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Teaming Up for a Changing Landscape Better Homes Realty and La Rosa Realty Strategically Align to Meet the Demands of Today’s Real Estate Business – Page 94


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{Contents} November 2019/Vol. 35, No. 11 • www.rismedia.com

ON THE COVER 94 Teaming Up for a Changing Landscape Better Homes Realty and La Rosa Realty Strategically Align to Meet the Demands of Today’s Real Estate Business Even though their firms are located in opposite corners of the U.S., it didn’t take Chuck Scoble and Joe La Rosa long to discover that they were kindred spirits. They both shared core values and a business philosophy that made them realize they could turn their similarities into a strategic alliance that allows both firms to retain their brand identities yet capitalize on their synergies. Their goal? To become the brands of choice for real estate agents and to be the leaders in the “agent-centric, consumer-first era of real estate.” In this month’s cover story, we find out more about this unique alliance, and how it’s already leading to exponential growth.

28

HIGHLIGHTS 28 A Continuum of Leadership In this exclusive feature, 2019 NAR President-Elect Vince Malta discusses what’s at the top of his agenda as he prepares to take the helm and carry forth the vision for REALTORS®.

30 Trust. Tradition. Homes.com keeps the focus on agents in changing times.

76 Finding a Committed Property Data Vendor

Here, learn how CRS Data goes above and beyond to get the job done.

90 Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® Continues Growth and Innovation

76

This month, take a closer look into what’s driving Pillar To Post’s continued success.

HEADLINERS 13 Policy Matters: Homebuyers Increasingly Interested in One-Stop Shopping

14 NAR Power Broker Roundtable: Vince Malta Leads the Charge for REALTORS®

20 Executive Appointments 25 REBAC Report: ABR® = The Benchmark of Excellence in Buyer Representation (and Member Benefits)

45 Real Estate Tech: Insights From REW’s New General Manager RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 3


68 Insurance Plans and Wellness Products to Help REALTORS® Round Out Their Health Coverage

93 Broker Success Story: How Ruhl&Ruhl REALTORS® Found a Trusted Partner in BPP With Homesnap

109 Confidence in Housing Market ‘Relatively’ Strong

126 Personal Debt a Major Homeownership Hurdle, Consumers Respond With Compromise

129 Meet the Newsmakers: Mike Pappas

136Webinar Recap: Modernizing Real Estate Transactions With DocuSign

137 Blog Spot: Pests Causing Property Damage? 4 Warning Signs to Look For

FEATURES 26 R  ise Above the Rest in a Competitive Real Estate Landscape

40 W  hy Advancing Buyer Representation Is Important: Insights From the 2019 REBAC Hall of Fame Inductees

52 V  ision 2020: RISMedia’s 2019 Real Estate CEO Exchange Photo Recap

70 Strategies: ActivePipe; American Home Shield® (AHS®); Earnnest; Homes.com; Quicken Loans

82 L eave Your Mark 94 T eaming Up for a Changing Landscape

108 K  eeping Agents Top of Mind With ERA Moves

117 P  ower Broker Perspectives: Mary Stetson, Michael Hilgenberg, Matt van Winkle

120 R  enovate Now, Sell for More, Pay at Closing

122 I ntel: Competing Against New Construction: Pre-Sale Renovations Set Luxury Resale Homes Apart 4 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

124 G  etting to the Heart of

78 A  llen Alishahi – How Tech Is Driving a Culture Shift for Real Estate Agents

Relationships: Leveraging Content and an Extensive Network

130 R  ISMedia’s Great Spaces

INTERVIEWS

81 B  ill Yaman – Foresight Is 2020: 3 Questions Brokers Must Ask Before the Eleventh Hour

87 R  ealty ONE Group – Business Planning. Do It Now Before the Holidays Hit.

111 Mike Novak, eXp Realty 112 B  rett M. Lueken, CENTURY 21

89 A  shley Farrugia – How Much

The Lueken Group

112 D  ave Corey, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Perrie Mundy Realty Group & California Realty

113 M  artin Bikhit, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co

114 M  arianne Drenik and Greg Pernus, HomeSmart Real Estate Momentum

115 T roy Wilson, Bellator Real Estate & Development

EXPERTS 36 D  arryl Davis – Create a Clear 2020 Vision

38 D  esirée Patno – Fair Housing Act Proposal Will Affect Housing Discrimination Cases

43 K  uba Jewgieniew – Rehumanizing Data in Our Industry

47 T he Institute for Luxury Home Marketing – How to Prospect for Wealthy Clients When You Don’t Know Where to Start

49 C  hris Kelly – In a World of ‘i’ Everything, Empower Your Clients Through Education

50 B  uffini & Company – Why Your Real Estate Coach Wants You to Give Back

67 A  dam Contos – The Key Question to Ask: ‘Are You Coachable?’

74 A  my Gorce – Data Services Driving Positive Changes for Brokers

Is Lead Mismanagement Costing You?

127 T erri Murphy – Are You on the ‘Most Wanted’ List?

135 B  ryan Brooks – How Much Is Your Brokerage Worth?

POWER TEAMS 99  V  erl Workman – Wait…You’re Not My Doctor!

100 J im Knowlton – Pain or Process 101 C  leve Gaddis – Right Plant, Right Location: A Story About Leverage

102 P  aul Wheeler – Is Life Balance Possible in Real Estate?

103 R  ick Geha – Leverage Your Assets

106 B  randing and Influencing, the Team Way

128 S  herri Johnson – Real Estate Is a Relationship Business

EVERY ISSUE 6

RISMedia Online

9

Publisher’s Desk

16 Real Estate by the Numbers 18 Trending in Real Estate 139 Service Profiles 147 Referrals 152 RE: Real Estate—Committing to Excellence, Empowering REALTORS®


REAL ESTATE NEWSMAKERS RECEPTION & DINNER

2018 Real Estate Newsmakers Award

Teresa Palacios Smith HSF Affiliates, LLC

s U Join

Photos by AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The National Press Club | Washington, D.C. Featuring RISMedia’s 2020 Class of Real Estate Newsmakers and the 3rd Annual Newsmakers Hall of Fame Inductees By Invitation Only. Please visit rismedia.com/rismedias-newsmakers for more information on attending and sponsoring.


{Online} RISMedia is San Francisco bound!

Trending on View these and more at blog.rismedia.com.

Build a business for the future! Join us at #NARAnnual for the Power Broker Forum, Nov. 8, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Moscone Center Room 207, Level 2.

Real Estate Analysis: The Benefits of Shopping Around for a Mortgage

According to a recent Zillow analysis, one of the most important things that the average homebuyer overlooks is trying to find the best mortgage rate.

Looking to Rent a Condo? 4 Factors to Consider in Your Search

One of the best ways to find out if the condominium lifestyle works for you is to rent for a year and immerse yourself in the culture.

3 Rooms You Haven’t Thought About Remodeling (but Should) When you think of remodeling your home, your mind likely jumps immediately to your kitchen or bathrooms. While these are excellent spaces to remodel, there are plenty of other rooms that can benefit from a little extra attention.

Homebuyer Insights: How Local Schools Could Impact Your Future Home’s Value If You Want to Be Happy…Consider Moving!

WalletHub says these are the happiest states in the U.S., ranked by factors related to “good economic, emotional, physical and social health” that can help you lead a “well-balanced and fulfilled life.”

Schools are, of course, an influence on surrounding home prices. A good school district can increase buyer demand within its boundaries, which, in turn, increases home values. Homes located in high-scoring school districts attract more buyers, including parents who want their children to go to good schools.

Connect With RISMedia @RISMediaUpdates

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6 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Part of the Power Broker Top 500? We’re celebrating YOU at the Power Broker Reception & Dinner! For highlights and photos, like @RISMedia.


You & Your Agents Can Leverage

NAR’S NATIONAL AD CAMPAIGN Integrate the national ad campaign into your marketing and showcase your firm and the value your agents bring to clients and communities. Visit ThatsWhoWeR.realtor to download the campaign style guide and logos, and personalize assets such as digital banners, print ads, social posts, and more!

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{Publisher’s Desk} Choose Your Partners Carefully

1

T

he real estate industry has gotten more complicated than ever. Motives are often murky and true agendas hard to discern. Whether the issue is iBuyers, tech models, consolidation or AI, the concern always comes back to one thing: Is the role of the real estate agent at risk? The short answer, most would agree, is no. No matter how many tasks technology can simplify, the relationship factor still reigns supreme in a real estate transaction, necessitating the need for a real estate professional—but not just any real estate professional. Today’s agent must be armed with primo tools and resources, and aligned with exceptional partners in order to deliver the experience that homebuyers and sellers demand and deserve. Otherwise, their value in the process is indeed at risk. This is why Homes.com wanted to emphasize the importance of trust in this month’s cover story. Because in David Mele’s opinion, it’s a very rare commodity in today’s industry. “In the last year or two, there’s been some real disruption,” says Homes.com President, Mele. “Real, impactful change is underway, and the brokerage is left to figure out, ‘Who can I partner with to grow my business? Who can I trust? Where do we have shared values and clear motives?’ Those things matter now more than ever.” In an environment where brokers and agents often find themselves competing with portals, find out how Homes.com is staying true to their mission of connecting real estate professionals with consumers—beginning on page 30. As the boundaries of the competitive landscape continue to blur, brokers and agents will need to tread carefully…and also realize the potential that’s being created. I love what Vince Malta, 2019 NAR president elect, says in our interview with him on page 28. “I’m excited about the opportunity created by the new models out there,” he explains. “I’m of the belief that the role we play is so essential, that we can’t be replaced, and the new models give us a chance to prove that. People will pick it apart and take pieces of it, but ultimately, what we provide in the real estate experience, as I’m standing here, is not replaceable.” If you’re here in San Francisco and want to delve into this topic further, please join us at RISMedia’s annual Power Broker Forum on Friday, Nov. 8 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., room 207 at the Moscone Center.

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Automate Your Social Media RISMedia’s ACESocial (Automated Content Engagement) branded content helps you resonate on social media, automatically delivering your expertise to your followers, every day and with every post. • Consumer-focused real estate and lifestyle posts, including articles, infographics and professionally produced videos • Automated distribution to your social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and website • Your branding (logo, headshot, URL, and more) on all content landing pages • MLS listings on your landing page, complete with lead generation form

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PUBLICATIONS & SERVICES Real Estate magazine Annual Power Broker Report & Survey ACESocial (Automated Content Engagement) www.rismedia.com (Daily e-News) • blog.rismedia.com (Housecall) RISMedia’s Real Estate CEO Exchange Power Broker Forum, Reception & Dinner Real Estate Newsmakers Reception & Dinner Copyright® 2019 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.


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Insurance

{Policy Matters} Title

Homebuyers Increasingly Interested in One-Stop Shopping This column is brought to you by the NAR Real Estate Services group.

by Sarah Young

T

he National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently commissioned a survey by Harris Poll on consumer preferences for real estate services. Originally conducted in 2008, 2010 and 2015, this fourth survey evaluates any changes in homebuyer preferences, especially given the improvement in the economy over the past several years. After a substantial increase in 2015, use of one-stop shopping (OSS) among recent homebuyers has remained consistent in 2019. On par with 2015, consideration of OSS continues to be high. This year, 95 percent of homebuyers would consider an OSS model. Almost 50 percent of recent homebuyers used one source to procure home-buying services in 2019. Home-buying satisfaction levels are higher among those who used OSS, and the majority of homebuyers say that OSS makes buying a home easier. Benefits of OSS noted by homebuyers include saving money when firms offer discounted prices (77 percent) and making the homebuying process more efficient and manageable (79 percent). Nearly three in four who would consider OSS also say they would be willing

Warranty Mortgage

to pay more if they would have a better experience using OSS.

THE ROLE OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS Real estate agents are the first point of contact in the home-buying process for over half of homebuyers. Real estate agents continue to be a highly trusted source about OSS (57 percent would trust real estate agents to provide information), second only to friends and family (45 percent). Similar to 2015, over half of homebuyers say they would be more likely to consider a firm affiliated with their real estate agent, with nearly one in five saying they would be much more likely—suggesting that the real estate agent can have a significant impact on a homebuyer’s choice of additional services. This consideration has close to doubled over the past 10 years. Knowing that an agent’s firm offers OSS has a positive impact on homebuyers’ selection of an agent (up significantly from 68 percent in 2015 to 86 percent in 2019). In fact, of recent homebuyers who used a real estate agent, there has been an increase in use of agent-affiliated services this year, including home warranty (47 percent in 2015 vs. 57 percent in 2019); home inspector (34 percent in 2015 vs. 56 percent in 2019); and homeowners insurance (22 percent in 2015 vs. 36 percent in 2019). PERCEPTIONS OF MORTGAGE MARKETS The survey also included questions

about the homebuyer’s perception of the mortgage market. One in three homebuyers say getting a mortgage is less difficult than last year. For those who continued to have trouble getting a mortgage, 30 percent blame it on a bank’s unwillingness to make loans, down from 51 percent in 2015. Close to two in five homebuyers believe getting a mortgage through a real estate agent’s affiliated mortgage company increases their chances of getting the loan approved. Over half of homebuyers said they would oppose regulatory or legislative measures to make OSS services unavailable or more difficult to use.

SURVEY METHOD This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of NAR from July 29 to Aug. 31, 2019. Methods of the fourth wave matched those of previous waves. The 2019 survey included 1,231 adults, of which 675 were recent homebuyers and 676 were future homebuyers. In all four waves, respondents also had to have used or expect to use at least one of the following services as part of the homebuying process: real estate agent; mortgage lending; closing services; homeowners insurance; home inspection; home warranty. RE

Sarah Young is the director of Real Estate Services, National Association of REALTORS®. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 13


{The NAR Power Broker Roundtable} Vince Malta Leads the Charge for REALTORS® Meet the 2019 NAR President-Elect MODERATOR:

Jim Imhoff Chairman, First Weber, Madison, Wis., Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) PARTICIPANT:

Vince Malta 2019 NAR President Elect; CEO & Broker, Malta & Co., Inc., San Francisco, Calif. The Power Broker Roundtable is brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Jim Imhoff, NAR’s Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations. Watch for this column each month, where we address broker issues, concerns and milestones.

Jim Imhoff: Back when Vince Malta

was growing up in his family’s real estate business, he realized that it was a tough business and that it took hard work and long hours to succeed. So he got a law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law instead! But, like so many of us, real estate was in his blood, and back to real estate he came— not only to run his own brokerage, but to embark on a long career of association involvement. As I sit with Vince today, he prepares to step into the role of 2020 president of NAR, a challenge he’s greeting with his trademark enthusiasm and dedication. Vince, what do you see as some of the biggest challenges facing brokers right now?

Vince Malta: Well, as a broker myself, the biggest challenge is definitely profitability. Decreasing profit margins are an ongoing issue, as are venturecapital backed firms going after top-producing agents, and companies coming in with iBuying programs.

14 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

But I’ve been in the business for 42 years, and we’ve always had iBuyer programs, going back to those signs on the telephone polls that said, “We buy ugly houses.”

JI: What’s the best way for brokers to confront these issues?

VM: We have to adjust accordingly and compete by providing value to the consumer. There’s always going to be a cheaper, faster way that seems more attractive to the consumer. We have to explain why what we provide is more attractive than that. At the association level, we need to help brokers and agents break that down and communicate that better to the consumer.

JI: You mentioned top producers being lured away by big money. What should brokers focus on in terms of recruiting and retaining agents?

VM: We need to take stock in what we’re providing to our agents, and we need to continue communicating with agents. We need to embrace different models out there that agents want, like the team model. We need to see how we can work better with agents in terms of branding. We need to be better partners with them and nurture our relationships with agents, just as we do with consumers, and emphasize all the valuable services we provide. Because we have our agents until we lose them...and, by that time, it’s too late.

JI: What are some of the biggest opportunities for both brokers and agents to get involved in the year ahead? VM: One of the biggest opportunities involves technology and its ability to enhance the level of service we provide clients. We also have an election year in 2020, which is a great opportunity to express what’s important to our industry. Look at the importance of

“Brokers need to be involved not only in their day-to-day business, but also with their industry. They need to be involved in their association like never before.” – Vince Malta 2019 NAR President-Elect; CEO & Broker, Malta & Co., Inc.. tax reform and what it did and did not do. We have an opportunity to work with the Democratic and Republican parties and hopefully participate in the process of creating these platforms. The challenge of reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is another issue we’ll be confronting. We need to ensure a smooth transition is in place so that we don’t have a shock to the system. Flood insurance is another opportunity to get involved. We have to work toward a long-term flood bill to create more certainty in the market.

JI: Those are all big issues. How can brokers take on a leadership role in such a challenging environment?

VM: Brokers need to be involved not only in their day-to-day business, but also with their industry. They need to be involved in their association like never before. They need to be involved in advocacy efforts and make sure their agents are involved and participating in Calls for Action. This is a time like no other where we need to help shape our industry. If we don’t, others will shape it for us. RE 8For an expanded version of this article and other NAR Power Broker Roundtable topics, please visit www.rismedia.com.


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With only one recipient in each category, winners are selected based on a survey completed by a database of women consumers. That means that more women understand the benefits of having coverage from American Home ShieldŽ and see us as a reliable, trustworthy and worthwhile home service. Learn more about our coverage at ahs.com. The mission of Women’s Choice Award is to give women a collective voice so that they can help each other identify brands, products and services that deserve her loyalty and referrals. We are a trusted referral source for women who are searching for the most recommended hospitals, businesses, brands and services. Find out more at womenschoiceaward.com. See contract for full coverage details. Š2019 American Home Shield Corporation. All rights reserved.


Real Estate by the Numbers

39%

The percentage of consumers rejected by a mortgage company or a landlord because of medical debt. Source: Zillow’s 2019 Consumer Housing Trends Report

137.9

The consumer confidence index for September, the highest reading since September 2000, driven largely by a robust labor market. Source: The Conference Board

713,000

The seasonally adjusted rate of newly built, single-family homes sold in August, a 7.1 percent increase from July. Source: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau

16 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

5.49 million

The number of existing-home sales in August 2019, marking a 2.6 percent increase year-over-year. Source: The National Association of REALTORS®


Do you think outside of ‘outside the box’? Call us to earn your spot.

JOIN THE RELENTLESS ©2019 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.

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Trending in Real Estate Both homebuyer and homeowner optimism rose in September, with 28 percent of Americans believing now is a good time to buy a home, and 44 percent believing now is a good time to sell a home. Source: Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index®

The 2019 home renovations that sparked the highest ‘joy scores’—the happiness homeowners experienced as the result of each project—were kitchen renovations, closet renovations and full interior paint jobs, scoring 10, 10 and 9.8 respectively. Source: The National Association of REALTORS® 2019 Remodeling Impact Report

Look for prep pantries to be trending in home design for 2020. Not just for storing barware and pouring drinks, these new kitchen spaces are designed to accommodate countertop appliances, sinks, warming ovens and mealprep areas, allowing the kitchen to remain a place for gathering and entertaining. Source: The Plan Collection

Fifty-six percent of home sellers say the most stressful aspect of the process is not knowing whether or not the home will sell within the timeframe they need it to. The second largest source of stress, according to 53 percent of sellers, is concern over not being able to sell their home for the desired price, followed by 52 percent who stress about an offer falling through. Source: 2019 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trend Report

18 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE


Relationships Matter

What Matters To You And Your Business?

realestatewebmasters.com


{Executive Appointments}

RE/MAX Holdings, Inc., parent company of RE/MAX, announced the promotion of Pam Harris to senior vice president, Customer Experience. Harris’ elevated role of focusing on the customer experience aligns perfectly with the teams she will continue to lead: Events, Strategic Alliances and EDR Travel. Events and EDR collaborate on more than 400 RE/MAX meetings, retreats, conferences, conventions and special events each year, while the Strategic Alliances group drives positive relationships between affiliates and over 115 companies in the RE/MAX Approved Supplier program. Tom Ceponis, president of the Howard Hanna Pennsylvania region, has announced that Helen Sosso has joined Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. Sosso has been a licensed REALTOR®for more than 40 years, beginning her career in 1976 with CENTURY 21 Murphy Realtors®, where within three years, she was the No. 1 agent. She moved into management, and her leadership career took off. She became a regional manager for Merrill Lynch Re-

alty’s Northern region, and grew their sales volume significantly, becoming the No. 1 office in the company. Her wide range of experience includes Prudential Real Estate Affiliates Division, where she was partner and president of Prudential Preferred Realty Pittsburgh. Anthony Hsieh, founder and CEO of loanDepot, has announced that David King has been appointed to the organization’s leadership team as its chief marketing officer. In this role, King will influence and advance the company’s enterprise branding, retail and digital marketing and media and advertising efforts. King, who formerly served as the chief brand officer at Movement Mortgage and Realty ONE Group, and as president of King Solutions, is widely recognized as a transformative leader. Diane Glass, COO, Mark Pasquesi, president of brokerage, and Joe Stacy, senior vice president and general sales manager of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group, have announced the creation of a new department and new roles within the organization

that are designed to offer higher levels of personalized broker service and support to their agents. Debbie Tapper and Corinne Caraher will lead the firm’s new People & Culture Department and Jason Roberts will serve as director of Agent Development.

Maëlle Gavet, Compass’ chief operating officer, is exiting the firm, as the turnover at the company continues to impact key leadership. The company is not replacing her, according to Robert Reffkin, CEO of Compass. In the past year, a bevy of executives have left the organization, including Chief People Officer Madan Nagaldinne and Head of Product Eytan Seidman. In 2018, Compass appointed Kristen Ankerbrandt as CFO, the second hire for the position in the span of a year, as well as hired Joseph Sirosh as CTO. Gavet was appointed COO in 2017, and was formerly with The Priceline Group. RE

For more executive happenings, please visit www.rismedia.com.


Wow Moment

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Sending your new clients an impressive pre-listing package that arrives an hour before your presentation. Log in to RPR today! narrpr.com

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For more information, contact your HSA Account Executive. Limitations and exclusions apply. See terms and conditions for details. *Subject to a $2,000 per Electronics Plan claim limit and a $5,000 aggregate Electronics Plan claim limit.

© 2019 Home Security of America, Inc. All rights reserved.


{REBAC Report} ABR® = The Benchmark of Excellence in Buyer Representation (and Member Benefits) by Marc D. Gould

I

’m a firm believer in the value of education. It’s an excellent way for agents to develop vital skills and gain a competitive edge, whether they’re representing buyers or sellers.

On the buy-side, the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is arguably the best way to gain that edge. Agents who meet the requirements and earn the designation consistently describe it as an eyeopening experience that escalates their ability to provide representation services to buyer-clients. Training may be the top reason to earn the ABR® designation; however, there are other incentives that come with joining the ABR®community:

1. LOCAL PROSPECTING One of our members’ favorite benefits is the REBAC Print Shop, where they can order customizable brochures, flyers and postcards targeting various types of buyers while explaining the benefits of using an ABR® designee. Members can select among a dozen-plus different themes, including first-time buyers, relocating buyers, newlyweds, growing families, and more. Members can also personalize the brochures,

flyers and postcards with their company and contact information. Among our printed materials, the Home Buyer’s Toolkit is a longtime favorite. ABR®designees rely on this 36-page booklet to help buyers understand 10 critical steps for completing a successful home purchase. The booklet also plays a crucial role in our lead-generation efforts for members, including annual consumer advertising campaigns and a dedicated consumer site (www.homebuying.realtor).

2. WORKING WITH BUYERS ABR®designees share a strong commitment to helping buyers make the best purchasing decisions. While the Home Buyer’s Toolkit supports those efforts, we don’t stop there. REBAC also offers a comprehensive collection of consumer handouts on over 40 topics. Our members rely on these materials to help buyers understand agency relationships, reasons to sign a buyer representation agreement, the unique benefits of working with an ABR® designee, and much more.

3. SOCIAL MEDIA Social media is an excellent way to connect with buyers, but it takes effort to scout out good content and share it on your profiles. That’s why we’ve developed several time-saving tools for our members. For example, we always include two valuable articles for buyers in

the HotSheet, a weekly emailed newsletter. Members can also save time by copying and pasting our suggested introductory comments. Recently, we added another social media solution, the ACESocial platform powered by RISMedia. ABR® designees can use the service to automatically publish weekly real estate and lifestyle content to their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Followers who click on a post go to the agent’s personalized, branded landing page, which also displays listings, if desired. It’s an automated content marketing solution specifically designed for real estate professionals. Members can also access other helpful social media tools, including shareable videos, infographics and “I Am an ABR®” cover photos and profile picture frames.

4. REFERRAL NETWORK Speaking of social media, the ABR® Referral & Networking Community on Facebook is another popular member benefit. Over 9,300 members participate in this closed group, exchanging tips, questions and referrals (at least one or two every day).

LEARN MORE The benefits noted here barely scratch the surface of what’s offered to ABR®designees. Each year, we expand the number and quality of our benefits without increasing dues. RE Marc D. Gould is senior vice president of Member Development for NAR, overseeing a wide range of professional development programs for REALTORS®, including the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). 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 have completed the specialized education and documented experience in working with consumers purchasing a home. To learn more, visit REBAC.net.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 25


Rise Above the Rest in a Competitive Real Estate Landscape by Paige Tepping

REality provides real estate professionals the market insight they need to be the most informed

B

ack in 1987, after selling his second company, Leon d’Ancona jumped feet first into the home renovation industry and began flipping homes. Not content to simply guess at which homes would bring the highest return in the shortest amount of time, d’Ancona set out to optimize his opportunities based on his statistical background. “It didn’t take me long to realize that finding success in this venture depended entirely on the home selling quickly,” says d’Ancona, who began writing algorithms as he questioned whether or not real estate was predictable. Suspecting that there was in fact a level of predictability in the housing market, d’Ancona used data to predict short-term market trends and determine which segments of the market were moving. He then used the same data to select the most successful professionals to market his homes, which led to his business thriving as others around him continued to falter.

26 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

But his story doesn’t end there. In fact, d’Ancona saw an opportunity to help real estate professionals increase their bottom lines—and so, REality®, owned by IMS Incorporated—a real estate market intelligence service—was born. “The decision to create the company came about due to the fact that at the time—and even today—agents and brokers aren’t necessarily using real estate statistics to their full advantage,” says d’Ancona, CEO of the company. “As the only occasional enterprise in the capitalistic free market system where you have a third party buying or selling for you, it’s not uncommon for real estate professionals to earn their license, yet have minimal knowledge of the merchandise they’re selling,” says d’Ancona. While it can take agents 1.5 years to find their proper farming area, according to d’Ancona, his statistical strength has allowed him to better understand market trends and determine the “actionable niches” that allow both listing and selling agents to make the right decisions, thereby maximizing their profits.


“Our No. 1 goal today and every day is to ensure that the real estate professionals we’re working with are the most informed,” says d’Ancona, who has spent the last 33 years guiding the development of REality. From its early days when the company published monthly books, to the high-speed SSD servers of today, REality has become the standard for what real estate professionals need to be the most informed. With his mirthful manner and a sixth sense to present statistical information in an easy to understand and fun way, d’Ancona has a knack for making real estate statistics both compelling and profitable to its users. Today, REality is available in four different levels, all with a heavy emphasis on the visual. The current levels include: 1. Graph It: For brokers with a minimum of 100 agents, Graph It is used to attract new agents by providing the necessary graphs and filters to make sure agents always get the listing. 2. Top Ranked Agents: Built specifically for agents who do a minimum of $4 million per year, the program sets agents up to reach their next income plateau. 3. REality for Brokers and Recruiters: The ultimate recruiting tool, this program comes with a complete CRM

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and allows real estate professionals to see pertinent information related to all agents. 4. REality for Multiple Offices: As high-tech as you can get, this program took 2.5 years to develop, and allows real estate professionals to see every company’s marketshare in any particular zip code. “One of the biggest benefits associated with the REality program is the fact that real estate professionals can go in and prepare a listing presentation using graphs in about eight different ways,” explains d’Ancona, a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to placing real estate professionals ahead of the competition. “While consumers only need a real estate professional every 8.5 years on average, their selection doesn’t necessarily come down to who the real estate agent is, but rather, how much they know,” says d’Ancona. The acclaimed choice of thousands of real estate professionals at all levels of the industry, the most telling barometer of success for d’Ancona is the longstanding relationships he’s built with clients over the years. “The best reference I can give is that I’m servicing the children and grandchildren of the clients of my first company,” concludes d’Ancona. RE For more information, please visit www.restats.com.

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A Continuum of Leadership NAR 2020 President Vince Malta Carries Forth the Vision for REALTORS® by Maria Patterson

V

ince Malta recog-

so I thought I’d see if there was anything out there I liked more. I got a law degree, which provided opportunities and opened doors, but I kept coming back to real estate. I had grown up in real estate—I would clean properties, collect rent and do the things a property manager would do. Ultimately, my love was real estate. I tried to do something else, but if it’s in you, it’s in you. This is now my 43rd year in the business.

nized a long time ago that there’s

great strength in numbers. As a third-generation REALTOR® and CEO and broker of Malta & Co., Inc. in San Francisco, he saw firsthand that when like-minded

Vince Malta

people come together for a common cause, they can move mountains. “Associations create advocacy and allow us to have a voice in what’s going on in our industry,” he explains. And now, as Malta prepares to step in as 2020 president of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), he brings his rich experience and intense passion to help guide the industry he’s loved for 43 years. Find out what’s at the top of the agenda for Malta and the leadership team in this exclusive interview. Maria Patterson: Vince, I wanted to begin with your background. I see that you have a law degree, so I’m curious to know if you always intended to follow your family’s path into real estate. Vince Malta: No, I did not. I recognized that real estate is not an easy business. To be successful, it takes many hours, and you have to work beyond the 9-to-5 regimen, 28 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

MP: I’m sure your law degree has come in handy, though… VM: When you learn the law, what you really learn is a way of thinking and looking at things. You realize that there are two sides to every situation. This has helped me in negotiating and running a real estate business. MP: What is it about real estate that you love the most? VM: The relationships. I so appreciate the people you meet along this journey—it’s like no other business. I’ve been so blessed to be a member of this association and to have made so many relationships. But the key is our relationship with clients. That is what will ultimately lead to our success. Technology is not going to supplant our role. It’s going to enhance our role if we utilize it properly to nurture relationships and help ensure that the customer has a one-on-one experience. MP: So you don’t find the new tech models a threat to

REALTORS® then?

VM: Rather than dreading it, I’m excited about the opportunity created by the new models out there. I’m of the belief that the role we play is so essential that we can’t be replaced, and the new models give us a chance to


prove that. People will pick it apart and take pieces of it, but ultimately, what we provide in the real estate experience, as I’m standing here, is not replaceable. MP: So, Vince, you have a long history of being very in-

volved at the association level, starting with the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Why is it important to have this level of involvement, and how did you balance this with running a brokerage?

VM: It’s all about convincing people around you that it’s necessary to be involved, and then making sure you have a support team so that you can do both effectively. We’re a small, independent brokerage—a family business—so we’re like a majority of brokers. I realized the importance of organized real estate and getting together with colleagues so you’re not living in a vacuum. For smaller independent firms, the association was absolutely essential for staying up to date. Also, some things we can’t accomplish on an individual level, but we can achieve them through an association of like-minded people working for the same objective. Associations create advocacy and allow us to have a voice in what’s going on in our industry. MP: What are your thoughts upon assuming the role of

NAR president for 2020? What are you most excited about?

VM: I’m excited to be working with a great team of professionals. I’m trying to deemphasize my role as president and focus more on being a member of the team that would like to help facilitate change and provide some level of vision. And not just my own vision—I want to go out and seek the opinions of the like-minded and not like-minded. The greatest obstacle is not the change itself, it’s the implementation...the politics. The only way to effectuate change is to get everyone on board and create win-win scenarios. As a leader, I’m looking forward to facilitating change. MP: Will you be continuing the team approach to the

presidency?

VM: Elizabeth (Mendenhall), John (Smaby), Charlie (Oppler) and I are not looking at the presidency as one term. We are showing members that we’re a leadership team that works together. We’re not working in one-year increments. We’re working to change the organization and structure. We need to start moving at the speed of business, not the speed of an association. I couldn’t care less about my legacy. I just want to get the job done and keep it going for future leadership. We have to keep moving it forward. MP: So what are the main objectives for your tenure as president? VM: First of all, we need to emphasize the REALTORS®’

role as the best source of property information for consumers by equipping them with tools like RPR® and realtor.com®, and making sure that consumers are armed with the correct information. With emerging models like iBuyers and $8 billion-plus worth of venture capital money coming into the industry, we have to make sure consumers are going in with their eyes open. We are working with realtor.com® to make sure our value proposition is expressed to consumers as other models are emerging. We have to enhance our value and provide tools and products to help them succeed. Our Commitment to Excellence program is a good example of that. It’s voluntary, but it’s a great program members can embrace to shore up their weaknesses and help the consumer more. We also need to collaborate with diverse industry groups and make a positive impact on housing equality and affordability. We can’t be torn apart by a fragmented Congress and political groups. Affordability means so many different things, and the solutions are very complex. We are also driving community development by working closely with our commercial members. We need to collaborate more to engage the community and create jobs, because jobs and housing are linked. MP: And what are the biggest issues confronting consumers? VM: First of all, choices. They don’t know which direction to go in, which information is valid or what to rely on. They’re armed with more information than ever and they need someone to help them make sense of it and interpret the data so they can move forward. They have to make sure they’re working with the most accurate data and working with a real estate professional in their corner. The second is affordability. There needs to be ways to create more affordable opportunities for people. Third, consumers are confused about which way to go. Interest rates are low, but the economy is cooling, so they’re wondering if they should save money and sit it out. They don’t have a crystal ball, but generally, it’s driven right now by lack of inventory. The consumer has limited choices. MP: And what advice do you have for REALTORS® trying

to navigate change and uncertainty?

VM: While I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring, I am certain that REALTORS® will do what we’ve always done: make the necessary changes and mindshifts to remain successful. We’ve been adapting for years and will continue to adapt. RE For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 29


Homes.com President David Mele and SVP of Marketing and Sales Erin Ruane (center) join members of the team for a family photo in the company’s homebase, Norfolk, Va. 30 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE


HOMES.COM KEEPS THE FOCUS ON AGENTS IN CHANGING TIMES By Maria Patterson

A

t RISMedia’s CEO Exchange this past September, it didn’t take long for the conversation to turn to the threats facing today’s real estate professionals: consolidation, iBuyers, venture capital-backed competitors, technology supplanting agents, etc. The message was clear: The future is uncertain... who can you trust? But then David Mele took the stage and delivered a different message, and a promise: “We believe consumers should always work with a licensed real estate professional... and we promise not to compete against you.”

WHY TRUST MATTERS NOW MORE THAN EVER According to Mele, president of Norfolk, Va.-based Homes.com, the time is ripe for this message. Because, while change has been discussed a lot over the past few years, it’s finally arrived. “In the last year or two, there’s been some real disruption,” says Mele. “Real, impactful change is underway, and the brokerage is left to figure out, ‘Who can I partner with to grow my business? Who can I trust? Where do we have shared values and clear motives?’ Those things matter now more than ever.” When it comes to choosing portal partners specifically, real estate professionals are now confronted with iBuyer programs, referral-based lead strategies and online brokerage

models. Brokers and agents must decide to either get on board with these new programs or risk being left out altogether. Mele believes that it’s dangerous new ground. “We have some players in the industry who are pivoting from a partner posture to a competitive posture,” he says. “There’s a moat being dug around access to the consumer, and those players at the top of the funnel will control the pipeline. This could lock out agents and brokers. For a while, the industry was questioning which direction some of the large players would go in, but I think we’ve now gotten our answer.” And it’s a direction Homes.com categorically rejects. “Brokers and agents know that our motives and values align with theirs and, therefore, clearly see us as a partner,” explains Mele. “We don’t provide a platform that displaces agents to buy and sell homes. We are not a referral model. You can always get leads directly from us. We connect agents with buyers and sellers. We don’t compete with them.”

“WE BELIEVE CONSUMERS SHOULD ALWAYS WORK WITH A LICENSED REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL...AND WE PROMISE NOT TO COMPETE AGAINST YOU.” - DAVID MELE President, Homes.com

“We’ve always focused on keeping the agent and the broker front and center, connecting the consumer to the real estate professional,” echoes Homes.com Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales Erin Ruane. “For us, it’s always been about how we can help with this very infrequent, very stressful, very expensive transaction. When technology gets in the RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 31


way of that tradition by disrupting the connection between the agent, the broker and the consumer, that’s when trust begins to erode.”

RESPECTING THE TRADITION OF BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS In an industry that sometimes gets caught up in trying to remain cutting edge, the role of tradition can get pushed aside. But in reality, tradition holds a very important place in the real estate transaction, and Homes.com continues to honor it accordingly. “We believe that innovation and tradition actually go hand-in-hand,” explains Mele. “Tradition refers to the time-tested truths that should be respected, protected and preserved. At Homes.com, as we innovated and continued to evolve through the technology process, we honored those time-tested

“WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO FACILITATE IS A LONGTERM RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CONSUMER WHO NEEDS HELP AND THE REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL WHO CAN HELP GUIDE THEM.” - ERIN RUANE SVP of Marketing and Sales, Homes.com 32 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

truths, the biggest one being that the consumer is best served when working with a licensed real estate professional. The tradition we honor is that there is an agent at the center of the transaction as a trusted advisor and guide to the consumer. That’s a big one for us.” An agent-centric tradition has always been part of the Homes.com DNA, says Vice President of Industry Development Andy Woolley. “Our competitors are only interested in the top 10 - 20 percent of the agent population—they only want consumers reaching those agents,” he explains. “We’re not going to start picking and choosing which agents get access to potential deals and start trying to control the market. We’re respecting the tradition of this business. We’re going to be the marketing platform that connects agents and brokers with buyers and sellers.”

TECHNOLOGY THAT DELIVERS ON THE PROMISE To help deliver on its promise of connecting agents and brokers with consumers, a completely reimagined Homes.com was launched in mid-2018. “Our new consumer search experience continues to keep brokers and agents front and center, and always part of the transaction,” says Mele. “We’ve streamlined the Homes.com site and the mobile app to remove the clutter and make it easy for consumers to search and save listings and connect with agents. The listing agent is always prominently displayed and always receives the consumer inquiry. And the buyer’s agent has the opportunity to present themselves at the time of interest through our Local Connect product.” The recently reimagined Local Connect perfectly marries Homes.com’s focus on tradition and technology. The product connects agents with active buyers and sellers in their target

market by zip code, and with the addition of Direct Connect, a consumer can immediately call an agent—and that call is an exclusive opportunity for the agent. What’s more, listing agents always get a copy of inquiries, whether they’re paying for the listing or not. Their tagline says it all: “Your Listing. Your Lead. Your Commission. Always.” “That’s the direct connection we provide between the consumer and the listing agent who has done the work to secure that listing,” says Ruane. “We believe it’s in the consumer’s best interest to have the listing agent clearly identified.” As Mele explains, the Homes.com site is designed to create a fair playing field. “Do you put a thumb on the scale for yourself, or do you commit to displaying the freshest listings regardless of deals or contracts? Today, you have to look at how leads are routed and how agents are allowed to participate,” he says. “We’re not attempting to pick the winner. Rather, we’re providing an open platform for agents and brokers to have access to consumers. We’re willing to trust agents and send them leads directly without screening or vetting or qualifying those leads. This twists against the prevailing referral model.” Of course, Homes.com can confidently send leads directly to brokers and agents because their traffic is more targeted to begin with: More than 90 percent of consumers visiting Homes.com are actually in the process of searching for a home, far further down the funnel than the typical portal visitor. “There’s a really important mantra that we hold to: bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to home search sites and traffic,” says Mele. “On Homes.com, we have a smaller audience, but a more efficient audience in terms of transaction-ready buyers and sellers. That translates into good ROI for agents and brokers.” For agents who would like ad-


ditional help following up on leads, however, Homes.com offers the Lead Concierge program. The callscreening service allows agents and brokerages to compete head-to-head with other portals when it comes to making contact first, thereby avoiding a potential 35-percent referral fee. “We don’t force the consumer inquiry to go through the concierge service,” Ruane explains. “The agent has the right to choose. “What we’re trying to facilitate is a long-term relationship between the consumer who needs help and the real estate professional who can help guide them throughout this journey,” adds Ruane. “We’re building a relationship of trust. The more we can facilitate that connection, the better we can position the agent to have a customer for life.”

LISTING DATA YOU CAN TRUST One of the biggest contributing factors to Homes.com’s reputation as a portal you can trust is the scope and quality of its listing data, a result of the company’s enterprise partnerships in the MLS and brokerage worlds. Woolley, in fact, has the distinguished honor of sitting on the board of directors for the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS), the professional trade organization that serves to advance the MLS industry in North America, as a business partner director. According to Woolley, the success of any portal all starts with the listing. “One hundred percent of the interaction the consumer has with our agents is driven through a listing,” explains Woolley, “and our primary and most reliable source of listing data is the MLS, which is the conduit to the brokerage. While the brokerages are in control of whether they participate, we get 85 - 90 percent broker adoption because they trust us. And they stay with us because we’re driving meaningful results.”

Homes.com displays more than 3 million active listings, almost 80 percent of which are sourced directly from MLSs and national franchise partners. Using the MLS as the primary source of data allows brokers and agents to easily and efficiently keep their listing data up to date through one central system, giving brokers complete control over where they want their listing data published. Homes.com has developed this level of trust with the MLS and brokerage community by keeping its listing data pristine. Listings, which are updated frequently, clearly identify the listing source and date of the last update. Homes.com offers to send referral traffic back to the MLS or broker website, and does not force the listing agent and brokerage to register to display information on Homes.com. “I’ll put us up against anybody when it comes to breadth of coverage and frequency of updates,” says Woolley. “Brokers know they’re going to be clearly represented, get the leads back and have meaningful engagement. Even though other portals may have an agreement with an MLS to receive data, it doesn’t mean they’re generating the share of broker participation that we’re generating; that could be because brokers don’t see them providing the results, or now, they may perceive those portals as a competitor.” Through the Homes.com enterprise relationship with an MLS, brokers can display their listings for free on Homes.com, which then gives agents access to the Homes.com Connect dashboard where they can claim their free Homes.com profile. The profile advertises the agent on all of their listings, which includes all pertinent links and branding. Agents are also provided with the Homes.com Lead Management System to help turn leads into active customers. “The entry-level experience with

“THE ONLY WAY OUR MESSAGE OF TRUST AND TRADITION WILL RESONATE LONGTERM IS IF WE CAN SIMULTANEOUSLY DEMONSTRATE THAT WE ALSO PROVIDE BETTER RESULTS.” - ANDY WOOLLEY VP of Industry Development, Homes.com

Homes.com is designed to keep the agent at the center of it all,” says Woolley. “We provide free advertising, free leads and a free dashboard as an introduction to the brand. We give people a lot of quality interaction and hope they decide to pay and expand their reach.” Of course, the ultimate beneficiary of Homes.com’s partnerships with the MLS and brokerage communities is the consumer. “By securing our listings from the most trustworthy and reliable source, the MLS, as opposed to going piecemeal broker by broker, we have the ability to display listings on Homes.com from brokerages of all sizes. Otherwise, the 500 biggest brokerages would lock out the small guys who wouldn’t have the technical capacity to participate. Now, the consumer gets a realistic view of the market—they’re not just looking at listings provided by the big brokerages.” RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 33


A CONTINUED PATH OF CONNECTION According to Woolley, as the future unfolds, Homes.com will be able to more clearly delineate that its technology and business model is all about trust, tradition and partnering with brokers and agents. “There’s a lot of effort underway at RESO (the Real Estate Standards Organization) to develop MLS data standards, and we’re on the precipice of seeing those efforts start to materialize, which will give companies like us the ability to provide meaningful metrics,” he explains. “Real estate professionals will be able to see where their marketing dollars are most productive. The only way our message of trust and tradition will resonate long-term is if we can simultaneously demonstrate that we also provide better results. That’s where we’re now heading because of data standards.” In the meantime, the dedicated team at Homes.com will stay steadfast in its promise to the industry. “Our people are some of the most tenured, passionate, experienced people serving the real estate industry today,” says Ruane. “We will continue to build products and enhance our existing products. We will continue to build upon our core values and keep our promise to the industry front and center.” And that promise is to keep real estate professionals where they belong: at the center of the transaction. “There are efforts underway in this industry that could lead to the alienation of real estate agents,” says Mele. “But what we see is a future where technology doesn’t eliminate agents, it enables agents.” RE For more information about Homes.com’s promise to the real estate industry, please visit homes.com/always.

34 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

BUILDING TRUST WITH REAL VALUE Homes.com’s role as a trusted partner is layered deep within its DNA, evidenced in the many marketing and business development products it provides for brokers and agents. Homes.com Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales Erin Ruane highlights just a few of them: LOCAL CONNECT: Homes.com’s premier lead generation product that delivers exclusive phone leads from active homebuyers to agents based on zip code. A contact form and phone number appears on each of the listings in the advertiser’s desired zip code, rotating with a limited number of other advertisers.

CITY SPONSOR: Ads for real estate professionals and their listings are prominently placed on search result pages. The ad format mirrors the look of non-sponsored listings and helps combat “banner blindness.” SOCIAL FUEL: A comprehensive social media solution designed to help real estate agents engage with homebuyers and sellers, and drive more leads. Manages all aspects of an agent’s social media and online presence, including regional content posting and Facebook ad campaigns.

SEO FUEL: Homes.com’s team of search engine experts employs a two-phase approach to increase the visibility of real estate websites. It begins with content and keyword improvement followed by linkearning campaigns to bolster the trust and authority of the website.

LEAD CONCIERGE: A lead pre-screening service featuring a dedicated phone line with extended hours so that agents never have another call or email slip through the cracks, yet only receive serious inquiries.

SECRETS OF TOP SELLING AGENTS: Launched more than 10 years ago, this monthly webinar series features top agents sharing their secrets to success. The series has expanded into live events, a podcast, a Facebook group and an Amazon best-selling book. “Agents know that the highest and best use of their time is not sitting at the computer,” says Ruane. “With our suite of services and tools, we give agents the resources to stay on top of all aspects of their business, from search engine ranking and social posts, to lead generation and follow up, so they can keep their focus on their relationships with clients and prospects.” For more information about these and other Homes.com products and services, please visit marketing.homes.com.


Create a Clear 2020 Vision Commentary by Darryl Davis, CSP bigger than themselves. I love author and motivator Simon Sinek’s take on finding his why. “My why is to inspire people to do the things that inspire them, so, together, each of us can change our world for the better.” Your why helps fuel your passion and gives you the energy to do what you need to do every day to fulfill that purpose. It helps make even the most common tasks more exciting, and when you tap into it, it will lead you to inspired new ways of looking at life and work.

W

ant to lead the way in your market in the new year? Don’t wait for the new year. Don’t fall into the trap that many agents do where they slide into autopilot throughout the holidays and emerge again somewhere around January 10. To win in 2020, you’ll need the agility to leverage where the market is headed. START WITH A CLEAR VISION. Where do you want to SEE yourself in the next 15 months? What would it mean to you and your family if you created a financial breakthrough? What would it feel like if you were so on top of your goals and plan that you didn’t have to second-guess where your next commission check was coming from and when? There’s an old saying, “Seeing is believing,” but I prefer, “You’ve got to believe it to see it.” In other words, if you cannot envision yourself as a successful agent, providing well for your family and delivering service to your customers and community, then it’s tough to create that reality. How do you create that kind of clear vision? 36 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT OLD, LIMITED BELIEF SYSTEMS. If they aren’t serving you, replace them immediately. All the shoulda, coulda, wouldas need to go. I love this quote from human behavioral specialist John Demartini: “Whatever we think about, and thank about, we bring about.” Let that sink in. What are you thinking about? If it’s not a solid, crystal-clear vision of what you want in the coming year, redirect your focus. FIND YOUR PURPOSE. What’s your WHY? What makes you eager to jump out of bed in the morning and do what you do? For most people, it’s not about achieving a specific award or buying a dream car. It’s something

PAY ATTENTION TO PROFITABILITY AND TREAT YOUR BUSINESS LIKE A BUSINESS. Too many agents lose their gusto for their career because they failed to manage their money well or invest in themselves and their business effectively. We have an extraordinary opportunity in our industry to create wealth through real estate investment, yet the vast majority of agents never tap into that opportunity. Make 2020 about having a clear path to your goals and financial future. I’m here to help. RE Darryl Davis has spoken to, trained and coached more than 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe. He is a best-selling author for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and his book, “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate,” tops Amazon’s charts for most sold book to real estate agents. He is the founder of the Next Level® real estate training system The Power Program®, which has proven to help agents double their production over their previous year. Davis earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, held by less than 2 percent of all speakers worldwide. To learn more, visit www.ThePowerProgram.com.


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Fair Housing Act Proposal Will Affect Housing Discrimination Cases Commentary by Desirée Patno

housing discrimination cases to court. The aforementioned threestep process would be changed to a five-step process involving just the plaintiff, who would have to prove that the policy: 1. Is “arbitrary, artificial and unnecessary” 2. Has a causal link with disparate impact on a protected class 3. Causes significant adverse effects on members of a protected class 4. Is linked to the disparate impact claimed in the plaintiff’s “alleged injury”

T

he Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently introduced a proposal that will affect the 2013 Disparate Impact rule, which created uniform standards for the application of disparate impact, referring to policy that has discriminatory effects despite the intention of the policymakers. In brief, the new rule will place the burden of proof onto the plaintiff in housing discrimination cases, which could make such lawsuits more difficult. FAIR HOUSING ACT AND DISPARATE IMPACT RULE Initially passed in 1968, the Fair Housing Act intended to promote equality in the housing sector by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status. An amendment was made in 1974 to include women, and, as a result, a greater share of women have experienced more economic and social benefits due to improved access to housing opportunities. While the act prohibits discrimination and inequality, the realization of the act has been a slow process. Since its passing, courts interpreted the Fair Housing Act to ban policies that had discriminatory dis38 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

parate impact, although they had varying opinions about how this should be implemented. According to the current Disparate Impact rule, the party making the accusation (i.e., the plaintiff) has to prove that the policy in question has a discriminatory effect. The defendant, in turn, must justify the policy by explaining why it is needed for legitimate, nondiscriminatory results. Afterwards, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s interest can be achieved with another policy or practice less likely to have discriminatory results.

THE PROPOSAL HUD introduced a rule that some believe will make it harder to bring

The proposal also creates new defenses for landlords or lenders that utilize algorithmic models to determine creditworthiness, risk and other factors. If the defendants can show that the inputs of their model are not highly correlated to a protected class or that their algorithm was made by a third party, their disparate impact case will be dismissed. If the third party tests their algorithm for fairness with positive results, the defendant is shielded from liability in disparate impact cases. Fair housing advocates fear that this change is targeting protections set in place to help defend against discriminatory practices in the housing market, diminish segregation and help recipients of rental subsidies. RE Desirée Patno is the CEO and president of Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE), as well as chairwoman of NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC). With 30 years of experience in housing, Patno is a champion for women’s economic growth and independence. In 2017, Entrepreneur.com named her the Highest-Ranking Woman and 4th Overall Top Real Estate Influencer to Follow. For more information, please visit www.nawrb.com.


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Why Advancing Buyer Representation Is Important Insights From the 2019 REBAC Hall of Fame Inductees

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he Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) is home to more than 30,000 members and over 25,000 ABR® (Accredited

Buyer’s Representative) designees. Every year, the organization showcases a select group of ABR® designees who best exemplify the efforts being made to advance buyer representation in real estate, inducting them into the REBAC Hall of Fame.

This year’s Hall of Fame honorees include Marki Lemons Ryhal, REBAC instructor; Donald (Donny) Allen, broker/ partner at Keller Williams Realty of Southwest Missouri; and Karen Stang, broker/owner of Carriage Realty, Inc. For these industry professionals, a focus on buyer representation has changed the way they do business, and for the better.

40 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

by Liz Dominguez

“When I became licensed and opened my own company, I instantly realized that I didn’t know anything about real estate. But I’m an education junkie, so I earned the ABR® designation in my first year,” says Lemons Ryhal, who has been a REBAC member since 2004. “In that first full-time year as a broker, I was in the top 10 percent of Lemons Ryhal real estate transactions in the city of Chicago, and I attribute that to the ABR®.” For Lemons Ryhal, education has always been a part of who she is. After earning her undergrad, she taught the second grade, then moved on to teaching hospitality management and marketing at the collegiate level after earning her master’s. Allen shares a similar passion, saying Allen “teaching is just in my DNA.”


A REBAC member since 1997, Allen recognized the “When it comes to REBAC and the Hall of Fame, it benefit of the designation early on, earning it just a year has absolutely changed my life. The ABR® should after becoming licensed. In fact, he is such a strong proponent of the designation that he jumped right into passbe the foundation for people coming into the real ing along the knowledge to other agents. “After only 18 months in the business, I had my ABR® estate industry, because the pre-licensing courses designation and I began teaching my colleagues in my don’t teach you how to sell real estate.” office what I had learned. Buyer agency was so new, – MARKI LEMONS RYHAL and I wanted my colleagues to be informed and better REBAC Instructor trained,” says Allen. It’s those experiences, he says, that led him to a sales manager position at another company and even- tion of REALTORS® (NAR). tually to Keller Williams, where training is at the core of Overall, being a Hall of Famer and an ABR® means cethe brokerage. menting a reputation as an expert in real estate and, in As for Stang, whose father suggested she obtain particular, buyers—something that has been clear a real estate license for the “knowledge alone,” from the beginning for these individuals. the designation has shown buyers that she is While people crack jokes about the “alphabet serious about learning how to help them “with soup” after Allen’s name, the results of his destools designed just for them.” A REBAC member ignations have been no laughing matter. since 2008, Stang says that “knowledge is power, “I’ve received more referrals from agents Stang and power helps us meet our clients’ needs easand friends because of my designations. It ily and effectively.” gives you more confidence to refer someone to an agent with professional designations,” says Allen. What does it mean to be a REBAC Hall of Famer? “People may not know what each designation stands According to Stang, it’s simply advocating for homeown- for, but they know that I am a professional and probably ership and homebuyers. For Allen, it’s about “being that more prepared.” ‘go-to’ person for information.” And Lemons Ryhal beThe ABR® designation has not only propelled his own lieves being innovative is a big part of it—specifically business, but that of other local companies, as well. looking for ways to deliver content according to people’s “I work with some of the major employers in Joplin and preferred learning styles. I help them recruit candidates by giving community tours Being an advocate for buyer representation also and highlighting the quality-of-life features offered in my means being an intrinsic part of the local community—a community,” says Allen, who has found success during thread all three Hall of Fame honorees share. these tours by promoting his credentials, which include Stang plays an active role in local charity efforts, be- representing buyers at a higher level. lieving in “supporting our community through donations, And Stang says the designation has helped her keep volunteering and serving on boards.” She is on her com- up to date on ever-shifting buyer trends, giving her a community association’s board and volunteers with a local petitive edge in the market. food shelf, Habitat for Humanity and The Humane Soci“Buyers have always wanted to be informed so that ety of the United States, in addition to working with her they can make educated decisions,” says Stang. “By state’s REALTOR®association. staying on top of the latest technology and easily sharing “By serving on the Minnesota REALTORS® Profession- the relevant data with consumers, our expertise shines al Standards Committee, I help enforce our REALTOR® and our clients win.” Code of Ethics,” says Stang. “I believe in fair housing, The designation has been so helpful to Lemons Rydiversity and equal homeownership opportunities for ev- hal’s business that she believes it should not be someeryone. By being involved, I am doing my part to make thing that people “aspire to learn,” but rather, a requirereal estate better for REALTORS®and consumers.” ment, as it will help all agents achieve “a sustainable Lemons Ryhal is a constant presence in her commu- real estate business.” nity, as well, volunteering at the state level “with things “When it comes to REBAC and the Hall of Fame, it has that pertain to fair housing and diversity,” and being a absolutely changed my life,” says Lemons Ryhal. “The member of Delta Sigma Theta—one of the largest black ABR® should be the foundation for people coming into sororities in America—as well as working to advance sig- the real estate industry, because the pre-licensing coursnificant legislation on behalf of the real estate industry. es don’t teach you how to sell real estate.” RE Allen also serves on several committees, both at his local board and on the state level, and teaches a For more information on how to earn the ABR® designation, please visit safety course offered through the National Associa- REBAC.net/ABR. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 41


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Rehumanizing Data in Our Industry Commentary by Kuba Jewgieniew

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write this having just returned from New York, where I was graciously invited to participate in the RISMedia CEO Exchange (see page 52). It’s always an honor to be asked to engage with others in the industry, and I’m grateful to John Featherston and the team for the opportunity.

It’s clear that too many tech startups are actually working to dehumanize our industry. I understand the inclination, as some traditional industries have gone the way of technology and automation. But I deeply believe this will not work for real estate. Traditional brokerages have been on autopilot for the past 15 to 20 years, letting change and evolution just happen—and letting partners of our industry direct it. But now’s the time when we can do something. As national real estate franchisors, we can actually impact the industry by rehumanizing data, applying what matters most in our business. Money is flooding into our industry, from Wall Street to venture capitalists and private equity firms. It makes sense. With interest rates low, paper is cheap and the economy is booming despite talks of a recession. There seems to be more money on the sidelines than there are viable ideas to spend it on—and most who peer into our industry are betting on technology to replace the

real estate agent. That fascinates me. When did we give up on people and human relationships? Will technology ever ask a homebuyer or seller about their children, their recovery from cancer or their journey to find their dream home? Will technology spend the time to find out about your aspirations for your real estate career and the dreams you have for your family? Those conversations still matter, because they develop relationships, and relationships add to the depth and color of our lives.

EMOTIONLESS DATA: THEY JUST DON’T GET IT Zillow and iBuyers like Opendoor and Offerpad focus in on data, ignoring the emotion involved in real estate. To them, buyers and sellers (mostly) are just another data point on a spreadsheet. The more data they collect, the faster and the cheaper they can make a transaction. That just shows that they don’t understand our business, nor do

they understand the power of data. I remember 20 years ago, when “databases” were the new buzzword. We collected so much data that we didn’t know what to do with it all. Then just 10 years ago, the talk was all about data warehouses. Today, it’s data lakes—raw data syndicated from mass amounts of data sources. The raw data in these data lakes is normalized, and a predictive layer is added on the top so that we can engage machine learning and predictive analytics based on the habits and actions of all user types. Then, artificial intelligence takes over, making our lives seem simpler. What if that data was used to find out more about the depth, the soul and the feelings of that user type— or more accurately, that user? Could we understand each other better? Get to know each other faster?

CREATING VALUE IN EVERY ASPECT OF THE TRANSACTION Realty ONE Group is in an extraordinary position to capitalize on an opportunity right in front of us. Because of the deep meaning and emotion intrinsic to a real estate transaction, real estate professionals and their clients will continue to seek value in the transaction beyond what’s cheap and fast. And we can use data to add even greater value to the experience—match the right real estate professional to the right office, match the right buyers to not just the right home, but the perfect home. For Realty ONE Group, our infrastructure is solid, our leadership the dream team of this industry, and our raving fans thrive in our coolture as we have the same goal: to make a positive difference in people’s lives across the globe, every day, together as ONE. RE Kuba Jewgieniew is the founder and CEO of Realty ONE Group. For more information, please visit www.realtyonegroup.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 43


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Real Estate Tech: Insights From REW’s New General Manager By Jameson Doris

Vy Luu, moments after REW CEO Morgan Carey announced she’d be stepping up as general manager at the REW Summer 2019 Town Hall

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rom shopping to transportation, technology is a driving force of nearly every major industry. While the real estate industry was slower to adopt, it’s making up for lost time in a very big way.

Real estate technology leaders like Real Estate Webmasters (REW) are driving industry growth with expansive approaches—dismantling existing systems, reimagining new ones and finding more efficient ways for agents to do business. We sat down with REW’s newly appointed general manager, Vy Luu, to talk about what is coming to real estate, and why we should be very excited. Real Estate magazine: How is tech going to be critical for the future of real estate? Vy Luu: Technology is already critical to real estate. Activities such as responding to leads, making recommendations and closing transactions can all be done much faster with technology than without. What will be

critical for agents and brokers is the quick adoption of technology—it’s what will separate the wheat from the chaff. Buyers and customers are turning to agents who can deliver the information they seek quickly. From mobile-friendly listings to DocuSign, providing the latest in technical convenience to your real estate customers is a must today, and that isn’t going away in the future. RE: What new initiatives are you most excited about? VL: The process of standardizing global markets. Many of us take for granted the speed and ease of the buying and selling process in North America. In other countries, it isn’t so easy. In Europe, it can take an average of three years to sell a property due to the current antiquated

practices. REW is going to change that. We’re bringing an international, multilingual MLS system to the world based on RESO standards that’s going to change the way real estate is done. This will open up data and facilitate competition, ultimately benefiting both sides of real estate transactions. RE: What will have the biggest impact on real estate? VL: The integration of big data and artificial intelligence in decision-making processes. Big data is going to change the way we shop for homes and how we can match the specific needs of a buyer with the best property available. For example, in Chinese culture, homes with red doors are considered a symbol of good luck. You couldn’t search for homes by features like this five years ago, but we’re always working on ways to remove barriers so we can deliver a more powerful home search experience to the world. For agents and brokers, imagine being able to ask which customer segment in your region is most likely to be interested in a new property listing based on past behaviors. That’s the power of big data. RE: What piece of advice would you offer real estate professionals who are looking for real estate tech? VL: Look for a partner with knowledge and experience in building real estate tech first, but also ask about where they want to go in the future. Learn about their big hairy audacious goal (BHAG). That tells you the ambition of the company you would be trusting your technology with. You want to know that your technology feature set will grow with the real estate industry and technology sector. REW’s BHAG is to bring data standards-powered real estate platforms to the world. RE For more information, please visit rew.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 45


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How to Prospect for Wealthy Clients When You Don’t Know Where to Start by the Experts at The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing

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inding wealthy clients to work with in the luxury home market is a lot like finding traditional clients. The key is to find out where your target client is, put yourself in front of them and make yourself valuable.

Since the formula is fairly simple, when aspiring luxury real estate agents say they want to prospect for wealthy clients but don’t know where to start, they may simply be too afraid or unsure of how to begin. To their credit, this fear isn’t totally unfounded since wealthy clients are typically more knowledgeable about real estate than traditional clients. It’s common for them to have gained some of their wealth from real estate, so they may ask more questions, require a more in-depth understanding of market trends or need a more specialized approach for their particular goals. Fortunately, even if you’re just starting out, prospecting and working with wealthy clients is simple if you know where to focus your time and energy.

BEFORE PROSPECTING FOR WEALTHY CLIENTS, WORK ON BECOMING A RESOURCE What good is knowing where to find

wealthy clients if you can’t provide them with enough value to keep their attention? Before you start prospecting, spend some time figuring out exactly why someone buying or selling in the luxury market would want to work with you. If you don’t have much experience, knowledge and enthusiasm can go a long way. Set aside an hour or two each day to immerse yourself in industry topics like: • Current luxury-home market statistics and trends • Luxury-home marketing strategies • Architecture, design and in-style amenities • Your local area’s growth potential and opportunities • The global real estate market Your target clientele are typically leaders in their own industry who value information and expertise, so the closer you can get to mirroring those values, the closer you’ll get to breaking through those initial barriers and building those relationships within the luxury home market.

TARGET WEALTHY CLIENTS BY BROWSING THROUGH EXPIRED LISTINGS Expired listings are low-hanging fruit if you’re bold enough to go after them. If you don’t have a lot of experi-

ence in the luxury home market, aim to keep the focus on your approach rather than your accolades. On the other hand, if you recently received your Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) designation, this is a good time to highlight that accomplishment.

BE WHERE THE WEALTHY CLIENTS ARE Find out where potential wealthy clients in your area spend their free time and start networking there. This can get tricky since some of your prospects’ most frequented leisure spots can be both pricey and exclusive, like yacht clubs or country clubs. Although it can feel like a big investment to gain access to these types of establishments, it’s a direct investment in your business. If it feels like too much of a stretch when you’re just starting out, start by keeping an eye on your local clubs’ online social calendars to see when they’re holding public events to keep your networking costs down. Some other options include joining an upscale gym, attending your area’s more refined cultural events or becoming a regular at the higher-end cafes in the affluent neighborhoods you want to work in. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER Once you’ve found some wealthy clientele, it’s important to make sure they’re happy. If you put as much focus on prospecting as you do on becoming a valuable resource in the luxury home market, you’ll inevitably start to gain momentum and grow your career. RE

The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing is the independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the luxury residential market. For more information, please visit www.luxuryhomemarketing.com.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 47


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In a World of ‘i’ Everything, Empower Your Clients Through Education Commentary by Chris Kelly

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he iBuyer approach is a modern repackaging of a historical option for home sellers—selling your property under value to a cash investor. This business model offers the perceived convenience of no showings and a quick closing option in exchange for a lower offer and fees that typically exceed those charged by a REALTOR®. In short, homeowners trade a significant portion of their equity or, better put, their family’s wealth, to a large corporation.

Under the iBuyer model, in most instances, the profit the iBuyer hopes to make in the transaction must be realized on the purchase of the home. Unlike traditional property flippers or investors, who rehabilitate the property or make significant improvements to increase its overall value, iBuyers will often only make modest repairs and hold the property for too short a time period for any meaningful price appreciation to occur. This is the reason the property must be purchased under fair market value, with the latest data suggesting iBuyer offers are 3 to 5 percent lower on average. Another way to look at the data: iBuyer offers often represent what the home’s value was two years ago.

In addition, iBuyer offers often contain repair concessions in excess of those typically requested by a homebuyer, as well as fees ranging from 7 to 10 percent of the agreed-upon sales price. Given that a homeowner can expect to lose an additional $15,000 to $30,000 of the wealth accumulated in their home’s equity through the iBuyer process, why would anyone choose this method to sell their home? Several factors, including an unexpected lifestyle change, the property being a secondary home or expediency superseding protecting future wealth, are often cited. As real estate professionals, what we can’t concede is the iBuyer argument that selling a home through that model is easier and less stressful than working with a REALTOR®. The availability of the iBuyer business model may be a viable option for some homeowners; however, for a far larger group, we as REALTORS® can empower sellers to make the right decisions for their immediate and long-term goals. We are in a unique position to bring clarity, certainty and value to the process. Our greatest opportunity is to go all-in on

delivering an exceptional value and experience that far exceeds the cost of our services. There are three things each of us can do to demonstrate our value to sellers:

KNOW YOUR MARKET. Help the homeowner know what to expect for their average days on market, list-tosale price and other key metrics— then communicate that regularly and repeatedly. An iBuyer may be able to close in 14 days, but that shouldn’t be the measuring stick against your services. How many sellers could reasonably be out of their property that quickly? PAINT A PICTURE. The iBuyer model largely leaves homeowners on their own to navigate the transaction. We can provide clarity to the real estate process by integrating the sale with title, insurance, mortgage and other services. Our goal should be to make working with us so simple and stress-free that the client can’t imagine doing it without us. CLEARLY ARTICULATE THE BOTTOM LINE. Help the seller understand the true price of the perceived convenience of selling to an iBuyer. Maybe the difference in working with you vs. an iBuyer is an additional $20,000 or $30,000 in protected equity and wealth in the sale of their home. In reality, that amount reinvested into another home or even a simple investment could grow $80,000 to $100,000 over the next 20 - 25 years. As I said, we are the defenders of America’s home wealth. RE Chris Kelly is president and CEO of North Texas-based Ebby Halliday Companies. Prior to joining Ebby Halliday in 2018, he served as senior counsel for HomeServices of America. For more information, visit ebby.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 49


Why Your Real Estate Coach Wants You to Give Back by Buffini & Company

and refreshments. You’ll show gratitude for their business while also providing them with a dish to bring to the holiday dinner. It’s a win-win situation guaranteed to generate some referrals.

2.

POP BY WITH SMALL GIFTS If you’re in their neighborhood for business, pop by a current or past client’s home with a small gift to thank them for their business. During the holiday season, useful “pop-by” gifts include turkey basters, stuffing mix, wrapping paper, hot chocolate or any other small item that someone may need for a great holiday. Be sure to attach a short message that reminds them that you are always happy to assist their friends and family with their real estate needs.

A

t Buffini & Company, any real estate coach will happily explain why it’s important to give back to your clients. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, more than 80 percent of an agent’s transactions are conducted through a sphere of influence. In an industry built on relationships, it is critical to deepen connections with your database and show appreciation for your clients. Unfortunately, this is an easy step to overlook, especially this time of year. The holidays are a busy season in general. Coaches see it frequently—client relationships tend to fall by the wayside as agents float from transaction to transaction, counting down the days until Thanksgiving or a highly anticipated holiday vacation. That’s when your real estate coach will tell you to breathe, step back and refocus on your relationship-building.

WHY GIVE? During the holiday season, a Buffini & Company real estate coach helps clients hone in on simple and effective ways to give back to their circles. Instead of drifting between transactions, you will take an active role in 50 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

showing appreciation and providing great service. When your clients and past clients feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to share that sentiment back with you by way of referral. Here are three ways to give back to your clients this time of year:

1.

THROW A CLIENT APPRECIATION PARTY Organize and host an appreciation party for your top-referring clients. Consider including a giveaway, raffle prizes and a fun activity for the whole group. A “pie party” is a great idea during the holiday season. Ask your A+ clients for their choice of pie in the invitation, and distribute the dessert at a party with music, games

3.

WRITE THANK-YOU NOTES Handwritten thank-you notes will never go out of style. In this digital world, their value is only increasing. While texts and emails are convenient, personal notes are unexpected extras that demonstrate specialized care for that specific relationship. Write notes as a follow-up to a call or pop-by, or as a thank you to those who attend your appreciation party. Definitely write a note expressing gratitude when one of your relationships sends you a referral. When you use these three simple strategies to give back to your clients, you are building valuable relationships that will serve as the foundation of your business for years to come. For additional guidance, get a Buffini & Company real estate coach in your corner to provide customized lead generation strategies that let you enjoy the spirit of the season. As the referrals pour in, your coach will get you on track to start 2020 strong. RE To learn more, visit buffiniandcompany.com.


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{Scene & Heard}

Vision 2020:

RISMedia’s 2019 Real Estate CEO Exchange in Photos

Photos by Korin Krossber of PlanOmatic RISMedia Founder, President & CEO John Featherston welcomes guests to the 2019 CEO Exchange.

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ORE THAN 325 LEADING BROKERS AND C-LEVEL INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES gathered in New York City this past September for RISMedia’s 2019 Real Estate CEO Exchange: “Vision 2020: Building a FutureFocused Real Estate Business.”

The annual brokerage event was held at the New York Marriott Marquis Sept. 18 – 19, and featured impactful insights, invaluable networking opportunities and powerful takeaways from more than 50 speakers, including brand executives, independent leaders, MLS representatives and teams. From changing technologies to competitive business models to evolving consumer demands, this year’s event dealt with the issues that are shifting the real estate landscape, offering brokers a platform to create a plan for navigating the path ahead. Kicking off RISMedia’s 2019 CEO Exchange was a keynote presentation from Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider who discussed “Surviving the Real Estate Landscape,” both from Realogy’s perspective as well as for brokers of all sizes and models across the country. While Schneider pointed to ongoing consolidation due to lack of profitability, disruption and the continued need to innovate on the data and technology front, he advised that we keep our eyes focused on the consumer. “When we all think about our agenda, we’re going to have to do more to drive more innovation that is consumer-focused.”

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Above: ShelterZoom’s Chao Cheng-Shorland discusses the role of blockchain in the future of real estate. Bottom Right: Keynote speaker, Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider.

The CEO Exchange was also highlighted by RISMedia’s renowned networking opportunities, including a Welcome Reception at the Marriott’s Broadway Lounge, sponsored by Homes.com and Real Estate Webmasters, a networking breakfast, sponsored by Lone Wolf Technologies, and a luncheon sponsored by Inside Real Estate. For full coverage of all 2019 CEO Exchange presentations and panel discussions, visit RISMedia.com, and for more photos, visit facebook.com/rismedia. To reserve your spot for RISMedia’s 2020 CEO Exchange on Sept. 16 & 17 at the Harvard Club of New York, please email Cindi Gallucci, cgallucci@rismedia.com.

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Featherston and Schneider

RE/MAX, LLC CEO Adam Contos

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Debating the iBuyer dilemma (L to R): Faisal Susiwala, RE/MAX Twin City/Faisal Susiwala Realty; Bob Hale, HAR; Simon Chen, Realogy; Anthony Lamacchia, Lamacchia Realty.


NYC real estate icons (L to R): The Corcoran Group’s Pam Liebman; Brown Harris Stevens’ Bess Freedman; and Douglas Elliman’s Dottie Herman.

CEO Exchange moderator, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty’s Joe Rand

Photos by Korin Krossber of PlanOmatic

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How to maximize the team model (L to R): Louise Phillips Forbes, Halstead Real Estate; Jenn Smira, Compass; Bo Menkiti, Keller Williams Capital Properties; Tim Milam, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage.

Workman Success Systems’ Verl Workman moderates the team panel.

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NAR’s Sarah Young moderates ‘Affiliated Services in Today’s Environment.’

Photos by ????? Canaria of PlanOmatic

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Compass’ New York Region President, Rory Golod

Photos by ????? of PlanOmatic

‘The Future of Real Estate’ panel (L to R): Featherston; Kuba Jewgieniew, Realty ONE Group; Howard ‘Hoby’ Hanna, Howard Hanna Real Estate; Golod, Compass; Frank Gay, JP & Associates REALTORS® Franchising

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Featherston goes one-on-one with Douglas Elliman President & COO Scott Durkin.

Diamond Sponsor Homes.com President David Mele

Photos by Korin Krossber of PlanOmatic

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HGAR’s Richard Haggerty and Jordan Baris Inc. REALTORS® Real Living’s Ken Baris discuss the ‘State of Real Estate Data.’

CEO Exchange moderator, Heithaus Properties’ John Heithaus

‘The State of Real Estate Data’ (L to R): Sam DeBord, RESO; Rebecca Jensen, MRED; Haggerty, HGAR.

Photos by Korin Krossber of PlanOmatic

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‘Technology That Means Business’ (L to R): Matt Widdows, HomeSmart; Joan Docktor, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®; Tom George, Constellation Real Estate Group; York Baur, MoxiWorks.

HomeSmart Intl. Founder & CEO Matt Widdows

‘Independently Healthy’ panelist Matthew O’Connor, Terrie O’Connor REALTORS®

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Featherston and CENTURY 21 President & CEO Mike Miedler discuss the importance of the real estate experience.


Coldwell Banker/NRT EVP Sue Yannaccone and HSF Affiliates’ Teresa Palacios Smith discuss recruiting and retaining with real value.

Diamond level sponsors Real Estate Webmasters’ Laura Monroe, Jeff Whitby and Tim Collins

Featherston and the ‘Master Sales-Driven Leadership’ panel (L to R): Allan Dalton, Real Living Real Estate; Carolyn Rosson, Ebby Halliday Companies; Yannaccone; and Palacios Smith.

Moderator Sherri Johnson, Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting, with Dalton and Rosson.

Photos by Korin Krossber of PlanOmatic

‘Independently Healthy’ panel (L to R): Desiree Patno, NAWRB; Julie Vanderblue, The Higgins Group; Andrew Smith, Peabody & Smith Realty; Sheryl Simon, Benoit Mizner Simon & Co.

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Affiliated Services panelists (L to R): Dave Zitting, Avenu, Inc.; Brooke AndersonTompkins, 1st Priority Mortgage; Larry Flick V, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®; Walt Mullen, Title Resource Group

CEO Exchange moderator Dave Garland, Second Century Ventures

Below Left: Networking breakfast sponsor Lone Wolf Technologies’ Patrick Arkeveld. Below Right: Ned Stringham and Alissa Harper from luncheon sponsor Inside Real Estate.

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2019 Real Estate CEO Exchange Sponsors DIAMOND LEVEL Homes.com Real Estate Webmasters

PLATINUM LEVEL Inside Real Estate

MASTER LEVEL American Home Shield Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Century 21® Deluxe Branded Marketing ERA Real Estate HSA Home Warranty National Association of REALTORS® Quicken Loans Realty ONE Group Zillow Group Lone Wolf Technologies

HOST LEVEL Buyside Create for the Human HGAR Institute for Luxury Home Marketing Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® New Jersey REALTORS® NYSAR Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® Real Estate Express realtor.com® Realtors Property Resource®

EVENT LEVEL ActivePipe Adwerx Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate CoreLogic Earnnest HMS Home Warranty Howard Hanna Real Estate Services Local Logic MoxiWorks NYC Real Estate Expo PlanOmatic Propertybase REality REBAC Rental Beast Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting

Photos by Korin Krossber of PlanOmatic

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THE VOICE OF THE AAPI COMMUNITY AREAA is dedicated to promoting sustainable homeownership opportunities in the AAPI communities by creating a powerful national voice for housing and real estate professionals that ser ve this dynamic market. Find out more about AREAA visit areaa.org

Follow us around the web /areaa.national

/areaa

/areaanational


{Business Building}

The Key Question to Ask: ‘Are You Coachable?’ by Adam Contos

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ne of the best business books I read this past summer was “Trillion Dollar Coach,” about the life and impact of Bill Campbell, a Silicon Valley legend who influenced the careers and businesses of some of the greats—Jobs, Zuckerberg, Bezos, Sandberg, and many others. At multiple worldclass companies, Bill was involved in hiring senior-level executives. In finding the industry’s best leaders and top performers, the question he valued most was this one: “Are you coachable?”

THE DRIVE TO DO MORE Keep in mind that Bill—a college football coach earlier in his career—was interviewing very accomplished, highly credentialed individuals. And that’s what makes the question so fascinating. By asking about coachability, he was essentially saying to these world-class pros: “I understand you’re excellent at what you do, but I need to know if you’re driven to learn and grow even more.” If the applicant said yes, he or she moved forward in the hiring process, but if the answer was no, the appli-

cant was clearly not a good fit for the culture these firms wanted to have. That resonates with me. A lot.

LOOK FOR IT If you’re building a real estate brand, brokerage or team, you may want to consider the impact of “coachability” among your teammates, recruits and hires. “Coachable” is an interesting word to unpack. Although I know firsthand the invaluable influence of coaches and mentors in my life, I don’t view “coachability” in a literal way. That is, I think people can be coachable without the involvement of a literal coach. I see coachability as simply being open to constant learning, ongoing improvement, honest feedback and productive accountability.

GREAT THINGS HAPPEN If you embrace those sorts of ideas, you’re the type of person I’d want on my team. And here’s why. Because when you assemble a group of people who are passionate about continual growth and improvement, great things happen. The group creates an energy built on mutual accountability, collective motivation and enthusiastic support, with everyone striving to accomplish more. Think of the difference made when someone commits to a running club or workout group. The members expect each other to show up and participate. They lift each other’s performance. But it’s only effective if everyone involved has a coachable mindset. In business, it translates into sharing ideas and best practices, and into group members celebrating each other’s accomplishments and lifting each other higher. CREATING ENVIRONMENT There’s a multiplier effect, and I see it in action every day—in real estate mastermind groups, private Facebook groups, in brokerages, and at my office. Coachable people coming together to create an environment that benefits and supports them all. Some of the participants are newer to the business. They’re learning while also providing their own brand of coaching by adding fresh ideas and different perspectives. Others, like the candidates Bill was interviewing, are experienced pros who are smart enough to know they can always learn more and always do better. It starts with being coachable, and it leads to amazing results. RE

Adam Contos is CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. For more information, please visit www.remax.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 67


Insurance Plans and Wellness Products to Help REALTORS® Round Out Their Health Coverage by the National Association of REALTORS®’ REALTOR Benefits® Program Team

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his is the heart of open enrollment season: Now is the time to be evaluating overall health insurance coverage options. REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace is here to help. This insurance shopping site is just for members

of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), and it’s designed to simplify the process of choosing insurance plans and health coverage solutions.

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Through REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace, NAR members can find competitive quotes from top-rated insurance companies, compare plans, buy policies and get personalized help from licensed enrollment specialists. As members review their annual health insurance and wellness product options, they should take into consideration that in addition to their overall health coverage, there are other wellness plans that could help complete their health plan. Protecting Dental Health Oral health is closely linked to overall health. Since 2011, NAR’s REALTORS®Dental Insurance offering has brought strong dental coverage with great group rates to NAR members and their families nationwide. There are three dental care plans from which to choose—Platinum, Gold and Value—and NAR members receive 100-percent preventive dental benefits when using in-network providers. These plans cover more than 370 procedures. Dental insurance can really pay off. “Without the 100-percent preventive coverage, we would have


paid $650 for full panoramic X-rays,” says REALTOR® Dawn M. Carpenter, CPM(R) from New York. For those who choose the Platinum and Gold plans, there are also bonus benefits, including coverage for orthodontia and cosmetic procedures, and dental rewards—a valuable feature that allows qualifying plan members to carry over part of their unused annual maximum. REALTORS® Dental Insurance plans are underwritten by Ameritas Group, a division of Ameritas Life Insurance Company. Ameritas is rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. Learn more at NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/Dental.

TIP: Those with existing coverage under another dental plan can enroll in a REALTORS® Dental Insurance Plan and receive carryover credit for meeting waiting periods. Clear Sight REALTORS® Vision Insurance was introduced in 2015 to help members further round out their coverage options. The plan offers PPO and non-PPO options. Both provide competitive rates and include annual eye exam benefits plus savings on frames, lenses and contact lenses for NAR members and their family members. The Premier PPO Vision Plan has a preferred network: EyeMed Select—seeing in-network eye-care professionals can reduce out-of-pocket costs. With more than 42,000 providers nationwide, this preferred network allows NAR members to reduce out-of-pocket costs by visiting in-network eye care professionals. Benefits include a frame allowance, an additional discount on items not covered by the plan, and discounts on LASIK or PRK procedures. With Freedom of Choice, the nonPPO plan, NAR members may visit the eye care professional of their choice and receive reimbursement from Ameritas Group, the underwriter

ACA, Medicare Open Enrollment Open enrollment is on now. REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace gives NAR members access to both the private Members Health Insurance Exchange, offering ACA plans from top-rated insurance carriers, and the private Members Medicare Exchange. Licensed benefit specialists offer complimentary assistance. Major Medical Open Enrollment: Nov. 1 - Dec. 31, 2019 Medicare Open Enrollment: Oct. 15 - Dec. 7, 2019 NAR members must provide their NRDS ID number to view rates. The REALTOR Benefits®Program is the exclusive member benefits program of the National Association of REALTORS®, bringing savings and special offers just for NAR members. In one year, more than 800,000 REALTORS® gained an edge by leveraging at least one REALTOR Benefits® Program offering, saving $63 million on member benefits from industry-leading companies. Program partners are carefully selected and understand the unique needs of real estate professionals. Learn more and save by visiting NAR.realtor/ RealtorBenefits.

for REALTORS®Vision Insurance. Additional perks include coupons, promotional discounts, negotiated prices within the plan and an additional 15-percent discount on frames and lenses at Walmart Vision Center nationwide. “I love REALTORS® Vision Insurance for its affordability, great coverage and the ability to go to such a wide range of providers,” comments REALTOR® Kirbi Smith, GRI from Georgia. Learn more at NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/Vision.

Telemedicine Delivers Savings, Convenience Telemedicine is one of the hottest trends in digital medicine, and this innovative healthcare solution is now available to REALTORS®. Members Telehealth is another example of the many health solutions available for REALTORS® through REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace. It is a great complement in addition to health insurance plans a member might already have. This unique member benefit provides an efficient, cost-effective way to address non-emergency medical conditions without stepping foot in a doctor’s office.

Members TeleHealth provides access to U.S. board-certified physicians 24/7/365 via telephone, smartphone or tablet app, web chat, or email—all made possible through MDLIVE, a leading telehealth provider. It’s a great way to potentially reduce out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Using this service removes long waits and eliminates the cost associated with potentially unnecessary visits to the ER or Urgent Care. By using this service, members can quickly address medical issues in-between business appointments, when they’re on vacation and can’t see their regular doctor, or anytime they wish to quickly consult with a medical professional. The average length of time from booking to appointment is approximately 22 minutes, and common medical issues treated include allergies, asthma, cold, flu, fever, headaches, stress, rashes, diarrhea, joint aches, urinary tract infections, vomiting, infections, nausea, pink eye, sore throat, depression, and more. RE

Learn more at NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits/MembersTelehealth. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 69


{Strategies} Nurturing Contacts and Building Trust One Email at a Time EMAIL MARKETING SOLUTION ACTIVEPIPE ENSURES THAT CALIFORNIA BROKERAGE NEVER MISSES AN OPPORTUNITY by Keith Loria

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hen Andy Jolls, COO at Vista Sotheby’s International Realty, which has eight offices throughout California, first learned about ActivePipe, he was impressed that there was an email marketing solution for real estate professionals that provided the important customer insights that agents, REALTORS® and brokers were looking for. “As a Sotheby’s affiliate, we were previously using a different supplier, their recommended email marketing platform at the time, but it had its limitations on how to develop email campaigns,” explains Jolls. “We were also having trouble with the actual campaign falling into junk or spam filters, so we were on the lookout for a different product, and we were looking for a different CRM solution for our agents. The people we were talking to at the time recommended ActivePipe.” The difference was noticed straight away, says Jolls. “ActivePipe has been really progressive about avoiding that type of situation. They look at why it happened, in addition to things they can change on both the domain and email level to prevent it from happening again.” Within the first few minutes of the ActivePipe demonstration, Jolls notes that it was the best real estate marketing platform he had ever seen. “From an administration standpoint, the ease of putting together an email that looked sharp and would get attention from the reader was a big factor,” says Jolls. “Some of the other solutions are a little more difficult in terms of putting an email together, and in real estate, it’s all about ease of use.” Additionally, Jolls was impressed with ActivePipe’s ability to connect to the brokerage so that they could quickly and easily get announcements about listings or open houses out from the broker level. “The reporting that ActivePipe provides on viewership and readership statistics was presented in an active format, which we weren’t getting before,” says Jolls. “There’s some sort of artificial intelligence where they rate the contact and whether they’re a likely consumer going forward.”

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Vista Sotheby’s International Realty launched with ActivePipe in the beginning of August, and the company provided group and online-based training for the firm’s agents. ActivePipe’s David Greenbaum has been the lead account manager, working closely with the firm to rectify any problems and help with training. Available whenever needed, this has created a very strong partnership that Jolls believes will continue well into the future. “Not only are they helping us get going on the platform, but they’re very supportive on an ongoing basis in order to get the highest readership possible on all the emails going out,” adds Jolls. In its first month with ActivePipe, the firm sent more than 1 million emails, and that number is expected to be similar in the months ahead. One way the platform has already been used successfully? Any new listing acquired by the firm is sent out to a database of nearly 60,000 real estate agents in California. Previously, the firm was seeing a less than desirable readership rate, but by using ActivePipe, that number has improved by 400 percent. “It’s a similar story with the open house emails we send out as a brokerage for anything scheduled for the upcoming weekend,” adds Jolls. There’s also a monthly newsletter that Vista Sotheby’s International Realty provides for each agent’s client base, and those readership numbers are well above what they were before. “We’re getting the most eyeballs as possible on these properties, which is helping everyone,” concludes Jolls. For more information, please visit https://activepipe.com.

Creating Lasting Client Relationships PROTECTING YOUR CLIENTS WITH AMERICAN HOME SHIELD® by Zoe Eisenberg

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s a real estate professional, creating and maintaining client relationships is the pinnacle for success, so meeting the needs of your clients should always be top of mind—from the beginning of a transaction until long after the sale. For many agents, building these relationships


is not only necessary, but enjoyable. For Sharon S. Brown with Crye-Leike, REALTORS®, building lifelong relationships one transaction at a time is the most rewarding aspect of the job. “I love the service aspect of this industry,” says Brown, a Tennessee-based broker who has been in the real estate industry for over eight years, “from helping that buyer who thought the American Dream was impossible to that seller that needs to relocate to care for their parents.” One way Brown works to create lasting relationships is by educating her clients about the benefits associated with home warranty protection, such as those offered by American Home Shield (AHS®). “It helps them enjoy the home,” says Brown, who explains that the home warranty not only increases enjoyment, but also decreases client worry and offers a sense of security— especially for first-time buyers. “As a buyer, it’s hard to determine if items in the home were properly serviced or maintained prior to purchase,” says Brown. To help her clients feel more confident in purchasing a home, she educates buyers on the benefits of a home warranty. “The warranty helps with budgeting in the first year,” explains Brown, who notes that purchasing the home warranty can mean less money spent on repairs for a buyer that has limited funds after the purchase of a home. The home warranty not only offers clients an added level of comfort, but it also helps build both the trust and confidence that are critical for long-lasting client relationships. Brown learned of the value offered by an AHS home warranty at the very start of her real estate career, and in addition to the coverage the home warranty offers, she appreciates the 30-day service warranty AHS offers on repaired items, and notes that her clients have been impressed by how responsive and knowledgeable the AHS team has been. “I love the fact that my local AHS Account Executive is always a phone call or text away,” says Brown. “Having a home warranty available from a company that cares helps me rest a little better after the sale.” In addition to the excellent coverage and the 30-day service warranty, Brown’s clients also frequently utilize AHS’ seasonal HVAC tune-ups, as well as the locksmith rekey option. The rekey service sends a qualified locksmith to a buyer’s house to change the locks and provide new house keys so that buyers can feel safe and secure in their new home.

For more information, please visit www.ahs.com/realestate.

Simplifying and Digitizing Real Estate Transactions LONE WOLF TEAMS WITH EARNNEST TO PROVIDE A FULLY ELECTRONIC EARNEST MONEY DEPOSIT PROCESS by Keith Loria

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n September, Cambridge, Ontario-based Lone Wolf Technologies (“Lone Wolf”)—with additional offices in Dallas, Texas; London, Ontario; and Fraser, Mich.—entered a strategic partnership with Earnnest, a software platform that allows buyers to electronically transfer funds directly to an escrow holder’s account, with the goal of simplifying the transaction experience for Lone Wolf’s 1 million-plus agent customer base, who manage their real estate transactions in Lone Wolf software.

“Earnnest has a great product, built atop a scalable and proven architecture,” says Jason Cheverton, director of Ecosystem at Lone Wolf. “From our first discussion, it was clear that they were poised to disrupt the market and that they were just as focused on the customer experience as we were. Together, we have an opportunity to truly improve the transaction process.” Lone Wolf serves more than 1.3 million real estate professionals across Canada and the U.S., offering an ecosystem of technology products designed to simplify the entire transaction process, including software for back-office and transaction management. Earnnest in 2019 alone has securely moved millions in funds for homebuyers throughout America, and is connected to more than 12,000 financial institutions. Cheverton explains that with this Earnnest strategic partnership, each element of the Lone Wolf ecosystem now enables brokerages, agents, MLSs and associations to operate more efficiently, reduce costs and increase opportunities for profitability. Cheverton is responsible for curating high-value and innovative partnerships that improve the transaction experience for Lone Wolf’s customers, and found this to be an opportunity the company couldn’t pass up. The partnership came about after Lone Wolf looked at ways to make things better and easier for their customers. “In discussing process challenges with our customers,

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Lone Wolf identified the hassle of making earnest money deposits as the largest pain point to agents and their customers,” says Cheverton. “The ability to seamlessly connect buyers with escrow holders from within Lone Wolf transaction management software is a huge valueadd for our customers and their clients.” Now, Earnnest’s product enables Lone Wolf’s customers to securely connect, via Lone Wolf solutions, buyers and escrow holders. The way the platform works couldn’t be easier. Lone Wolf’s agents simply select the escrow recipient and then initiate an invite to their client directly from Lone Wolf software. The buyer can then log into their preferred bank and complete the transaction. The entire process takes only a few minutes. “We’re elated to add this amazing platform to our curated technology ecosystem,” says Cheverton. “This ecosystem now includes integrated solutions and services for front office, websites, CRM, moving, home inspections and secure online earnest payments.” With the Earnnest partnership, Lone Wolf agents no longer have to hand-deliver a paper check, and because the system has a proprietary way of using ACH transfers, the threat of wire fraud is mitigated. “The ease of use was one of the major contributing factors in selecting Earnnest as our first EMD partner,” explains Cheverton. “It takes a few minutes and a couple steps to onboard escrow holders. Once connected, escrow holders will be available to all of Lone Wolf’s customers as an escrow recipient.” The partnership brings the entire transactional process online in one connected system—from the moment the first form is created to the day money goes to escrow and beyond. For more information, please visit www.earnnest.com.

Connecting With Transaction-Ready Consumers HOMES.COM HELPS NEW JERSEY REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL BUILD A SOLID REPUTATION by John Voket

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ohn Roderick came to the real estate field a little over three years ago and has built a solid reputation across three New Jersey counties as a responsive and reliable agent to dozens of residential and rental clients. 72 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

A growing number of those clients came to know, contract with, and refer Roderick over the past year after connecting with him through Homes.com Rental Connect and Local Connect. After increasing frustration with other lead generation services that were keen to over-promise and under-deliver, Roderick finally decided to invest in Homes.com. “I got tired of [other companies] jacking up the rates. Then I found Homes.com. The pricing was right, and the leads were really good,” says Roderick, who goes on to explain that the quality of his Homes.com leads are better than the competition. “In 11 months, I’ve closed 20 deals, 11 of which have been rentals and nine of which have been sales,” says Roderick. “Year-to-date, I’ve closed 33 deals, and close to 60 percent are from Homes.com leads. There are also a number of others that I’m ready to close on, as well.” A resident of Morris Plains, Roderick decided to make his hometown his first Homes.com City Sponsor investment. And thanks to the extremely economical rates he’s paying, Roderick can combine his Rental Connect and Local Connect presence to ensure he’s getting noticed by virtually everyone coming to Homes.com looking to rent, buy or sell across nearly a dozen different New Jersey communities. “Subscribing to these areas isn’t super expensive,” notes Roderick. “In fact, I used to pay $4,000 a month for leads with [another service]. With Homes.com, I’m paying one-tenth of that amount and getting better leads.” From a user perspective, Roderick is also thrilled about the client service he continues to receive from the Homes.com team. “There was one point where I was having some temporary technical problems and I wasn’t getting all the lead distribution I was supposed to, and Homes.com got right in and fixed the problem,” says Roderick. While Roderick grows his business and helps support his team with Homes.com leads, he’s also developing a modest coaching practice. And he’s not shy about sending coaching clients straight to his Homes.com rep to help get them off to a productive start. “I’m referring my coaching clients to my Homes.com rep at least twice a month,” says Roderick, who finds the rental leads to be just as good as the buyer leads— and maybe even better. As Roderick approaches his one-year mark with a number of his Rental Connect clients, he’s already assisted one looking to buy a home. “That relocation client found me from Colorado, and I helped him with a rental. A short time later, he reached out to say he was staying, and he just bought a $575,000 house,” says Roderick. “As a result of my investment with Homes.com, I’ve


got so much business coming in that I’m keeping my entire team of five very happy,” concludes Roderick. For more information, please visit https://marketing.homes.com/.

Committed to Giving Back to the Community COMMUNITY-MINDED REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS FIND BIG VALUE IN QUICKEN LOANS by Keith Loria

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ike Pappas, president and CEO of The Keyes Company, with 50-plus offices and more than 3,000 real estate agents selling over $5.3 billion of real estate annually in South Florida, is a third-generation owner of the firm along with his brother.

While there’s been no shortage of success for the firm over the years, Pappas notes that the organization’s commitment to giving back to the communities they serve is just as important as the accolades they’ve received. “Community service has been a 93-year core value of our company, and we match financially the commitment of our associates to charitable organizations,” says Pappas, who explains that the firm has supported more than 50 initiatives within the last year alone. For example, the Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC) supporting the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is its flagship cause. The Keyes Company has raised more than $750,000 over the past seven years for the DCC, with close to 200 participants annually. The firm also hosts an annual golf tournament fundraiser to support its DCC efforts. In addition, every year, The Keyes Company’s NextGen team partners with Move For Hunger, where they collect 12,000 pounds of food through the branch network. “We also offer this service to every seller who may be discarding the food in their home for a move, which then supports the needy,” says Pappas. But it doesn’t end there. In fact, the firm also supports an underprivileged school in Overtown, in addition to lending a hand and filling backpacks with supplies for needy children at the beginning of the school year for a variety of schools in the area. “When the community thrives, we thrive,” says Pappas, who points to their longstanding partnership with Quick-

en Loans as an integral piece of the puzzle when it comes to supporting the community. “Homeownership is the foundation of the American Dream and enhances the participation for community involvement and engagement,” says Pappas. “Quicken Loans makes it easy for the customer to qualify for a loan. The process highlights serious buyers, and their handoff to us is seamless.” Jason Mitchell, who founded the Jason Mitchell Group in 2006—a nationwide referral real estate team operating in 11 markets—also serves as a national real estate consultant for Quicken Loans, a company he’s been partnering with for more than a decade. “Last year we hit $300 million in sales volume, and this year, we are on pace for $600 million,” says Mitchell, who has been the No. 1 agent in the state of Arizona for three years consecutively. “We built our model around servicing clients. We carved out a niche by being able to run referrals at a high level for people like Quicken Loans who have clients that want trusted partners to work with them in the field.” The Jason Mitchell Group has closed approximately 1,500 transactions with Quicken Loans, with more than 700 in 2019 alone. In addition to providing great service, the company is also a big believer in helping out the communities they serve. “To us, real estate still has a local presence, so it’s important that the public understands that we aren’t here just to service their needs, but to be part of the community and have a high level of involvement, especially here in Phoenix,” says Mitchell. “We work with different organizations and charities and do a lot of things around the holidays.” Last year, Mitchell donated more than $25,000 in toys to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and the company held a big food drive for local food banks. “It’s so important to me that others are taken care of,” says Mitchell. “Quicken Loans is the same way. They’re a giving company and a great partner.” Since 2010, Quicken Loans has directly contributed $150 million to community organizations and programming. In addition, its team members have spent more than 630,000 hours volunteering in the neighborhoods where they live, work and play. RE

For more information, please visit www.RealEstate.QuickenLoans.com or call (866) 718-9842. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 73


Data Services Driving Positive Change for Brokers Commentary by Amy Gorce

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ur industry has experienced a turning point with data management. Operating brokerages that have adopted the new RESO® (Real Estate Standards Organization) standards for the delivery of data from their multiple listing organizations understand the enormous benefits. Unfortunately, new data service platforms have struggled to become available in every market. Brokerage firms and their technology partners are living the tale of two cities, gaining advantages in some areas, but lagging behind in others.

For decades, industry pundits and technologists alike have discussed the idea of a national MLS. Regardless of the perception of benefits, the reality is that the national theory fails. The great wisdom that has emerged from the discussion is the pursuit of national data standards that can make MLS data great again. RESO has created and delivered on the data standards, and the National Association of REALTORS® has supported the standards with an MLS policy that mandates adoption by association-owned MLSs. The big flaw in the strategy was the uniform adoption of the standards. Given the goal of sameness, what has happened has fallen short. Like other technology vendors who service the local multiple listing organization, CoreLogic commenced efforts to deploy a data portal for 74 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

brokers and technology partners to access the RESO standardized data. Trestle™, CoreLogic’s portal, was launched in 2015 and now serves our Matrix® markets, as well as 14 other MLS markets that use other MLS system providers. The thinking behind Trestle follows a thesis of broker entitlement to assure data rights. We roll all data markets together into Trestle, but brokers are restricted through entitlement to only consume data for the markets where they’re a participant. The second big idea of Trestle is payload normalization. Even though RESO standards are the same in their scope with the field names and field enumerations, every market starts out with a dataset that’s different from any other market. In years past, the broker or technology partner needed to invest in custom mapping to every market, then process the data to normalize it for an application like your broker or agent websites. Trestle took the bold step of doing that work for brokers and their technology partners. Trestle delivers a standard payload regardless of the market the broker is entitled to access. This is also an enormous benefit to the technology companies. Has it ever taken days or weeks to

process data agreements between you, your MLS and your technology vendor? Trestle has taken a crack at fixing this dilemma also. The Trestle solution offers you or your vendors a contract management system that enables you to complete the application and submit it to all parties for digital signatures and routing. This has taken the pain out of contract management for everyone.

WE ADDED A TWIST There are just over 600 MLSs in the country, and Trestle is available in more than 120 of them today. MLS executives share information about the success of their RESO compliance and the delivery of the new data solutions that improve these services for you. Based upon feedback from the marketplace, CoreLogic is now offering Trestle for any market in America. Many MLS markets offer multiple solutions, ensuring that brokers and technology providers can choose the solution that’s right for them. We can add Trestle to any market solution like FlexMLS®, Rapattoni®, Black Knight® or any other system. The best part is that we will install Trestle into your market for free. If you have a market where data services could be improved, please invite your MLS to contact us about Trestle. #TrestleForEveryone RE CORELOGIC, the CoreLogic logo, MATRIX and TRESTLE are trademarks of CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders. In Canada, the trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Services® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. CoreLogic is not a member of CREA, but is authorized to provide certain services to CREA’s members.

Amy Gorce is principal, Business Development at CoreLogic®. For more information, please visit www.corelogic.com.


Finding a Committed Property Data Vendor

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re you looking for a new property data partner? Do you know what questions to ask in order to find the best solution for your organization?

That’s the situation that the Central Oregon Association of REALTORS® (COAR) faced when they began researching their first-ever tax data platform. They selected two solutions to investigate further, and ultimately decided on CRS Data.

ASSESS YOUR NEEDS: AN ALL-IN-ONE SOLUTION, OR BEST-IN-CLASS? First, your organization needs to decide what type of solution it wants. Do you want a dedicated tax system, or a solution with multiple functionalities, including property data?

76 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

by Liz Dominguez

For COAR, the choice was simple. “There are two models of vendors in this industry,” says Casie Conlon, COAR’s CEO. “You’re either trying to be everything to everyone, or you’re trying to do one thing well, and I personally lean toward the people that want to do one thing well.” So why did COAR choose CRS Data? “I think that CRS Data is trying to be the best at one thing instead of being the best at 50 different things, and I like those types of partners. I would rather vendors focus on the one thing I’ve contracted with them to do, to do it the absolute best it can be done, and to do the best for my members,” adds Conlon.

WHAT DO THE TAX SYSTEM’S UPTIME/DOWNTIME STATS LOOK LIKE? The best solution is one that your members use, and if your property data platform is always down, no one’s go-


ing to use it—which means you’re paying for nothing. Ask any vendor you’re evaluating what their uptime/downtime ratio is like. Be wary of any company that won’t provide a straight answer. “We heard a lot about the other platform we were looking at being down,” says Conlon. “We’ve never had any downtime since integrating with CRS Data.”

WHERE DOES THE DATA COME FROM? Does the tax vendor you’re researching get their data from third parties, or directly from your local county? Data that comes directly from the source tends to be more accurate, more recent and better for the REALTOR® who ultimately uses the data to do their job. “One of the things I’m constantly looking at when I’m evaluating vendors is where they’re getting data from and where they’re sending data to,” says Conlon. “If they can’t give me a good answer on where the data is coming from or where it’s going, that’s not really a company I want to do business with.” In addition to asking where the data comes from, be sure to ask each vendor what their process is like for correcting inaccurate data. “When we were looking at the different platforms, one of the things that really impressed us was CRS Data’s willingness to come out and work with local counties to get data online if it wasn’t available in the format they needed,” explains Conlon. CAN WE CUSTOMIZE THE SYSTEM? “When you’re working with vendors for MLS systems or even REALTOR®associations, a lot of times what you get is what you get, and they’re not willing to customize all that much,” says Conlon. “That’s because their product is being offered to clients around the country, so if they make one change here, it could affect things systemwide for other MLSs.” Considering the varying rules, names and situations in locales across the country, that can be a real problem for a tax platform. “Different parts of the country might call the plat map one thing, and other parts of the country call it something else,” notes Conlon. Ask your vendor if they’re able to customize your system to match your local needs and vernacular, as this will help reduce confusion among your members and make things easier to use. “I was surprised at CRS Data’s willingness to help us customize the system, which is another thing I really like about them,” says Conlon. “CRS Data is willing to get the data in a format that my members can understand, and they’re willing to customize the things that my members see to make it as user-friendly as possible.” CRS Data was also willing to undertake complicated

“I was surprised at CRS Data’s willingness to help us customize the system, which is another thing I really like about them. CRS Data is willing to get the data in a format that my members can understand, and they’re willing to customize the things that my members see to make it as user-friendly as possible.” – CASIE CONLON CEO, COAR

customizations for COAR. “I have a very random scenario with an unincorporated city in my MLS that’s governed by an HOA, which is probably unlike anywhere else in the country,” says Conlon. “The property owners use a different address than what’s in county records. It’s a different address than 911 uses. It’s a different address than the internet company uses. CRS Data has offered to work on a way to customize a commonly known address field so that members can see it. It’s a very small community, but CRS Data was willing to work with us to help those local members get the most out of the system.”

WHAT’S THE SERVICE AND SUPPORT LIKE? A property data system is going to see heavy use from your members, and as a partnership that will presumably last years, it’s important that your vendors offer robust service and support options. “I want companies that have a dedicated staffperson,” says Conlon. “Having support for any members that are trying to troubleshoot the system is also key.” Training for members is also important. After all, REALTORS® who don’t understand how to navigate a new solution are less likely to use it. Evaluate if your members need in-person training, webinars or a combination of both. “I know I can contact CRS Data anytime, and they’re really great if there’s a data discrepancy (which are few and far between) or other issue. It all gets handled promptly,” says Conlon. CRS Data also offered COAR members in-person training for launch, and currently hosts periodic on-site sessions, as well. “Our CRS Data rep has gone out to all of our different communities for training,” says Conlon. “That’s something I really appreciate in our partnership with CRS Data—that they’re willing to do that.” RE To learn more about CRS Data, please visit CRSData.com.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 77


How Tech Is Driving a Culture Shift for Real Estate Agents Commentary by Allen Alishahi

Nov 1 - $2000 Schedule Payment

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s real estate gets more deeply entwined with technology, we’re starting to see the waves of change reach consumers and fundamentally alter their expectations for what types of services a real estate agent or brokerage should provide. Long gone are the days of listing books and driving around town to get documents signed. Now it’s all about adding value through a broader variety of services. It isn’t all about the listing anymore. While it seems as though homes or other types of properties are at the very core of the real estate industry, anyone who has spent a few decades working in this business will tell you that it begins with the financial picture. As The Economist reported last December, 44 percent of mortgages are now provided by lenders that are not banks, which is up from 9 percent in 2009. The rise of non-bank lenders has exploded in the past 10 years, bringing with it an equally large increase in the number and variety of mortgage products available. Lenders of all types have had to come up with an entirely new set of offerings to stay competitive—and real estate agents have found that clients are coming 78 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

to them for mortgage advice just as much as property advice. Those who find themselves ahead of the game have spent time researching the different types of mortgages available and the pros and cons of each. An interesting side note when it comes to millennials, especially ones who are going to have a mortgage for the very first time, is that the online interface with the lender is almost as important to them as getting a good interest rate. Spending much of their time online, they have very exacting standards when it comes to a smooth, streamlined experience. When they ask which bank is easier to deal with, what they’re really asking about is which lender has a website that lets them schedule payments easily and access all

the information they want in just a few clicks.

It isn’t all about location anymore. Real estate agents have typically carved out their niche based on geography—either by being local experts that specialize in certain neighborhoods or types of properties specific to a location. While this isn’t going to disappear entirely, with the numerous technological tools now available, agents are able to make a profit in more niches without overextending themselves. Years ago, it would have been considered unusual for an agent to specialize in properties that are completely different from one another, but it has since become the norm. This is largely a result of social media and the now-accepted practice of having multiple facets of a person’s life intersect in the same semi-public forum. While the culture shift started within the arena of friends and family, it quickly spilled over into the professional realm as companies and individuals started to rely on social platforms to promote themselves. The many changes that have come to the real estate industry have now reached far into the hearts and minds of consumers, changing the way they think, feel and interact with agents and brokers. I’ve been a broker for over 30 years and co-founded a tech start-up to address many of the inefficiencies within our industry. Both of these experiences have shown me how once technology takes hold, it has a ripple effect far beyond its original goal. In the case of real estate, it’s going to allow us to broaden our horizons and provide a suite of services to consumers beyond what we ever have before. RE

Allen Alishahi is president of ShelterZoom. For more information, please visit www.shelterzoom.com.


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What does your current Foresight Is 2020: process look like? 1. Think about recruiting, retention, or budgeting and how 3 Questions Brokers Must Ask investments your company currently addresses these goals. Consider all the assets Before the Eleventh Hour involved: policies, assumptions, actual workflow. Now, take the time to reflect. Are any of these processes becoming old-fashioned, redundant or obsolete?

Commentary by Bill Yaman

2.

What external opposition have you been facing in 2019? Perhaps you’ve seen profit loss due to changes in the market, local effects, new technologies/services or even competing to retain your own agents. Which of these forces are the strongest, putting the most pressure on your company?

D

espite the historic speed of year-over-year declines in both foreclosure and unemployment rates in the U.S., whispers among our industry tell a tale that we’re all feeling anxious of what 2020 could bring. A presidential election year is known to only have a macroeconomic effect on residential real estate. Multiple studies show that the biggest correlations the housing market typically sees during a presidential election year are slight drops in home value appreciation and inventory. While that can add up to statistically significant numbers, local markets won’t feel this pain as severely or even at all. However, for broker/owners, there are concerns for the upcoming year that will affect other aspects of our business, including concerns that affect consumer confidence. Take a look at CRE’s (The Counselors of Real Estate®) list of 2019 - 2020 issues affecting real estate: neglected infrastructure; climate change and weather-related phenomena; and affordable housing across all income levels. These are going to be influencers of brokerage busi-

ness, not just key political debate topics. Fear or worry about how a new administration will address these woes may cause some business owners to become reluctant to make changes—choosing rather to “wait it out” when reviewing their spending. An election year is not an excuse to miss out on opportunities for growth. Your competitors are challenging you because there’s something in your current practice that needs fixing. Success in 2020 will come from innovative solutions transcending these challenges.

THE THREE QUESTIONS Even though we can see the threats, how do brokers take action ahead of next year’s concerns? Innovation. You can be a catalyst for innovation in your company, in your team, in your relationships. The following three questions can guide you as you plan for 2020:

3.

What are you going to do about it? This is where the innovation happens. Look at the internal disruptions in question one and the external disruptions in question two. Brainstorm ideas that can solve internal and external disruptors for your brokerage. We all know there’s no silver bullet to running a brokerage successfully. This process and these innovations are unique to your company and your agents. By addressing these disruptions now and forming a plan, your brokerage will remain successful and lucrative no matter the effects from the election year. By taking action to solve the strongest challenges your company faces, you’ll see positive returns in 2020 undeterred by market changes. RE Bill Yaman is president and chief operating officer at Imprev, a marketing automation provider for real estate. He is an empowering leader with deep experience in general management, sales and marketing, product management and business development. Learn more at www.imprev.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 81


LEAVE YOUR MARK

WHY COLDWELL BANKER’S REBRAND IS GUIDING THE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE by David Marine

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t Coldwell Banker Real Estate, our mission is all about leaving your mark. We want to empower our people to leave their mark on the world of real estate—and our mindset is to aim for the stars. Driven by a passion for progress and a hunger to push the limits of what’s possible, we view the real estate world through a different lens. We are a brand devoted to the service of our clients, the success of our network and the remarkable power of home.

82 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE


We’ve certainly made an impression over the past 113 years, and we’ve led the charge with a lot of real estate “firsts.” We were the first real estate brand with a code of ethics. The ethics at our core led us to become the first to guarantee service in writing and prove our dedication to our clients. They also led us to create a one-ofa-kind website, develop innovative international real estate apps, and, most recently, change the world of real estate though artificial intelligence and big data with the CBx Technology Suite. But what type of impression will we make for the next 100 years? Will we be a company that has gotten worse with age, or better with age? Will our mark fade, or will our recognition be stronger than ever? We want our brand to make an indelible impression on the world, and we have some exciting plans to get there. But to become a legend, you have to think like a legend. Take for example one of the world’s favorite brands. A brand that has gotten better and stronger with age and never stops innovating. Apple. Apple is an amazing company that makes people’s lives easier through

Driven by a passion for progress and a hunger to push the limits of what’s possible, Coldwell Banker views the real estate world through a different lens.

the simplicity and brilliance of their technology, and the excellent way they conduct business day after day, year after year. They showcase how to become one of the greatest, most respected and most successful brands in the world today. In fact, over the past 10 years, Apple has consistently ranked as the first or second most valuable brand in the world. But did you know that Apple

is now 42 years old? That’s right, the contemporary brand we know as Apple is actually middle-aged! While the Apple brand has been great for a very long time, it certainly ran into some bumps along the way. Twenty years ago, Apple had slowed down to the point that it was near the brink of bankruptcy. But somehow it found a way, unlike most other brands, not just to survive, but

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 83


The five-pointed star, the universal symbol of excellence, floats above the CB initials and represents the North Star—the only star in the galaxy that doesn’t move.

to thrive. It’s managed to go from a good company to a global force. How’d they do it? Apple knew its core values, and when it ran into difficult times, it re-established those core values. Some of their values include helping people make their lives easier, continued excellence and leading by example. Finally, Apple got stronger by acclimating with the times and making necessary changes during key points along the way. Pivotal points in Apple’s history came when they invented things like the iMac, iTunes, the iPad, and, of course, the iPhone. But before all of these things became successful products, they did something else. The Apple rainbow logo was famous—it was recognized as one of the five most iconic logos in the world, and 20 years ago, that was pivotal to the perception of the Apple brand. But in order to transform their image into a cutting-edge and sleek company, they needed a mark that better represented them. They changed their iconic logo from a rainbow to an Apple. What would have happened had they not changed their mark? Would they be where they are today? Would the products have sold as well? Not a chance. Many people loved the old Apple logo. And diehard Apple fans certainly hated the very thought of changing it. But it was without question the right move. The incredible success of the brand today makes this inarguable. Which brings us to OUR story, our core values, our ingenuity and our brand at Coldwell Banker Real Es84 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

tate. Over the years, our team has worked tirelessly to help give our affiliated agents an advantage with the industry’s top technology and unmatched learning events like the Generation Blue Experience. We’ve crafted and shaped what our brand stands for by consistently creating the most effective advertising and marketing in the real estate industry. This isn’t just puffery. It’s real and indisputable. Real innovation, programs, leadership, expansion, community causes—and very real success. According to Ace Metrix, we’ve had the highest-rated ads in real estate every year for the last seven years. Our 2017 ad remains the highestrated real estate ad of all time, placing higher in likeability than ads from Ford, Apple, Google and Budweiser during that year’s Super Bowl. In the luxury space, we’ve revamped what luxury means. The Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program is the cornerstone of luxury for the brand. The program plays a big part in the fact that affiliated agents conducted more than 30,000 million-dollar-plus home transactions last year—more than any other brand by a long shot. That level of excellence has translated into a 16 percent premium in average sales price compared to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) average. Our agent-learning programs like AMP! Achieve Maximum Productivity deliver 35 percent more closed sides* for those that participate with the class. All of this leads to more people looking for Coldwell Banker affiliated agents—we’re the most

visited real estate brand online for 2018, according to Comscore. But how do we become stronger and better than ever before? How do we get even better with age like Apple did? This past year, our marketing team was charged with clearly defining our core values and evaluating where we’ve been and where we want to go. Home. Awesomeness. Ingenuity. Excellence. Those values have always been a part of what the Coldwell Banker brand stands for. Which leads us to our mark, our brand logo…and the thousands of questions we asked ourselves about it. What’s interesting is that the idea of changing the logo didn’t come from anyone on the marketing team, at the home office or even an ad agency. It came from our network. During focus groups with brokers, we heard feedback that the logo was tired, it didn’t represent a brand that is modern and contemporary, and the real estate landscape had changed but our identity hadn’t. From our ads to our social media to our technology, we had all the qualifications to be attractive—but we needed a “new suit.” We’d redone the interior but left the outside of the house alone. After talking with brokers from our top-performing markets and hearing their request for a change to the logo, we conducted an online survey with consumers to hear their thoughts on the mark. Their opinions confirmed those of our brokers: that the existing mark seemed “dated.” So we began a creative exploration of a new, refreshed mark. Our thinking behind the new mark was to leverage the equity and familiarity of the existing mark while


making the new one more stylish and conducive to today’s media landscape. The rectangular logo was 40 years old and especially ill-suited to the platforms where consumers today are most likely to see it. We wanted a new mark that would fit as easily on a yard sign as it would into today’s square mobile and social formats. The Coldwell Banker logo has never had a distinctive visual icon attached to it, such as Nike’s famous swoosh, and unlike brands that have short, one-word names, our name is two words and 15 characters long. The previous logo had the words Coldwell Banker, as well as the letters CB interlocked in a box, all contained inside a blue rectangle. We wanted to create a mark that over time could be quickly viewed and recognized at a glance for shorthand purposes, and increasing the prominence of the interlocking C and B allowed us to do this. But in looking at the interlocking C and B on its own, we didn’t think there was enough distinction or panache to it. Enter…the star. It symbolizes two distinctive things that are completely unique to our company and our brand history. The five-pointed star is the universal symbol of excellence, and in the world of real estate, we feel strongly that no company has adhered to higher standards or innovated in the marketplace like we have. We believe we deserve to be recognized as the single-most excellent brand in real estate and the only brand deserving of this icon. But there’s more to our star than just being a symbol of excellence. Our star sits in an aspirational position above our CB initials and represents the North Star—the only star in the galaxy that doesn’t move. It’s always there, guiding us home. For 113 years, longer than any other real

estate brand on the continent, Coldwell Banker has been there guiding people home. It represents our special backstory and the uniqueness of our brand. We know we did not invent the fivepointed star, and that many famous brands incorporate a star into their logos, but no other brand in real estate has it. And we feel no brand embodies the symbol of the star like we do. One of the unique things we looked at while developing this mark wasn’t just how it looked on a yard sign or a building or a business card, but how it looked on our affiliated agents. Apple puts its logo on its products where people see it every day, and in our industry, it’s our affiliated agents and brokers who are in front of clients every day. We wanted to create a mark that looked good on them, so we focused on how to make a mark that is fashionable. Our inspiration came from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel. We looked at how our mark would appear on everything from scarves to socks, from pins to cuff links, and simple items like baseball caps and t-shirts. We also looked at how it appears when featured on other materials like wood, metal and fabric—and it looks great. To test how consumers would respond to our new logo, we conducted an online survey with 1,000 consum-

ers. After showing them our new mark, 70 percent of them said it was more stylish and sophisticated than our existing mark, and it also ranked higher for representing an innovative, cool and modern brand they want to know more about. The new mark is something our team agrees is a beautiful representation of our trusted brand. It’s something we’re all excited to share with the world. The biggest surprise on this journey has been how many of our affiliated agents and companies are clamoring to rebrand before 2020. Agents in test markets were pleased with how much input they were able to provide on the new look, and felt empowered by their newly designed offices. They are excited for a look that matches our experience, value proposition and position as a market leader—and we’re ready to execute the full rebrand and leave our mark. RE *Based on AMP! Achieve Maximum Production training course across Realogy-affiliated agents. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Visit https://blog.coldwellbanker.com/iclv for full sample methodology. To find out how you can be a part of the amazing things happening at Coldwell Banker Real Estate, visit www.coldwellbanker.com/careers. David Marine is Coldwell Banker Real Estate’s chief marketing officer. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 85


Business Planning. Do It Now Before the Holidays Hit. by the Experts at Realty ONE Group

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ost people use New Year’s Day as a time to make resolutions and dream up new, ambitious plans. But waiting until the first of the year may be too late.

While it’s true that we start thinking about the holidays and spending time with family in November, it’s also a great time to tackle your business planning for the next year. Come December, most of us are consumed with shopping and entertaining for the holidays, and we’ll be watching the ball drop in Times Square before you know it. That means the best time to start business planning is right now. Here are four things you should do to get started:

No. 1 – Set Aside the Time Business planning is one of the most important keys to your success. Sure, you can make it through the year without it, but studies show that planning for your success exponentially increases the chances that you’ll achieve it.

Because business planning is such an important factor to your continued success, you’ll want to set aside blocks of time to complete it. And you should absolutely go so far as to block it off in your calendar and find a quiet place to do it.

No. 2 – Reflect on Your Year Good, or not as great as you’d hoped, it’s important to reflect on your year and take note of the things that went well and where you could have done better. What marketing strategies worked, and which ones fell short of producing actual results? What were your learning moments? What were your big wins, and how will you repeat them next year? It’s important to not only reflect on these things, but to also write them down so you can weave them into your new year.

No. 3 – Meet With a Coach or Accountability Partner We can’t emphasize this point enough. Coaches have the experience and knowledge to fill the gaps, while accountability partners are perfect for keeping you focused and motivated. If not both, you should at least have one of these in your corner to help you design a plan for the new year and determine what strategies and tactics will have you celebrating next December. No. 4 – Outline Your New Goals Get started. Business planning can seem like a daunting task, and if that’s the case, we recommend creating an outline to get you going. This could include your marketing and financial goals, as well as both the new and old strategies you’ll use to get there. Once the outline is complete, you may feel more confident about the process and ready to get after it. RE Realty ONE Group is hosting a network-wide business planning session this month for its franchise owners. It’s one of many reasons entrepreneurs and real estate professionals are making the move to and staying with Realty ONE Group. For more information, please visit www.realtyonegroup.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 87


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How Much Is Lead Mismanagement Costing You? Commentary by Ashley Farrugia

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’ve spent the better part of the last four months at our U.S. headquarters in Austin, Texas. In addition to the invaluable opportunity of spreading knowledge across our growing team, I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with the wonderful people across the real estate industry in the U.S.

Being back in Melbourne, Australia, now, I’ve spent considerable time pondering the parallels between the industry across both countries, as well as the differences. One standout area common to both countries is the billions of dollars being invested in upfront lead generation without any commensurate or supporting investment in lead nurturing and management. Using a fall analogy, lead management is much like an acorn dropping. For every acorn (sold home) that drops, it’s accompanied by hundreds or thousands of falling leaves (leads).

Most organizations celebrate the acorn without measuring or grouping the cost of the fallen leaves. Additionally, most of these leaves are allowed to rot on the ground or be blown by the wind—often into a competitor’s yard. Our understanding is that in the U.S. alone, some 120 million leaves fell last year, for 5 million-odd acorns at a cost of approximately $6 billion across the industry. With these numbers expected to keep growing year-over-year, it’s imperative that investment is made in tools that help harvest these falling leaves in order to ensure that they don’t rot or blow into someone

else’s yard. For every lead, there’s a “kernel” of specific interest. It may just be a “first exploratory” into the market pending a much longer period of discovery, or it may be a genuine and immediate need to “plant or replant.” Regardless of the lead’s stage, to generate a meaningful return on investment, every lead should be embraced, nurtured and guided through a funnel that results in a transaction across the short or long term. The required nurturing and guidance have been made easy by the advent of technology. Automated systems now act as your personal gardener, raking in the falling leaves and assessing their imminence along with the degree of nurturing required so that they may become an acorn in the future (scientifically impossible...but for the sake of this analogy we’ll let it slide). With so much data being generated, it’s extremely unlikely that any particular lead is unique to your database. Those with systems that provide “first-data insight” to the imminence of a lead moving into transaction mode will have a distinct market edge, along with a means to accurately measure the ROI of lead generation—whatever the source. But the work isn’t done there. The gardener frees up your time; however, they’re still your leaves—and an agent or broker is still accountable for the results that they deliver. Systems are essential as they reduce the need for a lot of manual work, but when the time comes and the system identifies someone as being in real estate mode, you’ll need to realize the opportunity and close that acorn. RE Ashley Farrugia is the CEO of ActivePipe, a leading marketing automation platform built specifically for the real estate industry. For more information, please visit www.activepipe.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 89


Pillar To Post Home Inspectors Continues Growth and Innovation

®

by Paige Tepping

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o say it’s been a busy year for Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is to understate the year 2019 for the Tampa-based company. Aside from celebrating its 25th anniversary in January, the company ranked as the No. 1 franchise opportunity in its category by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500®. It’s the 19th year in a row for this honor, which is a pinnacle for a franchise company. “We’re thrilled to once again be recognized as the leader in our category,” says Dan Steward, president and CEO of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors. “We consider Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 to be the gold standard of the industry. 90 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

“This accomplishment is a testament to the strength of the brand, our franchisees, support team and the Pillar To Post franchise opportunity.” 2018 marked a record year for the company, including the signing of more than 60 new franchise agreements, bringing the number of franchisees to nearly 600 in the U.S. and Canada. About 30 percent of those agreements in 2018 were made through the company’s VetFran program to members of our military. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors takes great pride in their five-star status in the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program. “During 2019, we’re also seeing many new franchisees from home-related industries such as REALTORS®, former mortgage brokers, construction experts and independent home inspectors who want the power of a


national brand behind them,” adds Steward. “In 2019, we’re on course to add an additional 65 franchises. “One of the newer franchisees joining our family was an independent home inspector in the Metro Atlanta area. Kareem Mincey had worked in the industry for 20 years, but he wanted the technology and support we offered. He now heads up his own Pillar To Post Home Inspectors of Metro Atlanta. You feel like you’re part of a village if you’re in the right franchise system,” Mincey says Steward. Demetrius Payne of Norfolk, Va., decided to use his expertise and skills learned from serving in the Navy for 10 years. Payne then went on to operate a testing facility for aircraft carriers and submarines for 11 years. Ready for a new career, and with an interest in all things homerelated, Payne became a licensed REALTOR® in 2017. In September 2018, the practical Payne added a Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® franchise to round out the tremenPayne dous services he already offered to homebuyers and sellers. He credits the company’s training to his success in home inspection. At the company’s annual conference held in January, many franchisees were honored. Among them, Matt Robertie of Montgomery County, Penn., was named Rookie of the Year. The military veteran had a stellar first year in business, conducting 308 inspections. After a distinguished military career, he worked as a residential energy auditor and in sales for five Robertie years. Those experiences worked well to sharpen his business senses along with a very personable demeanor and very adept quality of relationship-building. One of Pillar To Post’s biggest advantages is their tremendous training program. They provide comprehensive training for all new franchisees during the first year of their business. Through their Foundations For Success training and business launch program, franchisees receive two weeks of in-person, instructor-led, hands-on education that covers all aspects of the technical requirements of home inspecting, as well as business operations, marketing and business management. Beyond the initial training weeks, new franchisees are instructed through continuing education mediums that include live webinars, self-paced online learning and one-on-one business coaching, all of which deepen the franchisee’s

understanding of successful business operations. All franchisee training is done with a dedicated startup director of Business Development whose sole focus is the success of each new franchisee. “Adding and welcoming new franchisees makes our system stronger. We network and innovate; that’s the strength. It’s not always easy, but it’s how we grow as professionals,” says Steward. “We want our very first franchisees to be as happy as our newest ones, and the mentoring we see among them is wonderful.” Over a span of 25 years, the company estimates that they’ve served well over three million families. What’s up next for the brand? Pillar To Post Home Inspectors has formed a new partnership with The Salvation Army to encourage homebuyers and sellers to donate unwanted goods to the charitable organization, with the proceeds from the donations going toward The Salvation Army’s innovative Real Estate for Rehabilitation program. As the No. 1 home inspection company in North America, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors has an ongoing commitment “to ensure confident homeownership and enrich the lives of the people and communities we serve,” says Stephanie Bowling, the company’s director of Marketing. “The program is very simple,” says Bowling. “If a homebuyer or seller has unwanted goods that they don’t want to move, they simply contact The Salvation Army and they will send a truck to pick up the goods.” The Salvation Army’s Real Estate for Rehabilitation program will use the proceeds from the donation to help fund 139 adult rehabilitation centers across the United States that offer free drug and rehabilitation programs. In 2017, more than 145,000 people were served by the programs, which boast a success rate that’s three times higher than traditional rehabilitation programs. A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service. Data and digital photos are input into a computerized report that’s printed and presented on site. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions. For this program, a one-page informational insert highlighting the Pillar To Post Home Inspectors/Salvation Army program will be included in every report, and the alliance will also be featured on the Pillar To Post Home Inspectors website. “We hope this program will serve as another way to differentiate ourselves as a company that’s dedicated to making a difference in the communities we serve,” says Bowling. RE

For more information, please visit www.pillartopost.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 91


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Broker Success Story: How Ruhl&Ruhl REALTORS® Found a Trusted Partner in BPP With Homesnap by Zoe Eisenberg A Q&A with Chris Beason, president of Ruhl&Ruhl REALTORS®

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f endurance is the best indicator of business success, then Ruhl&Ruhl REALTORS®may reign as America’s success champion. As a locally-owned and -operated brokerage since Abraham Lincoln was president, Ruhl&Ruhl REALTORS® has over 300 agents serving Eastern Iowa, Western Illinois and Southwest Wisconsin, and is well-known for integrity, honesty and family.

Real Estate magazine: What has

driven the longevity of your family business? Chris Beason: Ruhl&Ruhl has endured for five generations in the real estate business because of our focus: hiring and developing people who share our commitment to integrity and customer service. We found that when you care about others, behave with integrity and offer outstanding service, then you leave the people and communities you touch with a little more than they had before. To us, this is the definition of a true Midwestern family legacy—leaving the world a bit better because you helped others. RE: Ruhl&Ruhl has adapted and

grown through more than 150 years of technological innovation in real estate. What are your thoughts about the current technology landscape?

CB: It is easy to be distracted by the latest technology and make it the primary focus of your business. But for us, our priority is to uphold

the high standards of customer service established over the generations. So we embrace technology that helps our agents deliver value to our clients and build long-term, trusting relationships. That’s why we decided to work with the Broker Public Portal (brokerpublicportal.com) and its Homesnap technology. RE: Is Homesnap replac-

ing your brokerage app? Do you see it as a competing mobile app?

CB: As an independent brokerage, we don’t need to recreate a national, public-facing home search app. Instead, we are building our new app to empower the process: our lead generation, our internal transaction management, and to strengthen communications with our customers. Our app is not being designed to replace Homesnap, but to complement it. RE: Why did you choose Homesnap? CB: We wanted a trusted partner that could help us get more exposure for our listings at the national level—

and one that follows Fair Display Guidelines (fairdisplay.org), which is in the best interest of our clients. Clients are the lifeblood of our business, and just as they look for a trusted advisor, we look for the same in a technology partner. RE: Why do you support the Broker

Public Portal?

CB: It comes down to the trust in the direction and leadership of the BPP. The BPP was formed to bring transparency and fairness to consumers. That’s why we support BPP with Homesnap, and once a brokerage understands its mission, they’ll jump on board. RE: Looking ahead, what advice do you have for other brokerages? CB: I think it is imperative that we as an industry elevate the level of service and value we bring to the transaction. We need to develop knowledgeable agents who are serious about providing the best advice to clients throughout the largest and most important transaction of their lives. This was the focus of my greatgrandfather 60 years ago. He would have the same advice. This continued commitment over generations has created a culture resulting in an incredible team of agents that I would hold up against any in the country. RE For more information, please visit www.ruhlhomes.com and brokerpublicportal.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 93


Teaming Up for a Changing Landscape Better Homes Realty and La Rosa Realty Strategically Align to Meet the Demands of Today’s Real Estate Business by Maria Patterson

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ven though their firms are located

to retain their brand identities yet capitalize

in opposite corners of the U.S., it

on their synergies. Their goal? To become

didn’t take Chuck Scoble and Joe La

the brands of choice for real estate agents

Rosa long to discover that they were kindred

and to be the leaders in the “agent-centric,

spirits. They both shared core values and

consumer-first era of real estate.” In this

a business philosophy that made them

interview, we find out more about this unique

realize they could turn their similarities into

alliance, and how it’s already leading to

a strategic alliance that allows both firms

exponential growth.

94 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE


Maria Patterson: Let’s begin by finding out a bit more about your firms’ respective histories. Chuck Scoble: Better Homes Realty was founded in 1964 and was based primarily in Northern California. La Rosa Realty was founded in 2004 as a traditional real estate company, primarily serving the Central Florida market.

Joe La Rosa: In 2011, La Rosa Realty shifted from a broker-centric model to an agent-centric model of real estate, offering more tools and value to the agents while offering a 100-percent commission split. La Rosa Realty has grown quickly since 2011 and has been named one of the Top 75 Residential Real Estate Firms by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for the past three years. In 2019, we began franchising and converted several of our largest offices in Florida to franchises. Since that time, we have opened, or are about to launch (at press time), 21 other franchise locations.

MP: So how did your two companies cross paths, being on opposite ends of the country? CS: I had been watching La Rosa’s growth and reached out to Joe. We touched base and hit it off. One

Chuck Scoble, President, Better Homes Realty

thing led to another. La Rosa has an up-and-coming model and team, which has been put together very methodically.

JL: I’ve been predominantly out on the East Coast and had known about Better Homes Realty for a while. Chuck and I had a mutual friend in the business who thought we both handled our businesses in similar ways and had similar core values. He recommended that we speak, and we really enjoyed getting to know each other and sharing war stories. That eventually transitioned into, “Hey, what can we do together?”

MP: So with the strategic alliance, how many offices and agents/employees does the firm currently have? CS: Between the two brands, there are approximately 50 offices and close to 3,000 agents located in Florida, California, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia, South Carolina and Mexico. New offices are scheduled to open in Panama, Peru, Columbia, Puerto Rico and Turkey starting as early as this month (at press time).

MP: What is the goal of your strategic alliance, and what are your plans in terms of expansion? CS: The strategic alliance between

Joe La Rosa, Founder & CEO, La Rosa Realty

consumer-first era of real estate. We are committed to empowering our agents through our technology and training platforms to deliver an unparalleled customer experience. We will continue to build off of the momentum that both brands have created and continue to expand within the United States, as well as throughout the world.

MP: How will the strategic alliance be different than a merger? JL: By joining forces and creating an alliance, we’ll be able to position ourselves in the right place as the industry shifts. We’re always focused on creating opportunities for agents.

Better Homes Realty and La Rosa is very unique. La Rosa Realty and Better Homes Realty are not merging together, but joining forces to create a strategic alliance to be better prepared and positioned as our industry and way of doing business changes. Our goal by joining forces is to create a stronger alliance and foundation and to provide the tools, tech and training that our owners and agents need to thrive in the changing landscape.

CS: It’s more about tapping into the resources and systems that Joe has put together in order to benefit Better Homes Realty agents. We’ll be able to take advantage of better technology and training and systems, and that’s a huge benefit. It’s about sharing the platform that Joe has built.

JL: Our goal is to become the brands

Realty, the majority of our growth has been organic—even now, we’re converting offices into franchises

of choice for real estate agents and to be the leaders in the agent-centric,

MP: Please tell us more about how you developed the global arm of the business. Why is this an important part of your future? JL: Over the years within La Rosa

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 95


without having done a major national marketing campaign. We weren’t going to attack our international plan until mid-2020, but the moment I announced earlier this year at the Florida convention that we would become a franchise, folks within our own company immediately wanted to know how they could take advantage. Several key folks in our company wanted to know how they could bring the brand to other countries, such as Panama, Peru, Columbia and Turkey. I’m excited to understand how real estate is done in other countries. Can we come into those marketplaces with our agent-centric model and be a disruptor?

MP: How is your agent-centric model different than others? JL: Everybody is following the headlines over the last few years and shifting from a broker-centric to agent-

The company’s technology services allow agents to work smarter, not harder.

96 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

centric model, offering 100-percent commission. But you have to break it down. Are there hidden fees and costs? There are multiple reasons why agents will hang a license with a broker: technology, education, culture and also value. We give agents the most value by offering a true business in a box. A complete package with a full menu of items so that agents can choose what makes sense for them—technology, marketing, social media, etc. They can pick and choose with no hidden fees.

provide state-of-the-art, revolutionary technology solutions and training for agents and owners.

MP: Do you feel this sets your firm apart from the competition? CS: Yes, because we are not just us-

MP: How is your value proposition meeting the needs of today’s real estate consumer? CS: We are both longtime brokers

ing the term “agent-centric,” we are redefining it. Our two iconic brands have vast offerings and business solutions for agents and owners. We make it incredibly simple and affordable to own and grow a business and

MP: How would you describe the current state of your real estate markets? CS: Most markets are at some stage of shifting from a seller’s market to that of a more stable and normalized market. Low interest rates and continued demand are still offering plenty of opportunities for agents to thrive and grow their businesses.

who embrace the continuing challenges facing salespeople, as well as those facing broker/owners trying to stay relevant in a very fast-changing environment. For both salespeople


Visit Better Homes Realty and La Rosa Realty at Booth No. 5276 during this month’s REALTORS® Conference & Expo at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. and franchisees, it’s a challenging market to make a profit.

JL: That’s why we’re empowering our agents to become leaders in this next generation of real estate by focusing first on being a true agentcentric office and brand that equips them with every possible tool, from technology to training and coaching, that then translates into the creation of endless opportunities to provide the consumer with the ultimate customer experience. With technology leading to customers wanting everything virtually on-demand, we want to be able to appeal to that through the platforms we put together.

MP: Can you elaborate on the types of training and technology you’re offering for agents? JL: We feel that we have it covered from every angle. We provide information on-demand for agents to market themselves in countless different ways. We provide websites and CRMs that allow us to push along data to consumers so that they can tap into the information they need. We’re also helping agents understand that social media is playing a larger role every day, so we have it set up for them on an autopilot system so they can work smarter, not harder. We also have a back-end so they can work more efficiently and send files and execute documents from their car. The company intranet allows communication to take place and creates synergy to blossom.

MP: Please describe your firm’s culture and leadership philosophy. JL: La Rosa Realty’s culture has always been defined by three words: family, passion and growth. We understand that for many, family can be one of the most important things in the world. The bond that links La Rosa REALTORS® is not that of blood, but one of respect and loyalty. Collectively, we share each other’s goals and values. Together, we are much stronger than we are alone. With passion, we put our hearts, minds and souls into helping our agents achieve their dreams and aspirations. Through education, training, coaching, technology and support, our agents are positioned to become more productive, as well as provide a better quality of life for their families. Last, but definitely not least, with growth, we understand that in life and in your career, if you are not growing, you are dying. Our purpose is to assist and identify each agent’s unique talent and potential in order to help them obtain their goals.

MP: What are some of your most innovative marketing strategies? How are they helping you connect with consumers? JL: Our platform and the opportunity we offer as a franchise is flexible, one that can be delivered to consumers through a 300-agent, semi-virtual office or a 10-agent office on Main Street. Recruiting productive salespeople and enhancing lead generation opportunities for our agents is our focus. We understand that the days of the agents being in the forefront with technology as a resource has changed to where technology is now in the forefront, relying on agents to utilize it to their advantage. Both brands have now taken the proper steps to ensure that we are both aligned with the right technology that allows us to deliver the ultimate customer experience.

MP: When it comes to lead gen, what are you doing to help agents convert and close leads? JL: Through our coaching program, we monitor closely agents’ ability to convert leads into appointments and then into closings. Coaching is not only to hold them accountable, but to examine where their strengths and weaknesses are. Chuck and I are both big football fans, and the first thing a football coach does after a game is go back and review the film to see where players excelled and where they had challenges. We do the same thing. We want to dig deeper to help them develop a plan to improve.

MP: How do you stay ahead of the curve on technology, online marketing and social media? CS: Our combined leadership team, franchisees and progressive associates are always on top of what is coming down the path, giving us insight as to the value and opportunity of new solutions or tools. Our focus is always on being able to improve our technology platform so that it remains ahead of the curve and is always the leading and most cuttingedge technology available to both agents and consumers. Technology is constantly evolving, and so are we.

MP: Finally, gentlemen, what’s on deck for the future of the firm? JL: We’re looking at global expansion to include 100-plus offices and 5,000-plus associates within 24 months. I’m excited to work alongside Chuck. We share the same vision and goals, and we look forward to much success.

CS: Yes—it’s the USA version of East meets West! My offices will really benefit from the new network. RE For more information, please email info@larosafranchising or visit joinbhr.com and larosafranchising.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 97


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{Power Teams} Wait…You’re Not My Doctor! by Verl Workman

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ecently, going into the doctor’s office, I watched the team work. A friendly receptionist greeted me with enthusiasm and asked for my method of payment, so I showed my insurance card and made a copayment. After waiting 30 minutes to see the doctor, I was called by a nurse practitioner (I guess even nurses have assistants) who weighed me and took my blood pressure. I was then brought into an examination room where I waited for what I thought would be the doctor. To my surprise, the nurse came in and asked me some questions, filled out a couple more forms, then said she would be right back. Lo and behold, a knock on the door with what should have been the doctor produced the physician’s assistant (PA) who was professional, friendly and knowledgeable. He completed his exam, made some recommendations and sent me back to the counter to schedule a follow-up appointment. I never saw the doctor whose name was on the door. Was I disappointed? Did I feel cheated? The answer is no. All of my needs were met, everyone was an expert at their job, and I felt better after leaving. This exact experience occurs all over the place on a daily basis, whether it be at the dentist, the doctor, the gym, the grocery store

or pretty much every other business that has employees. All of these companies work as teams to create what they hope to be an amazing client experience. As teams become more and more popular, it’s because they make sense. I’m sure the doctor could have greeted me and done all the preliminary work, because in her mind no one person would ever do the job as well as she could, but she’s discovered that she needs to focus on the most important and profitable part of her business: surgery and post-op care. With the complicated nature of the real estate transaction, downward pressure on commission and the amount of information and misinformation available to our clients, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have the ability to focus on the most important part of the interaction so that the client is better served. By hiring specialists in each area of the interaction, everyone wins. There’s no right size for a team. Every person has to decide how much they want to grow. We’ve discovered that the better the service

the team provides, the more opportunities present themselves, which allows the team to grow organically.

Key positions on a team include: - The team leader - Administrative assistant or client care coordinator - Buyer’s agents - Showing assistants - A listing partner (when ready) Additional positions that can be added to a team include a sales manager, transaction coordinator, marketing department and runner. Whether you’re a single agent or part of a large team, look at your business and ask yourself whether people are being underserved because of your inability or lack of interest in delegating to specialists. If the answer is yes, consider how your next visit to the doctor’s office would differ if there wasn’t a team in place. 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. Contact him at Verl@WorkmanSuccessSystems.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 99


{Power Teams}

Pain or Process by Jim Knowlton

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everage (hiring) in real estate manifests itself in one of two ways: pain or process. Let’s start with pain first.

The most successful agents or team leaders get to a place in their business where they recognize that the highest and best use of their time is in listing properties. Hopefully, they’ve already seen the need for leverage and have hired and trained an amazing assistant. This is typically a result of the realization that the time spent versus the return when working with buyers is less, and they begin to view buyer work as problematic. To make it go away with little effort, they quickly “hire” an agent who is available within the office for a quick and easy referral dollar. They offer little in the way of training or support, and as the person they hired was available for a reason—most likely because they weren’t doing the job correctly to begin with—the lead agent invests more and more time in the team member with limited financial return. This is the exact opposite outcome they were seeking; however, it’s as expected: limited production, high level of frustration and a revolving door of new agents and team members. Conversely, the team leader who follows a written and defined hiring process goes about the process in a completely different manner. They start with a “Missing Persons Report,” which defines the key function of the buyer’s agent position. This could include prospecting, showing properties and writing of-

100 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

fers. They then develop a job description for the position based on the team needs and advertise the position everywhere: online, print, social media, calls to vendors and key partners, as well as in the office, if allowed. Once applications are received, multiple levels of screening are used to weed out unqualified applicants and find the next great hire. Start with traditional hiring documentation. This should include an application, resume and letter of interest. Next, after reviewing the basics, the top 50 percent (or more) of applicants are sent a DISC screening tool. Those with both good basic paperwork and possible success based on DISC profiles are moved onto the next phase. Conduct a full personal interview with specific questions that focus on the candidate’s journey in life, values associated with team/work and fit based on company mission statement/core values. If there’s a value fit, then focus on the candidate’s understanding of daily money-making activities (MMA) that are needed to succeed in real estate, as well as their role in the team’s commitment to a high level of daily accountability. Finally, conduct an in-depth review of the candidate’s references and work history. Some team leaders may decide to get approval from the applicant to complete credit and background checks. Once a candidate is selected, offer a letter with terms of employment, training requirements and your short-term and long-term review process. The candidate’s first day is agreed upon and scheduled after signing the offer package. A comprehen-

sive training program and mentor are assigned. The team training partner or team leader helps, supports and guides the new agent for the first 30, 60 and 90 days with daily huddles, weekly meetings and one-on-one sessions. Those identified as not being able to comply or not committed to the systems are given goals to improve, as well as warnings, and are released “quickly” if commitment and improvement aren’t evident. Having, committing to and following a time-tested hiring process will no doubt elevate your leverage within your team. However, shortcutting, not holding standards, not completing training process/reviews and not conducting daily huddles/weekly meetings will greatly limit the success of your new team members.

Nearly three decades of real estate experience—including 15 years of coaching with Verl Workman— have made Jim Knowlton one of the top agents in the country and one of the most popular coaches on the Workman Success Systems’ team. In addition to serving as Director of Coaching for Workman Success Systems, Knowlton also owned and managed several real estate franchises, earned numerous awards for his performance and continues to lead a Keller Williams Mega Agent team in New Hampshire today. Contact him at Jim@WorkmanSuccessSystems.com.


{Power Teams}

Right Plant, Right Location: A Story About Leverage by Cleve Gaddis

C

reating leverage in business is a wonderful thing, but it’s often misunderstood. Recently, we were hosting a sales training meeting on a Saturday morning, and because several new people didn’t yet have key fobs, we needed to prop open the front door to the building.

There were a couple potted plants in the foyer that we thought would make a good alternative to a door stop, so we grabbed the smaller plant and put it in front of the door to keep it from closing. Not only did it not keep the door open, but the door pushed the plant over and dragged it along the ground until the door closed. Next, we took the larger plant and put it in front of the door (placing it right in the middle), which

didn’t work either. The door closed while pushing the potted plant out of the way. Then we tried it a third time. This time we took the second plant, and instead of putting it in the middle of the door, we put it at the end of the door that was farthest away from the door hinges. It held the door open with no problem at all. There was probably only a onepound difference in the weight of the plants, but the slightly heavier plant—when placed in the correct location—was able to resist the door’s closing force. I thought that was pretty cool. We’re all looking for leverage in our business. We’d like to work a bit less, have more time for our families and other things that are important to us, and still make a good income. But when we try to create leverage, we typically choose the “wrong size plant” and then put it in the “wrong spot.” By wrong size plant, I mean we hire the wrong people, and by putting it in the wrong spot, I mean we don’t onboard and develop them correctly. When new team members are added, we should hire very slowly. We should find the person who is the right fit for the job. We need to find someone with the correct personality and the right kind of motivation, so we use the DISC and Motivators assessments to make better hiring decisions. While you shouldn’t exclusively depend on the DISC for hiring decisions, because it can’t judge someone’s integrity and intelligence, we created a Preferred DISC Styles sheet that outlines the preferred styles for each position. Once we hire a new team member, we should onboard them properly. We need to introduce them to our history and culture and make sure they have the full picture of

When new team members are added, we should hire very slowly. who we are and why we do what we do. We then need to have an organized process of onboarding for the first 60 - 90 days so that they can learn everything necessary to be successful in their job. Finally, we need to really teach people what to do. Most agents are so busy that they just throw their new people into the fire and hope for the best. That’s a crappy way to train. In addition to using the Workman Success Systems Admin Mastery Training Program (AMP) to help our administrative staff learn everything they need to know, we also use Buyer Agent Mastery (BAM) to develop our buyer specialists and Seller Listing Agent Mastery (SLAM) for our listing partners. I still have a lot to learn about growing a business through leverage, but if we all start putting the right plant (team member) in the right location (through a good onboarding and training program), we might just create businesses worth owning. Cleve Gaddis is a Master coach with Workman Success Systems and a team leader with Gaddis Partners, RE/MAX Center in Atlanta. He learned sales the hard way, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door and now puts those skills to use in helping his team close $60 million annually. He loves to share his systems and strategies to help others succeed. He hosts the Call Cleve Atlanta Real Estate Show, heard weekly on NewsTalk 1160 WCFO. Contact him at Cleve@WorkmanSuccessSystems.com.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 101


{Power Teams}

Is Life Balance Possible in Real Estate? by Paul Wheeler

T

here are no emergencies in real estate. There, I said it. Being married to a physician, I realize that although real estate has timelines and sometimes stressed-out people, there are no real life-or-death emergencies. So why do we think we need to be available 24/7 like a doctor saving lives in an emergency room? We all want stability, security and balance in our lives, and I believe you can have that while working reasonable hours. A long time ago, I realized I was much more productive and able to serve my clients at a higher level if I had down time and days off each week. I remember reading a quote on a diner wall while traveling as a young man that said, “Don’t work so hard making a living that you forget to make a life.” Years ago, I Googled deathbed regrets and the majority of them were things like, “I wish I had spent more time with family and friends, and traveling, and working on my marriage, and being a better father, and not spending so much time at the office.” So, can we do that in real estate? I believe we can, and I’ve proven it. The solution is to educate, communicate and manage expectations with your clients so that they understand that you’re

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an expert and that you also have a life. Let’s not train society to abuse our life balance by not setting boundaries. There are two ways you can do this. The first involves letting all of your clients know up front what your hours are and what days you take off. Explain that your phone is turned off after a certain hour (yes, this can actually be done) or on certain days for family time and personal time, but assure them that you will always give them a call back when you return to work. You’ll be surprised by how understanding your clients are. While it’s scary to say at first, I’ve found that people appreciate a balanced, rested expert guiding them through one of the biggest transactions of their life, rather than a harried, stressed out, overworked mess. The second way is to build a team or be part of a team that will cover serving your clients more days and more hours. A team might consist of just an assistant

to keep you more productive in the field and more face-to-face with clients, or it might consist of several people, including buyer partners, seller partners, client care coordinators, etc. I love the team concept because it allows us to serve our clients at a much higher level. If you’re struggling with life balance and would like a copy of the communication we use to educate and manage expectations, please email me at paulw@workmansuccesssystems.com. Make sure you’re not working so hard making a living that you forget to make a life.

Workman Success Systems’ Team Coach Paul Wheeler started Accent REALTORS® as a licensed agent and broker in 1992. Leading the Accent Team with energy, experience and a vision for the future, as well as a better business model in the real estate industry, Wheeler and his team strive to continually improve their processes with a focus on learning and staying on top of market trends. His passion for real estate is only surpassed by his commitment to community service and his family. Contact him at Paulw@WorkmanSuccessSystems.com.


{Power Teams}

Leverage Your Assets by Rick Geha

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his year, Workman Success Systems (WSS), as they do annually, picked a word for our context for the year. This year’s word, “elevate,” is one that I love because, in itself, this word is a challenge to all of us as we work to take everything to the next level. As I come close to my 40th anniversary as a real estate agent, I realized when I saw the word “elevate” that I needed to elevate my “leverage” game. I had to step it up when it came to leveraging my time, leveraging my money, leveraging my knowledge, leveraging myself and leveraging my staff and business partners—all of which I consider my “assets.” Many of you may already be doing all of this, which is great, but can you elevate the level of leverage you’re experiencing already? When I coach higher producers, I always do what I can to speak to their “significant others,” or their staff or assistants. The reason I do this is to find out if they’re truly leveraging their staff and their team. During these conversations, I’m typically made aware of things that haven’t been revealed during our coaching sessions. When your productivity isn’t what you think it could be, or what you know is possible, ask yourself how well you’re leveraging your assets. Many of you have experienced some level of financial freedom, which rarely goes hand-in-hand with time freedom. For the most part,

they’re mutually exclusive. People who elevate their leverage tend to feel differently and tend to experience both financial and time freedom simultaneously—a very rare event. Recently, I had my coach review all of these daily activities with me, and I committed to an exercise that we have our coaching clients commit to: the Daily Success Habits form, or DSH. For the third time in five years, this form changed my life. When examining every single 30-minute increment from waking up to going to bed, and then comparing it against my “perfect week” calendar, it was shocking to see how many times I didn’t leverage my assets. My wife is a sales coach, and I’ll often hear her remind me from the other room: “Is that something you should be doing, or delegating?” If we’re being honest, accountability is highly uncomfortable for most of us, but I’ve learned to love it. In fact, that’s why we say at WSS that accountability equals love. Holding someone accountable to what they’re capable of is simply that: a way of showing them love. It’s a way of holding up a mirror for

them to see what you’re seeing, rather than just telling them that they’re capable of so much more. Here’s everything you need to do to start. First, let us send you a “perfect week” worksheet and take the time to complete the exercise. Then, use the DSH for seven days. And be serious about it. It’s important to allow your coach or accountability partner to review both, as this is when your blind spots will appear. If you’ve filled in everything you’re doing—and honestly—and have accounted for every minute of every day for seven days, you and your accountability partner will clearly see where you haven’t “elevated your leverage.” This isn’t for wimps. If you do it, you’ll find huge wins. If you don’t, you’ll continue to struggle with time freedom. I promise. RE

Rick Geha of The Rick Geha Real Estate Team began his real estate career at age 22. Over the past 15 years, he’s led more than 1,000 classes and workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada and has presented keynote addresses to thousands of professionals from all industries and walks of life. He is currently a coach with Workman Success Systems. Contact him at Rick@RickGeha.com.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 103


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{Power Teams}

Branding and Influencing, the Team Way by Suzanne De Vita

(L to R) Andrew Richey of The Adam Olsen Team; Dr. Phil McGraw; and Adam Olsen

A

dam Olsen has achieved much in five short years. After graduating high school, he began his career in real estate solo—but there were challenges.

“It took me over seven months to sell my first property,” explains Olsen. “I ended up teaming up with an individual in the office, and from there, we just grew.” Now, as leader of The Adam Olsen Team, based in Greater Houston, Olsen oversees 22 agents and staff. A born motivator, Olsen is also a public speaker and has participated in seminars with Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, Dr. Phil McGraw and others, championing the entrepreneurial spirit. Here, he discusses operating a team and his advice for new teams.

Suzanne De Vita: Adam, you’ve cultivated a major presence on social media… Adam Olsen: Our biggest asset to any consumer choosing The Adam Olsen Team is the online marketing that we have on Facebook, as well as 106 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

other social media. We were actually ranked No. 1 in the state of Texas and No. 6 in the U.S. and Canada for online and social media marketing by Property Spark in 2018. We reach 200,000 to half a million people a month on Facebook ads online. We have about 48,000 followers on Facebook. That’s why, generally, consumers choose to go with us. A lot of people don’t like Zillow, realtor.com® and similar websites, but my mentality is, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

SD: You have a fairly large team. Do you have meetings regularly? AO: We meet every Wednesday and go over what agents and team members may need help with—issues that they may have encountered that week, etc. We also hold trainings every Wednesday. A couple times a year, we’ll go out to an event—a Grant Cardone event, we’ll have our Christmas party or go to a fun place like Top Golf or race go-karts, just to have fun and keep morale going. SD: How do you distribute leads? AO: Leads go through our automated

system, except for call-ins. People can schedule time to take our team phone, which is a cellphone that we rotate between agents. In addition to that, all of our Zillow, realtor.com® and other online leads feed into our CRM follow-up process. They get distributed evenly on a round robin to all of our agents.

SD: How do you determine who fits with your team? What characteristics or criteria are you looking for? AO: We like to hire individuals with at least some experience, whether it be a year-plus or two years-plus with at least a couple of transactions. That’s not to say we won’t hire someone new, but you really have to fit into the puzzle if you’re brand-new. We’re generally looking for highly motivated, driven individuals. That’s our biggest thing: people that are willing to work, because a lot of agents aren’t willing to invest the time and energy. SD: What advice would you give an agent who’s considering forming a team, or to a team that’s just starting out? AO: Keep your head down and keep going. In this business, there’s a lot of ups and downs, and it’s easy to get caught up in the downs. You get difficult clients or transactions that completely go south, and it’s hard to remove yourself personally because a lot of times you do take it personally, whether they’re friends or family or people you’ve gotten close to. If you take care of your clients, in return, they’re going to take care of you. Most of our business comes from referrals and online marketing. Those two are very important to us, and we’ve built what we have today because of them. RE

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.


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Keeping Agents Top of Mind With ERA Moves by Zoe Eisenberg

T

alk to anyone working in real estate, and they’ll likely tell you that one of the biggest challenges faced by agents is staying relevant to their clients once a transaction has closed. According to studies from the National Association of REALTORS®, while 90 percent of homebuyers say they would use their agent again, only 12 percent of a typical agent’s business comes from repeat clients. filiated sales professionals, but the value-add is incredible,” says Brasington. “The program understands and knows what products and services will be needed in the next 30, 60, 90 days. After that, ERA’s follow-up programs continue the outreach for the life of the relationship. At each of those points, it sends clients targeted messages with opportunities for greater savings and convenience, making homeownership more affordable and less stressful.” The program also has a dedicated While agents and brokers under- concierge service, which allows clistand the need to stay in touch with ents to connect all of their utilities clients, actually doing so is often to their new home in just 30 mindifficult and time-consumutes. “My agents are telling ing—until now. Lucinda us that the clients are just Brasington, the head of blown away by the fact Operations at ERA Wilder that someone can handle Realty in South Carolina, that process for them,” says that ERA Real Essays Brasington. “One tate’s new program, ERA® agent shared that while at Moves,* has been a game the closing, the closing attorBrasington changer. ney offered to make recomERA Moves is a tool that offers mendations about providers in the agents two ways to stay top of mind area, and the client responded, ‘ERA with their clients, positioning them as has already taken care of all of that local market experts. One of its com- for me.’” ponents provides relevant homeownBrasington says ERA Moves has er discounts through agent-branded, boosted morale and enthusiasm automated emails during the home- among ERA Wilder’s agents, which buying process and beyond. is positively impacting other bro“Since it’s automatic, it doesn’t re- kerage-wide goals. “For the past quire much additional work for our af- couple of years, we’ve been focus-

108 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

ing on capturing more client data,” explains Brasington. “Unfortunately, we haven’t always done the best job. But looking at our records, during a four-month period last year, we captured and compiled the information for 160 contact profiles. This year, in the same amount of time with ERA Moves, we’ve captured 620.” Another early ERA Moves adopter is Jessie Lizardo, managing broker for ERA Reed Realty in Plainfield, N.J. In addition to leading a team of 27 sales agents, she independently manages almost 160 properties Lizardo and still works with her own clients to buy and sell homes. With a decade of experience in real estate, Lizardo knows a good tool when she sees one. So, when ERA Moves became available, she immediately implemented it into her brokerage. Lizardo describes the culture of her office as one big family. Everyone has each other’s back, and the most experienced agents never hesitate to help those who are just starting out. ERA Moves, says Lizardo, provides a way of extending that feeling of family into the agent/ client relationship. “It’s every real estate agent’s goal to leave a memorable impression and foster a lasting relationship with their clients,” she says. “ERA Moves provides an innovative way to create this connection while offering an authentic, realworld benefit to the consumer.” RE *ERA Moves is just one component of ERA® Beyond, a community of national and local companies committed to providing the ERA network of affiliated brokers and agents with products and services focused on productivity, profitability and delivering value for consumers. For more information, please visit www.era.com.


Confidence in Housing Market ‘Relatively’ Strong

SOLD

by RISMedia Staff

D

espite economic unknowns, Americans’ confidence in housing remains strong, according to the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI).

Both homebuyer and homeowner optimism rose in September, with 28 percent of Americans believing now is a good time to buy a home, and 44 percent believing now is a good time to sell a home, the Index shows.

“Consumer sentiment remains relatively strong overall, though uncertainty about the economy and individual financial circumstances appear to be weighing on housing market attitudes a bit more than a month ago,” Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae, says. “Views about the direction of the economy held relatively steady, and the share of respondents who say it’s a good time to buy or sell a home rose slightly. “However, consumers who are pessimistic about current housing

market conditions are more likely to cite unfavorable economic conditions than the prior month. Job confidence remains high, but still well shy of its July reading. Despite some added uncertainty, the September HPSI indicates continued strength in housing market attitudes and is consistent with recent data on housing activity.” RE Source: Fannie Mae


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{Broker Best Practices}

From Restaurateur to REALTOR®: Converting Leads in a Competitive Landscape by Paige Tepping Members of The Novak Team

Mike Novak Team Leader & REALTOR® The Novak Team, eXp Realty Everett, Wash. www.HousesWa.com Region served: King and Snohomish Counties Years in real estate: 2.5 Number of team members: 20 Had a team since: The end of 2017 What influenced your decision to form a team? Wanting to help other agents become productive and thrive, while at the same time being able to help more buyers and sellers that we couldn’t get to ourselves. You were a well-known restaurateur prior to joining the real estate industry. Why did you ultimately give up restaurants for real estate? It’s a long story, but the short of it centers around the fact that Washington State changed its minimum wage in October 2016. We had 400 employees at that point, which changed our overhead $50,000 a month—putting us in a position that was no longer economically viable. Luckily, we saw the headwinds coming, so we decided to get our real estate licenses as all

of this was taking place because we didn’t think there was a way to survive. I had worked as a real estate developer and builder prior to getting into the restaurant business, so it was a natural place to go back to. Being new to the business, where did you source your customers? While we jumped into pay-per-click (PPC) immediately, as it was a cheap and easy way to get started, we transitioned over to realtor.com® last May after meeting the team at an industry conference. In getting to know the company, it became clear to us just how ready their leads were when compared to those being generated through a pay-per-click strategy. This is what ultimately gave us the incentive to dabble in realtor.com®and eventually scale it. It didn’t take long to discover that the leads we were getting from realtor.com®were warmer, which led to them converting at a much higher level. What else are you doing to let local homeowners know about your successful new company? We do a lot of video marketing on social media,

in addition to continuing to take advantage of PPC and realtor.com®, as well as a variety of mass media marketing. As far as the videos we’re sharing on social media, most are either market reports or educational videos that we use to help people understand common misconceptions or myths surrounding the home-buying or -selling process. Additionally, we recently began using Local ExpertTM, which seems to be going well so far. Since we have 50 percent of the marketshare, we have a lot of impressions, and we’re excited to see where that goes as we head toward the future. How is it working now that you’re this far along with the lead programs? We’re seeing high conversion rates, north of 5 percent, which is really good when you consider the fact that PPC leads typically convert anywhere from 1 - 2 percent, while Facebook is closer to 0.5 - 1 percent. In 2018, we closed nearly $400,000 gross commission income (GCI) with realtor.com®. For more information, please visit www.realtor.com/sales.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 111


A Family-Centric Model

by Jameson Doris

C21® products, and fine-tune and develop new tools, strategies and marketing with the changing market, we will be able to better grow our company with new, eager sales professionals who live by our mission to defy mediocrity and deliver extraordinary experiences.

Region served: Greater Lafayette, Ind., and surrounding counties Years in real estate: 12 Number of offices: 1 Number of agents: 12 Top strategy for staying in touch with clients: We actively engage with the people and families in our communities. Plus, we integrate local and regional partnerships that keep our office top of mind with clients.

What are some of your best strategies when helping homebuyers who are relocating to your area? My agents know the ‘ins and outs’ and the unique aspects of the markets that we serve, which allows them to offer buyers many options when relocating to the area. Plus, our office is as diverse as the communities and the people that live and work here. Therefore, agents can assist all types of buyers moving to our marketplace. Lastly, in building relationships with local and national relocation companies, we’re able to offer complementary services and referrals to our clients in the areas of moving companies, contractors and real estate vendors.

How do you stay flexible and relevant in today’s ever-changing real estate landscape? Our office is unique in our local market in that we offer a family-centric model that allows our relentless sales professionals to excel in the market while maintaining a healthy work/family life. As we continue to leverage

You’ve had great success over the years. What’s kept you ahead of the competition? It’s all about our people and the culture we all operate from, and that’s from the feeling of being a family. While we work in a non-competitive work environment, at the same time, we encourage success and business

Helping Agents Succeed Every Step of the Way

Dave Corey

Brett M. Lueken Managing Broker/Owner CENTURY 21 The Lueken Group Lafayette, Ind. www.LuekenGroup.com

by Paige Tepping

Broker/Co-Owner Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Perrie Mundy Realty Group & California Realty Redlands, Calif. www.davecoreyrealtor.com Region served: Inland Empire, Calif. Years in real estate: 10 Number of offices: 6 Number of agents: 320

112 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

growth among all our agents—new and experienced. What are some of the ways you go the extra mile for your agents? I’m always available. They know that and value it. Regular communication is key to success in the real estate business. We work together as a family and offer whatever personalized support is necessary. Plus, our office is one of the select few that offers full-service staff with a competitive commission platform that rewards honest, hard work. What’s the most significant trend positively impacting your business today? Growth in the private sector has allowed us to thrive, even during dips in the real estate market. Where do you see yourself and your business five years down the road? Because of our affiliation with CENTURY 21®, combined with our growing local presence, I see us continuing to expand our office footprint both regionally and statewide. Our office will continue to strategically grow with the market. Strategic and planned growth is what will allow us to expand into new market areas. We’re currently developing a new construction division and look to see that grow with the marketplace. For more information, please visit www.century21.com.

Please describe some of the current trends you’re seeing in your market. Commission checks are being squeezed by technology, but for agents willing to do the work, this can mean new opportunities and referral sources. Since just about anybody can capture a lead online these days, real estate professionals need to decide if they’ll do online lead gen themselves, or receive leads and pay a referral


fee to someone who provides that service. I also see some of the brokerage models in my market struggling to remain profitable and retain agents. I feel that the lines between a full-service brokerage and a 100-percent commission shop are becoming less blurry now, and agents are returning to brokerages like mine if they feel they can leverage the support we offer. What do you like most about the region in which you work? We have something for everyone with our incredibly diverse housing stock. In Redlands and Riverside, buyers can find everything from Victorian and Craftsman-style homes to Italian Palazzos, and you can still find homes on acreage if you know where to look. Buyers near our Beaumont office can still purchase new construction starting in the low $300,000s. It’s a beautiful area with great diversity and a dynamic economy. What makes the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network the best fit for you? Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has exceeded our expectations. Many agents seek us out in order to join a real estate franchise network owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Excelling in Uncertain Times by Zoe Eisenberg

Martin Bikhit Managing Director Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co London, England www.kayandco.com

And the support from corporate has been incredible. The customer success team (hotline) supports our agents with all of our tech tools, and franchise membership provides experienced Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices staff members who provide learning opportunities for our managers. We also have a dedicated business consultant who provides strategic insights and a biz-dev guy who has helped us identify and complete acquisitions. How do you stay flexible and relevant in today’s real estate landscape? Our flexibility comes from staying lean and focusing on only two or three primary initiatives at a time, while our relevance comes from keeping our focus on our agents and having an atmosphere that encourages them to tell us how we’re doing. The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand serves us well in terms of relevance, too. Chris Stuart, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CEO, is working fast to equip our company with even better best-in-class technology tools that will actually be used. We’re also investing in our offices. Our agents really do want to continue to come into the office to work, despite the predictions in recent years of the demise of the office. Region served: London, England Years in real estate: 23 Number of offices: 3 Number of agents: 25 Kay & Co is a family business. How does this set the firm apart from the competition? Our business has benefited from being under the same management since its inception, and we believe that our returning clients benefit from that continuity, too. We are interested in long-term relationships over short-term profit, and, therefore, have built up a loyal client base that crosses generations. My father looked after the parents, and now I am working with

How are you attracting and retaining top agents in your market? Agents are being barraged by new technology tools. We believe it’s our job to help our agents find balance between old-school real estate practices and the shiny objects that continue to come out of the proptech universe. We’ve built a brokerage where training is going on every day. This culture of learning, and the balance we strike in our curriculum, seems to be a primary reason why agents come and stay. What sets Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Perrie Mundy Realty Group and California Realty apart from other brokerages? Our people and our culture. We understand that we can’t build something lasting and great without the right people. I’ve tried hard to build a leadership bench that shares our values around service for our agents. As a team, we aim to help agents in all stages of their career have greater success with us than they would in our absence. We understand that we feed families, change retirement options and send kids to college by helping our agents succeed. For more information, please visit www.berkshirehathawayhs.com.

their children for their real estate needs. We focus on the three defining principles of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which are integrity, stability and longevity, and find that business growth and reputation are key components of those. Do you have any time management tips for other agents hoping to excel? Always have a long-term goal and then decide on the most efficient way to get there. The best way to do this is to focus on a few things and do those well. If you focus on too many goals, you will not do any of them well.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 113


I understand you’re currently navigating Brexit. How has this impacted your business, and what do you expect the future to be like? Brexit and the ensuing uncertainty have been a challenge for the U.K. property market. Buyer confidence has been badly affected, but in the past few months, we have seen a revival of interest. Our revenues are up 146 percent year-over-year, which is a telling sign. For overseas investors, Brexit has been somewhat of a godsend. Prices are about 15 - 20 percent lower than they were at the peak of 2014, and the sterling has fallen dramatically against most major currencies since Brexit. A dollar buyer can now buy at up to 45 percent less than they would have paid at the peak of the market, and we are seeing the benefits of this with a number of the major sales that have taken place in London in the past year going to U.S. buyers. Irrespective of the out-

come of Brexit, we expect to see a significant uptake in U.K. residential once Brexit is resolved.

A Forward-Thinking, Proven Business Model

Region served: Northern Ohio Years in real estate: Marianne: 18; Greg: 25 Number of offices: 2 Number of agents: 105 Best time management tip: Marianne: Time-block in advance, keep a disciplined schedule, and make appointments for yourself for time off and breaks. Most effective way to motivate agents: Greg: Paying our agents 100-percent commission under our HomeSmart model. This allows them to invest a portion of their commissions to grow their sphere to create a repeat and referral business.

the traditional brokerage models are declining through the evolution of technology, so we needed to align ourselves with a forward-thinking and proven business model. Therefore, we decided we would be the first to offer the HomeSmart real estate model to Ohio real estate agents because they deserve all of their commissions. We had struggled with the broker split, high monthly and annual fees, franchise fees, tech fees, extra marketing costs, transaction fees and commission caps from other traditional brokerages—but until now, real estate agents had no other options in our state.

What made the two of you decide to partner as co-owners of HomeSmart Real Estate Momentum? Marianne Drenik: We realized that

Describe the most important thing you did to manage the incredible growth your company has experienced since opening. Greg Pernus: Not only did we work

by John Voket

Marianne Drenik Broker/Owner/Agent

Greg Pernus

Owner/Manager/Agent HomeSmart Real Estate Momentum Mentor, Ohio www.HomeSmartOhio.com

114 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Tell me about your franchise relationship with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. What made you choose this network? When we heard the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices value proposition, we knew that it would benefit our business and give us access to a global referral network of quality agents who would give us a platform to compete against the major global players in the U.K. market. Coupled with a senior management team with long-term global growth plans, superb training and cutting-edge, state-of-the-art technology, there really was only one choice. How has business changed since the transition? It has been a very exciting journey. Our clients understand the importance of be-

ing able to reach the buyers that other U.K. agents simply cannot, especially in the U.S. We recently had one client list over $100 million with us in a single day shortly after we announced our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network membership, and another developer who we had been chasing for years gave us a 145-unit development in Kings Cross in North London. What does the future look like for Kay & Co? Within the coming years, we intend to have comprehensive coverage of both prime and outer prime London and to build up a presence of 20 to 30 offices. We recently launched both a commercial offering and a mortgage service, but also plan to enter the relocation market, as well as launch an interior design service. For more information, please visit www.berkshirehathawayhs.com.


seven days a week, but we also kept our heads down and stayed on track. And we cut out all the noise, as well, which further motivated us to focus and succeed. You’d be surprised how much more you can accomplish when you stop listening to the naysayers and those who don’t believe you can succeed. We’ve kept a positive attitude and have enjoyed the process—and profits—along the way. Why do you believe the HomeSmart way of doing business is instru-

mental when it comes to recruiting agents? MD: Because agents are tired of doing all the work and sharing their commission with a broker and still paying all the extra and ancillary costs tied to traditional brokerages. And in our own experience, it’s often without adequate training, administrative or technical support. How have the tech tools and/or training you provide your agents played a role in their retention and individual success?

GP: While we’ve found that everyone learns differently and operates their business differently, the tools and support system we have access to through HomeSmart allow our agents to do things their way and at their own pace. The agents like the training because of the convenience of learning on their own schedule in a variety of ways, including live professional development experiences, as well as on-demand and individual online training. For more information, please visit www.homesmart.com.

Maintaining and Promoting a Positive Culture by Lesley Grand

Troy Wilson President Bellator Real Estate & Development, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Spanish Fort, Ala. https://bellatoral.com Region served: Mobile and Baldwin Counties Years in real estate: 23 Number of offices: 7 Number of agents: 193 How would you describe your firm’s positioning in the marketplace? While we’re well-known for new construction and development, what makes us unique is our breadth of expertise. For instance, we have the only real estate offices on Ono Island, and we do a great business

in second homes and condo sales there. We also specialize in primary homes, as well as new construction projects. Real estate is so cyclical, so the fact that we have our hands in a little bit of everything means that we always have activity. How important is building a positive culture? Having a positive culture is one of the things that best defines our company. We begin every meeting by going around the room and sharing what we’re most grateful for—a practice that we feel allows us to live out our core values. We see all that we can do with all that we’ve been given, and we believe that we’re blessed to be part of a company where we’re free to do what we can do in this area. Our mission is to focus on our culture, which encompasses faith, effort, gratitude, honor, courage and commitment. What is the key to agent retention? Our agents are our clients, so we’re fortunate that we can be selective when it comes to choosing only those agents who we think will best fit our team. We’re also constantly looking for ways to improve, so we try to use the best technology available to offer our agents the best tools in the industry. There’s

a great deal of business out there, so by taking the time to build relationships with our agents, we’re setting them up to be able to go out and build relationships with buyers and sellers. What is one thing you hope your agents say about you? I would like them to say that they trust us and that they’re excited to be part of a company that doesn’t just talk the talk. Not only are they part of our growth, but they’re also part of something much bigger than themselves. How does being part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® help you and your agents do their jobs well? One of the biggest advantages is that it differentiates us and places us as one of the top three companies in the marketplace. It also allows us to expand our footprint. At its roots, being part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® connects us to a large network of like-minded brokers and agents, which allows us to send and receive excellent referrals, while at the same time learning from and sharing with this network. For more information, please visit www.leadingre.com.

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{Power Broker Perspectives} by Keith Loria

tionships in her dynamic Westchester and lower Connecticut markets.

Mary Stetson:

Super Agents for Superior Experiences When Mary Stetson founded Stetson Real Estate in Mamaroneck, N.Y., in 2000, her goal was to provide exceptional personal service, innovation, integrity and a unique team approach that would maximize the client experience. Stetson started her professional career with IBM, where she focused on contract negotiations, a trait she’s put to good use in her real estate business. She also worked at MetLife Investments, where she had her first taste of real estate. Here, Stetson discusses how she focuses on market trends and client rela-

What’s on your radar when looking at the markets you serve? What’s impacting the industry? MARY STETSON: In 2019, it’s been the tax law change that’s forcing more of the empty nesters who don’t have kids in this school district to say, “It doesn’t make any sense for me to live here anymore,” and that’s forcing more supply on the market. We’re getting an oversupply, and prices are falling. How do you maintain profitability as the market fluctuates? MS: It’s all about talent, which comes down to getting the right people and doing a lot with the few— and focusing on the client relationship. If you keep your eye on those relationships, and continually get referrals from those clients, and each agent is working to their specific maximum capacity, you’re golden no matter what business cycle you’re going through. What’s the key to a strong client relationship? MS: You have to advise them well. You have to tell them what they need

to hear, not what they want to hear. And you have to have their trust before you can tell them anything. In this market, if you have a weak agent who is a yes-man or a yeswoman, business will fall apart. It gets down to having super agents who are well trained and always giving proper advice. We also have very trustworthy sales support who do more than just answer the phones. Are there any market segments/niches you’ve recently expanded into, or are considering expanding into? MS: We follow our clients. We had some clients go into commercial, so we’re now going larger into commercial. We’re bird-dogging properties for assisted living, senior living and selfstorage. We’ve always done Main Street retail type of things, but now we’re expanding to more commercial developments. We have a larger relocation group and speak nine languages within the firm now, and one

of my more senior agents is delving into the international relocation market. How do you stay on top of trends and innovations? MS: I keep an eye out for not only what’s going on in our own industry, but I also take a look at other industries out there and see what they’re doing in sales. I’m businessminded and tech-minded, so I use those insights to better inform our overall strategy. We have the heart of a boutique firm, with the mindset of a Fortune 500. How do you maintain work/life balance? MS: I take Thursdays off. That’s my day that I put my personal priorities first, and I’ve done that since the beginning. I have a high trust factor in my organization and a very talented team. I can go on vacation and trust that I’m covered.

VITALS: Stetson Real Estate Years in business: 19 Size: 1 office, 26 agents Regions served: Westchester County, Putnam County, Dutchess County, N.Y., and Greenwich/ Stamford, Conn. 2018 sales volume: $1 million GCI 2018 transactions: 98 www.stetsonrealestate.com

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we’re seeing a 2.8-month supply with sales down about 10 percent.

Michael Hilgenberg:

Preparing Agents to Deliver at a High Level Michael Hilgenberg spent a decade in his family’s real estate business in Wisconsin before moving to California and starting Keller Williams Realty in the Coachella Valley in 2003, and opening a Keller Williams market center in Palm Springs a year later with his son. Housing just 27 agents when it opened, today, his firm employs more than 1,000 agents and is growing every year. How would you characterize the market this year? MICHAEL HILGENBERG: It remains a seller’s market, and in Palm Springs,

What are some of your most successful recruiting strategies? MH: Our agents refer other agents they’ve had positive cooperative transactions with. We’re also proactive in inviting top agents to our training and mastermind events. We have affiliated sponsors for some of our events, so we don’t label them a Keller Williams event. When it comes to retention, we identify agents at risk—those that aren’t attending sales meetings or training events. Once those individuals have been identified, our leadership staff calls them monthly, simply to say hello or to invite them to a particular event or training. Once you do get in front of them, how do you motivate and lead agents toward success? MH: We ask our agents what they’re looking for in training and masterminds, and then we deliver. We have our leadership divide up our agent roster and stay in touch with them and see how they’re doing. We invite our top producers to participate and facilitate in our training, which gives them a sense of purpose. They prepare

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“In addition to promoting the one-stop shop concept we believe consumers prefer, we expect the agent to provide the best services at the best value.” – Michael Hilgenberg Owner, Keller Williams Realty Palm Springs

and deliver at a high level, giving them a sense of leadership, as well. How important is utilizing the latest technology? MH: It’s very important. We use Kelle, Command and AI. We promote our technology, which is coupled with AI, and train and consult with our agents on how to best incorporate technology and create greater ease and a seamless transaction experience for their clients and themselves. What is your firm’s unique value proposition in your market? MH: To provide an environment for our agent partners to grow and succeed

at a high level through training, coaching, technology and strategic alliances. In addition to promoting the one-stop shop concept we believe consumers prefer, we expect the agent to provide the best services at the best value. How are you competing against new business models? MH: Service, service, service. While real estate remains a relationship-based business, our technology provides great opportunities for the consumer and agents to communicate and provide services on an expedient level.

VITALS: Keller Williams Realty Palm Springs

Years in business: 45 Size: 4 market centers, 2 business centers, 2 onsite country club offices and 1,090 agents Regions served: Greater Palm Springs, Redlands, Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead 2018 sales volume: $1.447 billion 2018 transactions: 4,072 www.servingpalmsprings.com


Today, he serves as founder and CEO of RE/MAX Northwest in Seattle, Wash., where he helps agents focus on their bottom lines.

Matt van Winkle:

Treating Agents Like Business Owners

While studying real estate law in law school, Matt van Winkle realized he didn’t want to be a lawyer, yet he liked the analytical side of real estate and decided that was the career path he wanted to follow. He graduated in the summer of 2008 and met another litigator who was doing real estate on the side. Together, they created a hybrid law firm/real estate brokerage, and van Winkle found a passion for the residential transaction side of the business, so he stopped practicing law and focused primarily on that.

How is the Seattle market faring in 2019? MATT VAN WINKLE: It was one of the hottest markets in the country for quite a while, but in May 2018, activity dropped as the market pulled back pretty significantly. We’re back now, doing pretty well as far as activity is concerned, but not at the same pricing from last summer’s peak. The city of Seattle is down, but the markets where people moved when they got priced out of Seattle are still appreciating at a healthy level. We’re approaching what might be considered the new definition of a balanced market. What do you see as the biggest opportunities for growth? MW: I’m a firm believer that we’re going to see incredible consolidation in the industry in the next couple of years. When I look at growth from a brokerage perspective, I look at what’s happening in our market and the recent changes in our MLS, and I see a lot of agents being pushed out of the

“We’re approaching what might be considered the new definition of a balanced market.” – Matt van Winkle Founder and CEO, RE/MAX Northwest

business. As a result, this will lead to a lot of brokerages needing to consolidate. We’re intending to grow substantially. We’re currently right around $2.5 billion in sales, but based on what’s happening, we could be pushing $4 billion in a couple of years. Why will your company survive? How is it unique in the marketplace? MW: I’ve only been in the brokerage business for eight years, and was never in the market pre-recession, so I’ve always been in this business with technology pushing us forward. What makes our operation different is how we focus on the agent as the business owner. While most offices focus on lead gen and their top line, we focus on every little detail of the agents’ business—as well

as the bottom line. It’s not about how much they sell, but rather, their efficiency and return on investment. How are you attracting new agents to your firm? MW: The biggest thing that attracts experienced agents to join the company is our development program—our coaching and mastering program that we run for agents, and the systems that we teach them and provide them with, which allows them to scale their business by taking all the things that our highest producers use and adapting them to their own business. They want to come in and get a turnkey system that’s proven to work in our market by agents who are selling as much as $50 million a year. RE

VITALS: RE/MAX Northwest Years in business: 8 Size: 10 offices, 350 agents Regions served: Western and Central Washington 2018 sales volume: $2.5 billion 2018 transactions: 5,000 www.northwestrealtors.com

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Renovate Now, Sell for More, Pay at Closing

by Suzanne De Vita

For home sellers, Curbio eliminates the hassle of renovating

Before

After

Before

After

D

espite the iBuyer promise, for most home sellers, closing the deal doesn’t happen overnight—and neither does preparing the

property for sale. By investing in cosmetic improvements or large renovations prior to selling, many homeowners hope to maximize returns, without adding to an already expensive process—but, depending on the project, this can be a costly, stressful undertaking. For Rick Rudman and Matt Siegal, the pain of the process prompted them to co-found the company Curbio, a pre-sale home renovation platform. Over the summer, the company was crowned the startup winner at the Innovation, Opportunity and Investment (iOi) Summit, hosted by the National Association of REALTORS®(NAR), and more recently, recognized as one of Remodeler Magazine’s Top

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Remodelers. The company is also a member of NAR’s REACH Accelerator Class this year. Here, Rudman, CEO and president; Rikki Rogers, vice president of Marketing; and James Bruno, senior vice president of Construction, discuss the fast-growing platform, and the company’s goal of helping homeowners keep more in their pockets.

How did the company get off the ground? Rick Rudman: In 2017, our co-founder Matt Siegal was approached by a friend who was getting ready to sell his home. He told Matt that his real estate agent said the home would sell for an additional $90,000 if he were to invest just $45,000 to renovate the kitchen and bathrooms, paint the house and refinish his hardwood floors. Matt was a little skeptical about the agent’s claim—he knew that flippers were making money, so he didn’t doubt the profit potential, but he also knew it took a lot


of time and expertise to do this type of renovation successfully. He knew this was probably a huge problem for millions of home sellers, and he and I recognized that technology could transform the slow and archaic renovation industry.

Your mantra is “Renovate Now, Pay When You Sell.” Can you break that down for us? Rick Rudman: To overcome all the obstacles to presale renovation, Curbio had to basically reinvent home renovation. We started with the easy part, by creating a 100-percent, pay-at-closing business model. We don’t charge interest, fees or surcharges, and we will wait as long as necessary for the home to sell. Next, we built a talented team with experience as real estate agents, flippers and designers, so we could work with the seller’s agent to create a scope of work that would lead to faster sales and the best possible ROI. After the scope of work is defined, we use our on-site project manager, curated and pre-selected materials and extensive network of pre-approved and trained contractors to create a turnkey solution that takes the time burden off of agents and home sellers. Curbio handles the entire renovation from beginning to end, selecting materials based on what is popular for buyers in each market.

How does your technology work? Rick Rudman: As software pioneers, we knew we could dramatically improve many of the broken steps that seem to ruin most renovation projects. One example of this is the wildly different pricing on proposals for similar work. Most small business owners aren’t trying to pull a fast one; they just don’t have a structured or consistent way of estimating jobs, so they resort to guesstimates or simply look at how busy they are that month. We saw an opportunity to use technology and market-driven pricing to not only speed up the process, but also ensure that every customer would get a fair proposal every time. During every project, the REALTOR®, homeowner and project manager share an online project portal with complete visibility into the project schedule and on-time performance, from contract signing through final walkthrough. Real-time notes, pictures and videos eliminate the frustrating task of tracking down contractors, reviewing progress or wondering about completion dates.

So, are you farming out projects, or bringing contractors on full-time? James Bruno: Curbio is the licensed general contractor on every project we do. We employ full-time general contractors to manage every project in every city where we do work. Rick Rudman: Our project managers manage a network of subcontractors in every city, too. We’re asked a lot

about how we find our subcontractors—there’s a common belief that there’s a shortage of them, but there are over 650,000 contractors in the U.S. that focus exclusively on residential remodeling. It’s an algorithm problem, based on matching real-time project demand with real-time contractor availability. At Curbio, we’re solving this problem similar to the way Uber solves the problem of matching drivers with people looking for rides. The homeowner and agent use Curbio to get a market-rate, fixed-price contract. Curbio uses its proprietary platform to let qualified contractors select work that meets their schedule, geography and skills, at a pre-negotiated price.

If I’m the average homeowner, what can I expect as far as project recommendations and ROI? James Bruno: Ninety-five percent of our renovations include updates to the kitchen and baths. Overall, we are going to collaborate with the real estate agent to recommend improvements that will increase the value of the home. For some homes, that might just be interior paint and landscaping. For others, it might be a sixfigure renovation of the entire property. Rick Rudman: According to ATTOM Data Solutions, the average home flipper made a profit of $65,000 per home in 2018. We are seeing similar results for our home sellers, who are averaging a 209-percent return.

What about agents and brokers? How is Curbio partnering with them? Rikki Rogers: By partnering with Curbio, they can offer sellers an easy solution to sell their home quickly, make more money and pay nothing until closing. We’re also helping agents save time and avoid becoming the defacto general contractor. We also have strategic partnerships with larger brokerages of 1,000 or more agents, including Ebby Halliday, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS® and PalmerHouse Properties.

You’ve expanded rapidly in a short timespan. What’s next? Rick Rudman: We’re currently in the metro regions of Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa, South Florida, Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Phoenix and Chicago, with plans to launch in Minneapolis, Boston, Las Vegas and Seattle within the next few months (at press time). Early next year, we will be in New York City, LA and San Francisco, and an additional 20 - 30 of the largest metro areas by the end of 2020. RE For more information, please visit www.curbio.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 121


{Intel}

Competing Against New Construction: Pre-Sale Renovations Set Luxury Resale Homes Apart by Liz Dominguez

W

hen consumers think of luxury, they tend to picture a movein ready home with high-class

amenities already built in. But is that always the case?

Because of new-build luxury homes that check off most must-haves for today’s buyers, residential resales, even those within the high-priced market, can often seem underwhelming in comparison. That’s why luxury real estate experts suggest that today’s home sellers renovate before listing their home. Which projects carry the most reward? Agents today should guide their sellers toward upgrades that elevate the home on a cosmetic level, as well as in functionality. According to Diane Hartley, president of The Institute for 122 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM), renovating before putting a home up for sale is “critical,” especially for resale homes—and selling it faster and at a higher price are two of the biggest benefits, she says. The biggest competition for resale luxury homes are new-construction homes, which are typically valued higher than their resale counterparts, even if the resale properties feature similar square footage and footprints. “The competition with new construction is steep, so it’s easy to feel old and dated to today’s buyer versus new builds,” says Hartley. “According to the Institute’s data, the average age of the person buying million-dollar-plus homes nationally is going down, so it’s important to appeal to that buyer.” What is that buyer looking for? There are renovations that can boost sales price, but others are costlier, lacking in significant returns. Industry experts and the 2019 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling Magazine provide some guidance. The Cost vs. Value Report


notes that major kitchen remodels within the luxury space cost, on average, $131,510, with the resale value relatively low at $78,524. In essence, these sellers would only recoup about 59.7 percent of these renovation costs upon selling, but that largely depends on the type of kitchen renovation. Hartley actually puts the kitchen at the top of the renovation list, telling agents their clients should focus specifically on cabinets: “… lightening up and getting rid of old dated wood and hardware is a must,” she says. For bathrooms, Remodeling Magazine reports that upscale renovations cost $64,743, on average. The resale value is a little higher here than kitchen remodels at $38,952— sellers would recoup about 60.2 percent of their costs. “Bathrooms are also a great upgrade,” says Hartley, “but remember not to go too ‘trendy.’” She instead recommends that sellers choose more neutral and contemporary options when renovating their bathrooms in order to appeal to a wider range of buyers, instead of limiting the buyer pool by being “too unique.” While painting-related renovation statistics are not currently available, Hartley says a fresh paint job, both on the interior and exterior of the home, can have the most potential to increase the sales price of the property. Additionally, the Cost vs. Value Report found return-on-investment statistics for the following upscale renovations: Garage Door Replacement Cost: $3,611 Resale Value: $3,520 Cost Recouped: 97.5 percent Fiberglass Grand Entrance Cost: $8,994 Resale Value: $6,469 Cost Recouped: 71.9 percent

Master Suite Addition Cost: $271,470 Resale Value: $136,820 Cost Recouped: 50.4 percent Window Replacement (Vinyl) Cost: $16,802 Resale Value: $12,223 Cost Recouped: 73.4 percent Window Replacement (Wood) Cost: $20,526 Resale Value: $14,530 Cost Recouped: 70.8 percent What type of styles should today’s luxury homeowners be embracing? Agents can research new-construction amenities within their local markets to assess the competition and guide their clients appropriately. In Los Angeles, for example, Mansion Global reports that new developments are including upscale features such as drought-tolerant landscaping, multiple garage spaces, private rooftop decks, elevators, wellness gardens, resort-style pools and state-of-the-art cabanas with home spas, fitness centers and yoga studios. Additionally, new construction typically has the added benefit of being energy-efficient, with the potential for saving homeowners in utility costs. Technology is often a focus as well, with systems such as alarms, speakers and internet connectivity built right into the home. While big changes may be necessary in order to compete with new construction, Tami Simms from Coastal Properties Group/Christie’s International in St. Petersburg, Fla., and an ILHM instructor, suggests that there are some simple updates that can pack a big punch when it comes to selling. “Light fixtures are an easy way to incorporate an updated feel to the home. The impact is significant compared to the cost,” says Simms. “I’m listing a 1925 home in a great neighborhood that is now

competing with new construction, so I scoured the sold properties, particularly those under contract, to see what kind of fixtures are appealing to buyers in the market right now and am having them installed.” The Wall Street Journal reports that today’s homeowners are largely embracing old wood within a modern landscape. This includes taking wood from old structures (typically those built in the 1800s), such as log cabins, barns and factories, and implementing the materials into their renovations. Usage ranges from small pops or accents throughout the home, antique flooring or making a room more dramatic with barn-like beams. However, Simms says that styles vary depending on location and it’s important “to not follow the current trends” or risk becoming outdated. Therefore, agents should tell their luxury clients to keep a larger audience in mind when renovating, staying away from anything that’s “too bold, too personalized and too much pattern.” Renovating before listing can help a home sell quickly, even if it is being sold among new-construction homes that claim to have it all. “There was a Mediterraneanthemed home in my market recently from the early 2000s in the $3 million range that went through two listing agents, and, finally, the third agent convinced the sellers to spend $250,000 on updates like fresh paint, a new kitchen and flooring throughout (no more carpet), and the home sold quickly and over the previous listing price,” says Simms. “The moral of the story is to do the upgrades prior to listing. Buyers are no longer interested in getting a credit to do things their way. They want it ‘done.’” RE Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

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Getting to the Heart of Relationships: Leveraging Content and an Extensive Network by Liz Dominguez

A

lex Brandau knows a thing or two about relationships. In fact, he’s been an expert since childhood.

The founder and lead agent of Alex- people. ander Brandau Partners of Keller Wil“I’m a people person, and my liams Realty in Tennessee, Brandau success is making it about them. is a fourth-generation investor who It’s always about the client,” says grew up around real estate and prop- Brandau. “I love studying service erty management. His greatmodels. We know there will grandfather built houses be bumps in the road, but and his grandfather subit’s about making the sequently began a leasbest real estate expeing business, purchasing rience our clients can some of those family-conhave. We want it to be structed properties, which as positive and smooth his mother then managed. as possible.” Brandau was handed his first Brandau And there’s two resources he’s found incredibly lease at age 12. That’s what set the tone for his ca- valuable in his quest to create those reer. Brandau got licensed in 2001 “true raving fan” relationships he after realizing he had a passion for seeks out: the Institute for Luxury 124 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Home Marketing (ILHM) and, through that membership, RISMedia’s ACESocial, an automated social media marketing service for agents and brokers. “[ACESocial] posts regular, highquality branded posts that show up every single week, and we are getting really good traction from that,” says Brandau. “It’s not clickbait and it’s not incendiary. When I heard about the program, I thought, ‘This is phenomenal. We’ve got to put this out immediately!’” Video, he says, is getting straight to the way of the future. And that’s why ACESocial’s video articles have been a hit. However, Brandau says that leveraging both video and written content has helped him connect with the three or four major buyer generations. “Sometimes people have hab-


its they don’t want to change,” says Brandau, such as reading articles. Although Brandau does work with a lot of luxury clients, he says his goal is to implement marketing that is balanced and has a specific audience identified. It’s that dual branding that helps him build solid relationships no matter the price point, and ACESocial helps him do that. “We are very intentional about what we put out there, and it’s a two-pronged approach. It’s necessary to build those high-trust relationships,” he says. One of his favorite articles from ACESocial was about home security because it hit both traditional and high-end luxury buyers. Readers learned about a variety of options, ranging from a $20,000 home security system to a $200 Ring doorbell that can easily be installed by anyone. It’s about having powerful pieces that are approachable and have the right language, says Brandau. He’s even had celebrity clients reach out to him after reading the content, asking, “How do I get that? How can I have that in my house?” With help from the Institute, Brandau is able to zone in on the luxury segment, which likes to have “the coolest new toys.” But it requires knowing “the language of luxury.” Brandau says luxury clients have very high expectations and want to be given options at a national and international level. With the

Institute’s network, he’s been able to provide that value. “With the Institute’s help, we publish statistics that show how affordable Nashville luxury markets are compared to other areas on a national level,” he says. That data has also helped him formulate conversations that look to the future and not just the present. “We’re having a conversation with a celebrity athlete client right now (at press time) about list prices. I said, ‘Let’s look at seven to eight years from now because it could be a different market, which could have even more value.’ You want to be specific, but you also want to have a wide-angle lens.” Brandau says he knew being a member of ILHM was going to be a key differentiator for his business, especially because it shows clients he is spending time with leaders in luxury and thereby giving his sellers a competitive advantage over other local brokerages. “We are a leader in the luxury space. I tell clients, ‘I can put your house in front of several brokers in NYC, Beverly Hills, New Jersey, etc., and we know them and have actually spent time with them.’” This is in contrast to small boutiques or other local brokerages, who don’t have that network and simply send an email promoting the listing without having a solid foundation with national and international

brokers. “And who needs another email?” he asks. Brandau sees widespread growth for his company in the long run, and social media marketing and an extensive network of powerful luxury brokers is a key part of that. What’s especially important, he says, is partnering with companies that help streamline his processes rather than clogging up his steady workflow. “Instead of having multiple people searching for content and having to qualify it, I now don’t have to worry about it. [ACESocial] is real journalism with real content that’s recurring. We know it’s there and we go with it. We don’t have to worry that it might be sponsored by our competition,” says Brandau. “The No. 1 thing is that it’s branded to us. You open the page and it’s branded immediately, and you get really good content. And, boom, there we are again with our image. It’s consciously and subconsciously branding us.” Brandau adds that “it’s about continuing to show that we have something people want to consistently see. We want to be valuable and share what we are seeing in the market, but, at the same time, stay relevant.” RE

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.


Personal Debt a Major Homeownership Hurdle, Consumers Respond With Compromise By Liz Dominguez

T

here’s a roadblock on the path to homeownership that is severely delaying and limiting consumers who wish to buy a home, and that’s personal debt. But the market shows consumers are adapting. Today’s consumers struggle to save for a down payment, get approved for a mortgage or buy within their preferred timeline because of financial burdens. They are, however, getting crafty in order to navigate these challenges. Zillow reported these findings, and more, in its recently released 2019 Consumer Housing Trends Report. Renters hoping to jump to homeownership are at a standstill, with over two-thirds in debt. Thirty-nine percent were rejected by a mortgage lender or landlord because of medical debt, while 26 percent and 24 percent experienced denial due to credit card and student loan debt, respectively. Trouble saving up for a substantial deposit often leads to higher monthly costs, and, in effect, significant lifestyle changes. Zillow reports that 126 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

68 percent of buyers who are in debt made at least one financial sacrifice to purchase their home, and often reduced spending on entertainmentand vacation-related outings, as well as on technology. High debt loads are also keeping buyers from purchasing the home of their dreams. To stay within budget, they often have to sacrifice some of their wants to be able to afford the home. For example, 22 percent of first-time buyers purchased a home without their desired finishes, 21 percent bought smaller than they’d like, 21 percent bought places with increased commutes than originally anticipated and 15 percent purchased property that is in worse condition than they initially planned. “When we focus on low unemployment and the strong economy, we often forget that in many ways, the

rising costs of life can erode most of those gains,” said Skylar Olsen, director of Economic Research at Zillow, in a statement. “Healthcare has never been more expensive. Getting a college degree, a path more likely to lead to economic success for those able to get through it, has never been more expensive. U.S. housing values and rents have never been more expensive. While incomes, both at the high and low end, are growing, the pace hasn’t kept up with those crucial life expenses. That’s fact, and Americans are feeling it.” Sellers are taking on a different role today, too. Zillow says a new trend is making its way into real estate—“Do Some of It Yourself”— in which sellers are taking on tasks typically handled by their real estate agent. According to the report, 50 percent of sellers are making improvements to their properties before engaging with an agent, and 39 percent are coming up with their own listing price. Meanwhile, 25 percent are going ahead with a pre-list home inspection. Those tasks that require more industry expertise and knowledge, however, are still largely being handled by agents. For example, most sellers are staying away from conducting buyer tours and doing their own social media marketing (with only 17 percent and 8 percent of respective sellers tackling those activities themselves). Despite market challenges, buyers and sellers are looking for ways to transact, even if it means compromising. RE To view the entire report, visit www.zillow.com.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.


Are You on the ‘Most Wanted’ List? by Terri Murphy

• Becoming highly versed in all areas of your marketplace will help you craft a marketing message with specific differentiation to get traction with consumers who prefer to work with and pay for expert help. To accomplish this, focus on knowing “about” an area by walking through properties, visiting any and all open houses, studying the immediate neighborhood and covering local events to support the community involvement that makes you a “regular” participant in the neighborhood.

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sk an agent what they do and they’ll often respond with “I sell real estate.” But it’s the answer to the question about where they sell that’s the real differentiator, as it makes them one of many—or places them among the elite. If they say “everywhere,” they’ve flunked the expert test. Of course, a licensed agent can sell anywhere within an entire state, but that doesn’t translate to expertise on a hyperlocal level with statistics, trends and data in the area.

In his best-selling book, “Category of One,” author Joe Calloway shares how being an “inch wide and a zillion feet deep” as an industry expert pays off every time. You may “know” the general market and rely on current MLS-generated CMAs and company tools, which work well, but even the best statistics and data may be limiting the vision the consumer is craving. To really own your market, you must elevate your expertise from good to great—and here are the reasons why.

• Today’s consumer needs real guidance in the home-buying and -selling process that goes beyond experience. While the latest tools, systems, platforms and data make it easy to get any information you want in order to determine the suitability of a property or lo-

viewpoint, or even demographically, but they can’t get the day-to-day “boots-on-the-ground” information that comes with really knowing and studying the specifics of a given area.

cation, consumers can get that same information from just about anywhere on the net. Although a good resource, it’s not going to be as helpful unless, as the professional, you know how to “interpret” that data as it applies to their needs.

• The highest demand from consumers today is to go deep on smaller geographic areas using the guidance of a hyperlocal expert who is highly invested in the actual data and specific nuances of that marketplace. They want information about the neighborhood, or even street-specific details that require deeper legwork that you won’t find on the internet. Buyers today can easily access property information online to help them narrow down their preferences from a geographic

• If you work in a more rural area, compile specific reporting on deep analysis that includes list-to-sale percentages and up-to-the-minute days on the market with specific examples that offer deeper content than available through searches. If a buyer wants to buy, give them as much local information as they need to make an informed decision. Go beyond statistics to sharing personal insights like the best local coffee houses, local events and customs they may find interesting. People don’t want to make mistakes when investing in a home or property, and the professionals that really “know” the area are their key to a successful transaction. Choose to go from a “general agent” to hyperlocal expert. Be willing to become the “most wanted” in your area. RE Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, speaker, consultant and master coach with Workman Success. She is the author of five books, a TED Talk speaker and co-radio host on KWAMtheVoice.com. For more information, please visit TerriMurphy.com or email Terri@TerriMurphy.com. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 127


Real Estate Is a Relationship Business by Sherri Johnson

want emotional (possibly bad or negative) news sent to you via text or email from your doctor or lawyer, right? Sending texts for factual information works well, but emotional dialogue or feedback related to showings, or trying to negotiate an offer or home inspection process? Not so much. Moving, buying or selling a home is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. It’s better to have something take a bit longer than to send a text or email and risk ruining or jeopardizing the relationship. Pick up the phone if you’re more than one sentence into an email or are communicating emotional information.

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e all know that when working in real estate sales and marketing, it’s necessary to have a lot of leads in your pipeline in order to hit your monthly and annual goals. However, too much focus on “lead gen” can be harmful to your referral business and your business reputation. While lead generation is a strategy that will increase your business opportunities, it’s important to focus on the relationship you have with each client. Follow these tips in order to strengthen your relationships with your clients so that you’re creating clients for life, as well as generating referrals from clients who trust you and have total confidence in you, and you’ll create more business than you ever knew existed.

1.

Focus on the client’s needs, not just the immediate sale. Regardless of the client’s timeline, focus on what’s best for them. Work at their pace and ask them better questions to find out what’s in their best financial interest. Whether their needs are immediate or longterm, meet them where they are and stay with them. When you find the right house, or their needs or

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plans change, you’ll be the one to maximize that opportunity. This is about building a relationship based on trust and confidence while adding tremendous value.

2.

Personal relationships are in-person. You’re best when you’re face-to-face with people. You’re magnetic, enthusiastic and most effective at reading your client’s body language when you’re in person. Getting a phone call instead of a text or email for a birthday wish, or staying in touch with people to grab a coffee, is key to keeping the relationship alive.

3.

Communicate verbally, not via text or email. You would never

Be their only resource for real estate counsel. A friend and industry icon, Allan Dalton, CEO of Real Living and SVP of HSF Affiliates, recently commented on a panel I moderated that people have one doctor, one accountant and one lawyer, and yet, they have multiple REALTORS®. By focusing on a genuine and value-added relationship, you can become their only real estate agent for life. Being their only resource and not expecting anything in return is the best approach. You want to earn their trust and confidence and offer your exclusive services, and while you’re ready when they are, in the meantime, you should be consulted for anything, anytime. You’ll become their one real estate agent for life, and they’ll refer business your way year-round. RE Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Homes. com Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. Sign up for a free 30-minute coaching strategy session or visit www.sherrijohnson.com for more information.


{Meet the Newsmakers} 2019

LUMINARIES: MIKE PAPPAS

Mike Pappas President & CEO The Keyes Family of Companies

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s president and CEO of The Keyes Family of Companies, Mike Pappas oversees strategy and vision for The Keyes Company, Illustrated Proper-

ties, Platinum Properties, Capital Partners Mortgage, Home Partners Title, Keyes Insurance and Keyes Property Management. The companies make up the largest independentlyowned brokerage network in Florida, with more than 3,500 associates and employees working in 50 offices and total residential sales volume for 2018 topping $4.8 billion. Pappas’ goals are to provide the best possible experience for customers and employees, foster the best talent, and ensure the largest opportunity for sales and growth. He has implemented several technological improvements over the past few years to

“It’s a privilege to be part of a fast-changing, transforming industry. We need to leverage and maximize our leadership talent to embrace these changes. With the squeeze on margins, size matters.” help associates work more efficiently, generate more qualified leads and close more transactions. Those measures have made transactions easier and more transparent for consumers and allowed buyers and sellers to track every step of their transaction online. In the past year, Pappas has led Keyes through the successful roll-out and launch of a new technology platform with full integration, a real-time, property activity-tracking task manager and a smart CRM. Pappas has also taken steps to protect Keyes and its employees from cybercrime. Pappas believes that since the real estate industry is constantly changing, agents and leaders need to stay ahead of the curve. “It’s a privilege to be part of a fast-changing, transforming industry,” he says. “We need to leverage and maximize our leadership talent to embrace these changes. With the squeeze on margins, size matters.” RE For more information, please visit www.keyes.com. To see all of our 2019 Real Estate Newsmakers, visit rismedia.com/newsmakers-2019. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 129


{RISMedia’s Great Spaces} An infinity pool overlooking Biscayne Bay? Sign us up!

Jungle Style This month, we’re heading to the jungle to explore lush listings in tropical locales, from the Hana Highway to Miami.

by Zoe Eisenberg

Miami’s Heavenly Hibiscus Home Swaddled in pretty palms, this modern Miami home sits on the secured Hibiscus Island, with an open floor plan and panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and downtown. Built in 2019, the five-bedroom home features walls of glass and 7,000 square feet of living space. A focus on indoor/outdoor living includes custom outdoor seating, an outdoor kitchen, an infinity pool

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overlooking the bay, a private dock and an elevator leading to a private rooftop terrace. An additional guest house offers a full kitchen and a twocar garage. Listed by: Albert Justo and Mirce Curkoski, The Waterfront Team, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty Listed for: $16,750,000 Photos by: ONE Sotheby’s International Realty


This mod Miami home offers 7,000 square feet of lush living space.

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This plantation home sits on 17 acres alongside Maui’s beloved Hana Highway.

Home Sweet Home Along Hawaii’s Hana Highway Hoping to call Hawaii home? This three-bedroom, four-bathroom estate is located along Maui’s beloved Hana Highway, with nearly 17 acres of land hemmed between vibrant jungle and the coast. The private oceanfront plantation home has 1,200 square feet of deck space and 3,600 square feet of living space. Facing the ocean, you’ll notice the Big Island’s west shore, just 48 miles away across the Alenuihaha Channel. Situated high on a bluff with a gentle slope down to the sea, no other properties are visible from the secluded estate, just your own private piece of paradise. Listed by: Josh Jerman, Hawaii Life Real Estate Listed for: $6,500,000 Photos by: Dante Parducci RE

132 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE


The ocean view acts as the property’s most stunning feature.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 133


Your Brand,Our Content MORE LEADS In today’s real estate market, success depends on being closely engaged with your prospects and clients whenever and wherever they prefer. Our Content Solutions makes it easy for you to stay top-of-mind and highly relevant by providing world-class editorial news, home-buying tips and compelling lifestyle information automatically delivered through your marketing and communication channels. Whether you’re driving interest via your website, blogs, social media, email or newsletters, we provide the content you need to build trust, develop relationships and grow your business.

1-800-724-6000 rismediacontentsolutions.com


How Much Is Your Brokerage Worth? Commentary by Bryan Brooks

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o you know how much your brokerage is worth, and what you’re expecting to get for your company? You may think you know, but how do you get a better understanding of where your company sits today? Without a clear picture of your brokerage’s current finances, having a realistic idea of what this looks like is no easy task. HomeSmart International is currently in acquisition mode, and, as a result, I’ve been speaking to brokerage owners from across the country—many of whom are looking for an exit strategy. Selling a company is an emotional decision, and it’s very common for an owner to have unrealistic expectations about their company’s worth, sometimes inhibiting a deal from ever happening. Here are a few tips to help you better know what your business could potentially be worth if you opened it up to buyers. IS YOUR P&L IN ORDER? One of the biggest challenges I’ve found is with dirty P&Ls (profit and loss statements). By dirty, I mean

line items are lumped together and ill-defined. The chart of accounts needs to be a detailed line-by-line inventory of all the money leaving and entering the company. You can’t just have revenue, expenses and miscellaneous. Commission income should be included as a revenue line item, but what all goes into that? There should be sales commission income and each type of fee you collect. What do referrals bring in? As far as expenses go, there’s commission expense to the agents, but are your rental and referral costs listed separately? Under miscellaneous, do you have all of your technology costs broken out? How do E&O and TI (tenant improvements) fit in? Also, what are you pay-

ing yourself? These are just a few examples, but the chart of accounts should have everything in your brokerage clearly defined and listed. If you can’t look at your current P&L and easily identify these items, how do you think your buyer is going to be able to do it? BE WILLING TO LISTEN Connect with someone in the industry who is an expert in brokerage valuations and listen to what they have to say about your company. Companies are typically valued by their EBITA (earnings before interest taxes and amortization) and a multiplier of that. And if you think it’s 10 times your EBITA, guess again. There are always negotiations, but if you think your company is worth $3,000,000 and the valuation comes back at $1,500,000, then you probably need to reset your expectations. Knowing the numbers can help you make much better decisions for the future of your brokerage, but you need to remain open to an objective perspective on the financial state of your company. Your business is an asset. Cleaning up your financials and having a solid plan and goals in place is essential for you to get the most for your business. If you have any questions or concerns about your P&L, EBITA or your company’s valuation, I’m here to help. RE Bryan Brooks is the senior vice president of Franchise Sales for HomeSmart International, responsible for spearheading the company’s domestic and international franchise growth initiatives including mergers, acquisitions, roll-ins and conversion opportunities. You can contact Bryan directly at BBrooks@hsmove.com. For more information about HomeSmart International, please visit HomeSmart.com/Franchising.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 135


Webinar Recap:

Modernizing Real Estate Transactions With DocuSign

by Zoe Eisenberg

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s a broker, it’s vital to your success to stay abreast of modern real estate transaction systems and technology trends so that you may better serve your team and their clients. RISMedia’s most recent product-showcase webinar, “Brokers: Modernize Your Transaction Process With DocuSign Rooms for Real Estate,” focused on just that, by highlighting agreement and transaction automation system DocuSign, and the ways in which it’s modernizing the real estate transaction using its Rooms for Real Estate platform. DocuSign has been known in the industry for years as the superior source for e-signature solutions, but expansion into the real estate sphere was natural for the transaction management service. As client expectations shift alongside rapidly changing technology, it’s up to the

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broker to shift and change as well, or risk being left behind. Moderated by DocuSign team members Adriana Trizna and Kelly Lewis, the webinar broke down how both the DocuSign Agreement Cloud and the Rooms for Real Estate platform—two tools used to simplify transactions—can allow users to digitize their brokerage’s workflows in order to accelerate and sharpen that competitive edge. “Both customers and agents have information at their fingertips nowadays, and they expect everything to be quick and easy with digi-

tal transformations within the real estate industry, and it’s up to you to ensure that you’re competitive and catering to the expectations that both customers and agents have,” said Lewis, DocuSign’s solutions engineer, during the 60-minute session. “[Rooms for Real Estate] has evolved and helped to grow with the needs of our industry. Now we’re even expanding out to mortgages and residential services.” To assist brokers and their teams, the platform offers pre-built connectors to commonly used real estate solutions so companies can share a connected platform that streamlines every step of the transaction, minimizes room for errors and oversights, saves time and creates a fast-moving, modern real estate experience.

“To conduct business at the speed your clients expect, and to give yourself a competitive edge, the DocuSign Agreement Cloud for real estate is your best bet,” explained Trizna, DocuSign’s product marketing specialist. RE To view the webinar in full, visit https://bit.ly/35dThJA.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.


{Blog Spot}

Pests Causing Property Damage? 4 Warning Signs to Look For

go out, along with appliances that don’t have as much power or fail to turn on when plugged in, could mean that pests are damaging the wires. Rodents are known to chew through wires, which can also create a fire hazard in your home.

by Meghan Belnap

MUD TUNNELS Tubes that appear to be made of mud may be visible in your yard and on the side of your home. These tunnels are often constructed by organ pipe mud dauber wasps to store their larvae. Termites also build tunnels that are made from a combination of soil and wood along with a substance consisting of their saliva and feces. You might find these lining walls and floors, acting as a sure sign of infestation. Learning about the signs of pest damage will make it easier for you to act quickly to resolve the problem. Pest damage isn’t always obvious, so taking the time to perform a thorough inspection will allow you to stay on top of any situation that may arise. RE

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f you’ve noticed unusual signs of damage around your property, pests may be to blame. Rodents, insects and other types of pests can wreak havoc on properties and cause damage that ends up resulting in costly repairs. Here are four signs that are indicative of pests causing damage in your home: UNSTABLE FLOORS The sudden feeling that the floors in your home are unstable could be a sign of a pest problem. This may be especially true if you have hardwood floors that are damaged because of termites. You might notice the boards curling on your floor as damage persists. Flaking and crumbling may also become noticeable as your floors continue to deteriorate from the damage. Crushed-looking wood at structurally significant points can be another obvious sign of a pest problem. TAP TEST FAILURE Damage that’s impossible to see can sometimes be detected by per-

forming a tap test on wood surfaces around your home. Wood that’s solid all the way through should produce a thudding sound when tapped, and any hollow sounds could mean that termites or other pests are wearing away at the wood. Hollow sounds also mean that significant portions of your wood have already been lost. Calling a termite treatment specialist and contractor to repair the damage can resolve the problem.

ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS If lights, appliances or other equipment around your home that’s powered by electricity start to fail, you might have a pest problem on your hands. Lights that dim or completely

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. This article originally appeared on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit us at blog.rismedia.com.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 137


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Agents Just

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Top Training & Coaching | Top Tools & Technology | Top Resources & Services


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

Darryl Davis Seminars............................................................ 141

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

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

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

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

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

FCA US LLC............................................................................ 141

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

Homes.com........................................................................... 141

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Motto Franchising, LLC®......................................................... 142

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

MoxiWorks............................................................................. 142

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

realtor.com®.......................................................................... 142

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

Realtors Property Resource®.................................................. 143

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

Realty Executives International............................................... 143

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

Realty ONE Group.................................................................. 143

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

TM

SM

RE/MAX, LLC.......................................................................... 143 RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®.............................. 143 Top Producer® CRM................................................................ 143 Workman Success Systems.................................................... 143 Xpressdocs............................................................................ 143 Zillow Group........................................................................... 143 zipLogix.................................................................................. 143

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 139


ABR® (800) 648-6224 • www.rebac.net • 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.

AMERICAN HOME SHIELD® (800) 735-4663 • www.ahs.com/realestate American Home Shield® founded the home warranty industry more than 45 years ago and remains the industry leader with more than 1.8 million customers who depend on us every day. Not only do we offer home warranty plans that help protect against unexpected covered breakdowns of home systems, but we also offer services that buyers can take advantage of day one of their contract. Current additional services offered include rekeying, TV mounting and pre-season HVAC tune-ups. We’re also leveraging our network of more than 15,000 licensed and qualified contractors to test even more services, such as electronics protection plan, pest control coverage, house cleaning services, garage door tune-ups, electrician services, and more. Discover the shield difference and contact your local AHS® Account Executive today by visiting ahs.com/find-rep.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES (800) 666-6634 • www.berkshirehathawayhs.com 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.

BUFFINI & COMPANY (800) 945-3485 • www.buffiniandcompany.com 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.

CENTURY 21 REAL ESTATE LLC (877) 221-2765 • www.century21.com • Madison, N.J. • Michael Miedler, President & CEO Century 21 Real Estate LLC is a leading global residential franchise real estate sales organization, with over 9,400 independently-owned and -operated franchised brokerages and more than 127,000 independent real estate professionals in 80 countries and territories worldwide. The Century 21® System capitalizes on brand marketing, promotions and sponsorships, and fundraising efforts with 140 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Easterseals to build brand awareness and preference. Technology initiatives include both English- and Spanish-language consumer websites, www.century21.com and www.century21.com/espanol, a recently redesigned intranet site, www.21Online.com, and the Century 21 Learning System®, a web-based learning platform. Century 21 Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp.

CERTIFIED NEW HOME SPECIALISTTM (800) 428-1122 • www.sellnewhomes.com SellNewHomes.com 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, email contactus@sellnewhomes.com.

CINC (COMMISSIONS INC) (855) 246-2717 • www.commissionsinc.com • 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.

COLE REALTY RESOURCE (888) 231-0732 • www.colerealtyresource.com • 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.

CREATE FOR THE HUMAN (914) 909-6701 • www.createforthehuman.com • 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.

CRS DATA www.crsdata.com 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 www.crsdata.com.

DARRYL DAVIS SEMINARS (800) 395-3905 • www.ThePowerProgram.com Headquartered in Long Island, N.Y., Darryl Davis Seminars was founded by real estate expert, coach and international speaker Darryl Davis, CSP. For more than 30 years, Davis has been helping agents double their production by learning the listing and sale skills of real estate. These money-making skillsets are vital when agents are working with buyers and sellers to move their career to their Next Level™. His fast-growing membership platform, www. ThePowerProgram.com, helps real estate sales professionals design lives and careers worth smiling about. He is the best-selling author of three books with McGraw-Hill Publishers, one of which, “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate,” is the No. 1 book sold to REALTORS® on Amazon.

THE ENTRUST GROUP (800) 392-9653 • www.TheEntrustGroup.com 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 www.theentrustgroup.com/agentira.

ERA FRANCHISE SYSTEMS, LLC (800) 869-1260 • www.era.com • Madison, N.J. • Simon Chen, 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 ERA.com, its award-­winning consumer website. The ERA network includes approximately 2,300 independently-owned and -operated offices with over 40,000 brokers and independent sales associates throughout the United States and 31 other countries and territories. ERA Franchise Systems, Inc. is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp.

FCA US LLC (888) 898-1115 www.nar.realtor/fca FCA US LLC is a North American automaker based in Auburn Hills, Mich. It designs, manufactures and sells or distributes vehicles under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT® and Alfa Romeo brands, as well as the SRT performance designation. The company also distributes Mopar and Alfa Romeo parts and accessories. FCA US LLC offers extra benefits to membership of the National Association of REALTORS®.

HOMES.COM (866) 697-3308 • http://marketing.homes.com/ Homes.com 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 Homes.com 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 • www.homesmartfranchise.com Founded in 2000, HomeSmart International is one of the fastestgrowing real estate companies in the nation with nearly 170 offices in 28 states and over 16,000 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 • www.hometeam.com 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 hometeam.com.

HSASM HOME WARRANTY (800) 367-1448 • www.onlinehsa.com • Madison, Wis. HSASM Home Warranty has provided outstanding products and service to real estate professionals and homeowners for more than 35 years. The home warranty helps sellers and buyers protect their budget from the cost of repairing or replacing the covered home system components and appliances in their home. HSASM also offers additional services to help buyers maintain their homes, including rekeying and pre-season HVAC tune-ups. With HSA Home Warranty, your clients get reliable budget protection backed by exceptional service, and you get a provider who works hard to better serve you. Contact your local HSA Account Executive today by visiting onlinehsa.com.

LEADING REAL ESTATE COMPANIES OF THE WORLD® (312) 424-0400 • www.LeadingRE.com 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 more than 565 firms that span over 70 countries with 130,000 sales professionals, visit LeadingRE.com.

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MOTTO FRANCHISING, LLC®

PILLAR TO POST HOME INSPECTORS

(866) 668-8649 • www.mottomortgage.com • 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 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.

(800) 294-5591 • www.pillartopost.com • Tampa, Fla. · Stephanie Bowling, Director of Marketing (416) 620-3572 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 and the broker, and convenient scheduling options to meet every client’s needs.

MOXIWORKS

(866) 718-9842 • AgentRelations@QuickenLoans.com 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 nine years. Along with being the 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.

(206) 673-4591 • www.moxiworks.com MoxiWorks is a comprehensive open platform system for large residential real estate brokerages that serves over 72 brokerages and 120,000 agents nationwide. MoxiWorks’ integrated tools are centered on sphere methodology that increases agents’ repeat and referral business by 54 percent, while lowering overall technology, training and support costs for the brokerage. The open platform known as the MoxiCloud has tools from more than 50 partners that plug and play to create unique brokerage solutions. MoxiWorks also powers the LeadingRE Cloud. Find more information at moxiworks.com.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (800) 874-6500 • www.NAR.realtor • Chicago, Ill. • Bob Goldberg, CEO • Victoria Gillespie, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer • Katie Johnson, General Counsel, Chief Member Experience Officer • Mark Birschbach, SVP, Strategic Business Innovation and Technology • Marc Gould, SVP, Member Development 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, NAR’s official member benefits resource, providing savings and special offers on products and services just for REALTORS®. Program partners are industry leaders who understand the unique needs of real estate professionals. Visit NAR.realtor/RealtorBenefits. NAR is also proud to offer the .realtor™ and .realestate top-level domains to members to help them create a robust digital presence that supports their identity as a REALTOR®, and everything they do for their business. Visit get.realtor. NAR offers a number of designations, certifications and opportunities for continuing education that support member development. Visit OnlineLearning.realtor. NAR empowers REALTORS® to evaluate, enhance and showcase their highest level of professionalism with the Commitment to Excellence program. Visit C2EX.realtor. The REALTOR® Store features publications, webinars and research reports, including the top-selling 2018 NAR Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Visit Store.realtor. Additionally, NAR’s venture capital arm, Second Century Ventures, has invested in companies that push forward innovation in the real estate industry, while benefitting NAR members. Visit secondcenturyventures.com.

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QUICKEN LOANS

REAL LIVING REAL ESTATE (866) 373-6228 • www.realliving.com 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 has been 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) 407-2162 • www.realogy.com • Madison, N.J. • Trey Sarten, VP, External 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®, Climb Real Estate®, 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 over 16,300 offices with approximately 300,000 independent sales associates doing business in 113 countries and territories worldwide.

ENGAGE WITH REALTOR.COM® (800) 878-4166 • www.realtor.com Realtor.com® 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 realtor.com® only display the real listing price established between seller and broker, not inaccurate machine-generated estimates. Visit realtor.com®.


REALTORS PROPERTY RESOURCE®

TOP PRODUCER® CRM

(888) 914-7771 • http://blog.narrpr.com • Chicago, Ill. • Marty Frame, President • Jeff Young, COO Realtors Property Resource® (RPR) is a national, parcel-centric database that 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.

(800) 821-3657 • www.TopProducer.com 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.

REALTY EXECUTIVES INTERNATIONAL (800) 252-3366 • www.RealtyExecutives.com • 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.

REALTY ONE GROUP (949) 346-9549 • www.RealtyONEGroup.com • Lou Gonzalez, President, Realty ONE Group Affiliates Known as the UNbrokerage, Realty ONE Group is the fifth-largest real estate brokerage and one of the fastest-growing real estate franchisors in the nation. With over 11,000 real estate professionals across the country, Realty ONE Group empowers real estate professionals with business tools, technology, coaching and 24/7 support that aligns with the brand’s core belief in being pro-agent with a YOU-First Focus. Realty ONE Group is committed to creating a dynamic “coolture” that focuses on helping their professionals achieve greater success, faster, and continues opening doors for their clients, real estate professionals and franchise owners every day.

RE/MAX, LLC (303) 770-5531 • www.remax.com • Denver, Colo. RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by original disruptors Dave and Gail Liniger, who changed the real estate industry forever. Headquartered in Denver, Colo., RE/MAX is now a global franchise network with over 125,000 sales associates in more than 110 countries and territories. The consumer website remax.com 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 www.joinremax.com.

RISMEDIA’S TOP 5 IN REAL ESTATE NETWORK®

WORKMAN SUCCESS SYSTEMS (385) 282-7112 • www.workmansuccesssytems.com • 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. 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. To hire Verl to speak at your next event, visit www.workmansuccess.com/speaking. Sign up for a free coaching consult by going to www.workmansuccess.com/consult.

XPRESSDOCS (866) 977-3627 • www.xpressdocs.com • 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 www.zillow.com 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 • www.zipLogix.com 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’s led by zipForm® Plus, the exclusive and official forms software of the National Association of REALTORS®.

(203) 853-2167 • www.Top5inRealEstate.com 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.

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RREIN Member Profiles ASCENT REAL ESTATE, INC. (619) 325-4100 • www.ascentrealestate.net 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 www.BHHSamb.com • agents@BHHSamb.com 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 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 · www.cdanjoyner.com 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 www.BHHSFloridaRealty.com • Sunrise, Fla. • Rei Mesa, CRS, CRB, President & CEO Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty serves 21 counties throughout Florida with more than 40 locations and approximately 1,800 sales professionals. The full-service brokerage company, founded in 1999, is part of HomeServices of America, the nation’s premier provider of homeownership services. The company is a franchise member of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ network, one of the few organizations entrusted to use the worldrenowned Berkshire Hathaway name. The company offers residential and commercial services as well as seasonal rentals, property 144 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

management, REO & Foreclosures, corporate relocations, referral services, title, home warranty plans, and personal concierge services. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty ranks in the Top 10 in the network and is the overall No. 1 fundraiser for The Sunshine Kids Foundation in Florida, having generated more than $3.6 million. Visit www.BHHSFloridaRealty.com.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES FOX & ROACH, REALTORS® (610) 889-7705 • www.foxroach.com 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 www.foxroach.com.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES GEORGIA PROPERTIES (770) 992-4100 • www.BHHSGeorgia.com 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 • www.BHHSNV.com 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 • www.bhhsselectstl.com 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 • www.calcagni.com • www.land-consulting.com 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.


CENTURY 21 AWARD

DIANE TURTON, REALTORS®

(800) 293-1657 • www.century21award.com 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 • www.dianeturton.com 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 • www.c21nm.com 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, and 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 20 locations and approximately 900 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 handselected brokerages in the United States.

COACH REALTORS® (800) 321-7356 x139 • www.coachrealtors.com · LP Finn, Operating Officer, LP@coachrealtors.com 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 • www.cbharper.com 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 • www.KappelGateway.com 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 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 • www.fillmore.com 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 www.fillmore.com or call us at (800) 528-6673.

FIRST TEAM® REAL ESTATE (888) 236-1943 • www.FirstTeam.com 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 • www.GardnerRealtors.com 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 homegrown, 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 • www.glorianilson.com Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, has been a revered real estate company for over 40 years. We are known for our representation and commitment to providing clients with the highest level customer service. With our exclusive Christie’s International Real Estate affiliation and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® membership, we have a unique combination of worldwide expertise and regional connections. Our clients expect a world-class experience provided by skilled, knowledgeable agents, and we deliver consistently on that expectation.

J. ROCKCLIFF REALTORS® (925) 251-2501 • www.rockcliff.com • www.rockliffcares.com 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 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 145


Times, J. Rockcliff specializes in service. With leading-edge technology, 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® REAL LIVING (800) 4-JBARIS • (973) 736-1600 • www.JordanBaris.com info@jordanbaris.com Founded in 1952, Jordan Baris Inc., REALTORS® Real Living 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., REALTORS® Real Living 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 • www.kinlingrover.com 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 ∙ www.LongandFoster.com 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 220 offices, stretching from Raleigh, N.C., to Fair Haven, N.J., and from Martinsburg, W. Va., 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 $31.1 billion worth of homes and helped people buy and sell homes nearly 85,000 times in 2017. Visit www.LongandFoster.com for more information.

LUSK & ASSOCIATES SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY (717) 291-9101 • www.LuskandAssociates.com 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. 146 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

MCCOLLY REAL ESTATE (800) 348-2100 x206 • www.mccolly.com Since 1974, McCOLLY Real Estate has found your place to call 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 • www.pagetaft.com 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 • www.pattersonschwartz.com pattersonschwartz@psre.com Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate is Delaware’s largest independent REALTOR® with over 50 years of service to the Delaware real estate market and surrounding communities in nearby Pennsylvania and Maryland. With nine offices and 415 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 • www.randallrealtors.com 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 • www.pahomesforsale.com • Tom Skiffington, Broker/Owner, tom@tomskiffington.com 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 • www.gateway2realestate.com 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: info@ascentrealestate.net • URL: www.ascentrealestate.net 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: jtucker@century21award.com 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: jtucker@century21award.com 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: info@kappelgateway.com • URL: www.KappelGateway.com 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: gayleglew@firstteam.com • URL: www.firstteam.com 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: rdickson@rockcliff.com • URL(s): www.rockcliff.com • www.rockliffcares.com 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: Steven_Calcagni@calcagni.com • URL: www.calcagni.com 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: kstephens@pagetaft.com • URL: www.pagetaft.com 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: jfournier@randallrealtors.com • URL: www.randallrealtors.com 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: Linda.Zanzinger@foxroach.com • URL: www.foxroach.com 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: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: Vicki.Hamp@LongandFoster.com • URL: www.LongandFoster.com Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 220+ • 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: bpomije@psre.com • URL: pattersonschwartz.com Coverage Areas: Delaware (New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties), Pennsylvania (Chester and Delaware counties), Maryland (Cecil, Kent and Harford counties) Offices: 9 • Associates: 415

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: ReiMesa@BHHSFloridaRealty.com Relocation Contact: Sharon Sapp, Vice President, Relocation, Referrals & REOs Email: sharonsapp@BHHSFloridaRealty.com • URL: www.BHHSFloridaRealty.com Coverage Areas: 21 counties throughout Florida, including Southeast Florida, Southwest Florida and Orlando area Offering mortgage, title, insurance, home service plans and 1031 exchange services Offices: 40 • Associates: 1,750

GEORGIA Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties 863 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Roswell, GA 30076 Contact: Kathy Connelly, SVP Corporate Services • Tel: (678) 352-3321 Email: Kathy.Connelly@BHHSGeorgia.com • URL: www.BHHSGeorgia.com Coverage Areas: Metro Atlanta and North Georgia Offices: 22 • Associates: 1,100 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 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: dhorton@mccolly.com • URL: www.mccolly.com 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+

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: dhorton@mccolly.com • URL: www.mccolly.com 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: NHarmann@GardnerRealtors.com • URL: www.GardnerRealtors.com 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: move@c21nm.com • URL: www.c21nm.com 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: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: Vicki.Hamp@LongandFoster.com • URL: www.LongandFoster.com Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 220+ • Associates 11,000+

148 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

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: bpomije@psre.com • URL: pattersonschwartz.com Coverage Areas: Delaware (New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties), Pennsylvania (Chester and Delaware counties), Maryland (Cecil, Kent and Harford counties) Offices: 9 • Associates: 415 RE/MAX Gateway 4090B Lafayette Center Dr., Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Scott MacDonald, President Tel: (703) 652-5760 • (703) 727-6900 (Cell) Email: scottmacdonald@remax.net • URL: www.gateway2realestate.com 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: lcundiff@kinlingrover.com • URL: www.kinlingrover.com Coverage Areas: Southeastern Massachusetts Offices: 16 • Associates: 275

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: NHarmann@GardnerRealtors.com • URL: www.GardnerRealtors.com 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: aignatowski@bhhsselectstl.com • URL: www.bhhsselectstl.com 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: Katie.adams@BHHSamb.com • URL: www.BHHSamb.com 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: relo@BHHSNV.com • URL: www.BHHSNV.com 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: Linda.Zanzinger@foxroach.com • URL: www.foxroach.com Coverage Areas: Greater Philadelphia Region, Greater Allentown and Easton Region, Southeast Pa., Southern and Central N.J., Northern Del. Offices: 65 • Associates: 4,000

URL: www.coachrealtors.com/buying-and-sellin/relocation.cfm 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+ Fillmore Real Estate 2990 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11229 Contact: John Reinhardt, President/CEO • Tel: (800) 528-6673 Email: JohnReinhardt@Fillmore.com • URL: www.fillmore.com Coverage Areas: Brooklyn, Staten Island, Bronx and parts of Westchester Offices: 16 • Associates: 400

NORTH CAROLINA

Diane Turton, REALTORS® 511 Forman Ave., Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742 Contact: Dawn Fetherston, Director of Relocation & Corporate Services Tel: (877) 388-7866 • Email: info@dianeturton.com • URL: www.dianeturton.com 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

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: BDrake@AdvantageCB.com • URL: AdvantageCB.com 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

Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate 826 Alexander Rd., Princeton, NJ 08540 Contact: Mark Williams, Relocation Director Tel: (888) 467-MOVE (Relocation Line) • (609) 750-7655 (Direct) Email: mwilliams@glorianilson.com • URL: www.glorianilson.com 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: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: Vicki.Hamp@LongandFoster.com • URL: www.LongandFoster.com Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 220+ • Associates 11,000+

Jordan Baris, Inc., REALTORS® Real Living 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: relocation@jordanbaris.com • URL: www.jordanbaris.com 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

PENNSYLVANIA

Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: Vicki.Hamp@LongandFoster.com • URL: www.LongandFoster.com Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 220+ • 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: jmatos@coachrealtors.com

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: Linda.Zanzinger@foxroach.com • URL: www.foxroach.com 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: Mark Williams, Relocation Director Tel: (888) 467-MOVE (Relocation Line) • (609) 750-7655 (Direct) Email: mwilliams@glorianilson.com • URL: www.glorianilson.com 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: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: Vicki.Hamp@LongandFoster.com • URL: www.LongandFoster.com Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 220+ • Associates 11,000+

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE November 2019 149


Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty
 100 Foxshire Dr., Lancaster, PA 17601 Tel: (717) 291-9101 • Fax: (717) 393-2336 Contact: Sandy Zercher Email: sandra.zercher@sothebysrealty.com • URL: www.LuskandAssociates.com Coverage Areas: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; Susquehanna Valley, Pennsylvania; South Central Pennsylvania Offices: 1 • Associates: 40 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: bpomije@psre.com • URL: pattersonschwartz.com Coverage Areas: Delaware (New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties), Pennsylvania (Chester and Delaware counties), Maryland (Cecil, Kent and Harford counties) Offices: 9 • Associates: 415 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: tom@tomskiffington.com URLs: www.pahomesforsale.com • www.lehighvalleyrealestate.com Coverage Areas: Pennsylvania counties: Bucks, Berks, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Lehigh, North Hampton, and New Jersey Offices: 10 • 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: jfournier@randallrealtors.com • URL: www.randallrealtors.com 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: Nichole Moore, Director of Relocation, (864) 678-5362, nmoore@cdanjoyner.com, Jo Anne Conner, Destination & Broker-to-Broker Mgr., (864) 678-5227, jconner@cdanjoyner.com, URL: www.cdanjoyner.com 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: ppoitevent@cbharper.com • URL: www.cbharper.com 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+

150 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

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: move@c21nm.com • URL: www.c21nm.com 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: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: Vicki.Hamp@LongandFoster.com • URL: www.LongandFoster.com Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 220+ • 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: scottmacdonald@remax.net • URL: www.gateway2realestate.com Coverage Areas: Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland Offices: 6 • Associates: 170

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: move@c21nm.com • URL: www.c21nm.com 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: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: Vicki.Hamp@LongandFoster.com • URL: www.LongandFoster.com Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 220+ • 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: scottmacdonald@remax.net • URL: www.gateway2realestate.com 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: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: Vicki.Hamp@LongandFoster.com • URL: www.LongandFoster.com Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 220+ • Associates 11,000+


INDEX OF SERVICE PROVIDERS ABR®...................................................................................12

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors...........................................2

American Home Shield...................................................15

Quicken Loans....................................................................1

Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA)....66

Real Estate Express...........................................................39

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.............................. IBC

Real Estate Webmasters..................................................19

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

REality® Software............................................................109

Create for the Human...............................11, 20, 116, 125

Realtors Property Resource®...........................................21

CRS Data...........................................................................51

Realty ONE Group.......................................................... IFC

Darryl Davis Seminars, Inc...............................................79

RE/MAX, LLC.....................................................................10

ERA Franchise Systems, LLC............................................46

RISMedia’s ACESocial...................................9, 104-105, 151

Firepoint.............................................................................80

RISMedia’s Content Solutions.......................................134

Homes.com........................................................................7 HomeSmart............................................................................BC

RISMedia’s Real Estate Newsmakers Reception & Dinner...........................................................5

HouseStay................................................................................37

RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®.............88, 138

HomeTeam Inspection..........................................................48

RISMedia’s Ultimate Real Estate Team Guide............110

HSA Home Warranty..............................................................24

Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting.........................35

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®...........22-23

Stewart Title.......................................................................75

NAR’s Center for REALTOR Development (CRD)........42

Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.................................44

National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP)®..................................................92

Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem NAWRB...............................................................................86

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

Workman Success Systems......................................98, 107

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fessional, ethical behavior. That’s why we created Commitment to Excellence, or C2EX—a cuttingedge program that empowers REALTORS® to evaluate, enhance and showcase their professionalism.

C2EX will give your agents a competitive advantage and demonstrate that your brokerage stands out in knowledge, service and standards of practice. It is not a traditional course, but a self-paced learning program, available at no additional cost to National Association of REALTORS®(NAR) members, which leads to C2EX Endorsement. Every participant’s journey is unique. The online program provides a customized roadmap to excellence, factoring in each individual’s pre-existing skills and knowledge—whether the participant is a first-year agent or seasoned professional. Among those who’ve earned the endorsement, many with decades of experience have raved about how C2EX has helped them become more well-rounded, filling in gaps of knowledge and helping them build new areas of expertise. Earning the Endorsement The C2EX journey begins with a self-assessment to determine the agent’s proficiency in 10 competencies focused on vital topics like data privacy, client service, advocacy and technology. For brokers, an 11th competency centers on risk management, agent recruitment and onboarding, policy development and conflict resolution. Based on the results, the C2EX platform generates a clear, customized path providing engaging action steps and tools that will help you and your agents excel in every aspect of business. An Excellence Badge is awarded as each competency is completed, and when all 10 (or 11) badges are earned, members receive NAR’s official Commitment to Excellence Endorsement.

152 November 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

30,000 Strong and Counting Since Commitment to Excellence debuted in November 2018, more than 30,000 REALTORS® have begun their C2EX journey. Momentum is strong—and building—with hundreds of members joining in every month. Brokers are recognizing the tremendous value of the program and are taking advantage of this unique opportunity to raise the bar for the industry, while giving themselves a distinct market advantage. An Award-Winning Program Not only has the response from REALTORS® been overwhelmingly positive, C2EX was selected for the prestigious 2019 Learning! 100 Award, joining the ranks of other winners like Amazon, NASCAR, AT&T and the American Heart Association. This award honors organizations for their superior learning and development programs—and for fostering a culture of professional growth, innovation and organizational performance. C2EX Enhancements Based on feedback from participants, we recently enhanced the C2EX platform to make it more userfriendly and intuitive for you and your agents. New features and functions include a clearer user interface and simpler navigation; automatic task completion credit for participating in NAR-related activities; and a more robust Help section. For brokers, a new upload feature allows you to add materials to the C2EX Library specifically for your agents. Set Your Brokerage Apart Imagine every agent in your office earning the C2EX Endorsement. It would not only demonstrate your commitment to high standards, but also help you power past the competition. C2EX allows you to upload your brokerage logo to customize the platform for your agents and it offers a range of marketing materials that you can use to showcase your agents’ achievements. Challenge your agents to be the best they can be and support them on their path to C2EX Endorsement. Encourage them to begin their Commitment to Excellence journey today at C2EX.realtor. RE


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Real Estate Magazine - Better Homes Realty and La Rosa Realty - Nov. 2019  

Custom version of Real Estate magazine for Better Homes Realty and La Rosa Realty

Real Estate Magazine - Better Homes Realty and La Rosa Realty - Nov. 2019  

Custom version of Real Estate magazine for Better Homes Realty and La Rosa Realty

Profile for rismedia