $60 million in sales annually in Atlanta, Ga. He loves to share his sales strategies and to see others succeed. He’s the host of the Call Cleve Atlanta Real Estate Show which can be heard on NewsTalk 1160 WCFO every week. Contact him at

{Power Teams}

Everything Works, and Nothing Doesn’t by Rick Geha


hen I was younger, I remember asking my dad why he chose to live in Fremont, Calif., rather than Palo Alto. The reason I posed this question was because my friends in real estate in Palo Alto were selling homes much more expensive than the ones I was selling. In other words, they were spending about the same time selling, and they had a much higher average sales price, which meant a much higher commission per closing.

I also had an uncle who worked in real estate, and he actually moved his family to a much more expensive neighborhood so that he could begin to sell higher priced homes by living among the people and selling the homes of his new neighbors. And it actually worked. On a more serious note, if you’re looking to make more money in less time, there are some simple ways to make it happen.

your pursuit of selling more homes, and, of course, more expensive homes at that. 3. Pick a higher priced area to pursue. Farming, door-knocking, mailers and events can be done in an area where you’ve never worked. The problem with this idea is that most real estate agents will talk themselves out of it because there may already be a dominant salesperson in that area. Don’t let that stop you. It’s been proven over the years that any area of 600 or more homes can easily support two or three wellloved agents. 4. Make friends with agents who have higher average sales prices than you. Take one or two agents out to lunch every quarter and pick their brain. Ask them how they broke into the price range, and what specifically you’ll need to do differently to make your presence known. 5. Volunteer to do the open houses of agents with higher priced list-

ings. Make it an event with balloons, open house signs, flowers throughout the house, cookies and water bottles. If someone in your office has a high priced listing that’s vacant and in a good traffic area, make it your office for a day. As a coach for Workman Success Systems, I find that when ideas are laid out for us to use, we often have our mind clicking into gear with negative thoughts. But we have to remember this statement: “Everything works, and nothing doesn’t.” I can confidently say you will increase your average sales price if you consistently focus on any of the ideas above. And, you’ll be happy with yourself for having applied them. Rick Geha of The Rick Geha Real Estate Team began his real estate career at age 22, and has been selling for over 36 years; he has run, managed or owned real estate offices for the past 23 years. His love of people and mentoring their passions has led him to a successful career as a speaker, trainer and coach. Over the past 15 years, he’s led more than 1,000 classes and workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada. He is currently a coach with Workman Success Systems. Contact him at

1. Spend more time with your top 50 contacts from your database. The more you talk to them, encourage them to pursue their dreams, help them move up when the time is right—and continue this over the years—your average commission dollar will increase. 2. Spend more time on your entire database, and continue to grow it regularly. There’s nothing like people you already know to help you in RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 81

{Power Teams}

3 Tips to Work Less and Make More by Brooke Sines


ooking at your past sales volume, have you sold a $70,000 house and then turned around to sell a $300,000 house? I know I have. Obviously, the $300,000 house is a much greater benefit to your pocketbook. Raising your average sales price can be a great advantage to real estate professionals. While many real estate professionals focus on overall volume, wouldn’t less sales at a higher commission rate still reap you the same (or greater) financial benefit? Wouldn’t having more time to spend with friends and family be nice? Let’s discuss how to work less and make more.

I recommend three ways to start increasing your average sales price: 1. Socialize with those in higher priced areas. 2. Connect with local businesses and focus on business owners. 3. Focus on clients you’ve sold higher-dollar homes to, and maintain those relationships. First, we’re real estate professionals…so get socializing. Join a golf club or get involved in some social clubs where those around you are in a high-income bracket. Enjoying dinner and other events a country club may put on would be a great way to get involved and network. 82 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Sponsor a hole at golf outings, attend Sunday brunch and visit the pool on the weekends with your kids. You’d be surprised how quickly your kids can make friends, opening the door wide for you to introduce yourself to other parents. Secondly, network with local business owners in networking groups by joining professional associations, attending local Chamber of Commerce meetings or Toastmasters Club International meetings. This is a great way to meet fellow business owners and managers in the area who may not only utilize your services, but can become a great referral partner for you, as well. Lastly, focus on the clients you’ve sold higher-dollar homes to in the past, in addition to those in your sphere of influence. If you take care of your past clients and stay in touch with them frequently, you should be able to expect referrals because you’re at the top of their mind. Whether it be newslet-

ters, handwritten notes, meeting for lunch or getting together for a couple’s date night, it’s important to stay in touch with past clients through several touches each and every year. Now that you have three areas to focus on to get that average sales price increased, it’s time to put them into action. Set a measurable and attainable goal for the year. Track how many business cards you pass along at networking events and where your leads are coming from. And, most importantly, have fun. RE

Brooke Sines is a Workman Success Systems Coach and full-time REALTOR® with RE/MAX of Grand Rapids who has been in the business of working with people all of her life. After working for several years as an entertainment agent, she wanted a profession that would allow her to be home more to enjoy the day-to-day with her family. It was her love of people and real estate that led her into a career as a full time REALTOR®, where in her first year she was awarded the Rising Star award for sales and excellence. Contact her at



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{Power Teams}

3 Keys to Success:

Honesty, Collaboration and Follow-Up

skillset for that seller or buyer. It really does make a difference. Not only do we complement each other, but we back one another up all the time.

What marketing method do you find most effective? Joe Balestriere: Facebook and social media are huge. Susan Hanson: We recently changed our eye doctor because ours retired. The first time we went into her office she said, “You two look really familiar.” When we went back for a follow-up, she said, “I know where I’ve seen you—Facebook—your ads are paying off.”

Steve and Susan Hanson

by Liz Dominguez Susan Hanson, Steve Hanson and Joe Balestriere Hanson Realty Group William Raveis Exceptional Properties

Years in real estate: 15 Region served: Lower Fairfield County, Conn. Average market time: The average for Q1 2017 was 83.62 days. Our goal is to have our listed houses sale pending within 30 days. Number of team members: 5 Do you divide tasks based on individual roles (e.g., listing agent, buyer agent, etc.)? Susan Hanson: No, we don’t actually do that. We’re pretty much our own selves. We support each other, ask opinions and maybe tag along on certain presentations because we think another person has a stronger

86 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

How does being on a team differ from being a solo agent? Susan Hanson: I personally think it’s huge. It’s a sounding board. Joe will come up and tell me he’s having a challenging transaction, and I’ll tell him it’s something we’ve seen and dealt with before. We then brainstorm together to come up with the best solution. Every transaction is different. Joe Balestriere: Sometimes you’re in a sea of transactions alone, and having someone to help you as a solo agent isn’t easy. Even today, seven years later, I’m still seeing things I’ve never seen before. What are you most proud of about your team? Susan Hanson: I think we go way above and beyond most real estate agents. I think listening to and understanding the client is very important. We’re very honest and we don’t sugarcoat. We’re very quick to react, and we follow-up on showings and open houses for feedback. We also watch the market indicators if a price adjustment is needed.

Steve Hanson: Our team has all aspects covered. Combined, we’re a very strong team, and we have experience in all aspects of real estate. The bottom line is we’re honest and we treat people the way we’d want to be treated. We don’t try to pressure them, and we don’t try to tell them things they’d rather hear instead of the reality. Joe Balestriere: Our willingness to take the time to do things other real estate professionals don’t do. This even includes hosting a tag sale for your client because they might not be able to do it themselves, or making sure you mitigate certain risks like going into the city and doing a municipal search. Susan taught me the importance of doing as much as you can before the transaction starts instead of trying to catch up later, and I think that’s important. How do you measure success as a team? Susan Hanson: Although we do like the numbers, measuring success is about reward, and that means personal reward, not dollar value. We have repeat business because our clients know that we care, and they know that we’ll work 110 percent on their behalf. We currently have a listing in Rowayton, and it’s the client’s third transaction with us. Joe is already seeing repeat business, which tells you that our clients like to work with us. Joe Balestriere: We’ve consistently been one of the Top 5 teams in Norwalk since 2006. It’s nice when a client comes back and says they want to work with us again, or they have a friend they’d like us to work with. RE



Building a Referral Business

Through Innovative Means ReferralExchange agents take an out-of-the-box approach to generating referrals

by Keith Loria


eferrals have long been a key for success in the real estate business, but simply waiting for friends and family members to tell you they know someone moving out of the area isn’t enough to cut it for real estate professionals looking to keep pace with an increasing agent landscape. That’s why many savvy agents have turned to ReferralExchange, taking advantage of the service to easily boost the number of referrals sent out each month.

The Power of Instagram Nicole Mickle has been a licensed REALTOR® for six years in Orlando, Fla., but involved in the business for 21 years, serving as a mortgage broker, real estate transaction coordinator and loan officer. In her opinion, referrals are an important piece of an agent’s success because they build creditability and cre88 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

ate multiple streams of income. “You may have a local presence, but being part of a network like ReferralExchange instantly grows your business on a national level and creates opportunities that you most likely wouldn’t have been presented with. It also creates relationships with an existing client base that may need you to refer a family member or friend outside your coverage area,” says Mickle. “You then become the ultimate resource to your clients and their network.” Mickle is a big believer in using social media to not only increase her referrals, but to communicate with others who have similar interests. “I quickly noticed that Instagram had become my most vital platform in growing my business,” says Mickle, who created a presence that companies like ReferralExchange were able to find. “As a result, they thought I would be a good match to join their network. Since then, I’ve created a platform of connections with other real estate agents in different markets all over the U.S. who refer buyer and seller referrals to me thanks to Instagram.

“People who follow you on social are vetting you to make sure you will take care of their client in the manner they would.” – NICOLE MICKLE REALTOR®, Mainframe Real Estate, Orlando, Fla.

I’m also able to refer other direct connections into the platform and match them with agents who I think they would love to work with.” Regularly posting on Instagram about the Orlando area, Mickle also takes the time to share tips and provide a glimpse into the city’s daily lifestyle. Not only has this allowed her to better connect with other agents, but it’s also led to her receiving her most recent listing—and new buyer. “Agents and clients may follow you for months without saying a word, and then, boom, you get a new client,” says Mickle. “Most view these leads as difficult because they come from an online source, but I interpret this as more of a referral client. People who follow you on social are vetting you to make sure you will take care of their client in the manner they would. These are their relationships they’re putting on the line, so it’s very important to present yourself as a business person.”

Choosing Direct Marketing Elizabeth Russo, a Walnut Creek, Calif.-based REALTOR® with Windermere Diablo Realty, has a policy that might seem unheard of to many agents: She refuses to work with friends and family. “Referrals aren’t incredibly important to me,” says Russo. “To me, it’s all about marketing and learning how marketing really works. You’re going to spend your dollars one way or another, so you’re either going to do it getting referrals and wining/dining people, or you can do a really good job and use direct marketing.”

“I built a really strong website and I advertise all over the U.S.” – ELIZABETH RUSSO REALTOR®, Windermere Diablo Realty, Walnut Creek, Calif.

What Russo does is market herself to her network as having nationwide coverage, utilizing ReferralExchange to help find the best agent for their specific needs. “I built a really strong website and I advertise all over

the U.S.,” says Russo. “I get a lot of people who really like my product or those who appreciate the advice I’ve given them. I then enter that person into the ReferralExchange system and send them two real estate professionals I think they will really like. And I still get paid.” Russo also utilized ReferralExchange when she got sick and needed to find agents for her clients. Taking advantage of the service in this way helps keep her sphere happy while providing a higher closing rate.

Taking Advantage of Online Lead-Gen Marketing Terry Yonker, a broker with Buckeye Realty in Winter Park, Fla., says real estate professionals spend so much time, money and effort on lead generation that referrals are extremely important, and maintaining your sphere is necessary.

“I remember being in Provence and Thailand and taking Skype calls as the referrals kept coming in even though I wasn’t there.” – TERRY YONKER Broker, Buckeye Realty, Winter Park, Fla.

“My niche is that I love to list. I don’t work well with buyers, so one of the things we do is refer out the buyer calls to people who love to do that part, even if it’s at other brokerages,” says Yonker. “When people call on our listings, we have three of the top buyer’s agents in the area that we will call, and we take a 25 percent referral.” Quarterly, Yonker puts any leads collected into the ReferralExchange system to see if anything can shake out there. While Yonker’s career in the real estate industry began a dozen years ago, he moved his office from Southwest Florida to the Orlando area about two years ago. Heading overseas before the transition, Yonker was able to take care of new referrals thanks to ReferralExchange. “I remember being in Provence and Thailand and taking Skype calls as the referrals kept coming in even though I wasn’t there,” says Yonker. “Online lead generators allow you to focus your marketing dollars and get results and better ratios because you’re not doing blanket, old-school geo-farming.” For those who contact him from outside his zone for real estate advice? Yonker turns to ReferralExchange. RE For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 89

{Broker Spotlight}

Giving Everyone a Stake in Success Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group


ots of companies talk the talk when it comes to collaboration, but how many really walk the walk? According to Tipper Williams, operating principal of Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group, it comes naturally at her firm because it’s part of the DNA of the Keller Williams brand itself. “I have found the support from this franchise to be incredible at all levels—there’s this great spirit of camaraderie we share,” she explains. Combine that with a profit-sharing system that allows agents a retirement avenue and the autonomy to approach real estate as a true business, and you have an environment where everyone can—and does—win.

90 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

by Maria Patterson

“Keller Williams’ belief system and philosophy is congruent with mine. I believe that it is more important to make things right, than to be right. I am proud of my affiliation with a company that lives this—from the very top of our company to the very bottom.”

Maria Patterson: How did you first get started in real estate? Tipper Williams: My background is in

– TIPPER WILLIAMS Operating Principal, Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group

special education. My start in real estate came when I was purchasing homes to renovate and resell. We truly didn’t understand the process of real estate, and the experience didn’t feel good to us. There was an ad in the local paper for a real estate course. I thought taking the course would provide us with more insight into the real estate transaction and would benefit us in the future, so I signed up. I had no intention of getting into real estate, but the gentleman teaching the course was the

Left to right: Kyle Holloran, Benji Tull, Susan Cook Garcia, Barry Harlowe, Tipper Williams, Tammie Henderson, Jim Sonnhalter, Janet Amendola

president of a real estate company and convinced me to come talk to him. I started out doing phone duty and wound up being Rookie of the Year. Turns out, I had a passion for it.

MP: How did you go from there to leading the Keller Williams Realty Virginia Alliance Group? TW: It was a progression! I was invited to join another national real estate franchise, and, while there, attended a seminar. They talked about the idea that in order to be a successful business person in real estate, you had to leverage yourself. I walked away with the concept that you have to run your own business to be successful. Eventually, I opened my own independent brokerage. From there, I recruited a great bunch of agents. I was solely unprepared to be a business owner. I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from those mistakes. I owned a mortgage company next, and between those two, I was completely burned out. Eventually, I sold both. I then started doing consulting for individual real estate agents. They told me I needed to look at a new real estate franchise that was coming to town called Keller Williams. I interviewed for a team leader position and it seemed way too good to be true. At the end of the day, they offered me a position as team leader, and I took it. I figured if they could do 50 percent of what they said they could do, this would be the best company I’d ever worked for, including my own. They went above and beyond my expectations. They were what they said they were going to be—and more!

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 91

MP: What was it that really made Keller Williams stand apart? TW: Definitely the educational opportunities and the culture. The training classes, coupled with the systems, models and tools provided by Keller Williams was unlike anything else I had ever seen in our industry. I’ve been able to personally witness agents attend a training class, integrate the systems and models into their business, and reach a high level of achievement in a relatively short period of time. Additionally, it is Keller Williams’ approach to business ownership— not just for the owner, but for the agent. When you meet a KW agent, our conversations aren’t just real estate conversations, they are business conversations. We are discussing business start-up costs, business expansion, budgets, organizational charts, job descriptions. This perspective matched what I had been looking for when I was an agent: how to run a big, successful business that still allowed me the time to live life without burning out. Keller Williams’ belief system and philosophy is congruent with mine. I believe that it is more important to make things right, than to be right. I am proud of my affiliation with a company that lives this—from the very top of our company to the very bottom. Last, but certainly not least, the collaborative environment that is purposely created within our company truly sets us apart. Together. we achieve more.

ver. I was the general manager for a privately-held company that owned multiple Keller Williams Franchises throughout the United States. I was then transferred to the KW Virginia Region (home for me), and served as the regional director for three years and as the operating principal of the six Keller Williams franchises that I run today, with locations in Ashburn, Chantilly, Fairfax, Leesburg, Reston, Richmond and Winchester.

“Taking care of our associates, both professionally and personally, is part of our culture—it’s a part of our DNA that is supported by specific models and the written culture that is displayed in every office.” – TIPPER WILLIAMS Operating Principal, Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group

MP: You’ve worked in several regions for Keller Williams, correct? TW: Yes, I began my career with Keller

MP: How has business fared since then? TW: We experienced a dynamic turn-

Williams as a launching team leader in the Texas/New Mexico region. After completing a very successful launch, my operating principal assisted me in finding my next opportunity within the company in Den-

around since the beginning, which I attribute to our world-class leadership team and associates. Together we desired to create an environment of collaboration, high standards and ethics with the vision to attract other

92 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

independent-thinking professionals that had high-achieving goals and were big thinkers. We grew bigger and more profitable because our agents’ businesses grew bigger and more profitable.

MP: How does Keller Williams help support your success? TW: Keller Williams supports the success of each franchise at a high level. It goes well beyond the technology and software programs used to ensure the smooth operations of each office, but more importantly, the profitability of each office. It starts with the predetermined way we agree to treat one another when we become a member of the KW Family. Even our CEO, John Davis, spends one hour a week on a conference call with every KW operating principal in the company discussing business strategies that benefit our agents and our offices. Many companies focus on just one group: the agents or the management. At Keller Williams, they are focused on both. MAPS Coaching provides the agents and the leadership team business coaching opportunities delivered by highly trained coaches. The collaborative environment of learning and assisting one another goes from the neighboring franchise owners and their associates to the executive office of our CEO at Keller Williams Realty International (KWRI). In addition to the training, coaching and international training events provided to us by KWRI, two large events are held annually: Mega Camp (Austin, Texas) and Family Reunion. These national events are attended by more than 10,000 associates across the U.S. and internationally.

MP: Your firm has been ranked in the Top 100 brokerages. What’s the secret to your success? TW: This answer is multifaceted, and one is just as important as the other.

The secret is really simple: 1. T  ake care of other people better than they expect you to. My dad taught me the importance of taking responsibility for the outcome of any team you are involved in. Be loyal and compassionate, and never put someone in a position to fail. 2. Have your heart in the game, not just your head. You have to have passion (heart) and focus (head) on the big goals. This means having patience and perseverance through the tough times, always revisiting your strategy and adjusting when needed. 3. M  ake the right hire every time. I understand that when I hire someone, it isn’t just the person I am hiring—it is their family, too. Their family is behind the scenes supporting that individual—they, too, expect me to deliver on the expectations that were agreed upon. 4. T  here is no substitute for talent, work ethic, and high standards. There is no deal worth my reputation or the reputation of the company. I will do what I say I will do, and that is what is expected at all levels in our company.

MP: What most attracts agents to KW Virginia Realty Alliance Group, and why do they stay? TW: In one word: value. In the absence of value, it becomes about the money. Value to the individual agent is defined in different terms, as they are individual business owners and have different needs. Taking care of our associates, both professionally and personally, is part of our culture—it’s a part of our DNA that is supported by specific models and the written culture that is displayed in every office. Our offices work together to make

big investments into our local communities and beyond. A great example of this is our corporate Heart to Heart program, where our offices have adopted a family that was affected by the recent hurricanes. We have raised over $130,000 to directly benefit these families. We also participated in Mega Relief Camp to physically assist families in the clean-up efforts after the hurricane in Texas. Additionally, our agents raise over $180,000 each year to donate to our local communities, and to a fund specifically designed to assist our agents in an emergency. Our ALC (Agent Leadership Council) Culture Committee plans and implements the fundraisers throughout the year. We believe we should give where we live. Part of our value is our unique ability to assist our agents in building a sustainable business they can expand nationally, locally or sell one day. They are trained to design their real estate company purposefully, with their future goals in mind. Agents will tell you one of the greatest reasons of all to stay with KW Virginia Realty Alliance Group is their peers, our agents. They are the most incredible group of professionals in the industry.

MP: How would you describe your firm’s positioning in the marketplace? What sets you apart from the competition? TW: KW Virginia Realty Alliance Group typically holds the No. 1 position in marketshare for their respective territories (office locations) in both Northern Virginia and Richmond, and ranked No. 3 out of all brokerages in the state of Virginia. We are different from our competitors. We are discussing how to build scalable and sustainable businesses internally and externally with our agents. We are masterminding, con-

sulting and training with our agents with one goal in mind: the agent’s goal. Some other companies are interested in discussing commission structures, social events and leads that are generated for the agent. While that sounds good, most of our career-driven agents are more interested in building a business that is increasing their revenue year over year, while additionally building a portfolio of real estate investments that will eventually build a residual income for them.

MP: You came from an educational background and are very involved in training for Keller Williams. Tell us more. TW: Training is one of my most favorite things to do because it challenges and makes me better at what I do. I am honored to serve as a member of the KW Master Faculty. I specialize in the Business Planning Clinic that teaches the models that are the foundation of building a successful and profitable business. My students light up when they actually see how many leads they need to hit their goals—it energizes them, and that is when the real business discussion begins.

MP: What’s on deck for the future of the firm? TW: We are focused on expanding internally through our current agent base of attraction and externally through Gary Keller’s Mega Agent Expansion model. We will be implementing the technology that Keller Williams has announced, as well as increasing our local value determined by our ALC. 2018 is going to be an exciting year of new successes for our entire company, and, most importantly, for our agents! RE

For more information, please visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 93

{Broker Spotlight}

Out in Front and Ahead of the Game RE/MAX Fine Properties Raises the Bar on Real Estate Success by Maria Patterson


hen brothers Nimesh and Minesh Patel decided to go into business together, they leveraged their rich backgrounds in technology, finance and real estate to take over Sugar Land, Texas-based RE/MAX Fine Properties in 2009. Since then, the firm has consistently improved upon its numbers year-overyear, with remarkable accomplishments in agent productivity. The secret to the Patel brothers’ success? A hands-on, business-focused, supportive relationship with each of the firm’s 180-plus agents. Read more about the pair’s mindset for success in this exclusive interview.

94 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Maria Patterson: Please briefly describe your career path and how you came to lead RE/MAX Fine Properties. Nimesh Patel: Before real estate, I was in IT and moved out to San Francisco to work with some big firms in the area. Dot coms were doing really well in the late ’90s and early 2000s, but I was missing my friends and family, so I moved back to Texas. I got my real estate license in 2002 so that I could create some investments for my future. I ended up being fairly good at it and joined RE/MAX Fine Properties. There are still people here now that taught me real estate back then.

career opportunity after graduation. I majored in business and finance and landed a great job with Barclays Global Investors on the hedge fund side. I came back in 2007 to be with my family, but stayed in my industry and signed on with another hedge fund. Then in 2007 and 2008, the world collapsed. I was laid off and the industry went down the drain for the next several years. Opening my own business was always a lifelong dream of mine, so I decided to partner with my brother. By January 2009, we bought RE/MAX Fine Properties.

scared. Real estate had come to a grinding halt and the subprime market collapsed. Agents were leaving the industry in a mass exodus. The positives were we were coming into a business that was distressed. We were buying in a down market as opposed to an up market, so it was easy for us to negotiate a lot of important variables.

Nimesh Patel: We knew that if we

Minesh Patel: We were both born

MP: That must have been an interesting time to get into real estate! Minesh Patel: There were a lot of

got into the business at a discounted price, and put our energy and effort into it, we could build it up and stay on the positive side of things right off the bat. I liked the fact that this was going to be challenging, but if we worked hard, there was a lot of potential.

in London and raised here in Sugar Land. I went to college in Houston, and in 1999 moved to California to join my brother in searching for a

concerns. We were buying into an industry that was collapsing and hemorrhaging rapidly. No one wanted to buy a house. Everyone was

MP: How many offices and agents does the firm currently have? Nimesh Patel: We have one office

Minesh (left) and Nimesh Patel succeed with a culture of competition and cooperation.

and 185 agents. For two years in a row, we’ve been the largest single office RE/MAX in the country. Our parents are involved here, too. Our dad is our accountant, and when I got my license back in 2002, my mom also got hers. And to this day, she is still active.

Minesh Patel: We’re No. 1 in the country and No. 5 in the world in terms of agent count for a single office. In addition, we’re in the middle of expanding via a satellite branch. One of our fastest-growing teams wanted the opportunity to open their own office in Katy, so we’re currently helping them build out another office, which will open very soon. MP: How does being affiliated with RE/MAX help support your success? Nimesh Patel: RE/MAX has always been known as the home of top producers who have been in the business for a while. We like that aspect of the brand. We’re not going to teach people how to sell real RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 95

estate; we’re going to teach people how to be long-term business owners. If you’re an agent who made $100,000 but netted only $30,000, that’s not good. Because of my brother’s background in finance, we’re going to say, “Let’s go over your P&L and see how we can make you more profitable.” We’re changing the language of how we talk to agents and treating them as mini businesses under us. As RE/MAX, we’re going to attract solid producers, but many need help on the business side of things to get to another level.

Minesh Patel: When we decided to get into business together, we looked at 15 or 20 businesses that year, and all kinds of franchises, from Subway to car washes to daycares. RE/MAX was the No. 1 global leader in real estate in terms of transactions and sales, but also carried global brand recognition. It’s ranked with the likes of Coca-Cola, GE and Microsoft. MP: Why have you chosen to stick with one main location? Nimesh Patel: A big part of our culture is that Minesh and I are always here. We found it difficult to see how we would run other offices as successfully if he and I were absent. We didn’t want to have a landlord/ tenant relationship with our agents. We’re here; we’re your family. If we start spreading ourselves too thin with other offices, it’s not going to work. There’s no magic pill—you have to be there.

MP: How would you describe your firm’s positioning in the marketplace? Nimesh Patel: Last year, we did $770 million in sales volume with 180 agents. The second closest real estate firm in the area has 380 agents and did $650 million. We’re more productive per agent than any of our competitors. Our agents are 96 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

“We’re more productive per agent than any of our competitors,” says Nimesh Patel.

breaking records in every single category—from listings to buyers to new construction, our firm dominates. Our agents keep increasing our numbers month-over-month and year-over-year. We have a family atmosphere—a serious family atmosphere—with competition and cooperation. We believe that you’re the average of the people you surround yourself with.

MP: What is your approach to recruiting? How do you ensure you’re bringing in and keeping such productive agents? Minesh Patel: Most brokerages out there take anyone who has a license—they recruit constantly. Our approach is unorthodox. We have minimum standards in place to be hired and we go after seasoned agents. We want six-figure producers who are serious about a longterm career in real estate. And we recognized early in the game that it’s about retention first—training and educating and making the agents we have more productive.

That, in turn, leads to our agents doing the recruiting for us. We don’t make recruiting calls, and on average we turn down 10 – 15 agents per month. People see how we’re doing things differently and they want to be part of a place like this.

Nimesh Patel: We’re also an open book. For example, we wanted a really big producer in the area to come join us, but we didn’t like his overall demeanor after several interviews. He wanted a “deal” to come over to our firm, and we don’t play that game. We treat everyone the same. The firm found out we turned him down and it ended up being the most positive thing we’d done in a long time. It gave our agents a tremendous sense of pride to know we won’t compromise our standards.

Minesh Patel: Our hierarchy is very flat. Most brokerages only cater to top producers and forget everyone else. Our top producers are as important as our up-and-coming producers. We like to treat everyone

fairly because you never know when the next superhero or rock star is going to emerge. We see it every year—unexpected, break-out agents who take over a No. 1 spot at our firm.

Nimesh Patel: From our staff perspective, we rarely have turnover. We promote from within. Our most senior manager started out as a weekend receptionist. We’re all about recognizing employees with opportunities they wouldn’t have elsewhere. They’re integral to our success.

MP: How do you involve your agents in the company’s growth? Nimesh Patel: We’re very analytical and use a lot of bar graphs and charts. We like to make sure our agents know what’s going on. They’re a part of this growth and it’s important for them to see where we’ve been and how far we’ve come.

MP: What is your approach to coaching and training? Nimesh Patel: We teach our own classes—only one per month and only when we really see the value in it. People understand that and it’s why they come to the classes when we have them. It’s my brother and I providing a market snapshot, educating agents, and hopefully teaching them something they didn’t know before.

Minesh Patel: We were one of the first RE/MAX owners to use Momentum training, which was developed by David Scott. We also use Brian Buffini and will quickly adopt any other coaching and mentorships we think add value. MP: What’s your strategy for effectively marketing the firm? Nimesh Patel: We’re big on social media. My brother and I actually run our own Facebook page. We market the success of our agents and firm constantly.

Minesh Patel: With Nimesh’s background in technology, and also being some of the youngest owners at every RE/MAX convention, we’ve been in touch with millennials, and, therefore, were quick adopters of Facebook and other social media outlets that had the largest worldwide traffic possible. We like to let clients know that since we’ve taken over, the firm has had its best year, every year, nine years running. We were one of the few firms growing in the worst recession real estate had ever seen. While most firms were struggling until the market started recovering at the end of 2012, our sides were doubling every year.

MP: How do you stay ahead of the curve on technology? Nimesh Patel: We don’t adopt every single piece of technology that comes out. I’ll be the guinea pig for every new piece of technology we consider, taking the time to learn it and teach it. And Minesh will go to a company and leverage our numbers to get great pricing for our office.

MP: It also sounds like you’re often the guinea pig for systems adopted by RE/MAX corporate. Minesh Patel: Yes. For example, BackAgent (online transaction management software) is one of the most widely used systems among brokerages today, but Nimesh was one of the first agents to use it. We found the developer who created it for a local company here and we asked if he could create a custom version for us. After our success, RE/MAX corporate picked it up and promoted it.

Nimesh Patel: We have a great relationship with RE/MAX and we want to be the first ones to do everything. We want to see RE/MAX do well as a whole. When we first got into the business, people reached out to us, so we’ve always had a pay-it-forward mentality when it comes to helping

new owners launch their brokerages.

MP: You recently suffered through Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. How did the company fare? Nimesh Patel: We turned our 3,000plus square-foot training facility into a distribution center for building large totes filled with food, masks, gloves, bleach, box cutters, water, toiletries, Clorox wipes, towels and anything and everything we could find. Partnering with Operation: Rebuild TX and The Church TX, we were able to make over 1,450 huge bins and distribute them all throughout the Fort Bend County area to many of the affected families. We had eight of our own team members severely affected, yet our whole firm, community, business leaders, friends and family came together to assist in rebuilding. As for future business, we’re very confident in our agents and our community; we’ll be on our feet and on top very soon.

MP: So where does the company go from here? Nimesh Patel: We want to make sure we don’t remain stagnant and stale and lose marketshare and agents. Someday, someone is going to come along and do what we did. The challenge is, how do we stay out in front of changes and technology? It’s our job to be knowledgeable about everything, so when we hear something about Zillow or Redfin or Amazon, we’re not going to dismiss it. As long as we know what’s happening and coming, we can prepare.

Minesh Patel: Information is the most powerful commodity in the world. We have our ear to the ground on what’s happening so that we can be prepared and act on the information quickly. RE

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{Broker Spotlight}

A Commitment to Community and Professionalism Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties Ramps Up for the Next Generation of Real Estate by Barbara Pronin

Bill Keleher, Chairman & CEO; Chris Brown, President


or the ownership team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties, it’s all about focused growth—and maintaining a company culture that thrives on performance and professionalism. The company, which reported volume last year of over $1.5 billion, has grown its agent population by nearly one-fourth in the last three years alone, from 650 to more than 800. “Our approach to building the company is to focus on people who can make a full-time commitment to the industry, their customers, and our company,” says Chairman and CEO Bill Keleher. “We excel at helping this type of individual reach the next level of growth both personally and professionally.” In this exclusive interview, Keleher and company President Chris Brown discuss the team’s singular strategy: a collaborative, people-centric culture that inspires ongoing quality, performance and innovation for the next generation of real estate.

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties ownership and senior teams with executives from strategic partner, DOYLE. From Left: Kenneth McKenna, Executive Vice President & CFO, DOYLE; Kathleen M. Doyle, Chairman & CEO, DOYLE. From NEW JERSEY PROPERTIES: Executive Vice Presidents Michele Giordano, CMO and Steve Janett, COO; Seymour Litwin, Vice Chairman; Bill Keleher, Chairman & CEO; Nancy Litwin, Office Manager; Chris Brown, President; Susan Magenta, Senior Vice President & Director of Relocation; Renee Schaadt, Vice President & Director of Accounting Services. From DOYLE: Jill Bowers, Regional Representative for NJ; Louis LeB. Webre, Senior Vice President Marketing and Media.

Barbara Pronin: Let’s begin with a recap of your individual career paths, and how you got on this present road together. Bill Keleher: I grew up in Kansas City, Mo., went to college in Virginia and then came to New Jersey for a month to visit my two best friends in Westfield. When I decided to stay longer, I got a temporary job in a clothing store where I met a couple of young men who were in the real estate business with a local firm. After getting to know them, I made a decision to try real estate, as well, and 48 years later, I’m still in New Jersey and still in the real estate business. I began in sales in a small office in Westfield, went on to become a manager, sales trainer, regional manager and finally president of the 12-office company that I ultimately purchased. I sold that company in 1986 to Schlott REALTORS® and worked for them until I had the opportunity to purchase Prudential New Jersey Realty from Prudential Real Estate in 1991. In the ’90s, I

acquired numerous other small Prudential companies in New Jersey, and in January 2001, I merged the company with Prudential Pioneer (Seymour and Nancy Litwin’s company) and Prudential Brown-Fowler (Chris Brown’s company), forming Prudential New Jersey Properties. Steve Janett joined our ownership team in November 2006 when we acquired his company, Prudential Janett Real Estate.

Chris Brown: I, on the other hand, grew up in real estate, but swore I’d never get into this hectic business because I saw my dad always running out to his next appointment. So, in 1980, I graduated with a business and forestry degree from the University of Vermont and went to work for the Aspen Ski Corporation in Colorado. Returning to New Jersey that summer, but on my way to Norway to pursue a relationship with Brit, a girl I had met there during my junior year of college, my father convinced me to get my real estate license. I actually did, and

soon after, sold my first house for $350,000, making more in that one transaction than I had made the entire year living in Aspen. Not a bad start in 1983, and it convinced me to stay East and launch my real estate career at my dad’s company, where I sold houses for many years and took on ever-increasing responsibilities. Brit and I married in 1984, and I was appointed manager of our Summit office four years later. I held that position until the untimely death of my father in 1994, when I purchased the company from his estate. In the mid-’90s, Bill, Seymour, Nancy, Steve and I came together to form a successful mortgage joint venture, which gave us the working relationship needed to later form our current company and ownership team.

BP: When and why did you become Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, and how does the brand help support your success? BK: At the end of 2011, Brookfield Residential Property Services, now RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 99

BGRS, acquired the Prudential Real Estate Franchise Network and subsequently sold a controlling interest in the network to HomeServices of America. In 2014, we had the opportunity to join the new brand that HomeServices had created, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. It was a natural fit for us to align with the prestigious Warren Buffett brand. It’s unique in the real estate space, one of the most widely recognized and respected brands on earth, and it gave us, among other things, a tremendous opportunity to grow our company through recruitment and acquisitions, and also expand our footprint in the luxury home market.

CB: There’s a distinct energy inherent in the Berkshire Hathaway brand, and it delivers on every level in terms of innovation and support.

BP: How would you describe your positioning in the marketplace today? What is it that sets you apart from the competition? BK: We are one of the leading real estate companies in the New Jersey marketplace, the largest independently owned and operated Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices affiliate in the state, and a member of the prestigious Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Circle—and its predecessor, the Prudential Real Estate Gibraltar Circle—since their inception. Our overall closed volume last year was over $1.5 billion. The key to that kind of success, I think, is really what sets us apart: our total commitment to the professionalism of our agents, and their total commitment to excellence.

CB: Communication is a good part of that. We see ourselves as being large enough to provide our people with everything they need to succeed, but small enough so that every voice counts. Our ownership team is never up there in an ivory tower. We’re all accessible, involved 100 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties celebrated agent achievement in March of this year at their annual awards gala. Themed, “The Spark Within,” the event was hosted at Liberty House in Jersey City and culminated in a countdown of the company’s top agents and teams companywide. Pictured left: Sam Joseph, Sales Associate with the Montclair Office, ranked as the Top Producing Agent for 2016. Pictured right: Timothy “Tim” Deluccia, Broker Associate with the Martinsville Office and The Deluccia Commercial Group, ranked as the company’s Top Producing Team.

in the day-to-day, and we build relationships with each and every agent. We have a caring culture, competitive in the very best sense, and that’s a valued and motivating asset.

BP: How, specifically, have you been able to grow the company as you have? CB: It starts with the people we hire. Whether new or experienced, we are only interested in full-time, professional commitment—and because of our reputation as a company of achievers, many new and experienced agents seek us out. We are willing, able and happy to provide personalized training, coaching, and support, but only to those with an unwavering commitment to be the best.

BP: What is it that attracts agents to you, and why do they stay? BK: They are attracted, primarily, by our standing in the industry as a whole and our strong presence in the many communities we serve. They know we want and expect the best from our agents, and that we operate in ways that inspire success—and they want to be a part of that. For our part, we try to make very sure

that the people we bring on are truly a good fit with our culture.

CB: And they stay with us, basically, because we deliver on our promises. People enjoy and thrive when working with successful colleagues and mentors, where success is celebrated, great training is ongoing, and support is available whenever needed. BP: What is your approach to coaching and training? BK: We’ve been able to augment our own effective training systems with proven Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices strategies—and as president of the company, Chris has stepped up in the area of coaching and training. He hired a vice president of Learning and Development who is building a great curriculum. It’s very personalized and goal-oriented—for example, working with an agent who’s ready to navigate the leap from $5 million in production to $10 million.

CB: And at the branch level, every one of our managers is focused on coaching and training. They are very hands-on, with specific curricula designed for agents at every level

of experience. Success is a partnership, and we respect that and encourage it. With our agents, as with our customers, we understand the value of face-to-face. We’re very much into building relationships, making “warm calls,” and maximizing the value of one’s personal sphere of influence.

BP: What’s your strategy for marketing the firm to serve the needs of prospects and clients? BK: We have an excellent chief marketing officer who understands our core belief in building customer relationships and doing so in a variety of ways, from social media engagement across many platforms to proprietary market reports to a full luxury marketing system, and more.

CB: Part of our visibility in the community comes from our long-standing commitment to the Sunshine Kids, a national organization devoted to helping children with cancer. We “adopted” the Sunshine Kids years ago as a Prudential franchise and we support them to this day, having raised over $1.5 million from our offices’ local efforts, our annual corporate golf outing and generous donations from the community.

Steve Janett, our COO, spearheads our committee and is committed to reaching our annual Sunshine Kids goal by working with and supporting our office liaisons, as well as chairing our annual golf event.

BP: How do you stay ahead of the curve on technology, online marketing and social media? BK: We provide our agents with the cutting-edge tools they need to compete in an aggressive marketplace. We are engaged heavily in digital marketing, and we empower our agents to use our tools as touchpoints to remain top-of-mind with their spheres of influence. We have e-marketing campaigns and automated systems, and tech gurus who keep us on track—but we’re also aware of just how vividly a personal phone call stands out.

CB: It is always a mix of technology and personal touch. Our top four agents last year closed some 200 transactions and did $80 to $100 million in volume—and much of that was accomplished by reaching out and staying in touch in the most traditional ways. Others have embraced our online technologies including our CRM, our back-office

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties Annual Golf Invitational to benefit the Sunshine Kids. Left: G.W. Bailey, American stage, television and film actor and Executive Director of the Sunshine Kids; center: Ava Delforno, New Jersey, Sunshine Kids.

business center and our brand’s resource center. We also encourage agents to work with industry thought leaders, such as Brian Buffini and Tom Ferry, who both deliver different messaging and strategies for agent growth.

BP: What’s on track for the future of the firm? BK: Our goal is to be sure that every buyer and seller with whom we work has the best possible customer experience, because we know that is the basis for growth. So, we continue to look for the best agents to represent our banner—and we are always open to new opportunities, including strategic acquisitions, that will help expand our statewide footprint.

CB: Changes to our industry and growing demands from today’s sophisticated consumer seem to be coming at a faster and faster pace. It’s a critical balance to achieve— embracing new technologies while honoring what made us successful in the first place: integrity, trust, experience, and an overarching commitment to excellence. Millennials are the future, and there is a sharp focus on understanding what makes them tick—I know, I have two. While having great technology plays an important part in attracting them to our company, treating them with respect and earning their trust is crucial to keeping them engaged. It’s still a people business, after all. That’s why our brand is more important than ever. In this day of new and emerging business models, the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand is a promise of the highest standard, and it compels us to constantly reinvent ourselves in order to remain relevant and valuable to today’s real estate professional and our buyers and sellers. RE

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 101

{Broker Spotlight}

All for One

Sellstate Succeeds Through Revolutionary Collaboration by Maria Patterson


rthur Darmanin is very selective when it comes to bringing new companies into the Sellstate fold. And for good reason. Given the interconnected dynamic that runs throughout the system—from the newest agent all the way up to Darmanin himself—joining Sellstate is for those who are willing to aim high and work together to get there. “We have to make sure we’re all rowing the same way,” says Darmanin, who gives us a look inside the firm he founded with partner Neil Cresswell in Fort Myers, Fla., in 2002, in this exclusive interview.

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Maria Patterson: Please describe Sellstate’s distinction in the marketplace. Arthur Darmanin: We have three main points of distinction: We pay high commission to our agents; we provide breakthrough technology; and we offer revenue sharing.

MP: Why is high commission a priority? AD: We pay high commissions because to get good, productive agents, you have to pay them well. That’s the reality of the industry. Another reality is, good agents will not join you unless they’re going to do better by clos-

ing more deals. That doesn’t mean you do it at the expense of having a profitable business. We believe in paying high commissions, but at the same time, having a business model that makes sense for the franchisee. We use a 95/5 platform. But what’s more than simply offering high commission is showing agents that you can support them. Our philosophy is not only paying well, but making sure we’re helping agents with their business. As a broker, if I can’t demonstrate to you how I can help you make more money, then clearly I have to be the cheapest game in town. But then there will always be someone cheaper than you. It’s a race to the bottom.

MP: So if price isn’t the only factor, how are you demonstrating value to agents? AD: That’s where our breakthrough technology comes in. In today’s environment, for an agent to compete, they need good technology. Our definition of good technology is lead generation. It’s technology that works and helps you get more listings and more buyers—technology that is user-friendly, has a lot of automation and components that integrate well with each other. You also have to have exposure for your listings on the big sites, like enhanced listings on Our social media is also very robust; we offer a very comprehensive package, and we keep adding to it. To the best of my knowledge, we are the only franchisor where the agent doesn’t have to pay for a robust and complete technology package such as ours. As part of our value proposition, when an agent joins Sellstate, he/she automatically gets the entire package at no cost to them.

MP: What’s one of the newest tech features you’ve added? AD: We recently added a feature to our Sellstate Power Suite that automatically creates a listing-specific

“What’s more than simply offering high commission is showing agents that you can support them.” – Arthur Darmanin CEO, Sellstate website, flyer, Facebook posts, postcards, etc., for every single listing. All our agents have to do is input the listing into the MLS as they normally would, and all of this magic happens for them. This allows agents to spend less time figuring out technology and more time meeting with buyers and sellers, which is the highest and best use of their time. It also provides our members with a competitive advantage when meeting with sellers, as this package can be offered as a service on every listing.

MP: Tell us more about your third point of differentiation—revenue sharing. AD: Revenue sharing—not profit sharing—allows the agent to sponsor or recruit another agent into the company. It’s really very simple. All our agents have to do is set up an interview with our managers. If the prospect joins us, our agent will receive 5 percent of that new recruit’s gross commissions. Simple, transparent, and easy to understand. No convoluted formulas. This program also vests, so it has the ability to be a great retirement plan for our agents. We believe agents are instrumental in the growth of their offices, and this is why we created this system. Right now, the payout average is roughly $1,200 per month to agents who participate in revenue sharing. This is real money for agents, who are already getting a high commisRISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 103

sion. This adds another dimension to their income. Some may use it for retirement, some for healthcare, some invest it in marketing. Revenue sharing makes agents feel like they’re really part of the system.

MP: What has been your strategy when it comes to growth? AD: We’ve grown by 30 percent over the last year in terms of franchises and agents. We’re still looking at several states, but we’re focusing heavily on Florida, Colorado and the Carolinas right now because the market has been pretty good and changing quickly. We do have plans to be in another two to three states in the next 12 - 24 months. As the economy gets better, we’re getting more inquiries, but it has to be from qualified people. Unfortunately, we sometimes have to turn people down. We’re committed to only bringing the right people on board. We have to make sure we’re all rowing the same way. We’re also growing from within. Some of our franchises have expanded and opened additional offices. We’ll always encourage that type of growth and support one of our current members over a new prospect.

MP: How is the company faring in the wake of Hurricane Irma? AD: Hurricane Irma had an impact on our Florida operations; however, the recovery only took a few weeks, and we were up and running in no time. What’s interesting is that following storms like this, we tend to see an increase in market activity. Some people decide it’s time to move, while others want to move from a house to a condo. People outside the area tend to have very short memories about these storms and continue buying in the area. Most importantly, what Hurricane Irma showed us is the true character of our managers and agents. The outpouring of support and help, not only to our own agents, but to the 104 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

community at large, was unbelievable. I was very proud to be a part of this group.

MP: What type of franchisees are best suited for the Sellstate system? AD: Sellstate’s flexibility allows us to be the go-to franchise if you want to build a mega franchise, multipleoffices or even a medium-sized franchise. In terms of size, our system is designed to help different business models. Some people want a large agent count in their office. Others don’t want 100 agents—some just want 20 or 30 agents. We can help you get there either way by helping you get productive agents. And that’s really the key—productive agents. If agents aren’t selling, who cares whether you have 30 or 100? Our goal is not to have the biggest numbers—that’s not where it’s at. We’re more about hiring and keeping good, productive agents. For smaller- and medium-sized brokers, we offer the same training and support so they can realize their dream. On the flip side, if you want to build an empire or a mega office, we also have a system for that level of operator.

MP: I understand you involve agents in the operations of their offices in a unique way. AD: Yes, we engage our agents in the management and running of our offices by creating an advisory council in each and every office. This is comprised of a group of agents selected by each broker who they believe are team players and who have been loyal and demonstrated that they really care about the office and their peers. The council discusses what goes on in the office and talks about how things can be done better.

MP: What is Sellstate’s competitive advantage in today’s real estate market? AD: Beyond the three-pillar combination of high commission, break-

through technology and revenue sharing, I would have to say it’s the level of support we give our franchisees and our agents. Our leadership team is accessible all day, every day. If our people need anything, they know they can pick up the phone and ask. We also do leadership calls with our franchisees where we exchange ideas once a month and get them involved in the direction of the company. We get to hear from them regularly, and they share what they’d like to see from us, what things they’re trying or implementing, and we even get to talk about business development and recruiting ideas. This is just one more way we get all of our folks involved in Sellstate.

MP: So how would you describe your firm’s overall culture? AD: I’d have to describe it as being

all-inclusive. We have a lot of expertise, and we know what our job is, but a day doesn’t go by that I don’t ask, “How can we do things better? How can we help our agents close more deals? How can we help our franchisees make more money?”

MP: What is your approach to coaching and training? AD: We offer training on many different levels, starting with new agents all the way up to top producers. For us, things need to be done at a certain quality level. As an example, for a long time we didn’t go after new agents because the drop-off ratio for new agents is horrendous due to lack of proper training. At the time, we didn’t feel that we had the necessary training in place to walk them through the beginning stages. Then we made the decision to put together a unique training program specifi-

cally for new or struggling agents and allowed some new agents to join our company. I say unique, because unlike many of the other programs that I’ve seen, we established an eightweek course that starts with building a sphere of influence and covers everything from business plans to open houses to farming to technology—in other words, from A to Z of how to succeed in real estate. Students receive a handbook and accompanying workbook and scripts, and the instructors are provided with the PowerPoint presentations, instructor notes and quizzes to ensure consistency with the program. We also offer weekly and biweekly training on an ongoing basis on everything from negotiating contracts, how to prep your buyer, technology, etc. We have an education calendar in place so that our agents know exactly what is coming up and can plan

“We have a multi-pronged approach to what we’re doing, but not at the expense of our integrity and our philosophy.” – Arthur Darmanin CEO, Sellstate

to attend. We also have our annual summit for both franchisees and top producers, which is loaded with material specific to their needs. From top to bottom, Sellstate covers coaching and training thoroughly.

MP: How do you stay ahead of the curve on technology, online marketing and social media? AD: We do all the research and go to the tradeshows ourselves. We’re always researching what’s new and what’s exciting. If you don’t stay on top of it, you’re going to get run over. We have members of our team that spend a great deal of time researching this and even training and writing articles for various publications helping to keep agents informed. When we see things that can help our agents close more transactions, like this new automated listing package, we bring it into the fold, learn it, test it and then roll it out and train on it.

MP: What’s on deck for the future of the firm? AD: We want to grow, but we’re only going to grow with quality, productive people. The more productive agents appreciate Sellstate’s value proposition because they can see how the company is helping them close more deals. They know that with the tools, support and training we offer, they can do great. We have a multipronged approach to what we’re doing, but not at the expense of our integrity and our philosophy. As a franchisor, you have a great responsibility to the people who join you. They have trusted you with their investment and hard work, and you’re the guardian of that. It’s almost like having a shareholder. We’re responsible to them, and we’re accountable to them to do the right thing. RE

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 105

{Broker Best Practices} Locking in Advanced Leads With® by Zoe Eisenberg

Jesse Zagorsky Broker/Owner Live. Love. San Diego Homes Del Mar, Calif. Years in real estate: 13 Number of offices: 1 Number of agents: 22 Assuming that you get your leads from a good source and there’s inventory to sell, how many end up transacting? Pretty much everywhere in the country has the same low inventory challenge. In terms of conversion rates, if you buy your leads from a good source (my favorite being®), and you have a highly trained group of salespeople working the leads, you should be able to sell 7 - 8 homes for every 100 leads. I have friends that run successful teams who are converting at 10 percent currently, and a few even higher than that. If you’re working the leads as a solo agent, you can probably convert even higher if you’ve got the right skills.

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What is the one thing you can control that makes it more likely that you will achieve success? Mindset. I’ve taught sales technique courses for years, and I always begin by asking the group: “What percentage of sales is mental? And what percentage is skill?” Without fail, most people believe sales is at least 90 percent mental, and I agree. So why learn sales skills? Those skills help build confidence, which, in turn, helps your mindset. There’s no right answer for how to improve your mindset, but you should figure out the recipe that works for you, and put effort into it every day. Are buyers looking at additional online properties with others? Before meeting with an agent from our team, they’re most definitely looking at other properties from online with various agents. Our informal in-house research shows that most buyers we work with have had contact with at least 4 - 5 different agents before choosing to work exclusively with us. How do you make sure they’re looking with you for all the homes they find? It starts at the first meeting, which we call the Initial Buyer Consultation. The first half is spent focusing on the client’s needs so we can learn to see homes through their eyes. The second half explains how we work, and what we do differently. I’ve been taught that there are only two reasons why someone wouldn’t do business with you. They either don’t understand the value, or they feel threatened. How many leads are you working with at any one time? And how do you keep them all straight? The key is to have an easy system that you and your agents will actually use.

We have 1,400 active leads in the communal account of our database right now (at press time). The average agent can handle 30 - 50 new leads per month. Keeping notes and leveraging a system is the only way to keep it all straight. How long does it take for leads to convert?® leads are the fastest-converting leads of any type I’ve ever bought. Not all the

leads convert instantly, but if you keep working them, you’ll discover there are some immediate sales. I recently sold a $2.3 million home to a® lead after showing a single house. While showing the home, we were sitting in the living room and the client slapped his hands on the table and said: “I’ll take it!” A newer agent on my team recently claimed a®

business lives, but also in our personal lives. Best advice for new agents: Success requires focus, determination and unwavering commitment.

Staying Connected in a Fast-Moving World by Liz Dominguez

Dawn Lahlum President Park Co. REALTORS®, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Fargo, N.D. Region served: Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn. (metropolitan and surrounding areas, including Minnesota lakes market) Years in real estate: 24 Number of offices: 1 Number of agents: 75 Motto/work philosophy that you live by: In this fast-moving world, it’s important that we remember to respect the pause, not only in our

How does your company make its agents’ jobs easier? We provide all the support services to allow them to focus on their clients (e.g., listing services, closing services, marketing services, professional photographers, sign installers, etc.). A customized broker management program we designed—ParkPRO— has changed the way our agents conduct their business. Accessible from any mobile device, it’s their office on the go. Recently, our Top Sales Associate of the Month was able to conduct all of her business from this program and through DocuSign while out of the country. Which demographic segments are driving your business these days? Millennials continue to drive

lead in the middle of one of our training meetings. A couple days later she was out showing homes to this client and writing offers, and less than two weeks after joining my team, she had opened her first escrow. Relative to other lead sources,® leads seem to be further down the buying cycle. For more information, please visit

our first-time homebuyer market, and the growth in our move-up market stems from Gen Xers and those relocating to our area for job opportunities. We also have a strong vacation home market in our nearby lakes area that appeals to all demographic segments. What is your favorite time-saving tool that you use on a weekly basis? My smartphone is my lifeline. Remotely utilizing the ParkPRO program allows me full access to everything I need to make decisions on a brokerage level and stay connected. While I make it a priority to spend as much time as possible in the office with our agents and client services team, I’m always connected and informed when out of the office giving back to the community. What is your top strategy for closing a transaction? Proactive communication from both our agents and our closing services

team. We strive to keep all parties in the transaction informed to prevent any last-minute surprises and issues that could pop up and derail the closing. If an issue does arise and all parties work together, our clients win. How do you use technology to better serve your clients? Our community loves to use our Park Co. REALTORS® app (web. It has many cool features, including Map Draw, where one can draw an area on a map and see what houses are for sale, narrow searches by schools, determine commute times, etc. My personal favorite is Park Scan, where virtual reality allows one to use any mobile device and scan from anywhere in our market to see houses for sale within a certain mile radius.

For more information, please visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 107

Keeping Pace in a Fast-Selling, Multiple-Offer Market

Terry Jones Broker/Owner HomeSmart Real Estate Associates Seattle, Wash. Region served: Bellevue, Seattle and Tacoma Years in real estate: 28 Number of offices: 3 Number of agents: 135 Favorite part of your job: Teaching and role playing with brokers and agents to help them secure the sale or get the listing

Who has most influenced your success? My HomeSmart success is really easy. HomeSmart Corporate made opening my offices painless, and we have a great group of agents who have contributed to our fast growth and success. Many others have influenced my life to be a better person—a better mother and grandmother—to stay consistent in achieving constant growth in all areas of my life. I have a pastor who influences my faith and a health group that motivates me to eat healthy and work out. But truly, I would say that my faith and my children have influenced me the most. My kids always make me feel good about myself, and that makes me feel like I can do anything. You recently opened a new office. Can you talk about the experience and why now is the right time to expand your company footprint? When I decided Tacoma was the next location for me, I thought about how brokers and agents must feel in this fast-selling, multiple-offer market. We have five to 10 offers on million-dollar homes and multiple offers on $400,000 homes. I thought to myself, ‘We’re a flat-fee model no matter if your check is $15,000 or $5,000.’ These brokers need HomeSmart. They need more of their hard-earned income. It’s not getting cheaper to live in Tacoma, and that was my deciding factor on the Tacoma location. It’s a much-needed broker model for the area. How do you see your market evolving throughout the next year? I see us growing quickly, just like California did. If our market changes to a down market, we grow, and if we get the word out about what we have to offer, we grow. We have HomeSmart brokers and agents in

108 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

by Liz Dominguez

Bellingham and Olympia, and will soon have a presence in Vancouver, all over east of Bellevue and further. We will grow quickly now that the word is out. HomeSmart is a great company that offers a lot of support, a full marketing design center and low fees. What demographic segments are driving your business these days? We have it all in Seattle, but I would have to say we’re seeing more millennials in the city. We also have a ton of transfers from other states who are coming to the area for jobs. Then we have Gen Y buyers who are purchasing their first home or moving up to a bigger home. We haven’t seen a lot of movement with move-up buyers as there’s a lot of fear that they’ll have nothing to buy if they sell their home. Most boomers can buy without selling, so we’re seeing a lot of cash and large down payments. How do you use technology to better serve your clients? I have a love-hate relationship with technology, on which I run my whole office. In fact, I can run all three locations from my laptop. Not only can I look at a house from my cellphone, iPad or laptop, but I can also send clients information or answer any concerns within seconds. I can write an offer in the car within minutes, in addition to quickly opening title, escrow and updating all other team members. Clients want information now, and I’m all about providing the best customer service. We pride ourselves in answering all customer concerns and issues within the same day. If that’s not possible, we at least acknowledge their requests immediately. For more information, please visit

Relatability: A Winning Strategy for Staying Fresh by Gabrielle van Welie

Leah Wolfe-Kraemer Managing Broker - Goodyear Realty ONE Group Goodyear, Ariz. goodyear-5864869 Region served: Southwest Valley of Maricopa County Years in real estate: 13 Number of offices: 1 Number of agents: 415 What you love most about your home: Its location. I’m close to work, a variety of amenities and a Starbucks. What is the most unique way you have marketed a new listing? I wrote an entire listing description that focused on a Betty Boop toilet seat. This was an REO property, and that toilet seat was the most redeeming feature of the house. Even in a depressed market, I had multiple offers on the home, and I truly believe it was because prospec-

tive buyers felt compelled to see this “rare collectible that will keep your bum comfortable.”

What do you like most about the region in which you work? I love living and working in the Southwest Valley. Many of the homes in the area were built in 2000 or later, and new construction is still rampant. Everything feels clean and inviting. That, combined with our extremely affordable housing, makes our area a hot spot for real estate. How does your company stay flexible and current? Having introduced revolutionary concepts like the ‘UNbrokerage,’ our Cube8 Innovation Center brings ideas to life. Our focus is to form strategic partnerships with other cutting-edge companies that bring a dynamic arsenal of resources to our agents, and, in turn, our clients. So far in 2017, we’ve enhanced our agent dashboard to include SkySlope, Moxi Works, MoveEasy, Proxio and Spacio. And there’s more to come. How are you preparing your agents for the future of real estate? With the emergence of companies like Opendoor, I’m really focusing on getting back to basics. Superior customer service with a hands-on approach is still the best way to attract and retain clients. We launched ONE University earlier this year to help agents hone their

mentality of social media, my top producer/birthday announcement/congratulatory posts about my agents are often the most viewed, and typically have the highest engagement rates. RE

customer service and rapport-building skills.

What are some of the most creative ways you’re using social media? Though I wouldn’t consider it creative, per se, it’s effective to focus on other people on social posts. Instead of adopting the “me, me, me”

For more information, please visit

Stay engaged with your prospects and customers with RISMedia’s industryleading content—relevant articles, videos and drip email campaigns for staying engaged between buy/sell transactions!

“Pop-a-Note” (Drip Email) Fun, light and unique way to keep in touch with clients and prospects using an easy drip email platform. Send notes on pop culture topics of interest, helpful real estate-related topics, or both! Includes custom branding with photo, contact info and links, plus a customized News Hub with more consumer-facing real estate articles.

Content Library Thousands of articles and hundreds of video tips to choose from, updated daily! Access relevant, professionally written and editable content that you can download and use to enhance all of your communications—website, blogs, social media sites, newsletters—including RSS feeds for automatic delivery. Search for keywords, or filter for industry professionals or consumer targets for your communication and engagement systems.

For more information, contact Brett Johnson at 203.855.1234, ext. 143 or

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 109

How do you get them to call


Consistent marketing Potential clients need to see your face and message about 7 times before they decide to take action. We provide consistent marketing that delivers results.

Let’s talk: 800.634.1522


One Platform, Five Systems: Gaining Total Operational Efficiency Commentary by Bryan Brooks


perational efficiency is a critical component to the success of your brokerage. As a broker, you want to provide a seamless experience for your agents while performing productively and cost-effectively.

Metrics to Manage Productivity

An end-to-end platform that integrates all aspects of your business allows you to scale and grow your business, while keeping overhead and costs at a minimum. Gaining total operational efficiency not only keeps these costs down, but also provides a better way to recruit and retain agents. When you centralize paperwork, communications and operations through a single platform, you give your agents the support they need to be successful through a business model that runs at maximum operational efficiency.

age. Everyone has an accounting software, but not everyone has one that integrates seamlessly into their main operating system. Because of varying commission plans and the complexity of integration, it makes it difficult for brokers to have visibility into their finances. You gain efficiencies and accuracies without having to bounce back and forth between systems that don’t talk to each other.

Paperless Transactions

Agent Education and Career Development

The first important tool in an end-toend integrated platform is a transaction management system. In order to maximize operational efficiency, this system must be paperless. A paperless transaction management system allows for more effective organization and prevents you from having to track and manage stacks of paper. Instead, transactions can be moved digitally from one person to the next, cutting costs, reducing errors and preventing lost paperwork. Once a document is uploaded, everyone has visibility, and if a correction needs to be made, the agent knows immediately.

Accounting Having an effective accounting tool is essential to help maximize the financial success of your broker-

entiate themselves. From an agent dashboard, in our case, RealSmart Agent, agents should have access to the marketing tools and resources they need. They can design and manage drip campaigns and mailers; segment their leads and contacts and download ad templates, listing presentations, yard signs, business cards, and more.

Providing training and education opportunities is a critical value offering. By leveraging an end-to-end platform, you’ll be able to integrate the management of your training from start to finish. It’s important for agents to have easy access to the details and registration for education and training courses your brokerage offers. A quality end-to-end platform integrates your educational calendar with the agent dashboard so agents can read class information and enroll without picking up the phone.

Marketing Agents are busy all day prospecting, meeting with clients and negotiating deals, so it’s important to provide customizable marketing tools agents can use to effectively differ-

At HomeSmart, we follow the philosophy: if you do something twice, automate it. We improve on efficiency and productivity with data and analytics. In our business, we measure who our top agent is, how much sales volume we do, how much production we do and how many transactions we do in a rolling 12 months. The ability to track and manage data at the click of a button is key. Any brokerage with multiple locations can see great value from a system where one central location handles all paperwork within a transaction. Brokers can use this proprietary system to track requests, questions, calls and emails, as well as each step of the transaction process. An end-to-end system that integrates accounting, education and marketing—and has the ability to report metrics—adds tremendous value to a brokerage and its agents. RE Bryan Brooks is the senior vice president of franchise sales for HomeSmart International. In his leadership role, Brooks is responsible for spearheading the company’s domestic and international franchise growth initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions, roll-ins and conversion opportunities. For more information about HomeSmart International, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 111

{Scene & Heard}

Industry Icons Converge in NYC RISMedia Hosts Annual Think Tank, The Real Estate CEO Exchange


et within the prestigious halls of the Harvard Club of New York City, RISMedia hosted its annual Real Estate CEO Exchange on September 12 & 13. Welcoming more than 230 real estate brokerage leaders and C-level industry executives, the invitation-only event is designed to forge candid discussion around the topics most impacting the real estate business and the consumers it serves. This year’s day-and-a-half-long event featured 40 speakers, including Power Brokers from across the country, brand leaders and subjectmatter experts. The event kicked off with a State of the Union keynote address from HomeServices of America Chairman & CEO Ron Peltier. Other highlights included interviews with new Realogy Franchise Group CEO John Peyton and new National Association of REALTORS® CEO Bob Goldberg. For a complete recap of presentations and panel discussions, please visit The CEO Exchange was also marked by several key networking opportunities, including the Welcome Dinner cruise aboard the Atlantica private yacht, sponsored by Platinum Sponsors and HouseCanary, the Networking Breakfast, sponsored by DocuSign, and the Closing Reception, sponsored by Quicken Loans® (for a complete list of sponsors, please see page 116). RISMedia’s 2018 Real Estate CEO Exchange will take place once again at the Harvard Club of New York City on September 5 & 6. Please stay tuned to for details and early-bird pricing. 112 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

by Maria Patterson

Peltier fields questions from RISMedia Founder, President & CEO John Featherston.

Save the Date! RISMedia’s 2018 Real Estate CEO Exchange will take place on Sept. 5 and 6 in New York City. Visit for more information.

HomeServices of America Chairman & CEO Ron Peltier kicks off RISMedia’s Real Estate CEO Exchange at the Harvard Club of New York with his State of the Real Estate Union Address.

CENTURY 21 President & CEO Nick Bailey discusses why he recently made the move from Zillow Group to lead the iconic real estate brand.

From left to right: Michael Mahon, First Team Real Estate; Penny Nathan, Ascent Real Estate; Felicia Hengle, Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family of Companies; and Stuart Siegel, Engel & Völkers NYC

From left to right: Featherston; Scott MacDonald, RE/MAX Gateway; Vinnie Tracey, Realty ONE Group; RISMedia EVP Darryl MacPherson; Paul Wells, RE/MAX of Barrington; and Burke Smith, Realty ONE Group

CEO Exchange guests enjoy views of lower Manhattan and the Freedom Tower aboard the Atlantica private yacht Welcome Dinner Cruise, sponsored by HouseCanary and

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 113

From left to right: Burke Smith; Joan Docktor, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®; Matthew O’Connor, Terrie O’Connor REALTORS®; Sherry Chris, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC; Diane Ramirez, Halstead Real Estate; and Jason Carrier, NM Management, Inc., CENTURY 21 New Millennium

Networking Luncheon featuring a Q&A with Bob Goldberg, CEO, National Association of REALTORS®

Panel moderator Joe Rand, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty

Panel moderator, Cleve Gaddis, Workman Success Systems; Gaddis Partners, RE/MAX Center

Networking Breakfast featuring guest speaker DocuSign Vice President & General Manager of Global Real Estate Georg Gerstenfeld

Guest speaker National Association of REALTORS® General Counsel Katie Johnson From left to right: Ken Jenny, tranCem; York Baur, Moxi Works; Joel MacIntosh, WOLFNET; Michael Mahon, First Team; John Reinhardt, Fillmore Real Estate; John Featherston

Guests enjoy dinner aboard the Atlantica.

From left to right: Jennifer Lind, John L. Scott Real Estate; Annie Hanna Engel, Howard Hanna; Felicia Hengle

114 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Panel Moderator, Dave Garland, Second Century Ventures

Peter Hunt, HUNT Real Estate Corporation; Nate Martinez, RE/MAX Professionals; Lynn Reecer, Reecer Properties; Rick Cunningham, Keller Williams Realty Northern/Southern California

From left to right: Pam O’Connor, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®; Tom Tognoli, Intero Real Estate; Candace Adams, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties; Tom Gallagher, CENTURY 21 American Homes; Annie Hanna Engel, Howard Hanna Real Estate

CEO Exchange Dinner Cruise Sponsors Jeremy Sicklick, HouseCanary, and David Mele,, with John Featherston. Guests enjoyed spectacular views of NYC by night.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 115

From left to right: Kody Tinnel, Reecer Properties; Cory Allen, Reecer Properties; Jack Patton, Reecer Properties; Betsy Patton; Lynn Reecer, Reecer Properties; Mark Reecer; Frank LaMorte III, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

Guest speaker Martin Morzynski, HouseCanary

2017 Real Estate CEO Exchange Sponsors Platinum Level HouseCanary Master Level American Home Shield Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate CENTURY 21® Real Estate ERA Real Estate HSA Home Warranty National Association of REALTORS® Quicken Loans® Zillow Group Host Level CoreLogic Create For the Human Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®® Realtors Property Resource® Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Event Level BombBomb HMS Home Warranty Moxi Works Real Estate Webmasters ReferralExchange zipLogix

116 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

From left to right: Errol Samuelson, Zillow Group; Rick Haase, Latter & Blum Companies ERA Powered; Mark Stark, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona, California & Nevada Properties; Ashley Bowers, HomeSmart; and Rob Lehman, Compass

Realogy Franchise Group President & CEO John Peyton

From left to right: John Featherston; Scott MacDonald; HSF Affiliates CEO & President Gino Blefari; and Darryl MacPherson

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Rethinking Legal:

Transforming a Cost Center Into a Value Center Commentary by Erik M. Feig


s your legal counsel part of the team accelerating your business, or do you consider them primarily a cost center?”

I recently posed this question to a friend who also happens to be an experienced C-level innovator as we chatted about some of the opportunities and challenges facing his rapidly growing business. “How do you measure their value?” In my 11 years as general counsel to MRIS, and having now returned to private practice after completing the merger creating Bright MLS, I have

118 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

had innumerable conversations with, and about, lawyers. Being GC during a time of so many industry innovations, disruptions, and business and legal challenges (and successes), I firmly believe that there is need— and ample opportunity—to rethink the legal function to add significantly more value to the businesses that are driving change. It’s the value side of the equation

that is key. Typically, growth-oriented companies operate under time, money and resource constraints, offering less room for error than in more established companies. Leadership of these companies often don’t consider themselves ready for an experienced, full-time legal resource, although they regularly contend with matters that, if not strictly legal in nature, have legal considerations.

Consequently, they do so without the benefit of counsel that has regular visibility into their normal business operations. Attorneys are instead called upon as firefighters, brought onto the scene for the crisis du jour, whether it be an employment issue, a dispute needing resolution, an intellectual property issue, or a looming business deal or corporate matter. In little time, a company using counsel in this manner can find that it has built a network of on-call, on-demand resources ready to jump into the breach who, when the task is done, then return to the firehouse to await the next call. The result, particularly in the context of growing companies, is that legal too often becomes a reactive function brought in later, when urgency is high and options are few. But while engaging counsel primarily on an as-needed basis may yield acceptable results, one should ask whether the approach is optimal. Put another way: Is the business getting the best return for legal dollars invested? I would argue that the answer is probably no, except perhaps when there is also a senior level resource who acts as the company’s “general counsel,” having a view of the entire

organization. While at MRIS, I was privileged to be part of a collaborative business team that changed the model for delivering legal services to one where legal was a hands-on partner. Together, we built an integrated internal and external legal function that performed as a team of coordinated resources supporting the company as it navigated a decade of change— ranging from new and alternative business models to growth of new technologies and players (such as national portals, social media, listing syndication and the shift from desktop to mobile), legal issues (such as content rights, copyrights and patent assertion entities), market consolidation, and various industry initiatives. As a GC, I often found that the smaller adjustments made before time and commitments limited options were more efficient, more cost-effective, and often mitigated the need for larger ones. A general counsel operates most effectively at the convergence of business and legal. Integral to success is the experience, judgment and opportunity to walk with the senior team as an accountable advisor and guardian of the business. Ideally, this is coupled with a grasp of the

drivers and the market to support advice that is both actionable and responsive. Building such a function requires an investment of time and attention, and, perhaps most importantly, a collaborative mindset that allows counsel to be present while decisions are made and before inertia sets in. In other words: fire prevention before firefighting. In the medical field, one might put it in terms of wellness before illness. For growing companies, filling that functional gap to bridge the reactive and the proactive—whether the resources doing so are internal or external—provides an opportunity to transform the legal-business relationship for the benefit of the business. It requires a shift in thinking, and a shift in assessing value. But by moving beyond a transaction-based relationship to one that is also visible in the operations, legal can be a more valued partner to business, more than just a cost center. I look forward to continuing the conversation. RE Erik M. Feig, Esq. was general counsel of Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS) from 2005 until completing the merger forming Bright MLS. He currently is Of Counsel to the law firm Nemphos Braue LLC in Maryland. For more information, please visit

2017 REBAC Hall of Famers Share Their Secrets to Continued Success by John Voket


oday, the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) boasts nearly 30,000 members and over 25,000 Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designees. As the industry continues to grow and flourish, REBAC singles out certain members performing exemplary acts who deserve special recognition. These outstanding ABR® designees are selected by an independent panel for inclusion in the REBAC Hall of Fame. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees include Todd Beckstrom of ERA Wilder Realty, Inc., in Chapin S.C.; William Bodouva of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Port Washington, N.Y.; and Peggy Worcester of Weichert REALTORS®in Clarksville, Tenn. How exactly did the latest batch of REBAC Hall of Famers elevate themselves to be the best buyer’s reps in their respective markets? Here, learn what the trio does differently to consistently keep their name and brand top of mind. “Flexibility is crucial,” says Worcester, who works in a military market where buyers don’t have a great deal of time to view homes. “We have to be sensitive to their needs and schedule,” she adds. Quite often Worcester will receive a phone call bright and early on any given Monday saying that her newest buyers are coming to town for the weekend…and plan to return to duty the following Monday having purchased a home. On the other hand, Beckstrom says he starts every relationship with a mandatory buyer consultation where he’s asking a lot of questions—his favorite coming from a colleague he worked with many years ago. “She would answer the phone and establish rapport with the caller, and then I’d hear: ‘Tell me about your situation.’ I think you get so much more honesty and information with this one inquiry,” says Beckstrom, who focuses on determining the client’s ‘why’ during buyer consultations. 120 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

“Getting to ‘why’ is important because it allows me to truly understand their motivation and keep them focused.” But Beckstrom doesn’t just educate his buyers. In fact, he wrote a patented algorithm to help his clients analyze any market segment anywhere in the world for supply and demand. “The program takes 15 minutes to run, and my buyer becomes an instant expert on market conditions. They understand what it will take to buy the type of house they want after using my program at,” says Beckstrom. Bodouva earned his International President’s Elite Award (given to the top 2 percent of all sales associates/representatives worldwide in the Coldwell Banker System) with a well-practiced system that consistently elevates him to best-in-class status among his market’s buyer’s representatives. “I try to remain current with all the things that can and do affect real estate markets so I can offer accurate and relevant information, always being careful not to overstep my role as a broker,” says Bodouva. “Then, I read, learn, read more and share. By sharing my professional knowledge without a self-serving agenda, my professional reputation continues to grow year after year.” The REBAC Hall of Famer also networks in many professional associations, carefully monitoring the everchanging needs of buyers and sellers alike. To that end, he’s working on a program where international buyers relocating to the U.S. can reach a qualified

“Flexibility is crucial.” - PEGGY WORCESTER, Weichert REALTORS®, Clarksville, Tenn.

“If buyers want my time, they have to play by my rules.” - TODD BECKSTROM, ERA Wilder Realty, Inc., Chapin S.C.

Accredited Buyer’s Representative to assist them with both their purchase and move. While it could take years to implement such a program in his home state of New York, Bodouva confidently pledges that he’s on it. When it comes to differentiating themselves among peers and colleagues, this year’s REBAC Hall of Famers each recounted specific practices they developed to shine brighter in their markets. “I stay on top of every step in the transaction,” says Worcester. “You need to have great organizational skills and systems to serve buyers, because nothing should be left to chance.” Since a large amount of first-time homebuyers are constantly hitting her market, Worcester accounts for the time it takes to help each prospect become better educated about the home-buying process. “Listening is the most important thing when working with buyers,” she says. “Many agents are good at talking, but not listening. When working with buyers, you have to learn to remain quiet and listen to what they’re really telling you. This leads to a better experience for buyers, less wasted time and a better transaction.” Beckstrom helps buyers understand that his time is ultimately of greatest value to them from the get-go. “If buyers want my time, they have to play by my rules. All appointments begin in my office. And to see homes, they must hire me as their agent and be pre-qualified for financing. I not only focus on helping clients reach their goals, but also removing their stress by taking as much off their plates as possible so they can concentrate on the joy of buying.” After the sale has been completed, Beckstrom touches base by phone every quarter, in addition to sending emails, mailers of value, and more. Because of his practiced follow-up, more than nine out of 10 new clients come through referrals every year. Bodouva believes most agencies discourage agents

from venturing into the realm of buyer representation due to “vicarious liability.” This just spells more opportunity for credentialed buyer’s agents. “Buyer representation is the most natural, misunderstood concept in New York real estate,” he observes. When it comes to leveraging his ABR® designation, Beckstrom’s initial motivation was to show potential clients that he was capable. “But I soon found that what I learned in the course is what made me the professional—not the designation,” he says. “I still use the lessons I learned over 15 years ago on a daily basis, and love teaching them to other agents as an ABR® instructor.” Worcester proudly displays her ABR® designation on her business cards, name badge and email signature. “I also take the time to talk about it during my buyer consultation,” she adds. “I explain how the additional education gives me the knowledge to better aid them in finding their dream home.” By building an added layer of trust in knowing about Worcester’s ABR®designation, her clients recognize and appreciate that she goes above and beyond to be a better buyer’s agent.

“By sharing my professional knowledge without a self-serving agenda, my professional reputation continues to grow.” - WILLIAM BODOUVA, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Port Washington, N.Y.

“I really am proud to have my ABR®designation,” says Worcester. “Not every agent has taken the time to earn it, so it sets me apart.” Bodouva educates his clients about the stringent criteria he had to complete to proudly earn and promote himself as an ABR®designee, and the many ongoing administrative costs and responsibilities he has to maintain to promote himself as such. “I make it very clear through positive informational comparisons that ABR® is the benchmark of buyer representation,” he says. RE For more information, please visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 121


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Call (8 8 8 ) 4 4 6 - 7 7 1 8 fo r mo re d e ta ils a b o u t this premium program and to learn about the local H omes & La nd m a g a z in e in yo u r ma rk e t. Properties must meet price thresholds to be listed on premium websites. Syndication partners are subject to change. 17M218-090517

Webinar Recap:

Can’t Beat the Real Thing: Following Coke’s Lead to an Unfair Advantage

by Liz Dominguez


very brokerage wants to be on top, which begs the question: How do you create a competitive advantage in the real estate industry?

RISMedia’s recent webinar, “Creating Your Firm’s Competitive Advantage,” sponsored by DocuSign and moderated by Verl Workman, CEO and founder of Workman Success Systems, included panelists Casey Reagan, chief technology officer at RE/MAX Northern Illinois; Rick Geha, leader of The Rick Geha Team; and Justin Engelland, senior director of Industry & Segment Marketing, Real Estate, for DocuSign. “An unfair advantage,” Reagan said, is what makes you unique and what makes you stand out. “It’s truly hard to duplicate.” Creating this advantage includes the following: Make yourself known. The best way to stand out is to be known for something. If branding has taught us anything, it’s that we can spot a

Coca Cola ad a mile away. You want to have the same effect on your brokerage. Pick a strength and stick to it. You will attract agents to your brokerage by being the best at what you offer. Use your core values as a platform. Geha operates backwards using his brokerage’s core values. This is a way to add exclusivity to your reputation. Agents will be prepared to work hard to meet your criteria. Setting the bar high can establish your brokerage as one that only works with high-producing agents. “We have to set standards such that anyone who doesn’t match them will be shown the door,” Geha said. Partner with the best. If you’re missing the tools you need to reach your goal, find a partner who can

provide them for you. According to Reagan, the key is mutual success. “You can create an unfair competitive advantage just by partnering and using their available resources that wouldn’t be available to yourself,” said Geha. Target your ideal agent base. Not everyone wants a brokerage that focuses on technology, or one that promises full commission. Once you pick a strength, market yourself to that specific agent base. If you offer a team structure that other brokerages can’t, your primary focus should be onboarding teams. This way, you’re investing in a mutually successful relationship. Adoption is key. Once brought on, agents will expect a high level of support. If you claim your technology is of a higher standard, you need to commit to that. Make sure your adoption is seamless and that agents have a quick way to access technical staff for support. “Adoption is really looked at as the gold standard of success,” said Reagan. Excel in various areas. Engelland, for example, focuses on customer care, workflow automation and data. “Real estate has the most complex type of transaction there is,” said Engelland. “It involves disconnected systems that slow down the process of buying or selling a home. Seventy-three percent of agents consider a brokerage’s tech offering as very important when determining their satisfaction with a brokerage.” In the end, it all comes down to building your name and reputation. Branding is key to becoming memorable and creating that unfair advantage. RE To view the webinar in full, visit Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 123

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Wooing Amazon:

Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Amazon HQ2 Right Over Commentary by Reggie Nicolay


ities and municipalities across the U.S. are scrambling to put together their portfolios. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is looking for a second headquarters. Those up for consideration will include metropolitan areas in North America with at least 1 million people, a stable business climate, urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent, and communities that think big and creatively (find out more on page 130).

While many would love to call their city a home for Amazon, some locations make more sense than others. “A deep dive into the study of people and their patterns produces a meaningful analysis taking the past, current and future into account, reducing risk and ensuring site selection with the ‘right’ talent,” says Emily Line, vice president of Commercial Services for Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®). “Retaining and recruiting employees is far more costly in the grand scheme of things. Price per square foot for the brick and mortar will likely be less of a factor as Amazon selects their second home.” The team at RPR set out to analyze the “people data” and insights in support of three top contenders. CHICAGO, ILL. • 3 percent (395,310) have Bachelor’s degrees • 8 percent (274,250) have Graduate degrees • 1 percent (170,622) have a background in Technology, Engineering or Information Sciences • Residents’ income is close to the U.S. average (average household income $74,367)

•R  esidents spend a large portion of their wages on rent (average rent $1,340), clothes and the latest technology •U  nemployment rate is slightly above 5 percent •R  esidents live close to their jobs and usually walk, bike, take the train or grab a taxi to get around the city •R  esidents are highly mobile, well-educated, live alone or with a roommate •R  esidents prefer environmentally safe products The popularity of urban life continues to increase for those in their late 20s and 30s. This segment is willing to take risks and work long hours to get to the top of their profession. AUSTIN, TEXAS •6  percent (171,900) have Bachelor’s degrees •1  8 percent (104,554) have Graduate degrees •4  percent (69,397) have a background in Technology, Engineering or Information Sciences • Average household income is $81,998 • Average monthly rent is $920 • L abor force participation rate is exceptionally high at 75.4 percent • Unemployment is low at 3 percent

• Almost one in five residents move each year • Close to half of all householders are under the age of 35 • Austin ranks in the top five for renters, movers, college enrollment and laborforce participation rate • Residents are diverse and favor densely populated neighborhoods Well-educated young workers, some of whom are still completing their education, are employed in professional/technical occupations, as well as sales and office/administrative support roles. ATLANTA, GA. • 9 percent (86,088) have Bachelor’s degrees • 9 percent (64,547) have Graduate degrees • 19 percent (41,119) have a background in Technology, Engineering or Information Sciences • Residents are predominantly single, well-educated professionals in business, finance, legal, computer and entertainment occupations • Average rent is $1,830 • Average household income is $82,862 • The unemployment rate is 5.5 percent • Residents are cosmopolitan and connected, tech-savvy consumers • Residents are active and health-conscious and care about the environment • Many residents walk, bike or use public transportation to get to work Although single householders technically outnumber couples, this market includes a higher proportion of partner households. Residents are more interested in the stock market than the housing market. Reggie Nicolay is vice president of Marketing and Communications for Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®). For more information, please visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 125

{RISMedia’s Great Spaces}

In South Kensington, London, The Arts House’s period façade has been meticulously maintained.

by Zoe Eisenberg

Boutique Residential Development in South Kensington, London A new development is being launched in South Kensington, London, encompassing 11 uniquely appointed apartments and a single townhouse residence. The Arts House in Southwell Gardens, located in the cultural heartland of London, has a selection of one-, two- and three-bedroom

126 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

layouts available. Exquisite marbletopped counters with spacious living areas are some of the premier features. Named in recognition of the artistic and academic heritage of the area, The Arts House has been meticulously restored from its former dilapidated state to offer beautifully finished bright, spacious apartments. The period façade, including original porticos and ornate replicat-

ed balustrades, has been retained, and internally, the apartments benefit from elaborate cornicing, elevated ceiling heights and period-style tiled flooring in the foyer. While window ledge detailing has been retained, acoustically engineered windows have been incorporated to enhance energy efficiency and ensure complete peace and quiet. Connected by an original central staircase, in addition to a newly installed passenger

Paradise Living Awaits in Maui

Exquisite marble-topped counters and spacious living areas are some of the premier features in this boutique residential development.

Looking to move to paradise? Maui awaits! In the center of cerulean Oneloa Bay in Lahaina’s Kapalua sits 9 Kapalua Place, one of only five exclusive beachfront estates in the region. In addition to jaw-dropping views of the ocean from every angle, the estate includes four bedrooms, six bathrooms, outdoor living opportunities on every floor and an infinity pool dropping off into the sweeping sea. The home has 7,475 square feet of living space, retractable walls in many rooms to open the space up to a fresh sea breeze, and the private beach entrance doesn’t hurt, either. Take a soak in the patio-side Jacuzzi as you enjoy the sunset, ogle the nearby island of Molokai and watch for whales during Maui’s prolific whale season. Listed by: Mary Anne Fitch, Hawaii Life Listed for: $16.6 million Photos by: Travis Rowan of Living Maui Media

lift, the apartments range from 798 - 1,879 square feet in size and have been finished to the highest level of contemporary specification. In keeping with the appeal of Kensington, the period design was maintained with the addition of all modern necessities. The development is well suited to those who are passionate about art and culture, as numerous gems are located in the vicinity, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National History Museum and Hyde Park. The Arts House sits directly across from Saint Stephen’s Church, where T.S. Eliot served as church warden for over 30 years.

If you’re looking to live in paradise, this exclusive beachfront estate in Maui could be yours for $16.6 million.

For more information, visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 127

Florida Waterfront Home in Kings Bay Located in the prestigious gated community of Coral Gables sits Florida’s latest luxe waterfront listing, 6210 Marlin Drive. This six-bedroom, four-bathroom home stretches out over 5,000 square feet. Built in 1996, the home has a three-car garage, a recently renovated gourmet kitchen and ocean views from all of the main bedrooms. Also included is a 100-foot seawall, perfect for parking your boat, a swimming pool that edges up to a lovely marina, and a wine cellar so you can store your favorite vino. The Mediterranean-style estate is open and airy, with high ceilings and a second-story terrace. Listed by: Miguel A. Salva, YES Real Estate Services Listed for: $3,290,000 Photos by: Planomatic This view (in Maui) never gets old.

A Mediterrean seaside home in The Sunshine State

128 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Florida real estate is on fire with these luxe properties.

Living Luxe in Beautiful Bradenton Florida real estate is on fire with the addition of a four-bedroom home in the luxury Florida community The Concession, located in Bradenton. Sitting at 8337 Lindrick Lane, this 5,105-square-foot home—freshly built in 2017— boasts soaring ceilings, tons of light, a three-car garage and palm trees galore. The bathrooms alone will make you want to move in, and the dining room and library look out onto the gorgeous pool, with a nearby gazebo for sitting with friends or sipping your favorite happy hour treat. RE

photo caption

Freshly built in 2017, this Brandenton, Fla., home brings luxe living to a whole new level.

Listed by: Roy Dupuis, Anchor Realty of Southwest Florida Listed for: $2,495,000 Photos by: Anchor Builders

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 129


The Search Is On:

prime time It’s

for Amazon’s Second Headquarters


by Liz Dominguez

his past September, Amazon launched a national sweepstakes tied to an announcement that it would be investing in a second headquarters (HQ2) in North America. The competition will be fierce, if the Seattle base is any indication of HQ2’s potential success. The winning

city will be welcoming billions of dollars in direct investments to the local economy, billions to public transport and tens of thousands of jobs. Here’s a breakdown of Seattle’s success thus far:

130 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

“We are a very walkable city and have plenty of desirable housing stock that could satisfy a diverse group of buyers.” -Valerie Post, License Partner, Engel & Völkers Boston/Meridian Realty Group

While Seattle residents are wary of Amazon’s search for a second headquarters, they cannot deny that the popular online marketplace needs more space and resources to continue growing. “They’ve outgrown Seattle. Amazon wants a 4-million-square-foot location, and we don’t necessarily have that much land,” says Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate. “They’ve also tapped the talent pool in Seattle.” While anyone is free to submit a proposal, Amazon has a strict set of guidelines by which they will be choosing their new location:

8A metropolitan area with more than 1 million people 8A stable and business-friendly environment 8An urban or suburban location with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent 8A community that thinks big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options How will this impact real estate? The chosen city is expected to receive $5 billion in construction funds and as many as 50,000 highpaying jobs. This could be a boon to the real estate industry. Looking at Seattle’s real estate market may be the best way to de-

termine how HQ2 will impact the chosen city. “We have been doing remarkably well as a central location,” says Gardner. “Downsides are a component of it. We obviously have a shortage of housing, and it’s pushed prices higher.” Allen Shayanfekr, founder and CEO of real estate investment firm Sharestates, believes Amazon’s investment will create a need for more residential, commercial and mixeduse properties. He also foresees an immediate focus on rentals. “We can expect to see an increase in employees and other tech professionals looking to rent, which will cause a spike in real estate development suitable for renters,” says Shayanfekr. Some brokers are more certain than others in their market’s ability to handle a large influx of buyer activity. “We are a very walkable city and have plenty of desirable housing stock that could satisfy a diverse group of buyers,” says Valerie Post, license partner and private office advisor at Engel & Völkers Boston/ Meridian Realty Group. “If gentrification repeats like it did in certain areas of Seattle, we will find areas like Roxbury coming back to their former glory.” This massive undertaking won’t be without its challenges. The cho-

sen city will need a strong labor force to tackle the large-scale construction and a housing market that can support relocating talent. “Depending on where a buyer is looking in the area, we are already faced with low inventory market conditions. In addition, the downtown area of Boston is faced with affordability issues for moderate- and midincome homeownership,” says Paul Mydelski, founder and chairman of RE/MAX Leading Edge. An overextended market is one of the major concerns for applying cities. “In the short term, it will add stress to the real estate market. Inventory is definitely going to be an issue,” says Wendy Forsythe, COO of HomeSmart International, headquartered in Arizona. For destination states that deal with a constant inflow of new residents, Amazon’s presence may turn an already strained market into a housing crisis. “Ten thousand people are moving to the state a month, and 60 percent are moving to the Denver metro,” says Peter Niederman, CEO of Kentwood Real Estate. “Lack of resale in new inventory is forcing people to rent.” Nevertheless, brokers are prepared to tackle any market challenges head-on if they are chosen by Amazon. They believe an adapting RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 131

“I think Stamford is a great location for Amazon. We are a vibrant, cosmopolitan community that offers all of the fast-paced excitement of a larger city combined with the charm of a New England town.” -Rick Scott, Broker/Operating Partner, Keller Williams Prestige Properties

market will bring balance instead of overflow, regardless of the number of buyers Amazon attracts. “When you put a potential of 50,000 people into a market, not every person is going to buy. You’ll have a segment that is going to rent,” says Niederman. Other real estate professionals believe location is key when dealing with an oversaturated market. “Because Stamford [Conn.] is so well positioned, even if all of those jobs create a strain on the local housing market, surrounding towns in both Connecticut and New York could absorb the demand,” says Rick Scott, broker/operating partner of Keller Williams Prestige Properties. Who are the major players? Amazon has been receiving a steady stream of applications since the initial announcement. Major cities have already submitted their proposals, while less populous cities are banding together to represent their states. Over 100 cities are vying for the coveted opportunity to host HQ2. “Amazon moving into Boston would certainly be terrific for the Greater Boston real estate market

and economy,” says Mydelski. Post believes Boston should win for its proven history as an innovative business community and its focus on building a strong tech base. “Boston is a world-class city, and this would help to continue to keep us competitive in the tech market, which is what we have relied on so strongly in the past,” says Post. Other major cities that have expressed interest include Concord, Mass.; Tucson, Ariz.; Gary, Ind.; and Denver, Colo. “Denver offers so many fine qualities: the arts, the culture, theater, outdoor activities—there’s just so much the state has to offer,” says Niederman. “We are not only at-

“Denver offers so many fine qualities. We are not only attracting young millennials, but corporations and people who want to retire here.” -Peter Niederman, CEO, Kentwood Real Estate

132 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

tracting young millennials, but corporations and people who want to retire here. Denver feels like an ‘it’ city again.” Stamford and other Connecticut cities are applying, as well. “I think Stamford is a great location for Amazon. We are a vibrant, cosmopolitan community that offers all of the fast-paced excitement of a larger city combined with the charm of a New England town,” says Scott. The applicant pool will be hard to narrow down, but Shayanfekr believes a couple of cities stand out as ideal locations. “Atlanta has seen a significant increase of investment in commercial and multi-family properties,” says Shayanfekr. “There is an influx of millennials to this major city, bringing with them their talents. Arizona represents a unique opportunity because of its year-round weather advantages and its proximity to inexpensive and/or vacant land. This would allow for large factories or R&D spaces to experiment with new technologies.” City representatives are encouraged to be creative in their submissions—and they have not yet disappointed. Business leaders in Tucson, Ariz., have set the bar high by attempting to mail a 21-foot cactus to Amazon’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. In Philadelphia, there’s a new fall semester assignment at Wharton Business School: pitch to Amazon. Meanwhile, the city of Frisco, Texas, has submitted a video featuring Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and the city’s mayor, Jeff Cheney. RE

ping, if any uy owntown



Jane Smith


Fort Worth, TX 76137

Owner/ CEO


4901 Beach Street Fort Worth, TX 76173 866.977.3627 817.870.1205



• A Matter of Location • TIPS: Homeowners Policies




• Recipe: Pumpkin Waffles • Modern vs. Charm • Monthly Home Checklist

A Matter of Location An important detail often overlooked by first-time home buyers is the location, especially if the home is perfect in every other way. What new homeowners soon discover is the all-encompassing role location plays in their quality of life. Before you begin searching, create a list of “must haves” for the location, and keep this list handy. Before you sign a contract, remember that you can change the look of a house, but you can’t change its location. Here are some things to consider when making your list:


NEIGHBORHOOD AND COMMUNITY. Like family, the neighborhood and

Matt Jones REALTOR® 123.456.7890



• Less expensive to buy • More styles and sizes to choose from • Price may be negotiable • Established neighborhood

• More maintenance and repairs • Less energy-efficient/ higher utility bills • Outdated design/codes • Older appliances and amenities

Jane Smith REALTOR® 987.654.3210

surrounding community affects your quality of life. Is the neighborhood friendly, open, and safe? Is it a reputable neighborhood with mature trees and established landscaping? Does it value green space and offer walking or biking trails? Pay attention to sound – is it quiet or located near a busy freeway? Neighborhoods change over time, so what’s the outlook for the surrounding community? Before you choose a neighborhood, ask yourself if it’s a good fit for how you like to spend your free time.

TRANSPORTATION. Time is money they say, and this is especially true for the location of your home. Not only will your location determine the amount of time you spend on the road, but how much money you’ll spend on transportation. Is public transportation available? If you’ll commute to work, how much time will it continued on page 2

There are many details to consider when buying a home. This issue discusses the important role location plays in your quality of life. It also provides tips to help you determine what house is right for you. Wherever you live, fall is upon us, reminding us time just keeps on ticking. If it’s time for you or someone you know to move, please reach out and contact me.


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Top 5 Agents Get What They Want. If you’re a top producing agent, the truth is you could still be getting more. As a member of RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network, you enjoy exclusive access to an array of personal branding, professional networking, multi-media marketing and technological resources few others could ever match.

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Webinar Recap:

to respond.” Seiden echoed this sentiment, reminding agents to ask questions. “If you present in a way that’s a lecture, it’s the agent’s opinion. If you can change that lecture into a question, it’s now the client’s opinion.”

by Zoe Eisenberg

KNOW THE WHY. The most important part of the script process is determining buyer motivation. “It’s important to create an emotional response within the buyers,” said Seiden. “The biggest challenge with real estate agents is that they keep diving into the what: what can you spend, what can you buy? But you should refocus to the why. It’s not about the what, which equals commission, but the why, which builds a bond.”

5 Tips for Practicing Better Real Estate Scripts


n the latest installment of RISMedia’s ACE Webinar Series titled “Scripts: New Ways to Handle Old Objections,” several industry experts weighed in on how real estate pros can better tackle their scripts.

The webinar featured industry experts Mark Seiden, founder and CEO of the Mark Seiden Real Estate Team; and Tom Dempsey, SCRP, SGMS-T, divisional vice president of National Sales for Quicken Loans; with moderation by Terri Murphy, coach with Workman Success Systems, founder of and president of Terri Murphy Communications. “Strong communication is the key to making transactions work,” said Murphy. And in real estate, strong communication boils back to strong conversational intelligence, especially when it comes to executing scripts. Below are a handful of concepts to better make use of your scripts.

HAVE CONFIDENCE, BUT NEVER LIE. “It’s not what you know, but how you present it,” said Seiden. This means moving forward with confidence and never faking it. When you attempt to fake something you don’t know, people will sniff this out, and they will lose trust in you. LISTEN. When it comes to scripts, according to Murphy, “It’s not about memorizing, it’s about listening.” Listen to what your client is saying so that you know what script to turn to in order to build a strong rapport. This also includes matching your conversation style to whom you’re speaking to, said Seiden. “The script will only get you so far,” said Murphy. “You have to listen and pay attention so you know how

PRACTICE. “There has to be some standards of practice,” said Murphy. “You have to put in the time to get the results.” And don’t say you’re too busy to practice. “The busiest people on the planet are those who are most rigid with their time,” said Seiden, whose team schedules everything from when they practice scripts to when they respond to emails and texts. ALWAYS BE ON. You’ve practiced your scripts and you know your material, but when you show up to meet the client, you don’t feel up to putting on the full show. “You’re no different than an actor on Broadway,” said Seiden. If someone paid good money to come see a show, you need to give it to them. “When you’re a real estate agent, you need to know your scripts, you have to be on Broadway, and you have to be enthusiastic every time you’re with a client.” RE

To view the webinar in full, visit Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 135

You Only Get Paid on Conversions Commentary by Burke Smith


n my role as chief strategy officer at Realty ONE Group, I’ve had the pleasure of traveling around the country training thousands of agents on all kinds of proven marketing strategies that helped me as a broker generate more listings and higher quality buyer leads. At Realty ONE Group, we empower agents with the most effective tech tools available to generate their own leads, which is why we focus so much attention on helping them convert those leads. It’s important to remember that you only get paid on conversions, a process that begins well before the prospect ever contacts you. That’s why you need to consider following the 40/40/20 rule. This is a proven formula for generating effective, conversion-friendly real estate marketing whether it be online or offline. The 40/40/20 rule suggests the following when it comes to measuring the success of your marketing, advertising and branding: 840 percent of your success is based on knowing your audience. How well do you know the audience you’re marketing to? At its simplest level, we’re continuously marketing to three very different and distinct generational groups: baby boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Yers. To illustrate this portion of the rule, I often ask agents who they sent a direct mail piece to or who they’re talking to with their most recent Facebook or blog post. Besides which generational 136 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

group they belong to, it’s important to know if the message recipient is a seller, buyer, empty nester, investor, renter, married, single, etc. The more you know about your audience, the more effective your marketing will be, the higher your conversion rates, and the more closings you’ll see. 840 percent of your success is based on the value of your message. How valuable is your message? Are you constantly posting pic-

tures of houses or celebrating recent sales successes? Or are you simply posting links to articles? While there’s nothing wrong with posting links, people want your two cents, so anytime you post a comment or link, think about who you’re talking to and why you’re putting the message out there. A great way to measure the effectiveness of this portion of the rule would be how it helps generate listing leads. For example, too many agents advertise, “Contact me for a free home evaluation,” which doesn’t offer the prospect much value. By following this 40 percent of the rule, you might instead advertise the following: “If you’re thinking of selling your home, anybody can tell you how much your home is worth. Contact us and we will coach you on how to make your home worth more.” 820 percent of your success is based on the look. Whatever you put out there has to look good. But long gone are the days where you have to worry about getting your headshot, the sunset, the dogs, the neighborhood and your contact info all in the same image. The look also includes the consistency of your online and offline brand images. Are you trying to be one thing offline and another thing online? Since 92 percent of real estate consumers will go online, the image they find must be consistent with what they see offline. That’s the 40/40/20 rule. This is an example of one of hundreds of free coaching and training tutorials offered to Realty ONE Group agents. If you’re interested in finding out more about when and where our next free live seminar or webinar will be, please visit or email me at burke@ RE

Burke Smith is chief strategy officer at Realty ONE Group,

{Ask the Experts}

need to do something that stands out by offering more value than anyone else. While it’s great to send a holiday card, why not do something even more effective? Most agents find that they can offer clients and potential clients much more value with something like:

John Bunker Marketing Director


As the holiday season approaches, what are the most important marketing essentials to keep in mind?


November has arrived, and that means one thing for marketers: It’s time to prep for the holidays. In many areas, home sales slow (in some cases to a crawl) during the fall and winter seasons, which means a lot of real estate professionals ramp up their marketing efforts. While you may not pick up dozens of listings over the winter holiday, it’s the perfect time to make sure you’re top of mind among clients and potential clients. Unfortunately, holiday mailers are known for getting lost in the shuffle. That’s exactly why you

8A real estate calendar. People typically buy calendars for the upcoming year in the fall, and you can save them from making a purchase while providing a way to look at your services and contact information every day for the next year. 8A kitchen magnet designed for real estate marketing. Kitchen magnets that help make important conversions, including gluten-free conversions, can be a tremendous help to your clients. When they’re branded, you’ll be able to keep reminding clients about your services (and provide a handy way to contact you) for an extended period of time. 8A customized magnet. From lifesaving first aid steps to cleaning tips, a customized magnet can provide tremendous value for your clients. It’ll be front and center each time they open the refrigerator.

Now is also a good time to update your website and plan a new email campaign. As the season progresses, you may have more time on your hands to carefully evaluate your website and make adjustments, which means it’s time to take an objective look at what you’re currently doing and see what’s working. It’s also the perfect time to create a takeaway for potential clients, such as a lead-capturing eBook that triggers an email course that walks buyers (or sellers) through a real estate trans-

Q& A action. You can allow free downloads on your website in order to capture the leads, then nurture them through the course. And last, but not least, the slower season is also a good time to focus on reinvigorating your social media. Spend some time engaging your social media followers and giving them easy access to your eBook during the holidays, when people are online, but still thinking about buying or selling a home. Remember to keep the 5-3-2 rule in mind, as well: 85 posts should be shared content from others, such as helpful articles or links that your potential clients will find useful. This is known as curated content. 83 posts should be things you’ve created. While some branding can be included, make sure these posts are useful to your clients.

82 posts should be personal, fun, or entertaining. These can be branded, but your purpose isn’t to get people to work with you. These are referred to as humanizing posts, and their purpose is to show people there’s a real person behind the brand name. RE RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 137

Index of Preferred Providers The leading companies providing services to the real estate and relocation industries

RREIN Service Providers

ABR®..................................................................................... 140

Ascent Real Estate, Inc........................................................... 144

American Home Shield........................................................... 140

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate... 144

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices......................................... 140

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices C. Dan Joyner, REALTORS®....144

Buffini & Company................................................................. 140

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty................... 144

Century 21 Real Estate LLC.................................................... 140

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®.....144

Certified New Home Specialist ............................................. 140

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties............ 144

CINC (Commissions Inc.)........................................................ 140

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties............ 144

Cole Realty Resource............................................................. 140

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties.................144

Create For the Human............................................................ 140

Calcagni Real Estate.............................................................. 144

CRS Data............................................................................... 140

CENTURY 21 Award................................................................ 145

DocuSign............................................................................... 140

CENTURY 21 New Millennium................................................. 145

Engel & Völkers...................................................................... 141

Coach REALTORS®................................................................. 145

The Entrust Group.................................................................. 141

Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®............................. 145

ERA Franchise Systems, LLC................................................... 141

Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty.................................. 145

Homes & Land....................................................................... 141

Diane Turton, REALTORS®....................................................... 145 141

Fillmore Real Estate............................................................... 145

HomeSmart International....................................................... 141

First Team® Real Estate.......................................................... 145

HomeTeam Inspection Service................................................ 141

GARDNER, REALTORS®........................................................... 145

HSA Home Warranty............................................................... 141

Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate.............................................. 145

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®........................ 141

J. Rockcliff REALTORS®........................................................... 145

Motto Franchising, LLC®......................................................... 141

Jordan Baris, Inc., REALTORS®................................................ 146

Moxi Works............................................................................. 142

Kinlin Grover Real Estate........................................................ 146

National Association of REALTORS®........................................ 142

Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc................................................ 146

The Personal Marketing Company........................................... 142

Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty.................... 146

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors................................................ 142

McCOLLY Real Estate.............................................................. 146

Quicken Loans....................................................................... 142

Page Taft................................................................................ 146

Real Living Real Estate........................................................... 142

Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate.............................................. 146

Realogy Holdings Corp........................................................... 142

Randall, REALTORS®.....................................................................146®.......................................................................... 142

RE/MAX 440 and RE/MAX Central......................................... 146

Realtors Property Resource®.................................................. 142

RE/MAX Gateway................................................................... 146


Realty Executives International............................................... 143 Realty ONE Group.................................................................. 143 RE/MAX, LLC.......................................................................... 143 RIS Consulting Services......................................................... 143 RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®.............................. 143 Sellstate Realty Systems Network, Inc..................................... 143 Top Producer® CRM................................................................ 143 Workman Success Systems.................................................... 143 Xpressdocs............................................................................ 143 Zillow Group........................................................................... 143 zipLogix.................................................................................. 143

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(800) 648-6224 • • Chicago, Ill. • Marc Gould, Executive Director Brokers are busy with many competing priorities. They should feel comfortable with their salespeople who have earned the ABR® designation when working with buyer-clients. Real estate professionals can hone their skills in representing the needs of homebuyers in real estate transactions and earn the coveted Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation, giving agents knowledge and confidence to navigate the market.

(800) 428-1122 • is the online headquarters for Certified New Home Specialist™ and Residential Construction Certified™ training, sales systems and marketing tools, created by Dennis Walsh & Associates, Inc. Based in Newport Beach, Calif., the company is owned and operated by nationally recognized new home, real estate and construction experts Dennis and Teresa Walsh. The Walshes have established Certified New Home Specialist™ as the No. 1 brand of training and support products for new-home sales success. To learn more

AMERICAN HOME SHIELD (800) 735-4663 • American Home Shield, a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company, founded the home warranty industry in 1971 and remains the industry leader. Servicing more than 1.3 million customers across 49 states, the company also issues and administers preventive maintenance contracts on major home systems and appliances in 48 states. The Memphis-based company operates three customer service centers, employs approximately 1,600 people and has a national contractor network made up of more than 10,000 independent home-service contractors.




(800) 666-6634 • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is a brand-new real estate brokerage network built for a new era in residential real estate. The network, among the few organizations entrusted to use the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway name, brings to the market a definitive mark of trust, integrity, stability and longevity. The brand, grounded in the financial strength, efficiency and tradition of its HomeServices of America parent company, will change the face of residential real estate.

(888) 231-0732 • • Omaha, Neb. Cole Realty Resource helps thousands of agents and brokers find success. Agents can connect with neighborhoods to stay top of mind and promote open houses or Just Listed/Sold properties, while brokers use this tool to recruit, retain and cheerlead new agents, allowing for confident prospecting. All of this is achieved through a combination of innovative technology, industry knowledge of end-user practices and comprehensive data providers. Let us help you become a top agent today!



(800) 945-3485 • Headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., Buffini & Company is the largest real estate coaching and training company in North America. Founded by real estate expert and master motivator Brian Buffini, the company provides a unique and highly effective lead generation system and comprehensive business coaching and training programs, which have helped entrepreneurs in 37 countries improve their business, increase net profit and enhance their quality of life.

(914) 909-6701 • • John Lim Create For the Human is a groundbreaking philosophy from John Lim, CEO of Life In Mobile and an innovator in real estate technology, that helps real estate and real estate-related companies humanize their digital marketing. Through education about the implementation of four main principles, Create For the Human offers companies the opportunity to exponentially increase their marketing success and bottom line by reaching behind their consumers’ devices and screens to capture and truly engage buyers, sellers, brokers and agents.

CENTURY 21 REAL ESTATE LLC (877) 221-2765 • • Madison, N.J. • Nick Bailey, President & CEO Century 21 Real Estate LLC is a leading global residential franchise real estate sales organization, with approximately 7,400 independently-owned and -operated franchised brokerages and more than 111,000 independent real estate professionals in 78 countries and territories worldwide. The Century 21® System capitalizes on brand marketing, promotions and sponsorships, and fundraising efforts with Easter Seals, to build brand awareness and preference. Technology initiatives include both Englishand Spanish-language consumer websites, and, a recently redesigned intranet site,, and the Century 21 Learning System®, a web-based learning platform. Century 21 Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp.

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(855) 246-2717 • • Marietta, Ga. • Matt Hart, Director of Sales CINC is the premier lead acquisition and conversion marketing platform designed for top-producing teams, agents and brokers. Their solution includes a consumer website that integrates with local MLS data, a complete customer relationship platform for nurturing leads, and a trio of three mobile apps supporting all aspects of the home sale process. Each month, CINC generates over 290,000 new homebuyer and seller leads for its clients.

CRS DATA Since 1989, CRS Data has provided you with a wealth of tax data. Our new, customized MLS Tax Suite integrates seamlessly into your MLS system and gives REALTORS® current tax data, detailed maps and robust features on all browsers and mobile devices. Find listings and FSBOs quickly, evaluate them effectively and give clients professional presentations. We’re proud to provide a personal customer service experience to support our intuitive MLS Tax Suite. Learn more by visiting

DOCUSIGN (866) 219-4318 • • Seattle, Wash. • Suzanne Alberti, Marketing Campaigns Program Manager - Web DocuSign is part of the National Association of REALTORS®’ Sec-

ond Century Ventures investment portfolio and is the official and exclusive provider of ESIGN services for NAR members under the REALTOR Benefits® program. Offering the exclusive REALTOR® Edition, DocuSign is the safe, secure way to electronically send, sign and store real estate documents. DocuSigned documents are legally binding and backed with an audit trail.

ENGEL & VÖLKERS (212) 234-3100 • ​S​ince its beginning in 1977 as a specialty boutique providing exclusive, high-end real estate services in Hamburg, Germany, Engel & Völkers has become one of the world’s leading companies specializing in the sale and lease of premium residential and commercial property, yachts and private aviation. Engel & Völkers currently operates a global network of over 8,​5​00 real estate advisors in more than 7​5​0 brokerages spanning g ​ reater than 30​countries across five continents, offering both private and institutional clients a professionally tailored range of luxury services. It established Engel & Völkers North America in 2007 and assembled a team of the industry’s top leaders, performers and real estate innovators to expand operations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Committed to exceptional service, Engel & Völkers supports its advisors with an array of premium quality business services; marketing programs and tools; multiple platforms for mobile, social and web; as well as access to its global network of real estate professionals, property listings and market data​.

THE ENTRUST GROUP (800) 392-9653 • The Entrust Group (“Entrust”) has been the industry leader in account administration services and education of Real Estate IRAs for 35 years. Entrust offers real estate brokers and agents a costeffective, individualized approach to retirement savings using a self-directed IRA account with the AgentIRA Program. As part of this program, Entrust works with real estate professionals by assisting their clients with the purchase of real estate investments with retirement funds. The AgentIRA Program provides real estate brokers a strategy to attract, develop and retain high-quality talent. Learn more at

ERA FRANCHISE SYSTEMS, LLC (800) 869-1260 • • Madison, N.J. • Susan Yannaccone, President & CEO Since 1971, ERA Franchise Systems, LLC, a global residential real estate leader, has set new standards in customer service, technology and training for the real estate industry. Top-notch offerings from ERA Real Estate include the Sellers Security® Plan, a comprehensive home protection plan, and, its award-winning consumer website. The ERA network includes over 2,350 independently-owned and -operated offices with over 37,000 brokers and independent sales associates throughout the U.S and 30 other countries and territories. ERA Franchise Systems, LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp.

HOMES & LAND (800) 726-6683 • Homes & Land, one of the industry’s most trusted and recognized brands, offers real estate professionals a marketing solution that combines the prestige of print and a suite of digital products. With a network of 220+ magazines in communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, Homes & Land connects top agents and brokers with qualified homebuyers and sellers. Publishers provide custom advertising in an upscale magazine, global reach through,

and website partners including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, duPont REGISTRY and Robb Report. Visit to find your local publisher.

HOMES.COM (866) 697-3308 • offers brand advertising, lead generation, online reputation and marketing solutions to connect you with over 12.5 million consumers monthly! With a high average visit time, consumers visiting are more engaged and more likely to buy when compared to visitors of other national real estate websites. Connect with these motivated homebuyers and sellers with the most powerful suite of tools for your real estate business—and convert more leads to closed transactions.

HOMESMART INTERNATIONAL (800) 865-9025 • Founded in 2000, HomeSmart International is one of the fastestgrowing real estate companies in the nation with 125 offices in 16 states and nearly 14,000 agents. HomeSmart International offers franchisees, brokers and agents efficiency and innovation, coupled with the systems and technologies necessary to succeed in today’s evolving real estate industry.

HOMETEAM INSPECTION SERVICE 844.HOMETEAM • You can depend on HomeTeam for a faster, more efficient home inspection every time. Unique to home inspection companies, HomeTeam brings a team of inspectors on-site. Each team member focuses on his or her area of expertise, which keeps us efficient and saves you time. Fast, Trusted and Accurate—that’s the HomeTeam promise. We invite you to experience the difference the team approach makes. For more information give us a call at 844.HOMETEAM or visit us online at

HSA HOME WARRANTY (800) 367-1448 • • Madison, Wis. • Mike Clear, President HSA Home Warranty provides home warranty coverage in 48 states and E&O insurance in all 50 states. The HSA Home Warranty repairs or replaces mechanical systems and appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear during the coverage period. With HSA Home Warranty, real estate professionals minimize their risk by lowering their exposure to liability. They avoid post-sale disputes about who should pay for the repair, and they can get the problem fixed quickly and conveniently by making just one call to HSA.

LEADING REAL ESTATE COMPANIES OF THE WORLD® (312) 424-0400 • Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is a selective global community of the highest quality independent real estate companies. We exist to make our members better by connecting them to opportunities and people around the globe, supporting them with a global referral network, professional development programs, and unique events. For more information on our 500 firms that span over 50 countries with 120,000 sales professionals, visit

MOTTO FRANCHISING, LLC® (866) 668-8649 • • Denver, Colo. Created in 2016 as the second member of the RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. family of brands, Motto Franchising, LLC powers the growing network of independently-owned Motto Mortgage brokerages

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with a franchised business model structured primarily for real estate brokers interested in expanding into mortgage origination via an affiliated business. Motto Mortgage offices have access to loan products from top wholesalers and strong regulatory compliance support. The result is a different kind of business, created to innovate and disrupt the industry.

MOXI WORKS (206) 673-4591 • Moxi Works is a residential brokerage services company that makes agents significantly more productive and brokerages more profitable by helping them effectively run their businesses. Moxi Works’ integrated tools are centered on a sphere-based selling process that drastically increases agents’ repeat and referral business, while lowering overall technology costs for the brokerage. Brokerages with Moxi Works collectively sell over $72 billion worth of homes annually.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (800) 874-6500 • • Chicago, Ill. • Bob Goldberg, CEO • Matt Lombardi, SVP, Marketing, Events & Alliances • K enneth Burlington, VP, Strategic Alliances, Business Development, Product & Sales Management • Karen Bebart, VP, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing Research •M  arc Gould, VP, Business Specialties; Dean, Student Services, REALTOR® University • Mark Birschbach, VP, Strategic Investments, Second Century Ventures The term REALTOR® identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. NAR members have access to the REALTOR Benefits® Program, the official member benefits resource for discounts and special offers on products and services just for REALTORS®. Program partners are industry leaders who understand the unique needs of real estate professionals and are committed to your success. Visit NAR is also proud to make the .REALTOR domain available exclusively to members to help them stand out in the marketplace as the trusted source for real estate for consumers. Visit http://about.REALTOR. And, for a lifetime of learning, REALTOR® University can take your career to the next level with continuing education courses, earning a designation or certification, or a Master in Real Estate degree. Visit The REALTOR® Store features print and ePublications, including top-selling “The Little Red Book: Safety Rules to Live by for REALTORS®” and the “2016 NAR Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.” Visit Additionally, NAR’s venture capital arm, Second Century Ventures, has invested in companies that push forward innovation in the real estate industry and can benefit NAR’s members. Visit

THE PERSONAL MARKETING COMPANY (800) 458-8245 • • Lenexa, Kan. The Personal Marketing Company creates marketing systems for agents to become known in their market and attract clients for long-term success. Our marketing development team brings proven marketing expertise, cutting-edge technology and personal service to develop customized marketing solutions which can include: direct mail, email marketing, contact management, prospecting and farming, newsletter programs, FSBO and expired campaigns,

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client follow-up systems and marketing planning services.

PILLAR TO POST HOME INSPECTORS (800) 294-5591 • • Tampa, Fla. · Alice Soon, Marketing Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post is the No. 1 home inspection brand in North America with over 550 franchisees located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The Pillar To Post difference includes a printed on-site report allowing for faster closings, each inspector carrying $1 million in E+O insurance to cover both the agent & the broker, and convenient scheduling options to meet every client’s needs.

QUICKEN LOANS (866) 718-9842 • For more than 30 years, Quicken Loans has been celebrated for providing an amazing mortgage experience. In fact, J.D. Power ranked Quicken Loans highest in client satisfaction for mortgage origination the last seven years. Along with being the second largest mortgage lender, Quicken Loans leads the industry in technology with Rocket Mortgage, the first ever completely online mortgage experience. Whether applying for a mortgage online or with a mortgage banker, Quicken Loans is committed to client experience.

REAL LIVING REAL ESTATE (866) 373-6228 • Real Living Real Estate is a full-service real estate brokerage network with a comprehensive and integrated suite of resources for franchisees and their sales professionals, as well as the consumers who work with them. The Real Living brand was recognized by Entrepreneur magazine. Real Living Real Estate is a network brand of HSF Affiliates LLC, majority owned by HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate.

REALOGY HOLDINGS CORP. (973) 407-7215 • • Madison, N.J. • Mark Panus, SVP, Corporate Communications Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) is a global leader in residential real estate franchising with company-owned real estate brokerage operations doing business under its franchise systems as well as relocation and title services. Realogy’s brands and business units include Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, The Corcoran Group®, ERA®, Sotheby’s International Realty®, ZipRealty®, NRT LLC, Cartus, Title Resource Group and ZapLabs LLC. Collectively, Realogy’s franchise system members operate approximately 14,200 offices with more than 274,500 independent sales associates doing business in 113 countries and territories worldwide.

ENGAGE WITH REALTOR.COM® (800) 878-4166 •® is real estate’s most accurate site, with listings pulled directly from over 850 MLSs and most listings updated every 15 minutes. Homes for sale on® only display the real listing price established between seller and broker, not inaccurate machine-generated estimates. Visit®.

REALTORS PROPERTY RESOURCE® (888) 914-7771 • • Chicago, Ill. • Dale Ross, CEO • Marty Frame, President • Jeff Young, COO Realtors Property Resource® (RPR) is a national, parcel-centric database which is a free, exclusive benefit for REALTOR® members

of the National Association of REALTORS®. The database provides REALTORS® with all available information about every parcel of residential and commercial property in the United States, giving brokers and agents valuable tools and features to make them better informed in order to increase their efficiency in the marketplace.


system that brings technology and creativity to a higher level. Labeled in RISMedia’s Real Estate Magazine as “The World’s First Complete Real Estate System,” Sellstate brings a model that truly benefits both the broker and agent to the industry. Already located in eight states, Sellstate is quickly growing into one of the premier real estate franchise systems. Unparalleled technology, design, commission structure and a passive income system, which pays a monthly payout average of over $1,100 per month, all go into making Sellstate the company of the future.

(800) 252-3366 • • Scottsdale, Ariz. Established in 1965, Realty Executives International is one of the largest and most established real estate franchise systems in the world, with over 8,000 agents and 500 offices globally. The company offers disruptive, flexible pricing models for unrivaled mobile technology, business tools, training and service, while providing protected territories to qualified franchisees. The privately-held company has been ranked as a leader in the real estate industry by publications like Entrepreneur, Success and Inc. magazines.

(800) 821-3657 • Top Producer® CRM is the super fast, super easy real estate marketing system that makes it a breeze to build your loyal client base. Keep your sales pipeline running smoothly, follow up automatically, and manage your business in minutes with Top Producer® CRM.



(888) 461-0101 • Realty ONE Group is a full-service real estate brokerage with more than 4,000 associates. It focuses on providing ethical, professional and results-oriented services to property owners and prospective real estate buyers. Since its inception in 2005, the company has grown to become the No. 1 real estate brokerage in Nevada and the fastest-growing real estate company in Arizona and California.

(385) 282-7112 • • Salt Lake City, Utah Workman Success Systems delivers comprehensive team solutions to agents, brokers, and companies, private and group coaching solutions for every level of business, and proven seven-figure income earning systems and creating operational excellence. Workman Success Systems Founder, Master Coach and Speaker Verl Workman delivers the necessary performance skills, the latest and most effective tools, and proven dialogues and systems that work in order to achieve top performance and industry excellence. To hire Verl to speak at your next event, visit www.workmansuccess. com/speaking. Sign up for a free coaching consult by going to

RE/MAX, LLC (303) 770-5531 • • Denver, Colo. RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, who still manage the company today. From a single office in Denver, Colo., RE/MAX has grown to be a global real estate franchise network with more than 100,000 sales associates in nearly 100 countries. The consumer website is consistently ranked among the most visited real estate websites, and LeadStreet provides referrals to RE/MAX sales associates with no fees from RE/MAX. To learn how RE/MAX can take your career to the next level, visit

RIS CONSULTING SERVICES (203) 852-4304 • Norwalk, Conn. • John Sculley, Managing Dir. • Peg Guinta, Projects Dir. RIS Consulting Services is an independent relocation consulting firm dedicated to designing and implementing comprehensive solutions to mobility issues. We deliver a full range of consulting services to our diverse corporate and relocation service company clients. The executives of RIS Consulting utilize their industry and specialty knowledge to analyze your situation, develop strategic options and implement designed solutions.

RISMEDIA’S TOP 5 IN REAL ESTATE NETWORK® (203) 853-2167 • RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate® is a membership network of leading real estate professionals who wish to “raise the bar.” Top 5 in Real Estate is a network of select real estate professionals from throughout the U.S. and Canada who have met the Top 5 in Real Estate’s stringent series of various career qualifications and who are committed to the future development of their professional skills and services to the consumers and the communities they serve.

SELLSTATE REALTY SYSTEMS NETWORK, INC. (866) 661-3847 • • Fort Myers, Fla. Sellstate is a revolutionary, forward-thinking real estate franchise


XPRESSDOCS (866) 977-3627 • • Fort Worth, Texas As a trusted direct marketing provider for real estate professionals, Xpressdocs produces high-quality marketing materials efficiently and economically—from print and digital to mailing services and a custom technology platform, Xpressdocs has you covered. Our unique marketing platform helps clients maintain control over branding, the quality of the materials used and messaging, all while providing a self-serve online website to customize and order marketing materials and execute campaigns at the local level.

ZILLOW GROUP Zillow Group houses a portfolio of the largest real estate- and homerelated brands on the web and mobile. The company’s brands focus on all stages of the home lifecycle: renting, buying, selling, financing and home improvement. Zillow Group is committed to empowering consumers with unparalleled data, inspiration and knowledge around homes, and connecting them with the right professionals to help, and helping real estate agents, lenders and rental professionals maximize business opportunities and connect with consumers.

ZIPLOGIX (866) 693-6767 • With more than 20 years of experience developing real estatefocused software solutions and used by more real estate professionals than any other program, zipLogix has been established as the industry standard. This experience delivers a completely integrated real estate solution system that is led by zipForm® Plus, the exclusive and official forms software of the National Association of REALTORS®.

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RREIN Member Profiles ASCENT REAL ESTATE, INC. (619) 325-4100 • Owned and operated in San Diego since 2005, Ascent Real Estate embodies an enviable combination of entrepreneurial energy, comprehensive industry experience, and local market knowledge. This mix lets Ascent “out national” its local competition, thanks to its exceptional professional team and world-class infrastructure, and “out local” the national competition, thanks to its laser-like focus on the specific markets in which it operates. Our highly productive sales team of approximately 140 agents has elevated Ascent as a leader in marketshare in the Metro San Diego area. Our agents receive ongoing training and education, and they go above and beyond to deliver the diligent and ethical standard of care we are committed to providing. And, as an exclusive San Diego affiliate of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, Ascent Real Estate is a hyper-local brokerage with a global reach.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES AMBASSADOR REAL ESTATE (402) 493-4663 • (800) 477-7653 • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate is dedicated to providing progressive, quality real estate services in Nebraska’s metropolitan Omaha and Lincoln surrounding areas. We service all types of markets: single-family residential, new construction, condos, corporate relocation, third-party relocation, acreages and commercial real estate. With approximately 400 licensed agents, we have an agent to meet your needs regardless of the style, price or age of the property you are looking for. We look forward to helping you sell your home or find that dream home you are looking for. We believe in each other and ourselves. We understand that trust is earned and that good, professional service is an essential part of that.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES C. DAN JOYNER, REALTORS® (800) 476-6650 · Locally-owned and -operated, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices C. Dan Joyner, REALTORS® has been serving communities in Upstate South Carolina since 1964. With more than 400 agents on board and 10 offices serving the Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson areas, we are ready to assist with any commercial and residential real estate need. In addition to residential and commercial sales, we also offer corporate services, relocation and property management. With a passion for fostering long-term relationships with our customers and clients while upholding the highest level of professionalism, it’s easy to see why we’ve been the No. 1 real estate company in the Upstate for more than 20 years.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES FLORIDA REALTY (954) 693-0100 • (800) 386-1554 • Sunrise, Fla. • Rei Mesa, CRS, CRB, President & CEO Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty (formerly Prudential Florida Realty) is a full-service brokerage servicing 17 counties throughout Florida and is a wholly owned subsidiary of WCI Communities, Inc. It is a franchise member of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. The company is the fifth largest brokerage in the nation among the affiliate network brokers and offers residential and commercial services, seasonal rentals, property management, 144 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

REO and foreclosures, corporate relocations, referral services, mortgage, title, insurance, home service plans, and personal concierge services. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty is the No. 1 Fundraiser for The Sunshine Kids, having raised over $2.3 million since 2001.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES FOX & ROACH, REALTORS® (610) 889-7705 • Now the nation’s second largest provider of total home services, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS® has 4,000 sales associates in 65 sales offices throughout the Tri-State area. Through its affiliate, the Trident Group, the company provides one-stop shopping and facilitated services to its clients, including mortgage financing and title, property and casualty insurance. For more information, go to

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES GEORGIA PROPERTIES (770) 992-4100 • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties has 22 locations and 1,100 agents, and is an independently-operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Under the leadership of CEO Dan Forsman, the company is known for innovation and delivering exceptional value to associates and their clients. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties was ranked No. 1 in homes sold, buyers represented and overall transactions in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 for the Greater Metro Atlanta area.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES NEVADA PROPERTIES (800) 735-4488 • With more than 260,000 homes sold and 35 years in the industry, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties is the leader in Las Vegas real estate. Consistently rated among the top brokers in the nation, our agents successfully help families find their dream homes. With six area offices, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties is a full-service brokerage focused on quality service and the development of its agents. Call today to see how we can help increase your business.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES SELECT PROPERTIES (314) 835-6000 • Since 2002, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties has helped keep the St. Louis real estate market local. With 11 offices in the metro area, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select ranks as the No. 1 locally-owned real estate firm in St. Louis. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select prides itself on providing the highest quality real estate brokerage services to its clients and customers and in being recognized in the community for high standards and ethics.

CALCAGNI REAL ESTATE (203) 272-1821 • • Calcagni Associates is the premier independently-owned and -operated real estate company servicing central Connecticut for over four decades. We understand the benefits of providing service that goes beyond what is expected and pride ourselves on establishing lifelong relationships with our clients. In addition to residential real estate, we also specialize in land consulting and new construction, and have divisions that handle bank-owned properties and commercial real estate.



(800) 293-1657 • CENTURY 21 Award is the premier Southern California-based, full-service real estate company serving San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties from 15 distinctive office locations. Our 1,000 professional agents and staff are fully equipped to assist you with all of your real estate needs. Our services include residential, commercial, relocation, property management and bank-owned properties.

(877) 388-7866 • Founded in 1985, the Diane Turton, REALTORS® name has earned renowned recognition as the premier real estate company in the markets that they serve. With 18 strategic locations on the New Jersey shoreline, the Diane Turton brand is the recognized leader in providing complete residential and commercial real estate ownership services and support. Diane Turton, REALTORS® caters to all real estate requirements, including title, insurance, relocation and referral services. The company is staffed with nearly 375 sales associates along with a full-time management/support team.

CENTURY 21 NEW MILLENNIUM (800) 727-6888 • CENTURY 21 New Millennium is a full-service real estate brokerage in the Greater Washington, D.C. area. The company, which specializes in residential and luxury properties, joined the CENTURY 21® System in 1998 and has established a sound and successful organization providing traditional residential and commercial services, on-site mortgage, title, property management, and access to a vast network of relocation and other real estate service providers worldwide. It has earned the status of No. 1 CENTURY 21 Firm in the World for the past three years. With 18 locations and approximately 750 real estate professionals, New Millennium is consistently included in REALTOR® Magazine’s Top 100 Companies List for all real estate firms nationwide regardless of brand. It is also a past winner of the prestigious Cartus Masters Cup, the Network’s highest honor. The Cartus Broker Network is the largest relocation network in the world and includes more than 775 hand-selected brokerages in the United States.

COACH REALTORS® (800) 321-7356 x139 • · LP Finn, Operating Officer, Coach REALTORS® is a Long Island-based, full-service real estate company with 18 office locations and over 600 sales associates serving Nassau and Suffolk counties, N.Y. Coach REALTORS® is an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s Great Estates, a division of the famed auction house, and a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, and has been recognized by Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate for over 14 years.

COLDWELL BANKER D’ANN HARPER, REALTORS® (210) 483-7002 • Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® is the largest full-service real estate company serving the entire Greater San Antonio metropolitan area, New Braunfels, Boerne, Bandera, Kerrville, Fredericksburg and Hill Country markets, representing buyers and sellers in all phases of their transactions. Since opening in 1986, the company has become a trusted name in the real estate industry. With eight offices, over 350 sales associates and over 100 support staff, the company’s extensively trained representatives have knowledge and expertise to service all aspects of the real estate business. Core services include global relocation, property management and rentals, commercial sales and leasing and mortgage financing.

COLDWELL BANKER KAPPEL GATEWAY REALTY (844) 861-5631 • Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty was created through the merger of Kappel & Kappel Realty, Inc. and Solano Gateway Realty, Inc. Both firms, founded in 1972, are the market leaders in Solano County, combining more than $600 million in sales dollar volume in 2012 and welcoming more than 240 agents in seven offices, with branch offices in Vacaville, Fairfield, Dixon and Green Valley. Eighty-five percent of our business is derived from returning and referred clients, a true testament to our clients’ high level of satisfaction with our services and our trusted real estate professionals.

FILLMORE REAL ESTATE (800) 528-6673 • Fillmore Real Estate is the New York metro area’s largest independently-owned real estate broker. Specializing in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Bronx and parts of Westchester, Fillmore has residential, commercial and rental divisions. For more information, visit us at or call us at (800) 528-6673.

FIRST TEAM® REAL ESTATE (888) 236-1943 • First Team® Real Estate is the No. 1 privately-held real estate company in Southern California with 2,000 agents and employees across 60 locations. First Team wins marketshare in any economic climate through innovation and proprietary marketing tools, and by successfully targeting the luxury market with First Team Estates®. Contact First Team today to find out how we have helped thousands of families realize their dream of homeownership— and how we can help you find yours.

GARDNER, REALTORS® (800) 566-7801 • Since 1943, GARDNER, REALTORS® continues our tradition of excellence as the leading full-service real estate company in the Southeast Louisiana and Southern Mississippi Region. The GARDNER Real Estate Family includes over 800 real estate professionals in 24 neighborhood offices that serve over 100 communities. Our professional services include residential and commercial sales and leasing, relocation and corporate services, asset management/REO and property management, plus the convenience and added value of one-stop shopping for mortgage, title and home warranty services. We are proud to be home grown, locally-owned and internationally known. Also, we love to give back to the communities we serve through GARDNER LOVE, which is the philanthropic arm of GARDNER, REALTORS® and The Gertrude Gardner Foundation.

GLORIA NILSON & CO. REAL ESTATE (732) 450-2300 • Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate, owned by Dick Schlott, has serviced the most discerning buyers and sellers of residential real estate in New Jersey for over 35 years with more than 700 sales associates within our 23 offices throughout New Jersey and Bucks County, Pa. As an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, along with our luxury lifestyle magazine, we offer our clients and associates the most cutting-edge marketing services both globally and locally. For additional information about Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate, please visit

J. ROCKCLIFF REALTORS® (925) 251-2501 • • J. Rockcliff REALTORS®, located east of San Francisco, is the East Bay’s premier real estate company. Recently named No. 1 in residential sales (in the East Bay) by the San Francisco Business Times, J. Rockcliff specializes in service. With leading-edge techRISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 145

nology, state-of-the-art marketing across multiple mediums, the most experienced management team in the Bay Area and dedicated, ethical and professional agents, our goal is to provide a client experience that is second to none. With almost 600 agents and nine offices, J. Rockcliff REALTORS® is the fastest-growing real estate company in the East Bay.

JORDAN BARIS, INC., REALTORS® (800) 4-JBARIS • (973) 736-1600 • Founded in 1952, Jordan Baris Inc., REALTORS® is among the most respected full-service real estate brokerages in Northern New Jersey. With a team of close to 150 associates, the firm operates offices in West Orange and South Orange, with teams focused on Essex, Morris, Union and Hudson counties. Jordan Baris, Inc. offers real estate brokerage to buyers and sellers of residential and commercial properties, developers, tenants and landlords; title services through JB Title Agency, LLC; and global relocation services through its membership with the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®.

KINLIN GROVER REAL ESTATE (508) 420-1130 • Kinlin Grover has 16 real estate offices covering Cape Cod from the bridges to Provincetown, specializing in the marketing and sale of waterfront, village, commercial properties and fine homes. From the very beginning, the Kinlin Grover mission has remained constant: “To help our clients make the best real estate decisions and to uphold the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.” In addition, Kinlin Grover Vacation Rentals is the largest real estate firm on Cape Cod with over 600 privately-owned Cape Cod vacation rental homes. We value every client and pledge to deliver unsurpassed service as trusted advisors, expert facilitators and skilled negotiators.

LONG & FOSTER REAL ESTATE, INC. (866) 677-6937 ∙ Long & Foster Real Estate, the nation’s No. 1 independent brand by sales volume, is part of The Long & Foster Companies, a subsidiary of HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. HomeServices is the nation’s second-largest real estate brokerage and one of the largest providers of integrated real estate services. Long & Foster Real Estate is the exclusive affiliate for Christie’s International Real Estate throughout select parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and it is a founding affiliate of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a prestigious global network of real estate professionals that includes the Luxury Portfolio International division. Long & Foster Real Estate has over 230 offices, stretching from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Fair Haven, New Jersey, and from Martinsburg, West Virginia, to the Atlantic Ocean, and it represents more than 11,000 agents in seven Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, plus the District of Columbia. The company, which has a productive commercial business in addition to its residential side, sold more than $31.2 billion worth of homes and helped people buy and sell homes nearly 88,000 times in 2016. Visit for more information.

LUSK & ASSOCIATES SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY (717) 291-9101 • When you work with Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty, you can count on specialists who can answer your questions, apply in-depth knowledge of current market conditions, and access extensive resources that can expedite the sale of your home.

MCCOLLY REAL ESTATE (800) 348-2100 x206 • Since 1974, McCOLLY Real Estate has found your place to call 146 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

home, from the shores of Lake Michigan in Northwest Indiana to Lake Street Beach in Chicago. McCOLLY is a proud LeadingRE member with bilingual agents in 14-plus languages among 450plus REALTORS® in 18 offices. McCOLLY Companies is the One Source for All Purpose Real Estate with its ancillary companies of McColly Insurance, Community Title, McCOLLY Auctions, McCOLLY Bennett Commercial, McCOLLY New Homes Division and Luxury Home Portfolio™.

PAGE TAFT (203) 453-6511 • Since opening its Guilford office in 1980, Page Taft has expanded its presence with offices in the historic towns of Madison and Essex, Conn. Page Taft agents foster long-term relationships with clients based on a strong foundation of trust and an unsurpassed commitment to excellence. These unique strengths set us apart from our competitors and make us your most valuable resource in fulfilling your real estate needs.

PATTERSON-SCHWARTZ REAL ESTATE (877) 456-4663 • Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate is Delaware’s largest independent REALTOR® with 50 years of service to the Delaware real estate market and surrounding communities in nearby Pennsylvania and Maryland. With seven offices and 350 sales associates, we are committed to excellence, integrity and quality service. We offer a full range of services, including residential home sales, purchase and rental, relocation services and property management.

RANDALL, REALTORS® (401) 364-3388 • Randall, REALTORS® has been a consistent leader in the marketing of Southern New England properties for more than 28 years. Specializing in waterfront properties and second homes, our agents boast a 98.5 percent client satisfaction rating. Through our extensive marketing network, we offer tremendous exposure for our property listings and continue to deliver successful sales and representation for our clients. In addition, Randall, REALTORS®’ Vacation Rental Department offers a large selection of vacation rental properties serving the Southern Rhode Island shoreline and Eastern Connecticut.

RE/MAX 440 AND RE/MAX CENTRAL (215) 453-7653 • • Tom Skiffington, Broker/Owner, RE/MAX 440 and RE/MAX Central is a first-class, professional real estate company. Our goal is to provide the most prompt, courteous and professional services to all our customers and clients. We are the leading RE/MAX in Pennsylvania and Delaware with the highest sales volume and transactions. RE/MAX 440/Central has 10 different offices in Bucks, Montgomery and Lehigh counties.

RE/MAX GATEWAY (703) 652-5760 • The real estate market is ever changing. It takes constant evaluation, review of recent trends to forecast a potential future and education of agents through mastermind groups and real estate information exchanges. These are areas in which we excel at RE/MAX Gateway. Contact us today if you are looking to advance your career in real estate through a multitude of educational experiences and resources, or if you need real estate advice in order to make informed decisions when buying and selling houses.

YOUR BROKER-TO-BROKER SOURCE FOR REFERRALS FROM REAL ESTATE’S LEADING RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE COMPANIES CALIFORNIA Ascent Real Estate, Inc. 410 Kalmia St., San Diego, CA 92101 Contact: Gina Lancelot • Tel: (619) 325-4100 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: San Diego Offices: 9 • Associates: 180 CENTURY 21 Award - Orange County 22342 Avenida Empresa, Ste. 110, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 Contact: Joshua Tucker, Director of Relocation Services Tel: (760) 217-2491 (Toll Free) • Fax: (619) 374-2706 Email: Coverage Areas: Orange County Offices: 15 • Associates: 1,200 CENTURY 21 Award - San Diego, Riverside 7676 Hazard Center Dr., Ste. 300, San Diego, CA 92108 Contact: Joshua Tucker, Director of Relocation Services Tel: (760) 217-2491 (Toll Free) • Fax: (619) 374-2706 Email: Coverage Areas: San Diego, Southern Riverside Offices: 15 • Associates: 1,200 Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty 750 Mason St., Ste. 101, Vacaville, CA 95688 Contact: Rachel Guerin Tel: (707) 427-5344 or (844) 861-5631 • Fax: (707) 446-9830 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Vacaville, Benicia, Davis, Dixon, Fairfield, Napa, Rio Vista, Suisun City Vallejo and Winters, Calif. Offices: 7 • Associates: 240 First Team® Real Estate 108 Pacifica Ave., Ste. 300, Irvine, CA 92618 Contact: Gayle D. Glew CRP, CRB, Director, Relocation and Corporate Services Tel: (855) 858-8028 (Toll Free) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Southern California counties of Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego Offices: 36 • Associates: 1,865 J. Rockcliff REALTORS® Headquarters Office: 4115 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Ste. 201, Danville, CA, 94506 Contact: Robin Dickson, CRS, GRI, Executive Vice President Tel: (925) 251-2501 (O), (925) 324-1323 (C), 877-JRCKCLF (572-2523) (TF) Email: • URL(s): • Coverage Areas: Alameda County: Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Dublin Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, Sunol, Union City; Contra Costa County: Alamo, Antioch, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Canyon, Clayton, Concord, Crockett, Danville, Diablo, Discovery Bay, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Hercules, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill Port Costa, Richmond, Rodeo, San Pablo, San Ramon, Walnut Creek; San Joaquin County: Country Club, Lathrop, Lodi, Manteca, Mountain House, Stockton, Tracy, Silicon Valley/San Jose area

CONNECTICUT Calcagni Real Estate 330 South Main St., Cheshire, CT 06410 Contact: Steven Calcagni, President Tel: (203) 272-1821 ext. 302 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: New Haven County, Central Connecticut Offices: 4 • Associates: 140

Page Taft 89 Whitfield St., Guilford, CT 06437 Contact: Karen Stephens, Executive VP • Tel: (203) 453-6511 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Connecticut Offices: 3 • Associates: 60 Randall, REALTORS® 4009 Old Post Rd., Charleston, RI 02813 Contact: Jean Fournier, Dir. of Relocation & Referral Services Tel: (401) 486-9677 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Connecticut and Rhode Island Offices: 9 • Associates: 175

DELAWARE Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS® 1 International Plaza, Ste. 100, Philadelphia, PA 19113 Contact: Linda Zanzinger, Vice President, Relocation/REO Services Tel: (610) 595-3149 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Greater Philadelphia Region, Greater Allentown and Easton Region, Southeast Pa., Southern and Central N.J., Northern Del. Offices: 65 • Associates: 4,000 Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Pandra Richie, President of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 336-0356 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 230+ • Associates: 11,000+ Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate 7234 Lancaster Pike, Ste. 220B, Hockessin, DE 19707 Contact: Brian Pomije, Relocation Manager Tel: (302) 234-3600 (Office) • (302) 234-5207 (Direct) • (800) 443-2295 (Toll Free) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Delaware (New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties), Pennsylvania (Chester and Delaware counties), Maryland (Cecil, Kent and Harford counties) Offices: 9 • Associates: 350

FLORIDA Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty 1580 Sawgrass Corporate Pkwy., Ste. 400, Sunrise, FL 33323 Contact: Rei Mesa, CRS, CRB, President/CEO Tel: (954) 693-0100 or (800) 386-1554 • Fax: (954) 236-6962 Email: Relocation Contact: Sharon Sapp, Vice President, Relocation, Referrals & REOs Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: 17 counties throughout Florida, including Southeast Florida, Southwest Florida and Orlando area Offering mortgage, title, insurance, home service plans and 1031 exchange services Offices: 39 • Associates: 1,350

GEORGIA Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties 863 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Roswell, GA 30076 Contact: Kathy Connelly, SVP Corporate Services • Tel: (678) 352-3321 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Metro Atlanta and North Georgia Offices: 22 • Associates: 1,100 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2017 147

ILLINOIS McCOLLY Real Estate 800 Deer Creek Dr., Schererville, IN 46375 Contact: Deborah Horton, CRP, RCC, Director of Referral/Relocation Services Tel: (800) 348-2100 ext. 206 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Alsip, Aroma Park, Beecher, Blue Island, Bourbonnais, Bradley, Burbank, Burnham, Calumet City, Channahon, Chicago, Chicago Ridge, Clearing, Country Club Hills, Crest Hill, Crestwood, Crete, Evergreen Park, Flossmoor, Frankfort, Glenwood, Grant Park, Harvey, Hazel Crest, Hegewisch, Hickory Hills, Homewood, Kankakee, Lansing, Lemont, Lockport, Lynwood, Manteno, Matteson, Mokena, Momence, Monee, Morgan Park, Mount Greenwood, New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Orland Hills, Orland Park, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Palos Park, Park Forest, Peotone, Richton Park, Riverdale, Roseland, Steger, Tinley Park, University Park, Worth Offices: 18 • Associates: 450+

RE/MAX Gateway 4090B Lafayette Center Dr., Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Scott MacDonald, President Tel: (703) 652-5760 • (703) 727-6900 (Cell) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland Offices: 6 • Associates: 170

MASSACHUSETTS Kinlin Grover Real Estate 4 Wianno Ave., Osterville, MA 02655 Contact: Lucy Cundiff, Director of Agent Services Tel: (508) 420-1130 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Southeastern Massachusetts Offices: 16 • Associates: 275

INDIANA McCOLLY Real Estate 800 Deer Creek Dr., Schererville, IN 46375 Contact: Deborah Horton, CRP, RCC, Director of Referral/Relocation Services Tel: (800) 348-2100 ext. 206 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Beverly Shores, Cedar Lake, Chesterton, Crown Point, DeMotte, Dyer, Dune Acres, East Chicago, Gary, Griffith, Hammond, Hebron, Highland, Hobart, Kouts, La Porte, Lake Station, Lake Village, Lakes of Four Seasons, Long Beach, Lowell, Merrillville, Michiana Shores, Michigan City, Miller Beach, Morocco, Munster, Ogden Dunes, Otis, Portage, Porter, Rensselaer, Roselawn, Schererville, Schneider, St. John, Sumava Resorts, Thayer, Valparaiso, Westville, Wheatfield, Whiting, Winfield Offices: 18 • Associates: 450+

LOUISIANA GARDNER, REALTORS® 3332 N. Woodlawn Ave., Metairie, LA 70006 Contact: Nancy Harmann, Director of Relocation & Corporate Services Tel: (504) 200-5080 • (504) 402-9567 (Cell) • (800) 256-5677 (Toll Free) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Southeast Louisiana, including Greater New Orleans and Greater Baton Rouge, and Southern Mississippi, including the MS Gulf Coast Offering a full range of services including Residential, Commercial, Leasing, New Homes, REO, and Loss Mitigation; plus individual and corporate Relocation, Property Management and National/International Referral Network services Offices: 24 • Associates: 800

MARYLAND CENTURY 21 New Millennium 5990 Kingstowne Towne Center, Alexandria, VA 22315 Contact: Todd Hetherington, CEO • Tel: (800) 382-1101 • Fax: (703) 822-0136 Relocation Contact: Jeff Hetherington, Director of Relocation Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and the Southern Maryland markets. Our areas of expertise range from Fortune 500 executives to specialized training in military and government relocation. Offices: 16 • Associates: 700+ Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Pandra Richie, President of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 336-0356 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 230+ • Associates: 11,000+

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MISSISSIPPI GARDNER, REALTORS® 3332 N. Woodlawn Ave., Metairie, LA 70006 Contact: Nancy Harmann, Director of Relocation & Corporate Services Tel: (504) 200-5080 • (504) 402-9567 (Cell) • (800) 256-5677 (Toll Free) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Southeast Louisiana, including Greater New Orleans and Greater Baton Rouge, and Southern Mississippi, including the MS Gulf Coast Offering a full range of services including Residential, Commercial, Leasing, New Homes, REO, and Loss Mitigation; plus individual and corporate Relocation, Property Management and National/International Referral Network services Offices: 24 • Associates: 800

MISSOURI Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties 1650 Des Peres Rd., Ste. 205, Saint Louis, MO 63131 Contact: Angie Ignatowski, Relocation Director Tel: (314) 835-6000 • (314) 835-6050 (Direct) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Lincoln County Offices: 11 • Associates: Over 500

NEBRASKA Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate 13340 California St., Omaha, NE 68154 Contact: Katie Adams, CRP, GMS, VP Corp. Relocation & Business Development Tel: (800) 477-7653 or (402) 547-5137 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Omaha and Lincoln Metropolitan Area, including Omaha, Bellevue, Ralston, LaVista, Papillion, Gretna, Elkhorn, Fremont, Lincoln, Council Bluffs and surrounding communities

NEVADA Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties 3185 St. Rose Pkwy., Ste. 100, Henderson, NV 89052 Contact: Eileen Mitchell, Dir. of Relocation & Referral Services Tel: (800) 735-4488 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin and Pahrump Offices: 6 • Associates: 1,050

NEW JERSEY Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS® 1 International Plaza, Ste. 100, Philadelphia, PA 19113 Contact: Linda Zanzinger, VP, Relocation/REO Services

Tel: (610) 595-3149 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Greater Philadelphia Region, Greater Allentown and Easton Region, Southeast Pa., Southern and Central N.J., Northern Del. Offices: 65 • Associates: 4,000 Diane Turton, REALTORS® 511 Forman Ave., Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742 Contact: Dawn Fetherston, Director of Relocation & Corporate Services Tel: (877) 388-7866 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Monmouth County, Ocean County and Middlesex County (N.J.) Member Organizations: Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, Luxury Portfolio, Luxury Real Estate Offices: 18 · Associates: 375 Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate 826 Alexander Rd., Princeton, NJ 08540 Contact: Patricia (Tricia) Kobos Tel: (888) 467-MOVE (Relocation Line) • (609) 750-7605 (Direct) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean and Somerset counties, N.J.; Bucks County, Pa. Offices: 23 • Associates: 700+ Jordan Baris, Inc., REALTORS® 50 Mt. Pleasant Ave., West Orange, NJ 07052 Contact: Carol Abdo, Relocation Director Tel: (973) 736-1600 (Office) • (800) 4-JBARIS (Toll Free) Fax: (973) 736-5159 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Essex, Union, Hudson and Morris counties. Specifically West Orange, South Orange, Maplewood, Livingston, East Hanover, Roseland, Short Hills, Montclair, Bloomfield, Belleville, Newark, East Orange, Orange, Irvington, Jersey City, North Bergen, Union, Vauxhall, Parsippany-Troy Hills Offices: 2 • Associates: 150 Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Pandra Richie, President of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 336-0356 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 230+ • Associates: 11,000+

NEW YORK Coach REALTORS® 66 Gilbert St., Northport, NY 11768 Contact: Jose Matos, Inbound Referral Coordinator Tel: (800) 321-7356 ext. 138 Email: URL: The Coach REALTORS® Relocation Department understands the complexities and challenges of employee transfers and is very responsive to the many needs of relocating families. Coach’s relocation division is supported by three full-time referral coordinators: Jose Matos, Kathy Brandofino and Roseanne Tourto. These three professionals draw upon more than 50 years of combined relocation experience in order to make the client transition a comfortable one. Offices: 19 • Associates: 650+

Coldwell Banker Prime Properties 10 Osgood Ave., Green Island, NY 12183 Contact: R. James Long, Broker/Owner Tel: (518) 640-4008 • Fax: (518) 456-8980 Email: Coverage Areas: New York State, primarily Capital Region and Central New York Offices: 16 • Associates: 500 Fillmore Real Estate 2990 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11229 Contact: John Reinhardt, President/CEO • Tel: (800) 528-6673 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Brooklyn, Staten Island, Bronx and parts of Westchester Offices: 16 • Associates: 400

NORTH CAROLINA Coldwell Banker Advantage 7610 Six Forks Rd., Ste. 100, Raleigh, NC 27615 Contact: Benina Drake, CRP, SVP Relocation & Referral Services Tel: (800) 274-5345 • (919) 846-3330 (Direct) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Apex, Cary, Clayton, Creedmoor, Chapel Hill, Durham, Falls Lake, Fayetteville, Ft. Bragg area, Henderson, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Lake Gaston, Lillington, McGee’s Crossroads, Pinehurst, Pittsboro, Pope Air Force Base area, Raleigh, Southern Pines, Wake Forest and Zebulon Offices: 17 • Associates: 325 Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Pandra Richie, President of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 336-0356 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 230+ • Associates: 11,000+

PENNSYLVANIA Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS® 1 International Plaza, Ste. 100, Philadelphia, PA 19113 Contact: Linda Zanzinger, Vice President, Relocation/REO Services, Tel: (610) 595-3149 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Greater Philadelphia Region, Greater Allentown and Easton Region, Southeast Pa., Southern and Central N.J., Northern Del. Offices: 65 • Associates: 4,000 Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate 826 Alexander Rd., Princeton, NJ 08540 Contact: Patricia (Tricia) Kobos Tel: (888) 467-MOVE (Relocation Line) • (609) 750-7605 (Direct) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean and Somerset counties, N.J.; Bucks County, Pa. Offices: 23 • Associates: 700+ Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Pandra Richie, President of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 336-0356 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 230+ • Associates: 11,000+

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Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty
 100 Foxshire Dr., Lancaster, PA 17601 Tel: (717) 291-9101 • Fax: (717) 393-2336 Contact: Sandy Zercher Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; Susquehanna Valley, Pennsylvania; South Central Pennsylvania Offices: 1 • Associates: 40

Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Pandra Richie, President of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 336-0356 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 230+ • Associates: 11,000+

RE/MAX 440 and RE/MAX Central 701 West Market St., Perkasie, PA 18944 Contact: Tom Skiffington, Broker/Owner • Tel: (215) 453-7653 or (215) 643-3200 Email: URLs: • Coverage Areas: Pennsylvania counties: Bucks, Berks, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Lehigh, North Hampton, and New Jersey Offices: 10 • Associates: 170

RE/MAX Gateway 4090B Lafayette Center Dr., Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Scott MacDonald, President Tel: (703) 652-5760 • (703) 727-6900 (Cell) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland Offices: 6 • Associates: 170

RHODE ISLAND Randall, REALTORS® 4009 Old Post Rd., Charleston, RI 02813 Contact: Jean Fournier, Dir. of Relocation & Referral Services Tel: (401) 486-9677 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Connecticut and Rhode Island Offices: 9 • Associates: 175

SOUTH CAROLINA Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices C. Dan Joyner, REALTORS® 745 N. Pleasantburg Dr., Greenville, SC 29607 Contacts: Karen Taylor, Director of Relocation, (864) 678-5244,, Jo Anne Conner, Network Mgr., (864) 678-5227,, URL: Brookfield GRS, SIRVA, AIReS Relocation, Graebel, MI Group Coverage Areas: Greenville, Greer, Taylors, Duncan, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Simpsonville, Fountain Inn, Powdersville, Easley, Piedmont, Anderson Offices: 10 • Associates: 400+

TEXAS Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® 18756 Stone Oak Pkwy., Ste. 301, San Antonio, TX 78258 Contact: Pam Poitevent, Sr. VP Relocation Services Tel: (800) 521-1408 (Toll Free) • (210) 483-7035 (Direct) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: San Antonio metropolitan area including New Braunfels, San Marcos, Seguin, Spring Branch, Bulverde, Canyon Lake, Schertz, Universal City, Boerne, Bandera, Kerrville and surrounding areas Offices: 8 • Associates: 350+

VIRGINIA CENTURY 21 New Millennium 5990 Kingstowne Towne Center, Alexandria, VA 22315 Contact: Todd Hetherington, CEO • Tel: (800) 382-1101 • Fax: (703) 822-0136 Relocation Contact: Jeff Hetherington, Director of Relocation Email: • URL: Providers of world class real estate services in the Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and the Southern Maryland markets. Our areas of expertise range from Fortune 500 executives to specialized training in military and government relocation. Offices: 16 • Associates: 700+

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WASHINGTON, D.C. CENTURY 21 New Millennium 5990 Kingstowne Towne Center, Alexandria, VA 22315 Contact: Todd Hetherington, CEO • Tel: (800) 382-1101 • Fax: (703) 822-0136 Relocation Contact: Jeff Hetherington, Director of Relocation Email: • URL: Providers of world class real estate services in the Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and the Southern Maryland markets. Our areas of expertise range from Fortune 500 executives to specialized training in military and government relocation. Offices: 16 • Associates: 700+ Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Pandra Richie, President of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 336-0356 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 230+ • Associates: 11,000+ RE/MAX Gateway 4090B Lafayette Center Dr., Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Scott MacDonald, President Tel: (703) 652-5760 • (703) 727-6900 (Cell) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland Offices: 6 • Associates: 170

WEST VIRGINIA Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Pandra Richie, President of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 336-0356 Email: URL: Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 230+ • Associates: 11,000+

INDEX OF SERVICE PROVIDERS ABR®...................................................................................10 American Home Shield...................................................13

NAR’s Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) Designation.......................................................................22

Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA)....60

National Association of REALTORS®......................8, 27, 48


National Association of REALTORS® Global.................151

Century 21 Real Estate LLC.............................................17

National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB).................................46

Clareity........................................................................29, 45 Cole Realty Resource......................................................57 Create For the Human..............................11, 31, 119, 138 CRS Data...........................................................................76 Engel & Völkers.................................................................37 Homes & Land................................................................122 IBC HomeSmart International.....................................................25 HomeTeam Inspection Service............................................54 HouseCanary............................................................................ 5 HSA Home Warranty..............................................................19 Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group.............BC Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®.............. IFC Motto Franchising, LLC®........................................................75

The Personal Marketing Company......................110, 124 Pillar To Post Home Inspectors...........................................2 Quicken Loans....................................................................1 Realtors Property Resource®...........................................21 Realty ONE Group............................................................14 RE/MAX, LLC.......................................................................7 RISMedia’s Automated Content Engagement (ACE).............................................................9, 42, 84-85, 109 RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®...........117, 134 Stewart Title.......................................................................53 Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.................................58 Workman Success Systems........................................83, 87 Xpressdocs......................................................................133

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{re: Real Estate} Brokers: Leverage Your Influence to Help Shape the Legal Landscape


s a broker, you’re undoubtedly concerned when legislative issues threaten your business, your agents’ business or your customers’ lives.

But how do you speak up and make sure decisionmakers hear your concerns? That’s where the

President Trump signed a three-month extension of the National Flood Insurance Program, which keeps the program operational until Dec. 8, 2017. That’s a positive step; however, NAR will continue advocating for the 21st Century Flood Reform Act until this long-term reauthorization and reform bill is enacted.

Broker Involvement Program can help. This program, accessible through the Realtor Action Center website, gives brokers a quick, easy and effective tool to rally their agents on a large scale when it comes to critical legislative issues affecting our industry. Currently, more than 17,000 broker/owners and managers participate in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Broker Involvement Program. Based on past results, agents are five times more likely to respond to a legislative Call for Action when it comes directly from their broker. How It Works It’s easy to sign up and there’s no cost to participate. Once you’ve completed the registration process, NAR will send emails to your agents/employees, on your behalf, on important federal legislative issues, typically one to three times a year. You’ll receive an announcement message to review the content in advance. The emails then would appear to come directly from you, and can even include your company logo. It’s a great way to mobilize your agents toward political advocacy on major issues that are important to the national Association without much heavy lifting on your part. Once the Call for Action is launched, you’ll also have access to an online Broker Portal that provides detailed agent participation reports, so you can see which of your agents are taking action, and which are not. Case in Point: National Flood Insurance Program While REALTORS® have tackled countless issues, one recent priority has been support for the National Flood Insurance Program, especially in light of a devastating 2017 hurricane season. NAR’s Call for Action on flood insurance saw a participation rate of nearly 14 percent among all REALTORS®; however, the Broker Involvement Program was responsible for 25 percent of all participants, once again demonstrating the importance of this program for NAR’s grassroots efforts. 152 November 2017 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Spread the Word Sign up today and encourage other broker/owners and managers to join the Broker Involvement Program. Visit Closer to Home State REALTOR® Associations are also making successful use of the Broker Involvement Program. For example, in 2015, New York REALTORS® voiced their strong opposition and successfully overturned a building code for mandatory fire sprinklers. Earlier this year, Florida REALTORS® rallied to support legislation that reigned in unreasonable fees that some association management companies were charging for estoppel certificates (a snapshot statement of the fees or assessments a seller may owe their HOA). The new caps are curbing the extraordinary charges some property owners were forced to pay, such as $1,610 for an estoppel certificate on a property that sold for $190,000. Other state initiatives currently in progress include an Ohio call to reform municipal tax policies, a Florida initiative supporting a reduction in the business rent tax, and efforts to permanently sign into law New York’s homeownership assistance program, NY First Home. Get Involved With 1.3 million members nationwide, when REALTORS® join ranks, Congress listens. Together, we can have a big impact on critical legislative issues affecting the real estate industry—and the consumers who rely on us to support homeownership. To learn more about the REALTOR® Broker Involvement Program, please visit Ready to add your voice? Joining the program is easy. Simply complete a short form at, then watch for an email from the NAR staff containing important instructions to complete your enrollment. RE


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Real Estate Magazine - Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group - Nov. 2017  

Custom version of Real Estate magazine for Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group

Real Estate Magazine - Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group - Nov. 2017  

Custom version of Real Estate magazine for Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group

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