Page 1

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JF Finnegan REALTORSÂŽ

Advancing a Legacy in San Francisco

Left to right: Co-owners/Partners Rick Whipple, Debbie Wong, Steve Belluomini

– Page 98

Powered by people. We’re setting the standard in home warranties. Through our people, tools and technology, American Home Shield® has created a culture where a relentless passion for service and state-of-the-art technology elevate the experience of our customers, and you — the real estate professionals they depend on. Learn more at

© 2018 American Home Shield Corporation. All rights reserved.


Bangkok, Thailand, home of LeadingRE member Sense Property Group



In an industry where relationships make the difference, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is a global community beyond compare — where the people behind the world’s top independent real estate firms come together to do business, collaborate on ideas and share opportunities.

This is home. It’s a place called comfort. It’s called home for a reason. It’s the place where your clients feel secure, happy, and at peace. We understand this. Through expertise and insight, our job is to help make the wonderful idea of home a beautiful reality. For every client, for every home. Each office independently owned and operated.

{Contents} October 2018/Vol. 34, No. 10 •

ON THE COVER 98 Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JF Finnegan REALTORS® Advancing a Legacy in San Francisco Debbie Wong, Rick Whipple and Steve Belluomini all followed different paths in real estate, but landed at the same destination: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JF Finnegan REALTORS®. After developing rich careers at the brokerage as sales associates and then managers, the trio became owners when founder John Finnegan retired three years ago. In that short time, they’ve expanded the firm’s reach to cover the entire San Francisco Peninsula, all while staying loyal to its family-oriented culture of caring and support. In this interview, Wong, Whipple and Belluomini share their insights into what’s made the company such a longstanding success, and how they intend to keep the momentum going.

68 68 Knowledge Is Power Here, get a behind-the-scenes look into how Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) can turn a budding business into a thriving one.


24 A  dopting Innovation From

Within to Survive a Shifting Industry

46 Looking to the Future: One Year After a Purposeful Transition


62 P  ower Broker Perspectives:

HIGHLIGHTS 26 Winning in the ‘New Real Estate Reality’ Take a look inside our 29 annual Real Estate CEO Exchange in this special photo recap. th

36 100% For Agents HomeSmart shows why letting agents keep all of their commission is in a broker’s best interest.

52 Takes

Property Marketing to a Whole New Level In this exclusive feature, learn why real estate professionals are turning to to help them position their listings ahead of the competition.

Rebecca Dewey, Daryl Owen, Travis Baron

71 Strategies: Adwerx; American Home Shield® (AHS®);; Local Logic; MoxiWorks; NAR .realtor; Quicken Loans

94 C  ommitted to Finding and

Implementing What’s Next… First

106 Trending: Branching Into Commercial Real Estate: Risk vs. Reward

108 R  ISMedia’s Great Spaces: A House to Build a Dream On

112 A  sk the Experts: Dissecting the Home Inspection Industry RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 3

?? 51




15 P  olicy Matters: FHFA Ends

102 D  anae Aballi, Douglas Elliman

Single-Family Rental Pilot Program

16 N  AR Power Broker

Real Estate

102 C  huck Poteet, HomeSmart Fine Properties

Roundtable: Growing Your Business in the Face of ‘Disruptors’

18 R  EBAC Report: Brokers’ Not-SoSecret Weapon

103 D  ionne Malush, Realty ONE Group Gold Standard

104 B  . John Duffy, Duffy Real Estate

20 Executive Appointments 48 R  eady, Set, Boston: See What’s New at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo

78 H  ousing in 2020: Construction Costs Grow, Mortgage Rates Slow

105 E  ric Pearson, Pearson Smith Realty

Increases 3 Times the Price of Renting

91 B  log Spot: Budgeting to Buy a Home? Consider the ‘Extras’

EXPERTS 23 B  rian Buffini - Get Your Habits in 43 T erri Murphy - See More People

Are Key to Increase Sales

51 D  esirée Patno - Artificial

55 R  ealty ONE Group - How to Achieve Success by Working With Others

57 R  ebecca Jensen - Taking It to the Streets: MRED’s New Consumer Campaign for Broker Public Portal

59 S  herri Johnson - 6 Pitfalls to Avoid When Setting Up Your Team

4 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

First: It’s Time to Invest in Your Own Success

81 V  erl Workman - Leverage: The Only Difference

82 S  ara Guldi - 4 Key Areas to Leverage Within Your Business to Create Newfound Growth Secret to Your Future

84 C  leve Gaddis - Creating Leverage Can Cut Both Ways

113 J ohn Wendorff - What Makes a G.R.E.A.T. Agent?

45 A  dam Contos - Go All-In on

Intelligence in Real Estate: How to Leverage the Disruption


67 T om Davidson - Put Yourself

for More Profits Offering More

93 W  ebinar Recap: Relationships

Your Listing Photos: 3 Timeless Shots That Live on Beyond the Sale

83 R  ick Geha - Leverage Is the

Line; Get Your Business to Thrive

88 C  ost of Homeownership

61 L auren Maloney - Repurposing


RISMedia Online


Publisher’s Desk

12 Did You Know? 115 Service Profiles 123 Referrals 128 R  E: Real Estate— How Can Brokers Help Shape the Legislative Landscape?

Join us in Historic Boston for

RISMedia’s 23rd Annual Power Broker Events Friday, Nov. 2, During the 2018 National Association of REALTORS® Conference & Expo

RISMedia’s Power Broker Reception & Dinner November 2, 2018 | Marriott Boston Copley | 6:30 p.m. Honoring the achievements of those firms who ranked in RISMedia’s 2018 Power Broker Report By Invitation Only – Contact Cindi Gallucci,, for more information. For Sponsorship opportunities, contact

Special Guest Speaker:

RISMedia’s Power Broker Forum

Bill Rasmussen Founder, ESPN

“Compete—and Win—in a Changing Real Estate World” November 2, 2018 | Boston Convention & Exhibition Center | 1:30 p.m. Whether it’s a brand-new business model or a new tactic from an old competitor, today’s brokers are confronted with more competitive challenges than ever before. In RISMedia’s Annual Power Broker Forum, a panel of top brokers will share strategies for: · · · ·

Staying ahead of new business models and new competition Rethinking your brokerage to drive more efficiency Attracting and retaining productive agents Exceeding the expectations of agents and consumers alike

Open to registered Conference attendees with a Premier Access, One-Day or Single Session pass For more information about RISMedia’s 2018 Power Broker Events, including location details, sponsors and speakers, please visit



Trending on View these and more at!

Real Estate Study: Top Amenities Renters Look For

Amenities are one of the first things renters inquire about when looking to move to a new apartment. According to a new Apartment List study, however, most of the largest U.S. metros have either too many amenities, not enough amenities, or the wrong amenities.

5 Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Vacation Home

Unless you’re fairly wealthy, you’ll need to make sure you can commit to buying a seasonal home before you start shopping around. Here are five indications that you’re ready to take the plunge.

at their real estate behavior. For many, furry companions play a significant role in the home-buying process.

For Sale! Top Tips for First-Time Home Sellers

Selling a home can be very lucrative, but you need to make sure you don’t make any major mistakes. Here are a few simple tips that’ll help you sell your home quickly and at the right price.

Investor’s Paradise: Top 20 Spots to Flip Real Estate

What factors make a location ideal for house-flipping? According to a recent WalletHub study, it comes down to market potential, renovation and remodeling costs, and quality of life in the specific city.

Our 29th annual CEO Exchange convened over 230 brokers and leaders in NYC this past September. From ideas and insights to networking (including a reception at the renowned Tavern on the Green), attendees had a lot to take away—and a lot to share on Twitter:

Carrie Zeier @carrie_zeier

Truly and incredibly honored to be amongst some of the legends in the real estate industry! ____________________________________________

Joan Dockor @joandocktor

Proud to serve on this informative and interesting panel today. Thank you, #CEOX2018! ___________________________________________

Ellie Johnson @ellie_bhhsny

It was a pleasure to spend yesterday at #CEOX2018 where industry leaders…shared the latest ideas and opportunities in real estate.® Report: Anatomy of HomeBuying Pet Owners

You may not realize how important pets are to their owners until you look




Connect With RISMedia @RISMediaUpdates






6 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Such a pleasure to participate in the RISMedia CEO Exchange this week! ___________________________________________

SherriJohnson @_SherriJohnson

I had the most rewarding experience moderating [a] panel of elite CEOs and brokerage leaders!

The Perfectly Reimagined The process of ďŹ nding a home just got easier.

The ďŹ rst-ever photo search for homebuyers has reimagined how consumers search for a home and has added new, innovative advertising opportunities. Schedule a consultation to secure these unique opportunities in your local area before your competition.

866-213-3251 |

The National Association of REALTORS ®, in partnership with Second Generation, Ltd., is bringing you .realestate—the newest unrestricted top-level domain created specifically for the real estate industry. From Sept. 18 to Nov. 16, REALTORS ® with an active .realtor ™ domain can get exclusive access to the .realestate member pre-sale.

Act fast! Visit today to secure your exclusive pre-sale access.

*…Your first .realtor™ domain is free for the first year; one per member

The real estate market is full of opportunities. One web address can’t tell the whole story.

{Publisher’s Desk} A Service-First Mentality Continues to Win


uring our CEO Exchange at the Harvard Club of New York last month, two words were repeated more than any others by brokers across every session: “disruptor” and “service.” The fact of the matter is, there’s a strong link between the two. Based on executives from Redfin, eXp, Purplebricks and Zillow who participated in our “Disruption vs. Innovation: What’s the Difference?” panel, their “disruptive” business models emanated out of a demand from consumers to be better served. Whether these firms are achieving that goal or not is a matter of opinion—an opinion, by the way, which lies firmly in the hands of the consumer. Dermot Buffini, CEO of Buffini and Company, put it best in my one-on-one interview with him during the CEO Exchange: “There’s a real dilemma out there in service. When people refer someone, they are referring an experience. ‘That person made me feel safe; they made me feel good.’ At the end of the day, people are looking for that.” It is fascinating, and also reassuring to me, that with the amazing advancements and technological strides the real estate business has made, that our biggest differentiator—our strongest competitive advantage—still remains the power of relationship. And that means relationship on every level, whether it’s outbound toward consumers, or internally toward agents. HomeSmart couldn’t be making that statement any louder—just take a look at our front cover. “Because we build and maintain our own technology, we have the ability to listen to our agents and tweak the system in a way that works better for them,” says Founder Matt Widdows. Read more about the HomeSmart formula on page 36. No matter what your approach, one thing is certain when it comes to service: it must continue to evolve. If you’re at the National Association of REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Boston next month, please join us for our annual Power Broker Forum on Friday, Nov. 2, at 1:30 p.m., where we’ll discuss this very topic during the session, “Compete—and Win—in a Changing Real Estate World.” For details, please see page 5.

Generate More Business from Social Media!

Automated Facebook posts lead prospects to your personalized landing page!

Relevant Content Auto-Posted and Branded for YOU!

Your Name & Company on Personalized Landing Pages!

Your Company Logo!

Your Headshot & Contact Info!

Mobile View RISMedia’s Automated Content Engagement

Responsive Design

Your Headshot & Contact Info!

Please also see our photo recap of the CEO Exchange beginning on page 26, and find full coverage of each session online at Hope to see you in Boston and, until then, wishing you continued success.

John E. Featherston CEO & Publisher

Your Company Logo!


MY WHY? i I believe symbols are powerful. Take the RE/MAX balloon. It represents ambition that moves like a freight train. And when people see it, they see me. Telling them I go nonstop. Because I do.

Why RE/MAX? The brand is my why. Š2018 RE/MAX, LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated. 18_257667

Find your why at

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

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

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

DESIGN Art Director Kelli McKenna Production Manager Susanne Dwyer Senior Designer Christy LaSalle Junior Designer Janet Yung-Balbin

COMMUNICATIONS & PUBLIC RELATIONS Communications Director Mike Dominguez

CLIENT SERVICES & EVENTS MANAGEMENT Client Services & Events Management Director Cindi Gallucci

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

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

PUBLICATIONS & SERVICES Real Estate magazine Annual Power Broker Report & Survey RISMedia’s Automated Content Engagement (ACE) (Daily e-News) (Housecall) RISMedia’s Real Estate CEO Exchange Power Broker Forum, Reception & Dinner at NAR Annual Power Broker Forum & Reception at NAR Midyear Copyright® 2018 by The Relocation Information Service, Incorporated-RISMedia, Norwalk, Connecticut. All rights reserved. Editorial and executive offices at 69 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851. Telephone: (203) 855-1234. Magazine subscription rate $83.40 per year, including postage ($166.80 for two years); Canadian subscription rate $200.00 (U.S.) per year, including shipping and handling ($400.00 for two years). All subscription and advertising correspondence call 1-800-724-6000. Material in this publication may not be stored or reproduced in any form without permission. Requests for permission should be directed to Managing Editor, RISMedia, Inc., 69 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of specific authors and columnists and are not intended to or do not necessarily represent the opinion or views of the publisher, his staff, other authors, advertisers, or subscribers.

{Did You Know?} #REalityCheck

Twenty years ago, $1 bought 2.09 square inches; in 2008, it bought 1.23 square inches.

Today, $1 buys 1.07 square inches —about two times the size of a stamp. Source: Zillow

According to a recent analysis by, these are the top five markets where it’s easiest to save for a down payment: 1. Chicago, Ill. 2. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas 3. Detroit, Mich. 4. Baltimore, Md. 5. Indianapolis, Ind.

According to new research by Trulia, 36 percent of Americans have “neighborhood regret,” or would have moved to another neighborhood than the one they reside in today.

Consumer confidence rose in August, posting a 133.4 reading in the Consumer Confidence Index® from The Conference Board. July’s reading was 127.9.

12 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

New construction homes, we've got you covered. Even newly built homes can have problems, and most homebuilders’ warranties last only one year. Help give your clients added reassurance with new construction home warranty coverage from HSASM Home Warranty.

For more information, contact your local Account Executive or call HSA at 800-367-1448.

Š 2018 Home Security of America, Inc. All rights reserved.

{Policy Matters}

FHFA Ends Single-Family Rental Pilot Program by Vijay Yadlapati This column is brought to you by the NAR Real Estate Services group.


n a win for prospective homebuyers across the country, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on Aug. 21, 2018 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will end their single-family rental pilot programs. The FHFA found that the institutional, single-family rental investor market is performing well without the liquidity provided by the Enterprises. Moreover, the Enterprises will limit their participation in the single-family rental market to their prior investments over the past two years. This announcement was celebrated by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), which has long advocated for ending the Enterprises’ expansion into the single-family rental market while inventory shortages increase across the country. In the wake of the financial crisis, nearly eight million single-family homes transitioned from owneroccupied to rental homes, limiting the supply for would-be homebuyers, driving up home prices, and weighing on the homeownership rate. Historically, most single-family rentals have been owned by mom-and-pop operations, but Wall Street investors made moves during the recession, buying homes with cash at depressed prices or in foreclosure. As home prices rose and bargains disappeared, investors clamored for ways to reduce costs and maintain stability in their businesses. As a result, the FHFA’s single-family rental pilot program was born. In January 2017, Fannie Mae guaranteed a $945 million portfolio of loans owned by Invitation Homes Inc., Blackstone Group LP’s single-family rental business. The deal effectively financed Invitation Home’s portfolio at a low rate, allowing it to take cash

from the deal to expand operations. At the time, NAR raised concerns about this deal, which Blackstone Group indicated in regulatory filings would be used to finance its purchases of single-family homes in California, Florida, North Carolina and other areas across the country that would be rented out in markets with limited supply. NAR also argued that, rather than focusing on allowing well-qualified Americans to build wealth through affordable mortgage options, Fannie Mae was actively financing large institutions to compete with them. These investors did not expand the affordable housing stock; rather, in the limited market, they drove up rents and removed affordable inventory from the hands of prospective American homeowners. The longstanding mission of the FHFA and the Enterprises, established by Congress, should be to promote a liquid and efficient national housing market while maintaining

the safety and standards of loans guaranteed by the Enterprises. This means providing qualified American consumers with an affordable alternative to FHA, not financing Wall Street landlords, subsidizing the purchase of underwater mortgages to investment banks, or selling homes in bulk to large investors. Following the Fannie Mae and Invitation Homes deal, Freddie Mac decided it also wanted to enter the blossoming business of capitalizing on single-family rentals. Prior to FHFA’s announcement in August, Freddie Mac beat out two private lenders to finance a single-family rental portfolio. Specifically, the deal guaranteed a $509 million loan that facilitated Front Yard Residential Corp., a buyer of rental homes, to purchase a competitor. Freddie Mac also provided a guarantee on a $7.8 million loan that enabled Promise Homes Co. to acquire 117 homes in the Southeast. At a time when we’re seeing a historically low homeownership rate, our nation needs the Enterprises to bolster homeownership opportunities for millions of responsible, middle-class American families. RE

Vijay Yadlapati is a senior policy representative for the National Association of REALTORS®. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 15

{The NAR Power Broker Roundtable} Growing Your Business in the Face of ‘Disruptors’ MODERATOR:

Christina Pappas District Sales Manager, The Keyes Company, Miami, Fla.; Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations, NAR PARTICIPANTS:

Dan Forsman President & CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties, Atlanta, Ga.

Drayton Saunders President, Michael Saunders & Co., Sarasota, Fla.

Joe Clement Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Properties, Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo.

Bill Plattos Executive Vice President, First Team Real Estate, Irvine, Calif. The Power Broker Roundtable is brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS® and Christina Pappas, NAR’s Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations. Watch for this column each month, where we address broker issues, concerns and milestones.

Christina Pappas: We are living in

the age of the shiny, new penny. Daily, brokers and agents hear from peers that “this new software will boost production,” that a game-changing app is “at your fingertips,” that “yet another discount broker is setting up shop in your area.” We’re checking in today with three industry veterans to hear how they deal with the hype and the growing wave of business disruptors. Dan, what’s your take on all this?

Dan Forsman: I think so many people get distracted by all the noise that they fail to keep their eye on the prize—and by that, I mean the lead indicators that keep our business 16 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

running. Sure, we need to be techenabled, but we also need to focus in on what is driving our success—how many calls are the agents making, how many appointments are being set? We need to concentrate on creating a culture that focuses on what we know drives business.

Drayton Saunders: Real estate will always be people-centric. Buyers and sellers need dedicated, experienced agents who understand the emotion involved, as well as the nuts and bolts of buying and selling a home. I don’t think either new technology or any competing business model can replace that kind of agent. At the same time, call it a disruptor or call it innovation, I do try to look at and evaluate what’s trending or new in technology. How will it impact our business in the short term? More importantly, in the long term, will it add value to the agent or consumer, because that’s the only measure that counts. Joe Clement: We have a business

plan. We have a vision. We have a mission statement up on the wall. We try to stick to that and not get crazy about any of these so-called disruptors because, as Dan said, we know what drives our business. We may tweak things a notch now and then, and we do listen, but we also know that 70 percent of our business is repeat and referral. Our agents are dealing most of the time with the people who already love them. There isn’t a cut-rate competitor anywhere that can shake that kind of loyalty.

Bill Plattos: The thing about discounting is, where does it end? There’s always somebody who’ll go lower. What we offer is full service and the strength of our carefully built brand. We depend on our managers to build agents at every level so that they, too, are the best in the business, and I think our customers know that.

“We may tweak things a notch now and then, and we do listen, but we also know that 70 percent of our business is repeat and referral. Our agents are dealing most of the time with the people who already love them. There isn’t a cut-rate competitor anywhere that can shake that kind of loyalty.” – Joe Clement Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Properties, Inc.

CP: What I’m hearing from you is, trust

your instinct, and I’d have to agree with that. Build the right strategy for connecting, reaching, and serving customers with distinction, and those shiny pennies, in many instances, become less of a concern or distraction.

DF: You know the elephant in the room here is the risk of another recession, because we all know it’s bound to happen sometime. But if you stay focused, stick to your plan, and don’t go chasing every new trend, you won’t have to run for cover. BP: We know from experience that it’s when things get tough that we excel. JC: Low inventory is still a challenge,

but we’ve doubled our listings since the first quarter of the year, largely because we can count on our base—all those referrals and the repeat business we’ve cultivated over the years.

DS: I think what we’re saying here is, leverage what’s new, but keep your eye on what you do best. What counts most is building a company that excels on its proven merit. RE 8For an expanded version of this article and other NAR Power Broker Roundtable topics, please visit

Do you not fit the mold? Revolutionary, resolute REALTORS® need apply.

JOIN THE RELENTLESS ©2018 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.

{REBAC Report}

Brokers’ Not-So-Secret Weapon

programs that include follow-up components that will help reinforce new skills.

by Marc D. Gould



recently had the opportunity to participate as a panelist at RISMedia’s CEO Exchange, one of the best venues for hearing the thoughts and concerns of 200-plus real estate industry leaders.

Among the many topics discussed, two critical and overlapping challenges caught my attention. How do brokers: 1. Help their agents be more productive?

2. Create incentives for agents to stick around? From my perspective, brokers can tackle both agent productivity and retention with one not-so-secret weapon: training. Many of the leaders in attendance at the CEO Exchange shared this view. It’s an approach that produces win-win results.

IDENTIFYING GAPS Typically, the first step is determining skill gaps. Beyond the initial onboarding process of introducing new agents to office forms and procedures, you want to assess how an agent shines—and what skills may need extra attention.

Evaluating an agent’s strengths and weaknesses, however, isn’t limited to your newest talent. In fact, seasoned agents may be tempted to assume an “I’ve got this” attitude and be more vulnerable to blind spots.

PRIORITIES Brokers typically have three top priorities: selling skills, industry knowledge and technology proficiency. During a new agent interview, for example, your thoughts might run along one of these lines: She has a great sales background but isn’t very tech-savvy. He’s brilliant about technology but lacks knowledge about the real estate industry. She understands real estate but doesn’t have much hands-on sales experience. While sales, technology and real estate skills may be at the top of the list, brokers may also need to fill other gaps, such as adding a dedicated buyer’s agent to a team or boosting your brokerage’s presence in a particular niche market.

CHOOSING THE BEST TRAINING TOOLS For training to generate meaningful and measurable results, it must deliver more than valuable information. Best-in-class education also compels agents to internalize new concepts and adopt new behaviors. While change is essential, don’t expect overnight miracles. Look for 18 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

The best training programs help agents be more effective by learning, employing and retaining new and valuable knowledge. Training also helps brokers retain agents by demonstrating their long-term commitment to the success of their agent roster.

SUPPORT FROM NAR For decades, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has encouraged agents to pursue continuing education in various ways. NAR’s designation and certification programs are designed to help members build competence in numerous specialized areas. I’m also eagerly anticipating the debut of NAR’s new Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) program, in conjunction with the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo this November. C2EX is a revolutionary initiative that’ll help REALTORS® identify and close their personal skills gaps, bringing a higher standard of professionalism to the industry and the best possible service to consumers. It’s also an exceptional tool for brokers, greatly simplifying the process of identifying gaps and supplying vital agent training. 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

{Executive Appointments} RE/MAX has announced three executive promotions: Abby Lee to senior vice president of Marketing and Communications; Amy Somerville to senior vice president of Training and Education; and Anne Miller to vice president of Luxury and Commercial. Lee, formerly vice president of Marketing and Media Strategies, will continue to oversee the planning and execution of U.S. national advertising campaigns and direct media strategies within company-owned regions, as well as lead the marketing, communications, public relations and social media groups at RE/MAX World Headquarters in Denver. Somerville, formerly vice president of Education and Training, will continue to oversee education development and training strategy for RE/MAX, LLC and Motto Franchising, LLC. Miller, formerly executive director, Luxury and Commercial, for RE/MAX, LLC, will continue to focus on building programs and developing innovations to meet and exceed the requirements of RE/MAX luxury agents and commercial practitioners. ShowingTime has added Maria Burud to its senior management team as senior vice president

of Sales. Burud has 20 years of experience in professional services and technology, and was formerly with Placeware, Inc., a Silicon Valley startup, and Infinium Software. Burud sits on multiple advisory boards, and is active as an advisor and mentor in several academic and not-for-profit organizations. Realogy Holdings Corp. has appointed Enrique “Rick” Silva to its board of directors. Silva, CEO and president of Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., will serve on Realogy’s Audit Committee. Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) has introduced a new strategic manager on its Board of Managers, Alon Chaver. Chaver is the CIO at HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. MRED created the position of strategic manager to be filled by up to two individuals at the discretion of and election by MRED’s board members to participate on an advisory basis. Their input is invited to enhance the ability of MRED’s leadership to make the best decisions and serve their real estate professionals in the most effective manner. The Weichert Family of Companies

has announced the promotion of Denise Smith to president of Real Estate Services for Weichert, REALTORS®. Smith, most recently president of Affiliated Services and senior vice president of Administration, will oversee Weichert, REALTORS®, supporting newly promoted President of Residential Brokerage Carlo Siracusa and all regional vice presidents. Additionally, Smith will continue to be responsible for the growth and success of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Weichert Referral Associates, Weichert Commercial Brokerage, Weichert New Homes, Weichert Property Management and In other company news, the Weichert Family of Companies has announced the promotion of Kim Bahn to senior vice president of Administration and Human Resources, a new position. Bahn, formerly vice president of the HR Services Group, will manage many residential support services, including marketing, recruiting and training, as well as human resources. RE For more executive happenings, please visit

A Local Expert

Jim nailed it! He found us the perfect home in a great school district and backed it up with helpful information! Perfection!! – Laura C.

Jim Walberg, REALTOR


Jim nailed it with local data from RPR

© 2018 Copyright. All Rights Reserved. Realtors Property Resource, LLC® is a member benefit of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Get excited about real estate, again! An UNtraditional approach.

Get Your Habits in Line; Get Your Business to Thrive by Brian Buffini

to serve your clients better, but you’ll also learn how to run your business more efficiently. Training should go beyond what you’re required to know about the industry and delve into how to create a solid referral-based business.

Seminars. If you want to succeed, surround yourself with successful people. After all, who you spend time with determines your attitude and your altitude in business. Seminars provide the opportunity to network with other high achievers while also sharpening your skills. Books and audiobooks. You can


uccess is a byproduct of many things. While some say it boils down to luck and timing, the reality is that it’s less a matter of chance than it is of action. Your daily habits determine if you’ll achieve your goals and lead a thriving business. That’s why it’s so important to develop habits that are conducive to success. LAYING THE GROUNDWORK How do you develop good habits? The foundation starts with mindset. Leadership expert John Maxwell once said, “Nothing will impact your life more than changing your thinking.” Your thoughts determine your level of achievement; that is, if you think positively and believe in your skills, your chances of success are exponentially higher than someone who doubts their value. Next, what motivates you? You’re more likely to adopt successful habits if an underlying mission drives them. Think about what inspires you and your purpose. When you have these things in mind, it’s easier to do the activities you need to do each day in order to achieve the goals you’ve set for your business. Keep in mind that what you’re motivated by will change as you gain more experience as an agent and businessperson. Check in periodically, especially if you’re feeling unmotivated, to assess and reassess what

really gets you up in the morning.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Positive thinking and motivation mean nothing if you’re not putting in the work and doing the activities that drive your business. While this includes performing proactive lead generation activities every day, it also includes sharpening your skills so that you can serve your clients better. For many agents, the courses taken to earn and maintain their real estate license are enough. But while these classes provide general information about real estate, they may not give you the knowledge and tools you need to lead a successful real estate business—one that can weather any market. How can you stay on the cutting edge?

Training. Available both in-person and online, it’s easier than ever to hone your fundamental skills and build new ones. You’ll not only learn

learn a lot from the experiences of others. Reading books by and about successful business leaders—even those outside of the real estate industry—provides insight into what it takes to become a high-level professional. If you can’t find the time to read, turn your car into a mobile classroom and listen to audiobooks.

Podcasts. For a quick dose of motivation, listen to inspirational or business-oriented podcasts. You can learn anywhere: in your car, at the gym, during a walk at lunch—the list goes on and on. Subscribe to your favorites and save episodes you want to listen to again. These are just a few of the methods that can help you become a high-level real estate professional. Develop habits around these methods, and you can be sure you’ll be successful. RE Brian Buffini immigrated to San Diego from Ireland in 1986 and became a top-performing REALTOR®. He then founded Buffini & Company to share his powerful lead-generation system. Buffini & Company has trained over 3 million people in 37 countries and coaches more than 25,000 business pros. Today, Brian’s a New York Times best-selling author and reaches over 1 million listeners a year through “The Brian Buffini Show” podcast. For more, visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 23

Adopting Innovation From Within to Survive a Shifting Industry by Liz Dominguez

United Real Estate takes the lead on proprietary technological innovation


ecoming acquainted with innovation is no easy feat, especially within real estate, an industry that’s continuously being reshaped by technology and disruptive business models. So, how do brokerages keep afloat within the swirling seas of change? For United Real Estate, the answer is simple—innovate first and be ready and willing to continuously adapt and transform. Dan Duffy, chief executive officer of United Real Estate Group, saw a pressing need in real estate for a firm that not only had a passion for professional services and great culture, but also understood that a home is the consumer’s most important asset. Out of this need, United Real Estate’s central focus was born: to implement change and innovate from within the industry—a rarity during the company’s launch in 2011, as most national real estate firms sought out third-party vendors for business development and technological advancement. “This was an opportunity to innovate from within the industry instead of being an interloper with agents and bro24 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

kers, and we saw a huge opportunity to take our team’s experience and positively impact the market,” says Duffy. “We knew we had to create a one-stop productivity platform that was less expensive and highly functional, as well as easier for agents to use.” United Real Estate has prioritized technological progression from day one. Since then, Duffy has recognized a stark contrast between his own firm’s buoyancy and other national brands’ attempt to survive in this rapidly changing industry, where the tools and strategies implemented could be the difference between sinking and swimming. “Larger international and national real estate brands, as well as regional players, were and are leveraging technology that was at least a decade or two old,” says Duffy, emphasizing that United Real Estate is acutely aware of the changing technological tides. This is why it took nearly a decade to perfect their streamlined platform to ensure it would be flexible enough to endure the coming years of change. “We wanted to create a single, proprietary platform where agents could access everything they need to enhance their productivity. Our effort and investment span

the better part of the last eight years and tens of millions of dollars,” says Duffy. “It’s essential in the near and long term to be in control of your technology stack so that you can innovate and differentiate. It’s impossible to stand apart from your competition if you buy your technology from a third party. We have nearly all of our agents and offices using our technology today, and the feedback from agents and brokers has been better than our loftiest expectations.” The streamlined process has proved fruitful for agents, as they don’t want to be solicited by five different real estate-technology solution providers. According to Duffy, “They don’t want to sort through all of that.” Perhaps the most notable benefit is in the value these tools provide. Third-party services typically demand astronomical fees. Instead, United Real Estate’s internallydeveloped platform allows not only the firm and brokers to save, but also passes on those savings to its agents in the form of a 100-percent commission structure and an extremely low baseline affiliation fee. “Our agents now have increased listing power, marketing reach and productivity tools—such as core CRM, listing aggregation, enhanced SEO and SEM, incredible agent websites, artificial intelligence, etc.—all at their fingertips and within their free United-provided platform, instead of having to depend on third-party vendors, which can be prohibitively expensive,” says Duffy, adding that the platform is designed to ensure maximum income for

his agents. “At United Real Estate, we pass along the efficiencies to the agents so that they can keep more of what they earned.” As a result, the firm, its members and its clients are thriving—and its office and agent count is climbing at a blistering pace. Duffy says innovating from within has also driven up agent commission income and transactions, as well as productivity across its full-service support platform. What does the future hold for United? Growth—currently, at a brisk but controlled pace to maintain high affiliate satisfaction. In addition, the company remains nimble and able to respond to changes in consumer expectations, technology and shifting market dynamics. “We’re going to see and lead with a lot more innovation, such as artificial intelligence that’s able to mine and enrich data so that we can have more agent and consumer insights to market more precisely,” says Duffy, who is committed to constant innovation to stay ahead of the competition. “At United Real Estate, we’re rolling out and building platforms that will stand strong for the coming decades, during which intense changes will occur in regard to how real estate is bought and sold, along with how real estate professionals deliver services to their clients.” RE

For more information, please visit


From sales and marketing to legal resources, research and more, the REALTOR® STORE has you and your agents covered!

GET 20% OFF USE DISCOUNT CODE SHOPRIS to receive 20% off your next purchase!

{Scene & Heard}

Winning in the ‘New Real Estate Reality’ Industry’s Top Minds Gather in NYC for RISMedia’s 2018 CEO Exchange Photos by AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic


RINGING TOGETHER 235 OF THE REAL ESTATE industry’s leading brokers and top-level executives from across the country, RISMedia’s 29th annual Real Estate CEO Exchange took place on Sept. 5 and 6 at the Harvard Club of New York City.

Opening Keynote Speaker Paul Boomsma, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®

26 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

More than 40 Power Brokers, real estate brand, network and association executives, and key subject-matter experts participated in keynote presentations, panel discussions and one-on-one interviews during the course of the day-anda-half long event. The overall theme of the 2018 CEO Exchange, “Ready, Set, Now: The New Real Estate Reality,” took an in-depth look at the forces shaking the ground beneath traditional real estate, from venture capital-backed competitors to cybercrime to tax legislation. RISMedia Founder, President and CEO John Featherston welcomed the crowd and kicked off the CEO Exchange by introducing Opening Keynote Speaker Paul Boomsma, CEO of the global brokerage network Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. Boomsma’s State of the Real Estate Union address focused on the need, now more than ever, for leadership—and an emphasis on the customer experience, especially in the face of mounting competition. “Each of these new competitors is somehow creating significance, certainty, esteem and autonomy for either agents or consumers, and it’s something that we may be missing,”

More than 235 top brokers and executives packed Harvard Hall for RISMedia’s CEO Exchange.

said Boomsma. “Rather than being challenged by them or concerned about them, we should look at what they can deliver to us.” RISMedia’s CEO Exchange also included several spirited panel discussions on a variety of hot-button topics, such as: “Disruption vs. Innovation: What’s the Difference;” “New Technology – Big Data vs. Privacy;” and “The Rebranding Challenge: Fit for the Future While Preserving Your Roots.”

Deep-dive, one-on-one interviews were held with Buffini & Company CEO Dermot Buffini, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services CEO Helen Hanna Casey, and National Association of REALTORS® CEO Bob Goldberg. The event also included a special presentation on the shifting political landscape and its impact on brokerage business from NAR Director of Real Estate Services/ Advocacy Sarah Young. Attendees also had the

chance to partake in a classic New York experience during the CEO Exchange Welcome Reception, held at the iconic Tavern on the Green in Central Park. Hosted by CEO Exchange sponsors, the reception treated guests to an evening of networking amid one of the city’s most picturesque and historic settings.

One-on-one interviews with real estate leaders: Top: Dermot Buffini, Buffini & Company Above: John Featherston, RISMedia; Helen Hanna Casey, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services Below: Bob Goldberg, National Association of REALTORS®

For in-depth recaps on each 2018 CEO Exchange session, please visit For the complete 2018 CEO Exchange photo album, please visit To reserve your spot at early-bird pricing for next year’s event, please email

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 27

‘The Agent Challenge’ (left to right): Verl Workman, Workman Success Systems; Mike Huff, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties; Marc Gould, National Association of REALTORS®; James Dwiggins, NextHome; Deirdre O’Connell, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty





Left: ‘Disruptors vs. Innovation’ (left to right): TG Gallaudet, Zillow; Eric Eckardt, Purplebricks; Scott Petronis, eXp Realty; Chelsea Goyer, Redfin Below: Joe Rand, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty

28 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

RISMedia’s Executive Vice President Darryl MacPherson welcomes guests to the CEO Exchange

Mike Huff, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties, gets real with the audience.

Above: Sponsor David Mele,, provides an executive update. Mary Burke, Heritage House Sotheby’s Intl. Realty; Ellie Johnson, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties

Photos by AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 29

Above: ‘Keeping Up With the Consumers’ (left to right): Christina Pappas, The Keyes Company; Dan Forsman, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties; Jennifer Darby Metzger, ERA Justin Realty; Carrie Zeier, RE/MAX Elite; Tipper Williams, Keller Williams Virginia Realty Alliance Group



Right: ‘How the Shifting Political Landscape May Impact Your Bottom Line’: Sarah Young, Real Estate Services Group, National Association of REALTORS®

30 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Edgerton and McClelland battle it out.

Moderator Jon Coile, Champion Realty, captures the moment.


‘New Technology – Big Data vs. Privacy’ (left to right): Charles Williams, Buyside; York Baur, MoxiWorks; Alon Chaver, HomeServices of America; Jessica Edgerton, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®; Craig McClelland, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers

Darryl Davis and Matthew Ferrara

Featherston moderates ‘Disruption vs. Innovation.’

Photos by AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 31

Featherston welcomes the crowd.

32 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

The CEO Exchange Welcome Reception took place at New York’s iconic Tavern on the Green in Central Park, where attendees enjoyed networking in a classic Manhattan setting.

Guests mingle al fresco and have fun with social media.

Photos by AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 33

Vanessa Bergmark, Owner and President, Red Oak Realty


Nick Bailey, President and Chief Executive Officer, CENTURY 21

Diane Ramirez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Halstead Real Estate

McClure and Simrin

‘Meet the Changemakers’ (left to right): Randolph Saa, CENTURY 21 American Homes; Greg McClure, Realty ONE Group Complete; Kevin Simrin, RE/MAX Integrity; Bill Flemming, HomeSmart Connect Real Estate; JP Piccinini, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, JP & Associates REALTORS®

Team RISMedia celebrates a successful 29th CEO Exchange.

34 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Team PlanOmatic (left to right): Ryan Austin, AJ Canaria and Tim Rose

X Real Estate

Exchange presented by

2018 Real Estate CEO Exchange Sponsors PLATINUM LEVEL MASTER LEVEL American Home Shield Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices ERA Century 21 Quicken Loans HSA Home Warranty National Association of REALTORS® Zillow

HOST LEVEL Buyside CINC (Commissions Inc) Create for the Human ‘The Team Challenge’: Above: Sherri Johnson, Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting; Vince Leisey, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate Center (left to right): Joan Docktor, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®; Boomer Foster, Long & Foster Real Estate; Jennifer Lind, John L. Scott Real Estate Left: Featherston closes the show.

To view and download photos, visit

Photos by AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic

Engel & Völkers Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® Real Estate Express Realtors Property Resource® The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

EVENT LEVEL Adwerx • BombBomb • CoreLogic David Knox Real Estate Training HMS Home Warranty Howard Hanna Real Estate Services Local Logic • MoxiWorks New Penn Financial • PlanOmatic REBAC • Real Estate Webmasters REAL Marketing • ReferralExchange Shelter Mortgage Company Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting zipLogix

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 35


by Paige Tepping

36 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

HomeSmart Shows Why Letting Agents Keep All of Their Commission Is in a Broker’s Best Interest


here is much discussion in the industry about the fate of the residential real estate brokerage. Traditional, commission-split brokerages are

anticipated by many to be on their way out. In fact, some industry experts say the steady stream of iBuyers, virtual brokerages and other emerging models coming into the market in the last year has made that fate certain. While many traditional brokers struggle to adapt, HomeSmart International’s high-service, highvalue model—enabled by a proprietary software platform and technology toolset—continues to distinguish itself as a high-performing approach that delivers consistency and value for both agents and brokers. This isn’t the 100-percent commission approach real estate professionals have previously discounted because of a lack of support and training. Rather, HomeSmart brokerages run on a business system where efficient operations, technology and support means more profitability for real estate businesses with less pain. HomeSmart CEO and Founder Matt Widdows started the company on the belief that real estate professionals—brokers and agents— should work smarter, not harder. “When I was a producing real estate agent in the ’90s, I couldn’t find systems that worked for me— they didn’t exist,” says Widdows. “I had technology experience prior to getting involved in real estate, so I took it upon myself to build systems that served me in becoming a

more successful agent.” Other agents soon started to take note of those systems and inquired about whether they could also use them. That is how Widdows’ techfirst mindset led to technology being a first-thought into the software and systems HomeSmart has been designing and implementing for its agents and brokers since 2000. As the brokerage got off the ground, Widdows discovered that technologies and systems can address inefficiencies and service issues, which is how the HomeSmart model delivers a full-service experience while letting agents keep 100 percent of their commission, along with other savings. “It’s interesting to see other brands today talk about wanting to build proprietary technology platforms. We were built on technology systems we started to create nearly 20 years ago, and have continuously updated and improved ever since,” adds Widdows. As you peel back the layers of efficiency enabled by these longstanding systems, you quickly see why HomeSmart’s growth curve has outpaced many of its brokerage counterparts.

What 100% Means for HomeSmart Agents Real estate agents pound the pavement looking for leads, managing transactions and closing deals. So don’t they deserve 100 percent of their hard-earned money? While “yes” seems like an obvious answer, many agents continue to settle for less than 100 percent from their brokerage every day. HomeSmart believes it is giving agents what they deserve: 100-percent commission, transparency in fees, office access, support, training, marketing resources, paper-

“We were built on technology systems we started to create nearly 20 years ago, and have continuously updated and improved ever since.” – MATT WIDDOWS CEO & Founder, HomeSmart

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 37

less transaction management and free technology and tools. “Our model minimizes expenses for the agent while continuing to deliver the resources they need at every stage of their career,” says Wendy Forsythe, chief operating officer at HomeSmart. “By adapting technology throughout the process, our agents don’t have to compromise. The value proposition is incredible—from technology, to training, to compliance and more, agents truly have access to everything they need. And, because they keep 100-percent commission, they have more control and more capital to invest in their own growth.” While many companies call themselves 100-percent commission models, agents often find they are still charged with technology, desk, training and other fees. HomeSmart offers 100 percent free technology and tools, from transaction management, CRM, agent websites and more. Earlier this year, HomeSmart relaunched an evolved version of

38 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Amplify Agent Production RealSmart Agent is the integrated tool for business development, transaction management and agent resources without any added cost. The comprehensive feature-set and easy-to-use interface allows agents to manage more transactions efficiently, and, with automated alerts and required document uploads, in compliance. As the centralized point of access to all their transaction and marketing needs, RealSmart Agent gives agents visibility to see, manage and grow their business from one place.

its proprietary RealSmart Agent software, which was introduced in 2005. This centralized system for

maximizing transaction productivity while streamlining daily business tasks is completely free to access by HomeSmart agents. The platform simplifies paperwork by keeping it on-time, compliant and integrated with RealSmart Broker, the broker counterpart to RealSmart Agent. Within the system, agents can also customize marketing materials, manage websites and access business growth tools. “Because we build and maintain our own technology, we have the ability to listen to our agents and tweak the system in a way that works better for them,” says Widdows. “We control the roadmap and what gets built based on agent needs, and that’s always changing.” This approach also enables HomeSmart agents to have con-

trol of their data from one system. Agents have a variety of ways to use their data through the company’s SmartTools, which empower all aspects of the agents’ business— marketing, business development and more. “Debate about ownership and control of data has made for some interesting headlines recently,” quips Forsythe. “Matt hit on that very early on because housing data in your own software was the best way to make it functional for the agent to build their business.” The company stresses the application of technology in the right places and for the right reasons: to keep agents’ productivity focused on high-value tasks like building relationships with prospects and clients. And, while its agents are servicing clients, technology keeps HomeSmart connected with attentive and responsive support. The company’s systems allow it to support agents with quick broker assistance online and in-person, fast

Breakthrough Brokerage Performance

paperwork review and dedicated agent services available online and by phone. This means HomeSmart can assist with everything from training to technology, or just to remind agents that the brokerage is there to have their back. With so many brokerage options available to today’s real estate professionals, agents can gain a lot from a brokerage that focuses on providing the infrastructure an entrepreneurial agent or team needs to move their transactions forward, scale their business and maintain stability. While 100 percent of HomeSmart’s model is put to work each day for agents, how well does it work for a broker? Well...HomeSmart has that figured out, too.

What 100% Means for HomeSmart Brokers There are sweeping trends within the industry to offer convenience, transparency, choice and control when buying and selling real estate. While most of the focus is on solving that for consumers, HomeSmart instead has

“Support and training are as central to the model as technology.” – WENDY FORSYTHE Chief Operating Officer, HomeSmart

chosen to focus on how its brokers can deliver that value to its agents every day, while still building a business for themselves. Not surprisingly, HomeSmart has made technology the catalyst to create a mutually beneficial business partnership between brokers and agents. “No one goes into real estate to break even or lose money,” says Widdows. “We’re all entrepreneurs

RealSmart Broker is an integrated brokerage performance-management software platform that allows brokers to conveniently manage their entire business in one place. Reduce risk, increase compliance and streamline agent communication with the simplified transaction management system while accessing all necessary brokerage back-office tasks and custom reports. With RealSmart Broker, brokers can make better decisions for their businesses.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 39

who want to build businesses. From the beginning, I wanted to find a way to let agents and brokers accomplish that in a way where everybody could make money fairly.” As much as HomeSmart emphasizes agent success, it provides 100 percent of the resources brokers need to run a successful brokerage. That might sound too good to be true, but, again, you don’t have to look far to see its technology, systems and overall approach at work in markets big and small across the United States. “No, it’s not too good to be true,” responds Bryan Brooks, senior vice president of Franchise Sales. “HomeSmart provides brokers with a complete list of services, systems and technologies, which result in performance and profitability for the brokerage.” From its RealSmart Broker panel, HomeSmart brokers can conveniently manage and have complete visibility into their entire business in one place. They can manage files, communicate with agents thanks to the RealSmart Agent integration, track recruiting efforts, work on accounting tasks, and more from the single portal—not to mention, all the data is stored in the system, so they can instantly pull reports to analyze their business. “We talk about applying technology in the right places for the right reasons to keep relationships in real estate,” says Brooks. “HomeSmart has automated the back office in order to keep brokerage personnel focused on hightouch agent interactions.” Those high-touch agent interactions get executed on by HomeSmart personnel that extend across what the franchisor refers to as four pillars of excellence: Agent Services, Career Services, Broker Services and Transaction Services.

40 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

“Support and training are as central to the model as technology,” remarks Forsythe. “HomeSmart has taken the role and responsibilities of the broker/owner and created focus and specialization that results in service that scales. On

“I love when a prospective franchise owner asks me how we make money. I tell them our brokers make money when they decide to stop doing business the hard way.” – BRYAN BROOKS Senior Vice President of Franchise Sales, HomeSmart

top of that, we offer various centralized services that give our broker/ owners more bandwidth, lower expenses and enterprise-level quality and strategy that powers growth as soon as the brokerage opens its doors.” At its largest scale, HomeSmart’s model has allowed its Phoenix brokerage to support more than 6,000 agents, and process nearly 30,000

transactions a year with less than a few dozen staff. Each day, agents and their transactions engage with the systems—interfacing with technology, people and process—to accomplish exactly what they need before moving on with their day. HomeSmart works on economies of scale and efficiencies that save dollars on payroll and allow brokers to keep more money while also letting their agents do the same. The model aims to solve for what Brooks calls “operational bloat.” More expenses, such as technologies, office space and personnel, means less profit. At HomeSmart, its systems help brokers keep expenses low, but value high. “I love when a prospective franchise owner asks me how we make money,” says Brooks. “I tell them our brokers make money when they decide to stop doing business the hard way. Once I explain the pillars and show them the technology, the light bulb goes off and they see exactly what I mean.” While brokers and agents have an easier time growing day-to-day, it’s not for lack of tremendous effort by Widdows and his team, who focus on improving HomeSmart’s technology and systems every day. “I sort of have a reputation for setting ridiculous expectations and finding ways to make them normal,” shares Widdows. “It takes some getting used to, but we see and hear from our agents and brokers all the time about how all of our effort pays off in their business.” There is one thing for certain: HomeSmart’s high-tech, high-service way of doing business builds a solid case for why 100-percent models will increasingly become the norm. RE For more information, please visit



LEADERS IN LUXURY 2018 The exclusive networking and educational event for luxury real estate professionals Learn more

GROWTH You built a successful business. We can help you go further.

Weichert® Systems Give you the blueprint for a successful real estate business.

Weichert Coaching Provides you with the guidance you need to succeed. Weichert Technology Attracts leads, connects them with agents and provides the CRM to manage them.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, visit © 2018 Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. 225 Littleton Rd. Morris Plains, NJ 07950. Weichert® is a registered trademark of Weichert Co. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Each franchisee’s results may vary. We do not make any representation about a franchisee’s future financial performance or the past financial performance of company-owned or franchised outlets. This advertising is not an offering. An offering can only be made through a Franchise Disclosure Document and in states where authorized. If you are currently a member of another franchise organization, please disregard. In New York State, an offering can only be made by a prospectus filed first with the Department of Law of the State of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the Department of Law. This offering is registered in Minnesota under registration No. F-5056.


See More People for More Profits • T ouch No. 3: Follow up with a thank you note for attending, or a “sorry we missed you” note and offer to set up a private tour at their convenience.

by Terri Murphy

• T ouch No. 4: When the property goes under contract, inform those 40 homeowners that you have buyers who are still interested in being in their neighborhood and to contact you if they’re interested in selling.


aybe you got a late start this year. Perhaps your market went south, or you went on vacation and had some trouble getting back on track. No matter the excuse, the good news is that you’ve got a chunk of time to jack up your sales before you hit the finish line at the end of the year. But what are your best options for a fast track to more sales? Rather than spend more on lead generation, let’s focus on a few steps you can take right now, and commit to some simple, actionable activities that don’t cost big money. FIGURE OUT HOW TO SEE MORE PEOPLE. Want to see more people? Don’t hold standard open houses. Instead, make them spectacular open houses on steroids. While agents frequently express the notion that open houses don’t work in their area, more often than not, it comes down to the fact that agents actually believe they don’t work. An open house on steroids program works most effectively in residential areas, but depending on where your target market is, get creative about how to make this prospecting activity fun, creative and highly profitable.

Open houses give you the opportunity to contact the 40 property owners around a listing at a minimum of three to four times. If you do the math, 40 properties times four contact activities will result in 160 touches. If you schedule one open house a week for the next four weeks, you’ll garner 640 touches a month. • T ouch No. 1: Start with a “guess what your neighbors did last night” note that informs the immediate neighborhood that their neighbors are offering their home for sale. Ask them to share the names of anyone they know that would be interested in being their neighbor. • T ouch No. 2: Invite each of the 40 property owners around the newly listed property (10 on either side and the 20 across the street) to a sneak peek an hour before the public open house.

Use Facebook Live. Think about being the star of your own Facebook Live stream. Save postage and printing costs and do your weekly market update for your community at the local coffee shop. Take it up a notch by interviewing a local celebrity or influencer to showcase upcoming events within the community. Up the ante even further by striking an agreement where the first 10 visitors get a free coffee during the off-hours. Set up a community event with a charity component. Whether it’s in conjunction with a local fall festival or Halloween event, set up a fun space for kids and families to get together. Approach your strategic partners to help host a Halloween costume competition at a local school (or other destination) with prizes, photos and plenty of treats. Be sure to get contact information so that you can notify prize winners—and don’t forget to post photos taken during the event. RE Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, speaker and coach. She is the author/coauthor of five books, and founder of Contact her at, or

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 43

Lead the way. Earn your PSA. Take the guesswork out of pricing homes. Whether you’ve been a REALTOR® for years or just listed your first house, it’s essential to price homes accurately. Now is the time to master this essential skill by becoming a Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA). This certification will make you an invaluable resource for your clients by: • Creating Comparative Market Analyses (CMAs) • Working with appraisers • Using the latest technology • Addressing home pricing misperceptions Determine a home pricing strategy with confidence. Learn the skills that result in accurate prices.

Learn more at

{Business Building}

Go All-In on Offering More by Adam Contos


hange is in the air—and it’s not just the autumn weather. With new technology and new ways of doing business, a whirlwind of change is blowing through the real estate industry.

Amid all the tech developments and new entrants, real estate remains— and always will be—a relationship business built on people. Yes, great technology is crucial, but that tech needs to support great agents, and, ultimately, their customers. At the end of the day, the purchase or sale of a home remains one of the most significant financial transactions in most people’s lives. A professional real estate agent serves as a trusted guide through a complicated process that’s become more complex. Today, there are more variables, more options, more information and more rules and regulations than ever before—making the services of a real estate professional more valuable than ever. When the role of an agent is diminished or devalued, the customer experience suffers. As a consequence, the foundational value offered by our industry takes a hit. So, what’s an agent to do in this highly competitive and dynamic environment? Double down on more. DOING MORE WITH MORE Providing excellent customer service has always been a vital component of a successful real estate business. Now it’s more important than ever. Today’s consumer expects more, and as real estate professionals, it’s our job to deliver. We need to be customer-obsessed. Obsessed with following up. Obsessed with personal service. Obsessed with commu-

The best technology in the world means nothing when it doesn’t improve the lives of customers; in fact, it can actually have a detrimental effect. You needn’t look further than phone-answering “technology” that forces a customer to press 20 prompts before connecting with a human. This certainly makes things more convenient for the service provider—not so much for the customer being served. As real estate professionals, we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We need to collaborate, communicate and conduct our businesses with the highest level of professionalism and devotion to service. When you offer more, you receive more. Everybody wins. RE

Key Takeaways:

nicating. Obsessed with delivering extraordinary results. In our industry, being armed with great technology is absolutely essential—and an extensive global presence, a productive work environment and widespread brand awareness provide a distinct competitive edge. As CEO of RE/MAX, I’m well aware of how industry-leading benefits provide a solid foundation for a thriving business. But it doesn’t stop there; in fact, that’s where it starts. It’s what you do with the benefits and technology that makes the difference for your clients, and, in turn, your business. Instead of approaching tools, tech, resources and brand strength through a lens of how they make your life easier, view them through the client perspective. How do you leverage the benefits of your office, brand and network affiliation to improve the service you offer your customers?

– With all the change in the real estate industry, remember what’s been constant: Real estate remains—and always will be—a relationship business built on people. – What’s an agent to do in this highly competitive and dynamic environment? Double down on providing more— more personal service, more communication, more extraordinary results. – When you collaborate, communicate and conduct your business with the highest level of professionalism and devotion to service; both you and your clients win.

Adam Contos is CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. For more information, visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 45

Looking to the Future: One Year After a Purposeful Transition by Zoe Eisenberg

Tom DeWine (second from the left) is focused on reimagining growth for his company, while maintaining the core of integrity that was the bedrock of his father’s vision.


RA Colonial Real Estate was founded in 1987 by Dennis DeWine, a highly decorated military pilot known for his integrity and values. His son, Tom, joined Colonial Real Estate in late 2005 after nearly a decade of sales in the medical and surgical device industry at Dennis’ request, as he wanted to retire and leave his business in good hands. In 2011, Tom got his broker’s license and became ERA Colonial’s chief operating officer, and in 2017, Dennis sold him the company. Today, ERA Colonial Real Estate is a top 15 ERA Company nationally with four offices in Texas from Fort Hood all the way down to San Antonio. Last year, they closed on 2,063 units, half a billion dollars in volume, and their GCI was $10.7 million. One year after the transition, Tom is focused on reimagining growth for his company, while maintaining the core of integrity that was the bedrock of his father’s business. WORKING TOWARD 300 “For many years, our version of growth was not necessarily to add agents, but rather, to see if we could 46 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

help our existing agents be more successful—to sell more,” says Tom DeWine. ERA Colonial Real Estate has always hovered between 75 and 100 agents, and the goal is to have that number rise to 250 - 300. “The challenge for me,” says DeWine, “is to not diminish any of the high support services that our agents enjoy, but to actually expand upon that in some additional, meaningful ways, while we also add more successful and experienced people.” BALANCED BUT AGGRESSIVE GROWTH By increasing the amount of experienced, high-quality agents at the brokerage, DeWine is hoping to hit an important target for his company.

“A couple of years ago, we decided that our threshold for success for an agent was 24 transactions closed in a 12-month time period,” explains DeWine. Right now, two-thirds of their agents are doing in excess of 30 transactions per year, and the average per-agent productivity across the entire company is about 21.7—and DeWine and his executive team are working tirelessly to reach their goal. But DeWine also understands that hard work and success can sometimes come with interpersonal costs, and he’s striving to make his company an even healthier place for people to succeed—what he calls a “balanced but aggressive” approach to growth. “Our agents and our staff are individuals. They’ve got families, they’ve got other interests, and they’ve got other things in their life that are important,” he adds. “My version of integrity is to help them create balance in their work and personal lives.” ADAPTING TO CONSUMER BEHAVIOR “We’re more open than ever to any business we can partner with or bring in on our own that will add that end-to-end, 360-degree type of solution for someone who is going to buy or sell real estate,” explains DeWine. “Consumer dynamics are changing with Lyft, with Uber, with Amazon. Real estate is changing too, so it’s been important for us to watch these trends and think about how we’re going to evolve to serve the consumer in a relevant manner.” A big part of the evolution process involves leveraging the community and network Colonial Real Estate has with ERA and Realogy at large. “That’s an unfair advantage we have over a lot of our competitors,” acknowledges DeWine. “We have access to ERA’s technology, tools and capital to help us meet shifting demands, plus a network of amazing, experienced people all over the country.” RE For more information, please visit

Like Having

Personal Marketing & Management

Your Own


members 5 have it all.


If you’re a top agent, you didn’t become one by doing what everyone else does. And now that you’ve done it, you don’t have time for anything that doesn’t help you stay on top. That’s where the Top 5 in Real Estate Network comes in. As some of America’s most successful agents, our members enjoy exclusive access to an array of personal branding, professional networking and technological resources few others can match. • Top Tools • Top Training • Top Technology From weekly marketing videos to monthly coaching sessions, every element is designed to help you differentiate yourself and dominate your market. Find out how top producers stay on top – and how you can join them there. Visit us at today.

Do You Belong?

Find out if you qualify at

Ready, Set, Boston: See What’s New at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo by Matt Lombardi


oston is home to many things: the Red Sox, Harvard University, even the first subway car in America. And for the first time since 1929, it’s home to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Conference & Expo from Nov. 2 5, 2018.

Learn from industry leaders, network with over 20,000 REALTORS® and have fun in one of the oldest cities in the U.S. With more than 100 educational sessions discussing top trends in real estate, opportunities to meet new friends and exchange ideas, plus special events

48 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

like the first-ever REALTORS® Relief Run that benefits the REALTORS® Relief Foundation and other local charities, there’s a lot to see and do at this year’s REALTORS®Conference & Expo. For many—myself included—one highlight of the conference is browsing the industry’s largest trade show with more than 400 exhibitors. With so many exhibitors to see, we hope you’ll stop by the NAR Booth No. 1131. The NAR booth is the heartbeat of the expo floor and features an open floor plan that makes it easy to engage with the products and services NAR has to offer its members. (For more information about these members-only resources, visit To enhance your marketing ef-

forts, start online and power your real estate business with .realtor™ and .realestate—two top-level domains designed to support you and everything you do. Learn how you can gain access to the exclusive .realestate member pre-sale, end-

ing Nov. 16. Then, sign up for the Member Value Plus (MVP) program eNewsletter and start earning free products that are curated to benefit your business. If technology is your thing, the Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) folks can show you how to use the platform’s comprehensive data, powerful analytics and client-friendly reporting. And you’ll want to take a tour of your personal dashboard on the NAR Member Center to see your individual member card and a consolidated calendar of events from your national, state and local associations. Looking to do a little shopping? The REALTOR® Store is offering 10 percent off publications, plus you’ll receive a free Swanepoel Trends Report when you spend $30 or more. And get your one-of-a-kind REALTOR®- branded merchandise in the REALTOR Team Store®, a REALTOR Benefits® Program partner. Speaking of the REALTOR Benefits® Program, there’s even more savings available for members. See what unique offers you can take advantage of from our more than 30 partners. In real estate, knowledge is power. Get valuable resources and expertise, including e-books, library research and business-letter templates, from Member Support. The REALTOR® Magazine is the busi-

ness tool for real estate professionals, and it’s a free publication for NAR members. Sign up to receive your digital edition. Then, ask about programs and resources available to develop volunteer leadership. Recently, NAR introduced two new exclusive member resources: the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness can help you navigate your financial security and meet your retirement goals, and the Commitment to Excellence program, launching in November, provides members with a customized path that allows you to improve your professionalism, knowledge and skills. It’s not all business in our booth. You’re invited to attend some special events we have planned. Help us celebrate the start of the expo on Friday, Nov. 2 from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. at the opening night reception. And on Sunday, meet your NAR Leadership Team from 3:00 3:30 p.m. This is one event you’re not going to want to miss. Register now at RE

Matt Lombardi is senior vice president of Marketing, Communications & Events for the National Association of REALTORS®.

y a w r u o y

s s e n i s u b r u o y w o Gr

Collaborative approach, focusing on driving productivity Actionable leads for agents with innovative Zap® platform Top ranked learning program focuses on tech resources and consumer engagement

WWW.ERA.COM © 2018 ERA Franchise Systems LLC. All rights reserved. ERA® and the ERA Logo are registered service marks owned by ERA Franchise Systems LLC. ERA Franchise Systems LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated.

Artificial Intelligence in Real Estate: How to Leverage the Disruption Commentary by Desirée Patno


iscussions about how artificial intelligence (AI) will alter the workforce as we know it is a hot topic among thought leaders, including those in the housing and real estate ecosystem. While some fear that improvements in machine learning and cognitive intelligence will present a threat to jobs—which is certainly an important concern—others see AI as a helpful tool for real estate professionals. When hearing the term “AI,” people often think of chatbots and Siri or Alexa; however, experts see AI as having greater potential as a common helper in the real estate industry: being able to communicate with buyers in an intelligent manner and identify important signals for property regulations, such as RegTech. Technology can assist the industry in property management, application processing and data synthesizing so that agents and brokers can focus on connecting with clients and helping them with the emotional process of buying or selling a home. Here are some ways real estate professionals can utilize AI to improve their operations and increase their business growth: • For property management, advanced machine learning can streamline everyday processes for tenants, property managers and landlords by helping find suitable tenants, locate vendors and provide alerts for routine maintenance and management tasks. • Increase the number of recommendations your clients can choose

from through AI. Agents can convert their knowledge of a client’s wants into data an algorithm can use to find a higher number of matches at a faster rate. • AI can provide virtual tours for interested homebuyers and answer simple technical questions about the property on behalf of the agent, such as square footage, questions about the lease and more, through 24/7 chat boxes. More nuanced questions can be transferred to the agent.

• Agents can maintain long-term relationships with their clients for when they need help moving, selling or even buying multiple properties in the future through AI-based customer relationship management (CRM) systems. These are just a few of the ways AI is being developed into the way real estate professionals conduct their business. AI can be a helpful tool that can make everyday tasks more efficient and provide assistance to clients at a moment’s notice, rather than a replacement for the agent themselves. It’s important to remember that AI is not without flaws. Some worry that AI creators and users will include their own biases within new technology, causing more roadblocks and harm to minorities. Innovators are working to make AI great at problem solving, automatic processing, data collecting and so on, but being an agent or broker requires skills that AI doesn’t have: the expert advice of a professional who has worked in the field for over 20 years; the ethics to make sure AI is used responsibly; the ability to listen and understand the needs of a client; the intuition to know when a property is a good fit or deal; and the empathy to sympathize and provide moral support when homebuyers get cold feet or things don’t go according to plan. 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, named her the Highest-Ranking Woman and 4th Overall Top Real Estate Influencer to Follow. For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 51 Takes Property Marketing to a Whole New Level by Paige Tepping



o matter the price point, savvy real estate professionals understand just how important good listing photos are when it comes to positioning their client’s home ahead of the competition. And thanks to —an essential tool that should be part of every agent’s/broker’s toolbox—real estate professionals across the board have access to a fast, reliable, affordable and convenient photo editing service, to help them achieve professional photos in just 24 hours.

Crowned the startup “pitch battle” winner at the National Association of REALTORS® first Innovation, Opportunity and Investment (iOi) Summit held this past September in 52 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

After San Francisco,—the online hub for all things digital—is taking photo editing and visual marketing to a whole new level. Offering a wide range of services including photo editing, virtual staging, floor plan redraws and renders, the folks at have made the process incredibly easy and affordable for everyone. While Brad Filliponi (professional photographer and co-founder) came up with the initial idea of creating a photo editing website for real estate agents, taking the concept to scale was an all-handson-deck endeavor spearheaded by Mel Myers (tech guru and co-founder). And to say that the concept is working would be an understatement. In fact, the Australia-based company currently has paying clients in 44 countries, most recently making its suc-

cessful debut in the United States. With a serious number of clients throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom, the team’s sights are set on further expansion as we head toward the future. “What it all boils down to is doing something simple, and doing it well,” says Myers, who is focused on continuing to innovate and lead the path by setting the industry standard. Providing a competitive advantage for everyone that uses their services, Myers points to virtual staging (both indoors and outdoors) as the service utilized most by today’s real estate professionals. “Staging a property can be time-consuming and expensive,” says Dyllan Nguyen, a broker associate at LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in Denver, Colo., who goes on to explain that working with effectively eliminates these pain points. “They’re able to provide digital staging and furniture at a fraction of the cost, saving real estate professionals and their sellers money while providing a great return on investment.” For Robert Jerome, president of the Robert Jerome Group with Keller Williams Realty in Coral Springs, Fla., the decision to work with centered around his desire to improve the level of photography he and his agents could ultimately offer their clients. “After coming across the idea of virtual staging online, we inquired with and began using their services instantly, and I’m in love with what they do for us,” says Jerome. “In my 17 years working as a listing agent, I’ve never had anything that’s impacted my call volume on listings from agents and buyers at the level that has,” he adds. But it doesn’t end there. In fact, the benefits associated with working with are plentiful. Introduced to by one of his own clients, Michael LaFido—founder and CEO of Luxury Listing Specialists in Oak Brook, Ill.—was hooked instantly. “In a difficult market, you have to stand out and be memorable,” says LaFido. “I’m constantly telling my agents that 90 percent of buyers (agents included) can’t see the capability of a home that’s presented online, so the presentation of a home in its highest light is imperative.” And thanks to virtual staging, LaFido is able to bring his listings to life while helping buyers visualize the space. “Virtual staging has got that almost universal appeal as it can be utilized to show prospective buyers just how versatile a space is—from entry-level homes all the way up to luxury properties,” echoes Myers. “It’s a great service that’s needed in our industry,” adds LaFido, a sentiment that both Jerome and Nguyen agree with wholeheartedly. “Back when I first met at an industry

Before Virtual staging


conference, there wasn’t anything like it in the marketplace for REALTORS®,” says Nguyen, who was initially attracted to the company and its business model because it was something different that would set him apart from the competition. “People are visual creatures, and being able to tap into that is huge,” says Nguyen, who does a lot of marketing for developers and homebuilders. “It’s part of the magic that goes into marketing a property.” As the competition among real estate professionals continues to heat up, is uniquely positioned to provide those who utilize their services a competitive edge well into the future. “The photography on your listings is directly representative of you as a professional, and by partnering with a company like, you can be sure you’re impressing prospective buyers every time you represent a new listing,” says Jerome. “Because photography is such a big thing in the real estate marketing world, I’m able to virtually guarantee that my clients will have the best-looking photography when working with me.” While there’s no guarantee in regard to what the future holds, Myers is steadfast in his commitment to continue providing the same level of service and quality while expanding even further around the world. “In the end, it’s all about being able to offer something that people genuinely need that makes a difference in the way they do business,” says Myers. RE For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 53

How to Achieve Success by Working With Others Commentary by the Experts at Realty ONE Group

It doesn’t necessarily need to be laid out on a map, but a wireframe of some sort should be discussed among your team. Be sure to include a timeline with goals to meet, and any prep work required to meet those goals.

Delegate Tasks and Responsibilities


n today’s digital age, the concept of being present in a physical setting may get lost in the shuffle of social media notifications, emails and text messages. There isn’t one party to blame for people not being entirely present—after all, the workplace has evolved to keep up with technology and the people who use it. Nowadays, most—if not all—contracts are signed using a digital signature, appointments are set via a link in your email signature, and you can easily order and pay for your double-shot of espresso thanks to an app on your phone. But how do we reintroduce the idea that you can achieve greater success by being present and working with others face-to-face? Simple. With a team-building event. Over the summer, Realty ONE Group hosted its first leadership retreat in Southern California. Branch managers, broker/owners and executives flew in from around the country to learn from industry leaders and influencers. In addition to the seminars and keynote speeches, attendees were treated to two teambuilding activities: a scavenger hunt and a cook-off. The goal of these two activities was to get everyone in a team setting to work together toward one common goal: win the challenge and take home the prize.

Besides winning, the purpose of these events was to get others to work together effectively in an unorthodox setting. In real estate, you need to rely on the strengths of others (your transaction coordinator, office administrator, broker and lender) to ensure your client’s transaction runs smoothly. Working with others can sometimes bring its own set of challenges: Different personalities may not gel, someone isn’t communicating effectively, or there may even be a lack of participation from one or more parties. How can we guarantee success in a team setting?

Develop a Plan Just like the start of any voyage, it’s best to have a plan in place.

When deciding who’s responsible for handling a task, always identify the person’s strengths, never their weaknesses. Focusing on a person’s weaknesses will only lead to failure. Instead, take the initiative to identify a person’s strengths to see where they can make a positive impact. Remind them that their actions will lead to the team’s success.

Engagement Make sure everyone on your team is participating by doing their part, as this will guarantee a positive outcome. If a role requires several processes to take place before a team member can proceed, encourage that person to assist other team members with their duties. Team-building activities like Realty ONE Group’s scavenger hunt and cook-off are fun learning experiences that force team members to engage in an outdoor setting. By creatively encouraging your team to work together toward a goal (whether it’s finding the golden egg or scrambling the egg), your team members will be present and engaged—and come up with solutions that will net a positive outcome. RE Professional development, mentorship, coaching and the ability to think outside the box are important keys to success, and Realty ONE Group offers this and much more to their real estate professionals. To learn how Realty ONE Group can help you lead with purpose and take your business to the next level, visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 55

Taking It to the Streets: MRED’s New Consumer Campaign for Broker Public Portal Commentary by Rebecca Jensen


he real estate industry’s thundering response to the Broker Public Portal (BPP) with Homesnap initiative has been impressive. Backed by brokerages of all sizes across the country, our reach now extends to over 900,000 agents through their MLSs. In the Pacific Northwest alone, more than 11,000 Northwest MLS agents registered for the BPP with Homesnap within the first two weeks of its launch in March and started inviting clients into a platform where consumers could access MLS-quality listing data through a connection established by their agents. TAKING IT TO THE STREETS What more can our industry be doing to connect more homebuyers and sellers to the most successful industry-born initiative in recent times? After all, the reason the BPP movement began was to provide consumers with a better online home search experience. In Chicagoland, the MRED Board of Managers decided to make a significant investment to pilot a consumer engagement campaign. As one of the earliest Broker Public Portal MLS adopters, we launched Homesnap in July 2016. More than a half-million Chicagoland consumers have since accepted an invitation from their agent to work together in Homesnap. We believe we can increase consumer engagement further with direct consumer marketing. One of the primary reasons the BPP selected Homesnap is because of its great technology. Agents love Homesnap. Don’t take my word for it though. Ask any agent that uses it, or watch the testimonials in this YouTube video ( NKJutifAEHo). These agents are unscripted, sharing from the heart. More importantly, consumers love Homesnap, too. They pushed it

to the top of the App Store as the highest-rated real estate app. When you take great technology that consumers and agents love, and marry it with the BPP mission, the next step is to take that story directly to consumers so that more of them will find their way to a superior home search experience that connects them to the source of the property content they need. That’s what we’re doing in Chicagoland. THE BROKER PUBLIC PORTAL MISSION The Broker Public Portal exists because consumers deserve a better home search experience than what advertising-driven media companies offer. Homesnap is the BPP’s vehicle for providing the same comprehensive, real-time MLS data used by real estate professionals—the people who list and sell homes, not ads. Consumers across the country can now access 100 million property records and over 59 million (and growing) active and sold listings. If consumers have questions about real estate, they can connect directly with the agents who know the most about each of the properties they’re interested in. No paid adver-

tisers are getting pushed at them. That’s the message we’re taking to consumers. THE PILOT CONTINUES Tens of thousands of Chicagoland home shoppers have downloaded the Homesnap app and visited since we started our campaign. Nearly half of our members—over 22,500 agents— are now Homesnap Pro users. Another benefit from the campaign is revealed in Hitwise, which measures online website activity, showing that our consumer-facing website traffic is quickly making a leading search portal in Chicago. We’re doing more. We’re exploring new ways the Broker Public Portal with Homesnap can engage Chicagoland consumers directly. This summer we began a test of a new consumer advertising campaign to increase awareness and drive more buyers and sellers to experience the Homesnap difference. We’re hopeful that the success we’ve already enjoyed is only the beginning and other MLSs and brokerages nationwide will start to do the same. RE Rebecca Jensen is president & CEO of Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) with 45,000 real estate professional members serving Chicagoland and its surrounding counties. She’s on the board of the BPP, the Council of MLS, and is the Board Chair of The MLS Grid. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 57

FINALLY say yes to success. Positive culture. Better career. You deserve a supportive and collaborative office culture. From weekly communication, with up-to-date information, to business planning activities, annual awards and plenty of recognition for your achievements, you’ll be plugged into a team that will help your career thrive. Plus up your game with weekly webinars, in-person workshops, and Weichert University e-learning courses to help you stand out from the competition.

Get the support you need from your brokerage. And the career you deserve. Give your local Weichert office a call today or visit

Each Weichert ® franchised office is independently owned and operated. ©2018 Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. Weichert is a federally registered trademark owned by Weichert Co. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Don’t spend without ROI. Team

6 Pitfalls to Avoid When Setting Up Your Team by Sherri Johnson


etting up your team is a huge undertaking that requires a well thought-out plan and roadmap for short- and longterm success. Knowing exactly why you’re starting a team partnership, or a team where you’re the leader and have agents working under your umbrella, is the key to success, as it will drive every action you take. Avoid the following pitfalls so that you hire the right people and grow at the right pace, all while remaining productive and profitable.


Don’t start a team without a plan.

It’ll end up costing you time and money if you start a team without knowing what you want to accomplish, where you want to go and how you plan to get there. Weigh the pros and cons, and know your motivation before you announce that you’re a team or that you’re in partnership with someone.


Don’t just hire the first people who want to join your team. It’s easy

to start hiring people in your office or company because they’re around and they’re either not producing like they’d like to be, or they see your opportunity as a way to leverage themselves. Don’t choose people who you will mold to fit the role, but rather, hire the right people who

can do the job. Adding people must make sense and be intentional. And, remember, there are benefits to recruiting and hiring new agents and teaching them your methods from the beginning.


Don’t add people too soon. Adding

people too soon can be a huge mistake and cost you time away from your business and become a huge distraction. Instead, make sure you have a number of consistent listings and/or leads coming in that you can hand off to team members. Hiring too fast can end up making team members frustrated when their expectations aren’t met. This can be draining on you as the team leader, and damaging on the relationship with your team member.

leaders have a tendency to spend a lot of money and not look at the return on investment, but it’s critical that you’re able to pay yourself first and be the most profitable. You want to know whether you made money on any given expenditure, or if you ran an ad or paid for something based on fear. Knowing the exact ROI on your spending will make you smarter, and make you more money. In fact, if it’s not going to make you three times the spend, you shouldn’t do it.


Don’t assume people know what to do. You’re now the sales manag-

er and leader of your team, and your team members need direction, training, guidance and coaching. You’re now responsible for their success, and they need to know what to do, what to say and when to act. You need to have weekly training sessions and sales meetings, as well as communicate to team members daily, to ensure they’re actively working their pipelines and converting the leads you give them, in addition to generating business on their own.


Don’t expect results without setting expectations. Not having an orga-

nized plan and strategy when starting a team or adding people to your existing team can lead to people not knowing what they should be doing. Creating a successful environment for your teammates means communicating expectations daily and weekly so that they know what they need to be doing in order to achieve their own goals and meet or exceed the team’s goals. 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 Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour. For more information, please contact or 844-989-2600 (toll free) or visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 59

Join Us as We Celebrate 15 Years of AREAA Register today at

Repurposing Your Listing Photos:

3 Timeless Shots That Live on Beyond the Sale Commentary by Lauren Maloney


eal estate is a hyper-local business, and your photos should help you sell your expertise in your market. Prove that you’re a specialist in everything from the architectural style of homes to the natural scenery and popular hot spots by getting extra mileage out of your listing photography. Repurposing your listing photography investment can save you money on an independent lifestyle shoot. Ask for these three shots from your real estate photographer to use on social media, your website and print marketing materials:

1. CLOSE-UPS OF ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS. Capture details in the home that embody the local architecture. Every area has distinctive design characteristics that make the homes unique, so be sure to key in on these features to showcase your knowledge and appreciation of the history of your area. Crystal chandeliers, stained glass windows, veined stone walls, crown molding, ceramic painted tiles and rich cedar beams are useful images for more than selling a single listing, as they speak to the market as a whole. Use these photos to add texture and context to your marketing materials.

2. NOTABLE VIEWS OF LANDMARKS. From cityscapes to mountain ranges, ask your photographer to capture the recognizable landmarks in your area. These classic images will immediately score bonus points with the locals by showing your clients that you have pride in the setting in which you live and work. Add these images to your marketing materials to build a connection with your audience.

3. NEIGHBORHOOD AND COMMUNITY. Show your potential clients that you’re in tune with what’s happening in your city. Your photographer should take pictures of local shopping districts, the best restaurants and coffee shops in the area, and even popular parks. Incorporating these images into your marketing materials will help potential clients visualize their daily life in a particular area, adding to your credibility as an authority on your community.

In real estate, your brand is comprised of the way you present yourself in person and through your marketing materials. Great real estate brands build trust and loyalty with clients. Visual elements, like photographs, are critical when it comes to properly communicating the lifestyle your brand represents. Thoughtful recycling of your photography investment could not only strengthen your brand, but also your relationships. RE

Lauren Maloney is the marketing manager at PlanOmatic. For more information, visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 61

{Power Broker Perspectives} by Keith Loria from a large independent firm and growing to seven offices servicing Sarasota, Charlotte, Desoto, Lee and Collier counties.

Rebecca Dewey:

Building a Winning Team

Rebecca Dewey is celebrating her 25th year in the real estate industry, currently serving as managing broker of RE/MAX Anchor Realty in North Port, Fla. “I love the real estate industry because the sky’s the limit,” says Dewey. “Your success is in the palm of your hand. I love working with agents to help them set, reach and surpass all of their goals— and watching it all come together.” RE/MAX Anchor Realty has been in business since 2005, converting

How is your market faring in 2018, and what factors are contributing to what you’re seeing? Rebecca Dewey: We’ve faced some struggles. We dealt with Hurricane Irma in the later part of 2017. Our offices in Collier County were affected the most due to hurricane damage. We’re starting to see an uptick now that insurance claims have been settled and repairs are being completed. Are you planning to grow your firm in the next 12 months? RD: Recruiting and retention are the root of our business. We’re always looking for talent, both new and experienced. How are you preparing your salesforce to meet the expectations of today’s consumer? RD: It all starts with training. We have a full-time trainer working one-on-one with our agents to help

VITALS: RE/MAX Anchor Realty Years in business: 25 Size: 7 offices, 110 agents Regions served: Sarasota, Charlotte, Desoto, Lee and Collier counties, Fla. 2017 sales volume: $420,288,938 2017 transactions: 1,518

62 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

them become familiar with and utilize the tools that we offer, which will complement their business plan. In addition, we prepare our agents with training and mentoring that I provide, and by offering classes to educate them on current topics.

What do you look for in someone new coming into the company? RD: A love for the business and knowledge or a willingness to learn—and, most importantly, someone who is goal-oriented and wants to be part of a winning team.

How are you updating your technology and training to provide the resources agents need to succeed? RD: We’re always looking for more effective tools to offer our agents. We use paperless file management systems and automated marketing programs to simplify the two most time-consuming tasks agents are faced with in their everyday business.

Daryl Owen:

How are you attracting new agents to your firm and retaining top producers? RD: We do recruiting ads, as well as mailings and phone calls to agents we’re looking to have join our team. We also rely on our current agents to tell us who they want on their team; after all, they’re interacting with them every day, so they have firsthand knowledge as to their work habits and professionalism. That being said, support is key to retention, and our agents know they can always reach me for whatever they need. Our agents are our customers. Whatever I can do to help them, not only professionally, but personally, I will.

Focused on Value and Professionalism At just 21, Daryl Owen acquired his first rental property, fulfilling a dream he had as a youngster to become a real estate investor. He then went for his real estate license and officially started selling in 2006. In 2011, he founded Nationwide Real Estate Executives in Buena Park, Calif., where he leads a team that works to create life-changing events for its clients. “In my opinion, this is

the best career opportunity to create any life you want as a real estate professional,” says Owen. “The trajectory is limitless, and real estate is a vehicle that can take you anywhere you want to go. I love not having a glass ceiling.” What sets your firm apart in the marketplace? Daryl Owen: We own a licensing school with a little over 4,000 students, and we have one of the best environments and training platforms that cultivates and develops newer and budding agents. This also provides a huge advantage to our top agents, since we can grow their businesses and teams by giving them agents and training them on their behalf, alleviating two huge burdens team leaders often face. We also have a very talented marketing team that creates incredible collateral and brand identities for our agents, in addition to custom, inhouse web development on their behalf. How has your market fared so far this year? DO: It’s been a really good year for us. We acquired a new location in November 2017, which put our sides and GCC growth to over 51 percent year-over-year; however, even without the new addition, we would still be up 28 percent in both sides and GCC. While the affordability factor is

playing a role in slowing sales slightly, we’re still in a market that’s equitable for both buyers and sellers—and it’s a great time for both. This is the type of market I tell my agents they can get rich in. Inventory is still historically low, though rising slightly, and interest rates are still historically low, as well. We anticipate a market shift in the next two to three years; however, we also anticipate a normalization of our market and not a drastic shift like we saw in 2008. Are there any other plans in place for growth in the months ahead? DO: Absolutely. We spent 2018 refining our systems and processes and strengthening our foundation; however, we’re actively looking for acquisition opportunities to propel our growth. We have a recipe for success, and it’s worked for us. What are the biggest challenges you’re currently facing? DO: I’m not entirely sure whether this would be labeled a challenge or frustration; however, the constant need to recruit has put most brokers in the commodity position with only one value proposition: cheaper commissions and fees. If we only compete on price, and not true value, we all become the result of the lowest common denominator. This practice

doesn’t yield true professionalism and higher standards, nor does it ensure that our agent population is well trained with highlevel professionalism. And it also brings our industry down as a whole. As a company, we don’t really care nor worry about the new discount brokers, as there’ll always be clients who prioritize cost over value, and those who prioritize value over cost. What are the biggest opportunities for increasing business right now? DO: Client experience is on the top of my list, and although this will be valuable for years to come, it won’t increase our business overnight. The largest opportunity for growth today is two-fold: invest further into our corporate inside sales department and acquisition opportunities with struggling brokers who don’t have a system and recipe for success. We can all win much faster and go much farther together, and we have a proven system that works.

How are you updating your technology and training to provide the resources agents need to succeed? DO: We built a full technology suite of tools with SSO so that our agents can run their businesses completely mobile and improve the client experience. Not only do we train our agents on how to source business, but also on how to develop great relationships and service the business, which is a big distinction. Our marketing systems for listings have been improved upon and innovated drastically, and our communication processes have changed as a result of client preferences. Additionally, we’re integrating and building some of our own proprietary technology that’ll improve the client experience during showings, as well as the overall transaction experience.

VITALS: Nationwide Real Estate Executives

Years in business: 7 Size: 7 offices, 764 agents Regions served: Orange and Los Angeles counties, Calif.; marginally service Riverside and San Bernardino counties 2017 sales volume: $641,374,623 2017 transactions: 1,235

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 63

Travis Baron:

A Hands-On Approach to Growth Travis Baron has been around the real estate game his entire life. “I earned my real estate license in 1999 and my broker’s license in 2000,” explains Baron, who began working for his dad before purchasing the business outright in 2005. Today, he serves as president and CEO of RE/MAX Premier Realty in Irvine, Calif. How would you characterize the Orange County real estate market in 2018? Travis Baron: We are, from a national perspective, a high-value market. While our average sales price is in the mid- to upper$700,000s, we’re beginning to see a slowdown in buyer activity. The active inventory was increasing at a fast rate through the first two quarters of the year, but it’s begun to level off. Even though we have more inventory than last year, we still haven’t reached the levels we

64 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

were experiencing the two previous years, so we’re still considered a seller’s market. The lack of buyer activity seems to be more psychological than anything else. Prospective buyers are worn out from trying to compete for limited available inventory over the last few years, and prices have gotten to a point where they’ve decided to stop competing. At this point, they’re hoping for prices to come down a bit before they act. What is your growth strategy, and do you have any plans for new growth in the year ahead? TB: We’re definitely in growth mode at our company. We don’t have any plans for new office locations or acquisitions, but we have room available in our current offices and markets to increase our agent count. We’re planning and positioning ourselves for 20 percent agent growth in each of the next two years. How are you attracting new agents to your firm and retaining top producers? TB: We’re a very hands-on and available brokerage and are constantly looking for ways to be in front of our agents as advisors, motivators, coaches, accountability partners, etc. Agents want to know that you truly have their best interests in mind, and the best way to do this is to be present and available. What do you look for in someone new coming into the company? TB: We’re only interested

in full-time, full-service agents. We look for recruits with great people skills. We can teach someone how to structure and run a business, but if a recruit doesn’t show the propensity to be empathetic and have genuine interest in serving others, they can almost never learn these skills.

this is incorrect. We’ve been focusing on bringing on a newer, younger generation of agents that not only understand their fellow millennials, but are also interested in assisting their generation reach the dream of homeownership that all the past generations have.

What are the biggest opportunities for increasing business right now? TB: It always seems that when the market begins to waver, agents panic and freeze. We see a great opportunity in assisting sellers with the sale of their homes as we enter a more balanced market. We’ve been preaching to our agents the need to “double down” on their marketing efforts now in order to reap the benefits as sellers come on the market.

How are you updating your technology and training to provide the resources agents need to succeed? TB: This has been a real focus for us over the last three years, as we’ve seen the need for agents to conduct themselves as consultants as opposed to agents now more than ever. With the transition of the real estate market since the advent of the internet, our value proposition has been forced to change. We’re no longer looking to help people “buy and sell” homes. Today, we’re approaching buyers and sellers by saying, “Tell me about what you’re trying to achieve through the sale/purchase of this home,” and then we’re providing them with our experience and knowledge, as well as the information necessary to help them best achieve their ultimate goal in the sale of their home. RE

How are you readying your salesforce to meet the expectations of today’s consumer, especially first-time homebuyers and millennials? TB: After a number of years hearing about how millennials were a new breed of consumer that wasn’t interested in owning property the way their parents’ generation was, we’re beginning to see that

VITALS: RE/MAX Premier Realty Years in business: 40 Size: 3 offices, 128 agents Regions served: Orange County, Calif., and all surrounding counties 2017 sales volume: $628 million 2017 transactions: 1,418

PREMIUM ONLINE REACH There are hundreds of real estate portals online. WE SYNDICATE TO THE WEBSITES THAT MATTER.

Learn more about our premium marketing solutions and the local Homes & Land magazine in your market:

/BENEFITS Properties must meet price thresholds to be listed on premium websites. Syndication partners are subject to change. 18HL006-09102018

Put Yourself First:

It’s Time to Invest in Your Own Success by Tom Davidson


one of us go into real estate wanting to lose money, yet we all get swept up in the numbers game. Real estate is a career where you get out of it what you’re willing to put in, and there isn’t just one path to success.

Training more than one million real estate professionals has taught us something: It takes the right formula to succeed. Whether it’s pre-licensing, continuing education, professional development or luxury training, the key is to never stop learning. A recent survey from Real Estate Express of over 1,000 real estate professionals revealed that real estate agents who invest in their education earn 2.5 times as much as those who don’t. Seems pretty simple. Professionals who self-identify as “experts” in staying updated on trends and best practices earn an average gross income of $99,385

per year, while those who self-identify as “failing” in this area earn just $39,412 per year. Let that sink in for a moment. You could earn nearly $60,000 more each year by investing in yourself. More likely than not, if you’re reading this, you’re one of the “experts.” The survey also found a correlation among continuing education, job satisfaction and income, so you’re already on your way to increasing your earning potential. Here are a few more tips: Give Yourself Permission to Invest in Training Real estate professionals know how to give their time to others, but we don’t usually take a step back to invest in ourselves. Build Learning Goals Into Your Business Plan Write your learning goals into your business plan. Start with a few things you want to learn this year, bullet point resources you can look into to develop the necessary skills and attach a year-end goal. For example, if your learning goal is to figure out how to generate leads on Facebook, you may go about developing the skills needed by finding an online course, watching a video on YouTube or reading a how-to published on a blog—with a goal of generating 40 new leads on Facebook, resulting in two sales.

Carve Out Time We all struggle with time management, especially when juggling multiple real estate deals. Blocking time in your schedule each week for your learning goals is a good start. Set aside “office hours” and dedicate them to taking a course, checking in with your mentor, or reading industry news provided by RISMedia or other real estate blogs. Look for Accreditation If you’re paying to take courses for continuing education credits, make sure the institution is approved by your state regulatory board and accredited by ARELLO, IDECC, or both. These agencies regularly appraise the quality of institutions. Beyond courses for credit, you’ll find hundreds of real estate coaches and programs you can purchase to elevate your skills. If you’re paying for the services, do your due diligence to ensure their credentials and expertise align with your education goals. Mix It Up Adopt micro-learning principles: the small, everyday moments (think five minutes or less) where you can digest a lot quickly. Subscribe to emails that curate the most helpful real estate insights from online sources, check in on your favorite blog at a slow open house, listen to a real estate podcast while you’re driving to a new listing or join a private Facebook group that offers up tips from others. This approach will keep things fresh while still pushing your career forward. RE Tom Davidson is the general manager of Real Estate Express, the national leader in online learning for prelicensing, continuing education and professional development. Davidson has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate industry. From sales training and product development to growing the business, his multi-faceted background encompasses crucial functions to a successful career in the field. To learn more, visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 67

Knowledge Is Power Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) offers broker tools and training in one central location by Zoe Eisenberg

68 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE


fficiency is important in any business, but in real estate—where you’re constantly juggling multiple clients, listings, meetings, and more—operating efficiently is vital. Having one portal for all your tools and training helps drive efficiency for the individual agent, and their team. This is where Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) can turn a budding business into a thriving one.

The platform provides REALTORS® with data on over 166 million parcels of property throughout the United States, while RPR’s Broker Tool Set offers a selection of invaluable resources. This includes company branding and market intelligence, as well as a training platform to help bring the program to your team with ease. An added bonus? RPR is included in a REALTOR®’s NAR membership dues. “We want agents to take full advantage of the benefits of their NAR membership, and RPR is a part of

that,” says Carol Prigan, director of Training and Professional Development with HER REALTORS® in Ohio. “The tool can help them get more business and close more transactions, benefitting both the agent and the brokerage.” A certified RPR trainer with 20-plus years in the business, Prigan and her team have implemented several of the Broker Tool Set features, including the Ancillary Services module. This allows them to display contact information for their title, mortgage and insurance companies inside RPR as a way to remind agents that these companies are there for the benefit of their clients. “Agents notice this information and talk to their clients about the services we offer, in addition to assisting them with the purchase or sale of real estate,” says Prigan. Prigan and her team have integrated RPR into their company culture in a variety of ways. First, new agents learn about RPR while taking part in the firm’s technology training. “I help agents set up profiles and teach them various ways to use the platform for their businesses,” explains Prigan. Besides participating in the RPR Broker Tool Set program, each and every agent has the brokerage logo on their dashboard, which they can use for the reports they create. “RPR’s Broker Tool Set gives us the opportunity to have our affiliates placed on our agents’ dashboards and included in reports,” says Prigan. Additionally, Prigan offers in-office classes on a regular basis for existing agents to learn how to use RPR. Agents are always searching for a tool, or a piece of technology that truly works and is easy to manage and navigate, explains Amanda Rogers, operations manager and REALTOR® with Premiere Plus Realty, Co. in Naples, Fla. Rogers says her team uses RPR to simplify the home valuation process for agents and to provide information included in reports

to agents and customers. With over 1,245 branded agents, this type of easy-to-access information is vital for Rogers and her team. “To have a platform that provides a wealth of data on more than just a home search is extremely important to the educated buyer or seller, as well as REALTORS®.”

“The team at RPR is very responsive and has partnered with our team for a successful implementation from launch to present. Making this a part of our culture increases the confidence of our associates as they communicate with the public and operate in commercial and residential real estate business every day.” – WENDI IGLESIAS Chief Information Officer, The Keyes Company

Like Prigan, Rogers has infused RPR training into her company’s culture, which has gone a long way toward ensuring that her agents are comfortable with the platform. “My agents go to RPR for their CMAs, seller reports, presentations, and more.”

Liz Perez, corporate technology trainer with The Keyes Company in South Florida, builds RPR into her company culture by offering a series of webinar training classes that are available to the entire organization. “The happiest client is an informed one,” says Perez. “In the process of providing information to our clients, one of the first reports that we do is through RPR—and we include it in every listing presentation.” Wendi Iglesias, chief information officer at The Keyes Company, notes that many of her associates were using RPR prior to the company-wide launch. “We found that RPR was simple to use and provided information in a single location that they were previously collecting from various sources,” says Iglesias. When it comes down to terms of implementation, the process has been very smooth, Iglesias notes. “The team at RPR is very responsive and has partnered with our team for a successful implementation from launch to present. Making this a part of our culture increases the confidence of our associates as they communicate with the public and operate in commercial and residential real estate business every day.” Knowledge is power, Iglesias points out, stating that “having several data points available in a single location allows for more efficient training and a shorter learning curve for both new and experienced associates.” “There are so many tools out there for agents to use in their businesses,” stresses Prigan, who goes on to explain that her agents want effective, simple-to-use tools that will help them close more transactions. “I see agents using RPR because they realize the benefit for their businesses and their clients. It’s become part of their toolbox.” RE

For more information, please visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 69

{Strategies} Outpacing the Competition Using Digital Automation ADWERX A BOON FOR NORCAL LUXURY FIRM by Keith Loria


lain Pinel REALTORS® (APR) (No. 6 in sales volume in RISMedia’s 2018 Power Broker Report), headquartered in Campbell, Calif., has been serving the Northern California real estate market for 28 years, focusing its efforts on the luxury market in the Bay Area. Today, the firm is the sixth-largest residential real estate firm in the U.S., and the largest privately-owned residential real estate company in Northern California based on closed sales volume.

One way APR stays on top is by providing its agents with the latest and greatest technologies. That philosophy led the firm to investigate working with Adwerx at the beginning of 2018. “We engaged with Adwerx because we wanted to provide a way for agents to compete from a digital perspective, as well as have an additional relevant tool, with minimal disruption to their day-to-day workflow,” says Zane Burnett, vice president of Digital Innovation & Technology at Alain Pinel REALTORS®. “We’re still in the early stages of our relationship with Adwerx, but we’ve experienced a slight uptick in traffic to our brokerage site as a result of the Automated Listing Campaigns.” To get agents up to speed, Adwerx provided several training webinars, with ongoing monthly training, to teach agents how to get the most impact out of the pro-

gram. Burnett notes that because the firm automates the process, it’s been extremely easy for agents to use. “Once one of our agents takes a listing, the advertising of that listing through Adwerx is taken care of by us,” says Burnett. Burnett’s initial impression was that Adwerx prides itself on providing an exceptional level of service to its enterprise customers. “They were always accessible, and they possessed an enthusiasm when answering the plethora of questions we had,” he says. “Over time, that level of service has not diminished in the slightest. With that in mind, they’ve added focus to things like reporting and integration with other tools, which will prove to be extremely useful for us.” Recruitment is extremely important to Alain Pinel REALTORS®— and one of the benefits the firm has found by using the digital advertising company. “With Adwerx, we can easily serve ads to the audience we wish to reach,” says Burnett. “This allows us to focus our dollar spend while maximizing our exposure.” Additionally, the firm’s clients have noted how Adwerx data has helped, expressing their appreciation to the agents. “Sellers are generally impressed with the stats that are included in the reports generated by Adwerx,” says Burnett. “Agents love that many of their sellers relay, with enthusiasm, the level of exposure their listings are receiving.” Of course, the biggest benefit in working with Adwerx is the ease with which agents can provide exposure to their listings digitally. “Through Adwerx’s automated advertising platform, agents can focus on what they do best—assisting homeowners with the complicated process of selling their home, while knowing that the platform will be standing by to support them in their digital efforts,” says Burnett. “Simply put, the experience has been stellar. Their level of service, their eagerness to meet expectations, and their desire to see the program work for us has made for a great relationship.” Based on the overall positive experience, Burnett is quick to recommend the service for other real estate professionals. “If you’re looking for a way to provide targeted advertising, Adwerx makes it as easy as possible,” says Burnett. “It’s easy to get lost in the mix of options out there, and it’s just as easy to throw money against a wall with the hope that their ads will work. Adwerx walks you through the process while providing metrics that allow you to make intelligent decisions.” For more information, please visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 71

A Progressive and Responsive Approach to Exceeding Clients’ Expectations AMERICAN HOME SHIELD®(AHS®) GOES ABOVE AND BEYOND TO GET THE JOB DONE by Jameson Doris


ich Johnson, co-owner and broker of Windermere Homes & Estates in San Diego, Calif., has worked in the real estate industry since 1989. In those 29 years, he’s grown his team to 600-plus agents in 17 offices serving San Diego County and the Coachella Valley. If there’s one word those close to him would use to describe him, it’s progressive.

Johnson treats each of his agents as entrepreneurial men and women, supporting their businesses along the way with his years of experience owning multiple companies. The support his agents receive goes beyond Johnson being a great listener and problem solver; his agents are backed up with a number of superior products, including a home warranty option. Windermere Homes & Estates has educated its clients about the benefits of home warranties for years. Earlier this year, however, Johnson observed what he described as “a lack of service” from the home warranty provider many of his clients had been using. He and his clients began to see the value of the home warranty

72 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

through American Home Shield (AHS) after a lengthy search for the right home warranty provider. For Johnson, the choice of which home warranty to provide isn’t difficult. He admits that he’d known of the company’s stellar record and range of services for many years; however, the thousands of positive reviews his clients see online about those services was what eventually led his clients to choose AHS. Six months later, he lists AHS’ dominance in the industry, unique features not offered by other companies, excellent relationships between agents and their progressive approach as the biggest benefits of working with American Home Shield. While every business owner wants to avoid major conflicts with their clients—especially litigation—Johnson notes that he could have come close to facing this scenario recently if it weren’t for AHS. “We had a close of escrow and the AC broke the first day,” says Johnson. “And this was at a property where the heating system also had to be replaced. American Home Shield came in and had the AC up and running the same day. Both the agent and client were thrilled.” Aside from avoiding major problems and making the lives of his buyers and sellers easier, AHS also handles all of their relationships with a personal touch. In fact, Johnson knows both of his local account executives— Ally Edgerton and Rick Bright—on a first-name basis. This points to how easy communicating with AHS is for clients and agents alike. “Both Ally and Rick are very responsive,” says Johnson. “In the short time our clients have been with [AHS], we’ve worked through the very few issues we’ve had with little red tape, which may not have been the case with another company.”

Windermere Homes & Estates is a locally-owned brokerage—the fourth largest in San Diego—and as such, they make sure a company is responsive before giving their stamp of approval. For more information, please visit



eal estate is about more than market statistics today. It’s about lifestyle—something that Carolyn Cheng,

chief operating officer at Royal LePage, has zoned in on by using Local Logic to take a snapshot of neighborhood lifestyle information and datasets as a way to stay ahead of the competition.

“Since the advent of real estate websites back in the mid-’90s, real estate search has been done in a fairly standard way. It starts with a location search that can then be filtered by price and property attributes,” says Cheng. “Most homebuyers, however, also want to inform their home-buying decisions with neighborhood and lifestyle information.” Why should lifestyle-related information be the primary focus within the real estate space? “Today, companies are using machine learning to aggregate and analyze large datasets in this space, and Royal LePage made it a priority to be a leader in providing lifestyle and neighborhood information in a way that’s both useful and engaging,” says Cheng. Data that not only provides essential property information, but also ensures that buyers’ choices and behaviors align with a future home and neighborhood, can be the most valuable part of a transaction—and for Royal LePage, the results are crystal clear. “We can tell that the consumer is engaged with this new information as lead volumes in our test cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have increased by 36 percent, while consumers are submitting leads three times faster than before,” says Cheng. “The data is hyperlocal, meaning that the green/quiet scores may differ from one corner to the next depending on proximity to parks, nightlife or major thoroughfares. This is information that the homebuyer wants to know—and it’s even quantitative,” adds Cheng. “Much

like Walk Score, there are scores for amenities available and neighborhood attributes, so the information is very easy to understand.” Royal LePage’s goal for this data? Getting into the local details, but on a national level. “Local Logic solved this problem for us as they’ve done the legwork in compiling and normalizing many disparate datasets from all over the country, regularly updating the data. This would be a difficult task for us to do internally, and Local Logic accelerated our progress on this front,” says Cheng. Even in Local Logic’s pilot stages, Cheng never felt insecure about the data’s validity. In fact, the products have been so successful that Royal LePage continues to focus on lifestyle by implementing new Local Logic features. “Royal LePage was amongst the first companies to implement Local Logic’s neighborhood widget, as well as the first to pilot its Local Profiles of rich neighborhood information. Recently, we were also the first company to pilot their lifestyle match feature,” says Cheng. “This feature works much like an online dating site. Once you pick the amenities and neighborhood attributes that are important to you, property search results are given a score, so consumers can hone in quickly on the homes that best fit them.” What excites Cheng the most is that Local Logic’s business model aligns nicely with Royal LePage’s desire to continue innovating and providing value within the real estate industry. “Local Logic independently develops their products in a way that makes sense for Royal LePage. From increasing the geographic coverage of their data, to creating new interfaces to present their data, to their development of new data products, their roadmap and priorities are aligned with our desire to continuously innovate.”

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 73

Feeding the Referral Pipeline One Prospect at a Time HOMES.COM’S CITY SPONSOR ADS PROGRAM SETS THE STAGE FOR CONTINUED SUCCESS by John Voket


dam Barakzai of the Barakzai Real Estate Group at HomeSmart Optima Realty in Antioch, Calif., has his priorities aligned when it comes to building long-term relationships that stand to produce referrals for years to come.

Just a year after launching their team, Barakzai and his sister/business partner decided to utilize a variety of services from—a decision that’s already paid off by delivering 10 new clients within the first 40 days of utilizing the platform (at press time). “Once you get into real estate, the hardest thing is building trust and a reputation that gets you past that stage where clients may not want to utilize a brand-new

“Whenever a prospect types the zip code in for one of the communities I’m sponsoring, it shows them my listings and branding right at the top. I like that I appear to be the sole provider in that area, so the choice of who to call first is sort of made for them.” - ADAM BARAKZAI Barakzai Real Estate Group

74 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

agent,” says Barakzai. “I was lucky enough to be able to get the ball rolling relatively quickly by getting my name out there.” After learning about during a visit with a company rep, Barakzai became particularly interested in securing City Sponsorships for a number of the communities he services northeast of the San Francisco Bay area. As a result of his investment,’s City Sponsor Ads program is providing Barakzai with high-profile branding at the city search level where prospective buyers and sellers search most frequently. “Whenever a prospect types the zip code in for one of the communities I’m sponsoring, it shows them my listings and branding right at the top,” says Barakzai. “I like that I appear to be the sole provider in that area, so the choice of who to call first is sort of made for them.” Taking this one step further, Barakzai’s site displays the most relevant listings for prospects within searches on both mobile and desktop, providing prospects the choice to view all his listings. Better yet, prospects can be linked directly to his website while displaying a custom tagline or links to his social networks. Being a City Sponsor also helps Barakzai make an impression with clients who are interested in listing. “When you pull the website up in front of them, you’re on the front page, which creates an impression of status,” says Barakzai, who explains that with other lead generation services, if you don’t pick up when a prospective buyer first calls, they move on to the next person. Barakzai also saw the logic in representing rental property clients early on. “When we get rental prospects, we’re often able to turn them into long-term buyer prospects,” says Barakzai. “Every renter is eventually going to be a buyer, so it helps to meet them early and develop a relationship. It takes a bit more time, but if you do a good job, they come back around when they’re ready to buy.” In fact, every time Barakzai gets a new renter, he offers them an exclusive, two-year opportunity to contract with his team when they begin thinking about homeownership. “Our rental market is crazy, so a lot of renters are exclusively buying through our group, and they’re also referring us to friends and family,” says Barakzai. “During that time, we’re also getting renters pre-approved to buy with our preferred vendor who will process their application. Once that pre-approval is complete, we take them shopping for homes.”

For more information, please visit



aving been in real estate for more than 35 years, Bill Gamelli, executive vice president, Customer Acquisition & Product Innovation for William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance in Middletown, Conn.—No. 8 in sales volume in RISMedia’s 2018 Power Broker Report—is no stranger to the wants and needs of his clients. And he’s found great value for both the brokerage and its clients by utilizing MoxiWorks.

“It’s been an integral part of the foundation of the new technology platform we’re establishing,” says Gamelli, “and we’re working hard to embed the Moxi products into the culture of our company.” The firm began using Moxi Engage—a CRM that helps agents increase sales by managing the entire sales cycle, from first point of contact to closed transaction, ensuring repeat business and referrals—back in August 2016. “We were blown away by the way Moxi Engage was put together,” says Gamelli. “Plus, it was an amazing company to work with as far as the rollout and integration.” Not long after, the brokerage incorporated Moxi Present into the mix. The interactive, multimedia CRM tool enabled agents to add video and other rich media into presentations for their clients. “We were on the CoreLogic platform for seven years, and their product wasn’t developing the way we wanted it to,” says Gamelli, who goes on to explain that the broker

side of the coin never got the attention it should have. “We went out and conducted focus groups, and a key takeaway centered around the fact that agents wanted simplicity in their lives.” From there, tile technology is used to embed all the tools currently being used via single sign-on technology. “Once an agent logs into Raveis 365, they’re connected seamlessly to all the tools, without having to log into each tool separately,” adds Gamelli. “When it came time to replace the CRM side of the coin, MoxiWorks just popped out at us,” says Gamelli, who’d been courted by the company for the better part of five years, back when they had just developed the TouchCMA program (now known as Moxi Present) that was only available on tablets. Fast forward a few years and not only was MoxiWorks now offering a better version of their CMA tool, but they also had a solid CRM product called Moxi Engage. “The big attraction for us was the simplicity,” says Gamelli. “The layout, the dashboard and the focus on one’s SOI were important, aligning well with our company and what we were focusing on with our own agents through our own news subscriptions.” William Raveis is so committed to MoxiWorks that the firm is in the process of mandating all of its sales managers, administration managers and agents in the field that help with technology be fully vetted in their understanding of Moxi Engage and Moxi Present. “We believe wholeheartedly that if our management team isn’t invested in the technology, then we can’t expect the agents to be either,” says Gamelli. And thanks to MoxiWorks, the brokerage has seen an increase in productivity when looking at individual agents using the program. For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 75



or real estate professionals finding leads online, two critical factors are being easy to find and looking legitimate once those leads land on your webpage.

One way to tackle both of those to-dos, and more, is to utilize specialized top-level domains (TLDs). A TLD is the name for the ending of a URL—think .com, .org and .net. In recent years, customized TLDs have entered the real estate sphere through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (ICANN.) One of those TLDs is .realtor™, which the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has been offering to active REALTOR® members since 2014. In September, NAR launched a pre-sale so that REALTORS® can secure a secondary TLD: .realestate. Why are these TLDs useful to real estate professionals? It’s all about the image, according to Attorney Kurt Pritz, former ICANN senior vice president and a leader in internet policy development and the domain name industry.

“When a consumer is searching online, .realtor™ is an automatic signifier that you’re going to get an honest-togoodness REALTOR® on the other end of that website, whereas with other TLDs like .net, you may not be so sure. The same goes with .realestate. It provides a way to show what your business is about.” - KURT PRITZ Attorney, Former ICANN Senior Vice President, and leader in internet policy development and the domain name industry

76 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

“How do you want to portray yourself on the web to show people who you are?” asks Pritz. “You can use customized domain name endings as a big clue for what you do, who you are and your degree of professionalism.” For real estate agents, your degree of professionalism is key in an industry where potential clients are exposed to dozens (or more) agents in your area and deciding who to work with. According to NAR, nearly nine out of 10 buyers use the internet in their home-search process. The strength of your web presence can bolster or break a potential client’s decision. These domains help to build an online space where buyers and sellers can find credible and professional real estate resources and services that stand out from less credible competitors. When a consumer is searching online, says Pritz, “.realtor™ is an automatic signifier that you’re going to get an honest-to-goodness REALTOR® on the other end of that website, whereas with other TLDs like .net, you may not be so sure. The same goes with .realestate; it provides a way to show what your business is about.” While .realtor™ serves to add credibility to your individual online presence, .realestate helps support everything you do, by allowing the chance to purchase domains connected to the term “real estate.” For example, if you do business in an area called Springfield, the URL instantly communicates what you do and says a lot more about your business than Take advantage of the opportunity to be first to get the .realestate web addresses that support your business. Through Nov. 16, REALTORS® with an active .realtor™ domain can gain exclusive access to purchase .realestate web addresses before the TLD becomes available to the public on Nov. 26.

For more information, please visit



uiding clients through the home-buying process is often a juggling act as real estate professionals do everything in their power to ensure that all the moving pieces fit together for a successful outcome. “At the end of the day, after we’ve worked hard to get someone under contract, we want to make sure the transaction is able to happen,” says Kathy Connelly, senior vice president, Corporate Services at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties in Roswell, Ga. “And working with a lender that can do that on their end is critical,” she adds, which is a key component to the brokerage’s successful relationship with Quicken Loans. While Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties works with Quicken Loans in a number of ways, Connelly can’t say enough about the broker network they’ve built to service referrals generated through Quicken Loans. “We began working with Quicken Loans back in 2008 after they reached out to us upon hearing about the success we were having in working with another lending company on their referrals,” says Connelly, who goes on to explain that they’ve closed in excess of 2,000 trans-

“It’s great to see the incredible growth Quicken Loans has achieved over the last 10 years, and we’re proud to be a network partner supporting their clients. Their customer care team and our associates work hard to maximize any and all referral opportunities so that we’re delivering great service to the client.” - KATHY CONNELLY, Senior Vice President, Corporate Services, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties

actions that have been generated through referrals from Quicken Loans over the years. Beyond the obvious benefit of being a source of highquality referrals for the brokerage, working with Quicken Loans has aligned the brokerage with a partner who values the broker relationship, as well as the partnerships that have been developed. “Because the buyers who are referred to us have already been approved—or have already begun the application process—our associates can be more efficient and streamlined by focusing on properties that are relevant to the client’s price point, interests, etc.,” says Connelly. Better yet, receiving the lead at the point in which they’re ready to transact goes a long way toward taking some of the frustration out of the process for the client. This, in turn, calms their nerves as it’s crystal clear that everyone is working with their best interests at heart. But it doesn’t end there. In fact, according to Connelly, the folks at Quicken Loans are eager to share their best practices and coaching tips—and are constantly improving the process so that everyone is in total alignment, all of which fosters a good experience for the consumer. “In the end, it all boils down to our two companies being in alignment with our core values, working in a collaborative manner and being focused on providing a world-class experience for the consumer,” says Connelly. “It’s great to see the incredible growth Quicken Loans has achieved over the last 10 years, and we’re proud to be a network partner supporting their clients,” concludes Connelly. “Their customer care team and our associates work hard to maximize any and all referral opportunities so that we’re delivering great service to the client.” RE For more information, please visit or call 866-718-9842.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 77

Housing in 2020: Construction Costs Grow, Mortgage Rates Slow by Liz Dominguez


here will housing be in 2020? According to recent Metrostudy predictions, if all continues on its current track, construction costs could continue to increase, and mortgage rates could reel in. While rates have increased in the last six months (at press time), impacting affordability, the rise is not significant according to historical trends, says Mark Boud, chief economist and senior vice president at Metrostudy, a provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and residential construction industries. In the long term, Boud predicts mortgage interest rates will top out at 5.8 percent in 2020 and 2021, eventually being pulled down by slower economic growth—and because of tighter lending practices, the market environment will not become as dire as the last housing bubble. As for inventory, it is significantly under-supplied, while homes are increasingly overvalued; however, the risk of a price collapse is small due to the tight market, and Boud expects the cycle of under-supply to plateau in 2020. The lack of new inventory is, in part, in response to trade in-

78 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

creases, as many of the imposed tariffs—specifically the 20-plus percent tariff on lumber imports, and 10 and 25 percent tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, respectively—directly impact construction efforts. These factors could lead to an increase in overall construction timelines, as well as an increase in construction costs by at least $2,000 per house, according to Boud. More homes in the upper price ranges are being built, while inventory under $400,000 is lower, in some cases. Overall, the national market is becoming top-heavy, which typically only occurs where land is more expensive, such as in California, says Boud. Remodeling activity continues to rise in response to homeowners staying in their homes longer, as well as the continuing trend toward purchasing existing homes, which triggers renovations. According to Boud, this is most common in coastal mar-

kets, or markets that have high appreciation rates, such as Texas. Something to watch? Inflation. Boud says inflationary pressures are slowly building—inflation rose from 2.4 percent in March to 2.9 percent in August—but in a few years, the national debt could slow economic growth, which, in turn, could slow down rising interest rates. Another concern? The current downward trend of the 2-10 Treasury yield spread, which could see negative figures in about a year, may be a sign that a recession is in the cards. However, the current economy is healthy, says Boud. In the past 12 months, 2.4 million jobs have been generated, increasing demand for housing and pushing the unemployment rate down. Additionally, housing starts are fairly stable, forecasted to be 1.28 million in 2018, and increasing to 1.33 million in 2019 and 1.345 million in 2020, before plateauing. RE Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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.


{Power Teams}

Leverage: The Only Difference by Verl Workman


hile rolling out a new team training solution for a national brand, we recently encountered several broker/owners who asked the same question: If this is a team training solution, what do we do for those agents who aren’t part of a team?

After pondering and answering the question above, and to add clarity in my mind about the difference between an agent and a team, let’s begin by discussing the agent: - Does the agent work with buyers? - Does the agent work with sellers? - Does the agent have to process transactions and orchestrate closings on behalf of their client? The answer to all of these questions is, of course, yes. And while teams do these very same things, the only difference lies in who performs each task.

I know many successful agents who have made amazing lives for themselves and their families while serving their clients well. As the transaction gets more and more complicated—and new business models continue to put downward pressure on the income available to agents—more and more agents are looking for leverage in their life and their business. This creates what I like to call a choice point, or the moment when an agent begins to realize that they’re working more hours, spending more time away from their families or friends and losing opportunities because they don’t have the time or the energy to take on more business. If you’re this agent—or you recognize agents in your firm that are running at 60 miles an hour in first gear—know that these agents are what we consider at-risk. Eventually, something will give. Agents who fall into this category typically have high

levels of burnout. Additionally, their home lives often become inundated with stress, and they stop doing the things they love. Whether this sounds like you or a colleague, I’m here to tell you that there’s an answer: leverage. Leverage comes in a variety of forms and is simpler than it seems. First, we must leverage technology, tools and systems to automate more of our processes. For example, use a transaction management system that tracks every detail of a contract in order to keep yourself in check so that you don’t drop the ball. From there, you’ll want to incorporate leverage in the form of other humans. Today’s consumer expects to work with experts in more situations than not. And when real estate is done correctly, experts are available in each area of the transaction. For example, buyer’s agents that close 24 - 60 transactions a year have a competitive edge over those that are closing less transactions. The same goes for listing agents who primarily focus on prospecting, obtaining listings and negotiating contracts. Both buyer’s agents and listing agents hand off transactions to a client care coordinator who takes the process from contract to close. Creating leverage is only hard if you believe you’re the only person in the world who can deliver great service to your client. Great people trained with great systems can create amazing leverage in your business and allow you to grow, service your clients at a higher level, and live an amazing life. 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

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 81

{Power Teams}

4 Key Areas to Leverage Within Your Business to Create Newfound Growth by Sara Guldi


everage is defined by MerriamWebster as the “action of a lever or the advantage gained by it.” If we apply the word lever to systems and people, our business could grow exponentially. Four key areas that you should grow and use as a lever in your real estate business are planning, connections, social and growth. They’re like the legs of a table; if you don’t have them all in place, your growth won’t be as stable or consistent as you’d like. PLANNING. A plan is one of the most overlooked strategies in real estate. A well-executed business plan allows you to set goals, a budget, your pillars of income and other key pieces of your business. It’s the GPS for your business. Running a business without a plan is like setting out on a road trip with an idea of where you need to go, yet not having any idea of the route you need to take. Note: Creating a business plan and hiding it away isn’t effective. Implement it and track it. Some key metrics include transactions, appointments, leads taken, leads converted and your time spent supporting your business plan. Track this daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly.

82 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

CONNECTIONS. Our database is the lifeblood of our business, so we need to feed and cultivate it every day. It’s critical to have a strategy to follow-up consistently with everyone in your database. Have them all on a 10-year follow-up plan, call your database at least four times a year, and categorize your leads as A, B, C (Hot, Warm, Cold) so that you’re following up with them consistently and regularly. Having a strategy for connection is key when it comes to top agents closing leads they added to their database three years prior. A strong Top 50 program is also part of this, so be sure to have a meaningful interaction with these folks every single month. If you don’t have a CRM, go get one now, as this is the most important tool available to you that’ll create leverage. SOCIAL. Social complements your connection strategy, as well. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms to leverage staying in touch with your database and making new connections. Be relentless in your pursuit of new business and

in your follow-up with your existing business to stay relevant in real estate. Social media is a triedand-true method when it comes to leveraging relationships. GROWTH. Have a plan for growth. What does your business look like in six months, one year, two years or even 10 years? Determine the growth trajectory of your business, as well as the key hires you’ll need to make to continue growing and scaling your business. While this isn’t an all-inclusive list of the strategies you should leverage in your business, adding these to your business will create the growth you’ve been looking for. Sara Guldi of The Guldi Group is a 13-year veteran of real estate. She lives in Florida and has a team in Maryland that consistently exceeds $20 million in production annually, with an average sales price of approximately $1,465K. In their best year, The Guldi Group did $64 million in production, and they attribute their long-term success to a strong commitment to systems and coaching. Guldi’s passion is coaching, and she loves helping others build amazing business and lives using the performance coaching systems developed by Workman Success Systems. Contact her at

{Power Teams}

Leverage Is the Secret to Your Future by Rick Geha


ow that we’ve officially entered the last quarter of the year, you’re either ready to slow down, catch your breath and take a break, or you’re feverishly trying to get something to close before the holidays arrive. Either way, you must understand that leverage is the secret to your continued success. Using leverage to enhance and drive your business forward is a trend in business worldwide. Direct-selling companies recognize this notion of getting paid off of the work of many, not just their own work, and they leverage the activities that don’t fall within their strengths or that don’t put them in a dollar-productive state.

Can you build leverage into your life and business? Absolutely! If you’re unsure as to where to start, begin by bringing in a transaction coordinator or client care coordinator. Then, as you continue to lead generate and grow your business, you might add an administrator, a buyer’s agent and other positions to your team. By building out your team and adding leverage, you’ll be able to go home at the end of the day and spend time doing what you love with the people that mean the most to you. While the concept of adding leverage to your business seems simple, many of us run into issues when it comes to execution. That’s where coaching and accountability—the two most important parts in building leverage—come into play. In order to successfully create leverage within your business, you must learn systems for hiring, systems for following up, systems for firing, systems for lead gen, and so much more. Then, you need someone to run the systems and hold them ac-

countable to ensure they’re doing what they’re designed to do. Here’s what you need to do right now. Determine which areas of your life would benefit from leverage. Which areas would leverage make better, more enriching, more profitable, or more beneficial to you and your family? Then, reach out, ask for help and guidance and get moving in the direction of putting that leverage in place. This can be anything from hiring a babysitter so that you can go on a date night with your spouse, to hiring a listing specialist to fill out your team, to leveraging the power of your brand and reputation. If not now, when? If not you, who?

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. Rick is currently a coach with Workman Success Systems. Contact him at RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 83

{Power Teams} Creating Leverage Can Cut Both Ways by Cleve Gaddis


everage is a buzzword that’s often too casually used. We’re told to create leverage by adding administrative staff, buying online leads, hiring buyer’s agents and many other activities, all of which can transform an agent’s business into the envy of others; however, creating leverage by adding additional expense can also cause a business to fail. So how do you ensure you get the upside of creating leverage and avoid the downside? Below are a few suggestions: Set expectations at the outset. Don’t be that agent who hires an administrative assistant only to regret it six months later. Set very clear expectations before anyone is hired. How much will this position cost? What do you expect this person to do? How will you train them to do the job? And, most importantly, how much more revenue do you expect to produce as a result of having someone take over the administrative duties so that you can spend your time on money-making activities instead? Know the required return. How much additional revenue do you need to generate to justify an investment in online lead generation? While it’s not reasonable to expect a return on your investment starting day one, by months 6 to 12, you should expect six times the return. For example, if you spend $1,000, you should expect $6,000 in revenue as a result. 84 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Track the return. Have a way to track everything. Make sure everyone involved knows the expectations, as well as how the actual results measure up. For example, if you’re buying online leads, make sure your company rep (the person who sells you the leads) understands what revenue you need to generate in order to continue with the expense. If you’re spending money on mailing campaigns, what do you expect the results to be? How many responses should you receive for every 100 pieces mailed? Our response rate has historically been 0.46 percent. I know this might sound low, but you can make a huge profit from this level of response. Make certain you’re tracking the return. This one bears repeating because few people actually set expectations at the outset of a new program, and fewer still actually track to determine if the expectations are being met. They have good intentions, but life just gets in the way. Set up your system for tracking results, then make sure to update the tracking no less than once per month. Make course corrections. When creating leverage through additional expense doesn’t result in increased revenue and additional

profit, you need to make course corrections along the way. Many agents that advertise with Zillow or® are inconsistent at best with their follow-up and choose to blame the system instead of themselves. Once you’ve followed up with prospects the same way 20 times and aren’t getting the results you need, you must do something (anything) different. Make 20 more calls using a new follow-up script or system, then measure the results again. Continue making changes until you find what works. To help you get started, I’d be happy to provide you with a tool I couldn’t run my business without: The Lead Tracker spreadsheet. It allows me to have a complete picture of all my lead flow and conversion rates at a glance. Connect with me at and I’ll send you a copy.

Cleve Gaddis is a master coach with Workman Success Systems and 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

Expand Your Brand! Generate More LEADS & REVENUE for Your Business from Social Media Your Name & Company on Personalized Landing Pages!

Your Company Logo!

Automated Facebook posts lead prospects to your personalized landing page!

Your Headshot & Contact Info!

Social media posts delivered automatically to your social networks every day, sharing consumer-facing homeownership, real estate and lifestyle articles, infographics, videos and more, all with your branding

As Low As $19.95/mo. Includes FREE Trial!

Additional pricing options for agent and broker levels available. Please inquire at (203) 855-1234.

“I love the fact that ACE is on automatic pilot. I don’t have to think about it every day. I also love that ACE is affordable. I’m a small brokerage and hate overextending my marketing budget. ACE boosts my social media presence for a small monthly fee.”

Don’t Take Our Word for It! “We feel ACE provides us with fresh, relevant content on a daily basis. It’s kind of a no-brainer for us. We want our agents to look good. It makes our company look good and our agents look good.”

- LYNN WHELPLEY, Broker/Owner, Abundant Home Realty

- JUDY CRAFT Principal Broker Milestone Realty

“Having a social media presence is critical in order to remain relevant, which is why I jumped at the chance to sign up for RISMedia’s ACE. In fact, it’s the only thing I’m using.” - ART MEYER Sales Associate,

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties

To learn more or sign up now, go to!

Cost of Homeownership Increases 3 Times the Price of Renting by Suzanne De Vita

San Mateo County, Calif. (Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Mateo) Cost (Monthly) to Purchase: $8,405 Cost (Monthly) to Rent: $3,471 Santa Barbara County, Calif. (Santa Barbara, Santa Maria) Cost (Monthly) to Purchase: $4,878 Cost (Monthly) to Rent: $1,910 Buying is financially more prudent than renting, however, in: Clayton County, Ga. (College Park, Jonesboro) Cost (Monthly) to Purchase: $699 Cost (Monthly) to Rent: $1,236


Baltimore City, Md. (Baltimore, Towson) Cost (Monthly) to Purchase: $1,097 Cost (Monthly) to Rent: $1,475

ith affordability draining quickly, the gap is growing between the amount of buyers with a desire to purchase, and the amount of buyers who actually can.

According to an analysis recently released by®, the cost of homeownership has increased more than three times the price of renting today—and, areas in growing numbers are unaffordable. From July 2017 to July of this year, the expense of homeownership (including insurance and taxes) mounted by 14 percent, to $1,647 (median, monthly); to compare, the cost of renting rose 4 percent, to $1,267. Approximately 40 percent of Americans are in a county that earns enough to purchase today. In addition, buying is cheaper in 35 percent of counties examined— a decrease from 44 percent in July 2017—and cheaper in only 7 percent of major markets, or those with over 100,000 residents. Roughly 290 counties are now in rent territory, including freshly-minted Marion County, Ind. (Indianapolis); Bronx County, N.Y.; Richland County, S.C. (Columbia); Jackson County, Mo. (Kansas City); and Stark County, Ohio (Canton). 88 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

“Even setting aside big upfront expenses like a down payment, rising month-by-month costs are likely keeping many people from purchasing,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist at®. “Today, only 41 percent of people live in a county where the median-income family can afford to buy a home at the median list price, and affordability declined significantly over the past year.” According to the analysis, buying is more expensive than renting in: New York County, N.Y. (Manhattan) Cost (Monthly) to Purchase: $9,840 Cost (Monthly) to Rent: $2,086 Kings County, N.Y. (Brooklyn) Cost (Monthly) to Purchase: $4,860 Cost (Monthly) to Rent: $2,086 Monterey County, Calif. (Salinas) Cost (Monthly) to Purchase: $4,816 Cost (Monthly) to Rent: $1,682

Wayne County, Mich. (Detroit) Cost (Monthly) to Purchase: $695 Cost (Monthly) to Rent: $1,040 Cumberland County, N.C. (Fayetteville) Cost (Monthly) to Purchase: $864 Cost (Monthly) to Rent: $1,012 Madison County, Ill. (Edwardsville, Granite City; outside of St. Louis, Mo.) Cost (Monthly) to Purchase: $832 Cost (Monthly) to Rent: $1,019 “Since homeownership has historically been an important source of household wealth creation, it could be problematic if this trend continues for too long,” Hale says. “Still, even in places where renting is currently more affordable, rising home prices provide wealth-building opportunity for homebuyers.” RE For more information, please visit

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

Learn how to master the art of growth in your real estate business at #leverage19 with a stellar lineup of speakers featuring Workman Success CEO, Verl Workman.


Grow Your Business, Discover Freedom

The Next Era of Real Estate is Here. Are You Ready? January 9-11, 2019 Scottsdale, AZ


{Blog Spot} Budgeting to Buy a Home?

Consider the ‘Extras’ by Suzanne De Vita


omeownership is one of the best investments for long-term wealth—but, it is an investment. According to a recent report by Thumbtack, a local professional services site, and Zillow, the average “extras”—insurance, maintenance, taxes and utilities—run $9,394 a year. The expense fluctuates with location. Portland, Ore., has the highest maintenance price tag, at $3,810 each year, and San Jose has the highest necessary payments (i.e., insurance, taxes and utilities), at $17,255 per year. No surprise there—both markets are sizzling, with prices on a tear. The costs are less steep off the West Coast: The cheapest maintenance is in Miami, at $2,570, and Indianapolis has the lowest necessary payments, at $5,540. Assorted costs in the largest metros (both maintenance and necessary):

Atlanta - $10,301/year Boston - $14,221/year Chicago - $11,005/year Dallas-Fort Worth - $10,712/year Detroit - $10,021/year Houston - $10,110/year Los Angeles - $13,892/year Philadelphia - $10,205/year San Francisco - $17,758/year Washington, D.C. - $12,024/year “Ongoing maintenance costs and annual fees are some of the most common surprises for firsttime homebuyers after they finally

According to a recent report by Thumbtack, a local professional services site, and Zillow, the average “extras”—insurance, maintenance, taxes and utilities—run $9,394 a year. become homeowners,” says Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow. “While they’re shopping, buyers tend to focus on their monthly mortgage payments, but other needs quickly add up after move-in. The list price is just the beginning of understanding the costs that come with being a homeowner, and it’s important to understand what other expenses you may have to account for when determining what you can afford.” Affordability is a growing issue, with the combination of increasing interest rates and the run-up in prices. According to a CoreLogic/RTi Research study, 63 percent of millennials are challenged by the cost of homeownership. Your best defense as a first-timer? Knowledge. One helpful resource is your REALTOR®, who can assist you with what to expect for “extras” in your local market, and how to financially prepare to purchase. RE This article originally appeared on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit us at

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 91

Webinar Recap:

Relationships Are Key to Increase Sales

by Zoe Eisenberg

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH VENDORS To expand your reach and boost your sales, try building relationships with vendors, suggested Torres, whose company forms foundational relationships with people they typically wouldn’t see until escrow: roofers, termite removers, etc. He uses these relationships to offer services to clients in advance, and his team acquires these expenses.


f you’re a real estate pro looking to up your sales, it may be time to turn a scrutinizing eye to your relationships. This topic was covered in our recent webinar, “Essential Relationships to Increase Sales,” sponsored by Quicken Loans.

Speakers included: Ali Berry, broker/ owner of Quest Realty in Troy, Mich.; Gil Torres, broker/owner of Exclusive Realty and Mortgage in West Sacramento; and Tom Dempsey, divisional vice president of National Sales for Quicken Loans; and was moderated by Cleve Gaddis, leader of one of Georgia’s top 10 real estate teams and coach with Workman Success Systems. Here’s a rundown of tips for building better business relationships, gleaned from the webinar:

TUNE IN TO FEEDBACK “Feedback is a gift,” said Dempsey. When working, always listen to feedback with an open ear, and learn to accept constructive criticism with grace—or at the very least, gratitude. This will build trust and, ultimately, stronger relationship bonds.

ENABLE EFFICIENT AGENTS Set up systems that’ll free up agents to do what’s essential for them to do their job. Let them communicate with the client and build relationships, and have a transaction coordinator take care of the other essentials.

RESPECT THE POWER OF TEAMS Berry noted that teams are important, and regardless of your brokerage structure, it’s critical to look at your team as an even group of players all invested in one another. “I’m very selective with who I bring on to our team,” said Berry. “I try to look at everything in our business as a team aspect; how can we help everyone get better? We set up our entire company around that sense.” LET GO OF EGO Give your team members recognition when it’s due. According to Berry, to retain happy, high-level agents, “they need to be treated as business owners. You can’t treat them like employees.” He treats his agents like independent contractors running their own business within the parameters of his business.

INVEST IN IN-HOUSE MARKETING You can save time and money by building an in-house marketing and creative services team to meet your needs. “All our marketing is done in-house,” said Torres. This includes photography, drone footage, 3D imaging, and more. Torres explained that doing this channels the fees they were paying third-party vendors into his own company, while at the same time, allowing his team to work on their own timeline. CREATE AN EXPERIENCE “Consumers aren’t looking to just buy goods and services,” said Dempsey. “They’re looking for companies and individuals to create an experience for them. You have to dial up your service—and quite honestly, relationships do that.” RE

To view the webinar in full, visit Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 93

{Broker Spotlight}

Solid Source Real Estate Companies

Committed to Finding and Implementing What’s Next…First by Maria Patterson

94 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

According to Rebecca Meredith, Solid Source was founded in 2003 as the answer to a perplexing concern. “Since the time required to review a contract is the same regardless of the sales price, why is the commission paid to the broker different?” asks Meredith, president of the Atlantabased firm. “After all, 100 percent of client lunches, individual agent branding, gas, health insurance and other expenses are paid for by the agent. Isn’t it only fair the agent keeps 100 percent of their commission?” Today, Solid Source is home to more than 1,700 real estate agents who sell over $1 billion annually in Metro Atlanta residential real estate. What’s the secret to accomplishing and sustaining this ongoing level of success for over 15 years? “Our track record is solid,” says Meredith. “We’re constantly committed to the research and development of new technology, unique home marketing, and providing the foundation for platforms where the agents are encouraged and free to brand themselves.” Solid Source Founder Michele Velcheck adds: “Even after interviewing thousands of agents joining our firm, it still surprises me when amazing agents have been convinced by a previous broker that the success the agent has worked so hard to earn was a result of the broker’s name. Really?” Learn more about the culture and strategies that continue to mold the Solid Source success story in this exclusive interview.

Maria Patterson: Rebecca, wouldn’t all agents prefer to keep more commission from every sale? Why do you believe agents hesitate to keep more of the money they work so hard to earn? Rebecca Meredith: We hear the same response consistently: “I’ve considered coming here for years, but fear of change, learning new systems and rebuilding my brand with a new broker kept me from the inevitable choice I knew I would make someday. I’m frustrated now thinking of the money I would have saved with more services and broker support than I have now.” Finding out that changing brokerages can take place within a few business hours, and that signs, business cards, marketing materials, etc., can be ordered in advance to eliminate downtime, brings a huge sigh of relief. Then, it’s like a light comes on and the welcome party begins.

MP: I understand Solid Source designed and implemented one of the

first paperless transaction management softwares in the country in 2006. Can you tell me more about what compels you to continue to design and implement new technology? RM: Absolutely! When we see our agents burdened with redundant, time-consuming activity, it leads to a “what’s next” brainstorming meeting to research and evaluate how to give them back the precious gift of time. For example, our newly released Vision software imports transaction data from FMLS to eliminate re-entering the same data into company software. provides secure online submission of earnest money to provide an alternative to rushing checks to the office. All attorneys can wire commission checks, and we pay agents via direct deposit, which allows the agent to start the closing celebration when it happens without the burden of driving a check to the office. One of my favorite ways we use RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 95

“When we see our agents burdened with redundant, timeconsuming activity, it leads to a ‘what’s next’ brainstorming meeting to research and evaluate how to give them back the precious gift of time.” - REBECCA MEREDITH President, Solid Source

96 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

technology is by broadcasting training to various offices for agent convenience. In addition, our sales meetings are streamed live and recorded so the agent can participate real-time through any internet connection, or go to the online library archive to watch it later. By the time one project is being completed, we’re already evaluating new project ideas to make the lives of our Solid Source family easier.

MP: How did you manage to grow your agent base to such an impressive number? RM: We focus on serving agents with our very best every day through accessible, non-competing broker support, investing time and resources to design intuitive technology and innovative processes to assist agents in every transaction. We genuinely care about each agent personally and professionally. More than 70 percent of our agents were referred directly or through profes-

Left to right: Michele Velcheck, Founder; Derek Varnadoe, Vice President; Rebecca Meredith, President, Solid Source

sional interaction with our agents during a transaction. We’re committed to serving every agent with excellence, gratitude and respect. We’re thankful to our Solid Source family for sharing the good news.

MP: What do you look for when hiring staff members to support your agents? RM: Honesty, high-capacity intelligence, courage, humility, knowledge-seekers with a servant heart and a consistent, trustworthy thought process. We’re thankful that each member of our corporate staff has a college degree, real estate license, or both. Everyone is crosstrained so there’s no weak link in

the chain of agent support. Brokers are full-time, non-competing, available, transparent, encouraging and completely focused on serving our agents. Our agents appreciate the consistency of accurate, professional communication and assistance. The common denominator of our corporate staff is the gratefulness in each of our hearts for every agent. We realize every moment of the day that we have a job because Solid Source agents choose to work here. It’s an honor to serve, train, advocate, encourage, promote and love our remarkable Solid Source family. Hearing an agent exhale when they realize knowledgeable advice is being provided to handle a simple question or difficult situation is why we love doing what we do.

MP: Please describe your firm’s culture and leadership philosophy. RM: The company culture at Solid Source can be summarized in five words which are easy to remember with the acronym FAITH: Fair, Appreciative, Innovative, Truthful, Helpful. Actions speak louder than words and trust is earned by consistent actions over time. There are many examples to validate how we earn trust from our agents, but this one started in 2003. Our transaction fee has never increased, and our monthly office dues have only changed one time in 15 years. During the recession in 2008, we offered the option to include E&O insurance monthly instead of paying a lump sum annually. Agents were offered the opportunity to remain on the same plan or choose the new one, which was $40/year more. We still honor agent dues on the previous plan today. Solid Source has been debt-free since opening, and we love to research and develop technology, marketing platforms and time-reducing process solu-

tions to help our agents increase business, promote personal branding and improve quality of life…at no additional charge.

MP: Solid Source has a history of being involved with service projects locally and internationally. Why is giving back so important? RM: The excitement and honor we feel about the fact that God has given us a front row seat to help those in need locally and globally makes our heart beat. Rejoicing with communities as grandmothers realize that their children and grandchildren’s children will have access to clean water makes emotion surface that words cannot communicate. Education isn’t free in Africa, and it’s not affordable to widows and orphan children. We also provide Thanksgiving meals to Georgia families who have been nominated by agents, and we participate in many national disaster relief efforts. Providing land, disaster relief, mentorship through soccer programs, building schools and orphanages with sustainable approaches to exist without continuing need of support multiplies our success at least 100-fold when you look at what really matters. Current and past projects are online at

MP: Michele, what deciding factors resulted in Rebecca becoming the president of Solid Source? Michele Velcheck: When I met Rebecca in 2011, it was immediately clear to me that our Solid Source world could be different—better, more progressive and relevant. As a graduate magna cum laude from Auburn University, Rebecca’s intelligence exuded, but perhaps even more importantly, she expressed genuine concern for our agents and humanity. Her time spent researching

“The common denominator of our corporate staff is the gratefulness in each of our hearts for every agent. We realize every moment of the day that we have a job because Solid Source agents choose to work here. It’s an honor to serve, train, advocate, encourage, promote and love our remarkable Solid Source family.” - REBECCA MEREDITH President, Solid Source

before making important decisions was overly impressive and made me realize…she’s a nerd like me! She has great empathy for those in need locally and throughout the world, and her natural leadership allowed her to gain respect from the staff immediately. These attributes led me to appoint Rebecca as the Solid Source president within 12 months of our meeting. When I reminisce on our extreme progression since this decision, the only word that can possibly capture the feeling is peace.

MP: Rebecca, what is your top priority moving forward? RM: Maintaining our commitment to never become complacent. RE

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 97

{Broker Spotlight}

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JF Finnegan REALTORS®

Advancing a Legacy in San Francisco by Maria Patterson


ebbie Wong, Rick Whipple and Steve Belluomini all followed different paths in real estate, but landed at the same destination: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JF Finnegan REALTORS®. After developing rich careers at the brokerage as sales associates and then managers, the trio became owners when founder John Finnegan retired three years ago. In that short time, they’ve expanded the firm’s reach to cover the entire San Francisco Peninsula, all while staying loyal to its family-oriented culture of caring and support. In this interview, Wong, Whipple and Belluomini share their insights into what’s made the company such a longstanding success, and how they intend to keep the momentum going. Maria Patterson: Tell us a bit about the firm’s history and where it stands today. Debbie Wong: John Finnegan founded the firm in 1973. He started in Daly City and built a thriving business in Northern San Mateo County that trickled down into Burlingame and San Mateo. He had three offices when he retired and offered Rick, Steve and I the opportunity to purchase the company. At the same time, there was another Better Homes and Gardens broker retiring in San Francisco and San Jose, so we also picked up those two regions. With seven offices total, we now cover the entire San Francisco Peninsula, from San Francisco south to San Jose and Campbell.

98 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

We’re running at about 400-plus agents, and we’re the seventh-largest member of the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate family.

MP: What is your personal history with the firm? Rick Whipple: Before real estate sales, I was in general contracting, and that’s how I met John Finnegan. In 1982, I developed 25 units in Daly City, and I hired John’s firm to market them. After working together, he talked me into joining his brokerage in 1985. My successful career in real estate was founded on the mentoring, coaching and friendship he provided. I’ve been learning from him ever since. By 1998, he had branched out to San Mateo, and

he approached me to manage the Daly City office. Three years ago, he approached Steve, Debbie and me with an offer for us to purchase the company.

Steve Belluomini: I started back in 1998. I was an agent with John Finnegan, and four years later, he made me the manager of the San Mateo branch, and I grew it into one of the top offices in the market. I started with 25 agents and recruited it to 125 agents at the peak in 2015.

DW: I’ve been with the firm for 28 years. Rick actually sold me my first house and was instrumental in hiring me. It’s unusual for a real estate business to have the sincere family connection that we all feel.

MP: It’s particularly amazing in this business to stay with the same firm for your entire career… DW: What kept me with the firm is that John always instilled a family style of running the business. He truly was a master of building and

retaining great rapport. We have several associates who have been with us for five, seven, 15 or 20 years. Sometimes they might leave for a shinier penny or think the grass is greener somewhere else, but we’ve seen them come back time and time again. In my mind, we have a unique environment. We provide a lot of caring support, and that keeps people with us.

RW: I agree. It’s our culture—the family atmosphere, the environment of learning. We’re always growing. There are agents still here in our organization that started not much later than I did, so we must be doing something good. MP: How does that culture impact your leadership philosophy? SB: My philosophy is that leaders create leaders. We give the staff ownership of their job description; we don’t micromanage. With agents, it’s about creating an environment where they feel safe and not judged if they do three transactions instead of 20. We want everyone to do as much as they can—and that’s up to the agent. We help them develop a business plan and then they meet with us on a quarterly basis and we talk about how we can support them.

RW: My leadership philosophy is not to give the impression that I know everything...because I don’t. I do have the resources and the systems in place so that I can find the answer. Our culture is such that we’re

Left to right: Co-owners/Partners Rick Whipple, Debbie Wong, Steve Belluomini

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 99

Left to right: John Finnegan, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JF Finnegan REALTORS® mentor and former owner; Rick Whipple; Sherry Chris, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate President and CEO; Debbie Wong; and Steve Belluomini

buyers can take to get to the end game or the dream. Sometimes you can’t jump immediately into the house. constantly learning. We definitely have the training, but at the same time, we have an environment of accountability. You have to be action-oriented and stay focused, then the results will come.

DW: You’d be hard-pressed to find a leadership team that cares as much as we do. We’ve seen a lot of other business models out there; however, I don’t know of anyone who has the type of boots-on-the-ground experience that we have, and the amount of care and encouragement we provide our agents. There’s no other place like it. MP: What has been your approach to growth over the years, and what are your current goals in terms of expansion? DW: In terms of growth, we have the dream territory. Now it’s just a matter of growing the agent population organically. We’re not opposed to doing roll-ins if the right opportunity arises, but it’s more about organic growth; we look for talent and show them how their work ethic aligns with ours. Other companies might pay agents an incentive to join them, but we don’t have to do that. We’re really thoughtful about the way we’re growing, and there’s something to be said for that.

100 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

MP: How would you describe the current state of your markets? What are the greatest challenges and opportunities? DW: Our average sales price is between $1.5 and $1.8 million. Every property is a million-dollar property. Inventory is so tight that everything sells. It’s one of the greatest markets ever, and we just happen to be in the thick of it.

SB: But with the inventory challenge and multiple offers, agents are getting frustrated. They’re writing 4 - 5 offers a week and not getting them ratified because there’s so much competition.

RW: Price point is definitely a challenge. We have a robust economy in the San Francisco Bay Area. You really have to educate the buyer because rents aren’t cheap either. Real estate is the ideal investment, but you have to show them in detail, because the average consumer is just looking at the monthly payment.

DW: That’s right—and to do that, we educate our agents on how to support buyers on attaining the dream of homeownership. They may not be able to afford X, so we have to help them think outside the box. Our agents have to explain the steps

MP: What differentiates your firm from the competition? SB: It comes down to always putting the agent first, making sure we have the technology and the training to help them meet their expectations and compete out there. All the agents in the company have access to myself, Rick and Debbie. We’re not hiding behind a corporate wall.

RW: We’re known in the market as a very good training organization. We train our agents to have the systems and resources in place to grow their business. We grow our agents so that they’re equipped to handle the real estate process in the best way possible. We want to make sure every buyer and seller that works with us has the opportunity to work with a highly trained, skilled and supported agent. We want to ensure our customers have a terrific home-buying or -selling experience. Essentially, we’re transforming the lives of our customers for generations, through the power of homeownership.

DW: We’re a unique lifestyle brand that’s relevant 365 days a year. We’re highly consumer-facing. All of our marketing efforts through social media and our branding is exactly what sets us apart. Very early on,

Sherry Chris (president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate) brought to the forefront that millennials are the next wave of customers. We know this generation wants to be homeowners, and we understand them and the kind of experience they want to have. We also believe strongly in giving back to our community. We don’t want to be defined strictly by how many homes we list or sell. Over the past 20-plus years, our agents have contributed thousands of dollars and volunteered hundreds of hours to a host of local charities like Adopt an Angel, Samaritan House and Habitat for Humanity, in addition to supporting global relief efforts through national trade organizations like AREAA, the Asian Real Estate Association of America. More recently, through New Story, our company has been involved in building homes for poverty-stricken families in El Salvador.

MP: What draws agents to your firm, and why do they stay? DW: We’re very much in tune with what people want to create for themselves. We offer very personalized services to help our agents

achieve their goals. We help them create a business plan that will work for them and their lifestyle. I’ve had four Rookies of the Year out of my branch and a Young National Entrepreneur of the Year last year. We know how to get people up and running quickly in a way that’s meaningful for them. We’re attracting millennials because our culture is exactly what they’re seeking.

SB: We’ve had agents go to competitors out there that might be cheaper or offer better commission splits, but they come back to us. It really comes down to the relationship we can establish with agents to make them feel that we’re there to help them succeed.

MP: How do you stay ahead of the curve on technology and marketing? RW: We package all the agent services into one platform where they have everything they need right there. At many other brokerages, agents have to subcontract out for their resources. With us, it’s all in one platform, in part because of the extensive Better Homes and Gardens operating system provided to all of our agents.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JF Finnegan REALTORS® has the highest number of award winners in the network.

DW: We’ve adopted a digital platform provided by our Zap Labs® technology group, which is very robust and features predictive analytics that savvy agents demand. Also, people talk a lot about data these days, and, in most cases, its purchased data. However, our partner Meredith Corporation® just purchased Time Magazine, so we’re immediately at the forefront when it comes to data. We don’t pay to buy data; we own the data and have access to over 200 million consumers who are customers of the Meredith family and predisposed to work with our offices. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has its finger on the pulse of social media. Our agents can refer to the Greenhouse, which has 1,000-plus items they can choose from to post. There’s also an image library that’s licensed by Meredith, with thousands of photos they can use to create standout digital and print marketing. That’s a big differential for our agents.

MP: Lastly, what are your plans for the company’s next chapter? SB: Short term, our plan is to continue to grow the offices organically. We’d like to focus on newer agents, bring them in, coach them and lead them in the right way to do business. Long term, we’re always looking for opportunities to continue to grow. Our five-year goal is to get to 1,000 agents. This market is challenging. If we take care of the dayto-day and make sure agents are cared for and supported, I believe we’ll come out on the other end in a very good position. There will be some opportunities to grow at a faster pace. We’re also fortunate that our franchisor is willing to partner with us to acquire other firms who are seeking an exit strategy. RE For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 101

{Broker Best Practices} Planning for Perception

by Zoe Eisenberg

What is the first thing you do when you get to the office? I time-block two hours of calling for business. It’s not time for current escrows or listings, but rather, for generating new business only. Activities that I focus on include lead follow-up, calling my database, cold calling, etc. How about the last thing you do before leaving for the day? I look at the schedule for the following day and call one past client to end the day.

Danae Aballi REALTOR® Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Newport Beach Newport Beach, Calif. Region served: Orange County, Calif. Years in real estate: 14 Number of offices: 22 in California Number of agents: Douglas Elliman has 7,000 agents nationwide. My personal team here in Newport Beach is me, three agents, a marketing director and a listing coordinator. No. 3 in sales volume in RISMedia’s 2018 Power Broker Report

What sets your company apart from the competition? Our average price point across the company is $1.1 million, so our marketing, our executive team and our leadership are all based around serving at the highest level. What is your preferred method for communicating with clients? While phone calls are always best, email and text are good for asking quick questions. That being said, most real estate conversations are exactly that—a conversation. They’re fluid, and the best way to communicate is over the phone.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

You utilize Homes & Land as part of an integrated marketing strategy that includes print publications. How does this benefit you? Perception. So many agents have gone digital only, and that can be a mistake. I certainly use the tech tools that are available today, but we cannot forget about the foundations. Online, you might be one of 200 - 300 ads a consumer scrolls through. In the magazine, you’re one of 50 top agents, so you stand out.

For more information, please visit

by Paige Tepping

Chuck Poteet Broker/Owner HomeSmart Fine Properties Houston, Texas Region served: Houston and surrounding areas Years in real estate: 34 Number of offices: 2 Number of agents: 50 Top tip for staying organized: Make an action item list at the end of the day so that you wake up each morning with a plan. 102 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Please describe some of the current trends you’re experiencing in your local market, and how you and your team are adapting to meet them. We’re beginning to see the market gently shift, in addition to buyers being willing to purchase when it’s a fair deal, and when the home is well-maintained. Our team is helping now more than ever to prepare the home for sale so that when its launched on the market, sellers have the best foot forward from the beginning.

What is one of the challenges your market currently faces, and what are you doing to overcome it? One of our biggest challenges is dealing with the stigma that’s hanging over our heads a year after Hurricane Harvey. While there’s been a lot of opportunity coming our way within the past year, we’ve had to buckle down and work hard. That being said, regardless of the market, you have to be flexible enough to change along with it. In addition to constantly tweaking the way in which you’re approaching business

to keep up with the market, it’s critical that you pay attention to consumers’ needs and adjust to meet them. How do you see your market evolving as we head toward the close of the year? We’re going to finish out 2018 strong because of the opportunities created in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Those families who had been displaced are gaining confidence and taking the leap back into homeownership, as are those real estate professionals (myself included) who were devastated by the flooding. All in all, we’re excited about the remainder of 2018—and we’re expecting 2019 to be even better as people look to sell.

need to be equipped with the knowledge necessary to use the various tools, technologies and apps that are available so that they can stay connected and mobile, with the ability to conduct business whether they’re in the office or out in the field. And the best way for them to do this is through continuing education and training. It’s also important that agents build a database of customers and clients in order to set themselves up for continued success. To me, the best thing an agent can do is maintain their database and connectivity to their clients through social media, newsletters, emails, etc., as this will lay the foundation upon which they can grow and build a successful business.

How are you preparing your agents for the future of real estate? As we head toward the future, agents

Why HomeSmart? I initially ran across HomeSmart at the 2016 National Association of REALTORS®

Conference & Expo. What caught my eye was the name itself, and the fact that HomeSmart connects with the real estate industry. Not only is their branding and image prestigious, but it’s also meaningful to the public, as well as the agent. HomeSmart is all about working smarter, not harder—and that got my attention. All of this led to my decision to purchase a Houston franchise in May 2017. At the time, I was at a crossroads, and even though I had to lay down my own brand to pick up the HomeSmart brand, it was an easy choice once I realized that they’re today’s brokerage for today’s agents. It’s a great place for agents, as they offer everything needed to help an agent move forward—whether they’re brand-new or have years of experience under their belt. For more information, please visit

Working Together to Achieve the Gold Standard Region served: Pittsburgh, Pa. Years in real estate: 14 Number of offices: 2 Number of agents: 53 (including myself) Motto/work philosophy that you live by: My goal is to affect someone’s life in a positive way every day.

Dionne Malush Co-Owner/REALTOR® Realty ONE Group Gold Standard Pittsburgh, Pa.

How does being part of Realty ONE Group help you and your agents do your jobs well? I can’t say enough about Realty ONE Group; it’s lifechanging for agents. We not only help them grow their business, but also make much more money while doing it with our 100-percent commission structure. Pittsburgh hadn’t seen anything like this before, so brokerages in the area were in shock when we opened our doors earlier this year. We’re definitely disrupting the market.

by Lesley Grand

What’s your best advice for hiring and retaining agents? First off, if you’re a seasoned agent, the tools and back-end systems that Realty ONE Group offer make the brand unbeatable. On top of getting 100 percent of their commissions, our agents all help one another. We’re truly passionate about working together. What’s more, I’m a part of each agent’s life and work instead of just being their boss. My partner Michael Hanlon and I have an open-door policy, and we always have our agents’ backs. We’re both very positive, and that’s the type of culture we’ve established here at Realty ONE Group Gold Standard. That being said, the positive energy here is contagious. How do you stay ahead of the competition? Through social media RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 103

and putting my knowledge of graphic design to work. We’ve only been open since Feb. 10, 2018, and we already have 52 agents. In fact, one of the slogans I recently coined, made a graphic design for and posted on various social media sites triggered a huge amount of activity for us. It simply read: “We

don’t pay cut, we pay raise.” This is a perfect example of the way in which marrying social media to my graphic design knowledge works for us. What is the one thing your agents say is the best thing you do for them? We’re always attentive to

their needs. Michael and I both take the attitude that it doesn’t matter where we are, if our phone rings and it’s one of our agents, we take the call. It’s not about the company; it’s about the agent. For more information, please visit

Fostering Success Through a Supportive Culture

by John Voket

run: We’re getting a lot of attention with our current 40th anniversary celebration marketing.

sum of all our parts. We support one another completely and put our company out there as a team. What are a few key advantages of being part of the LeadingRE network? First and foremost, there’s no better relocation network in the world than LeadingRE, as far as I can tell. And while we may be a relatively small company, as part of LeadingRE, we have a global presence. They help us connect to top firms around the world, which gives us a distinct market advantage.

Broker/Owner Duffy Real Estate, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Narberth, Pa.

As a family business, you must be interested in supporting the various communities where your team works. We pride ourselves on our community involvement. Every one of our agents is involved in volunteerism or community causes privately, and, as a company, we look for opportunities to support community groups, from local basketball and baseball leagues to human service agencies. Recently, one of our agents heard about a cause trying to buy 40 bikes for kids who didn’t have one. When we heard they were 20 bikes short, we stepped in and took care of getting them the remaining bikes.

Region served: Greater Philadelphia Years in real estate: 46 Number of offices: 2 Number of agents: 32 Best tip for getting the right listing price: Bring a number of knowledgeable agents together, review the listing, then reach an appropriate price as a team. No. 1 tip for running a successful agency meeting: Use meetings as workshops and get everyone involved. Most creative ad, promotion or marketing campaign you’ve ever

You must also be very selective when it comes to the agents you want representing the company. While we continue to grow and hire new agents, we also benefit from our veteran agents—some of whom have been with the company for 38 years. When we bring in someone new, we match them with an experienced agent who works with them on three or four transactions before they work independently on one of their own leads. Our new agents aren’t made to feel like they have to compete. At our offices, no individual agent is greater than the

B. John Duffy

104 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

How have you benefited as a broker/ owner after joining LeadingRE? I find that I’m networking and learning a lot from other LeadingRE REALTORS® and brokers. In fact, there’s a lot of sharing that helps us all do better. I’ve had conversations with others about the same challenges we’re experiencing and have learned how to overcome those challenges. I also get great ideas for our company when I see another LeadingRE broker/owner doing something better than we are. Additionally, I’m big on conference calls with other LeadingRE partners because, like our company sales meetings, it’s like having a workshop where we learn things to help our individual companies.

For more information, please visit

Attracting Good Agents and Keeping Them Focused, Driven and Productive by Paige Tepping onto a different package. Agents can opt to choose another package when their own personal business is as strong as the business they’re generating from the leads we’re providing. Once agents have grown their business to the point at which they can go at it on their own, there are a variety of packages that’ll provide a better fit.

Eric Pearson Founder & CEO Pearson Smith Realty Ashburn, Va. Region served: Northern Virginia and the area outside Washington, D.C. Years in real estate: Since 2011 Number of offices: 6 Number of agents: 877 I understand that you’ve crafted a solution that provides online leads for new agents with additional levels, so it won’t be outgrown once they achieve success. How does this work? We have 13 packages in total, the first of which is geared toward getting new agents up and running quickly. As part of this package, agents receive 30 online leads per month, all of which come from syndicated sites, portals such as® and pay-per-click advertising through Facebook. Agents are also paired up with a broker and two managers for coaching/mentoring purposes. We pay for everything so that we’re providing them with an all-inclusive package to help them ramp up their business. At the end of their first year, we sit down with each agent to determine whether they’re ready to move

How invested are you in providing company-paid leads? We’re generating close to 4,000 leads a month that go into this program, and® accounts for 25 - 30 percent of those leads. I’ve been working with® ever since I got started in 2011, and the quality of the leads we receive from them is higher than the leads generated from other sources.® is a big drive in terms of the lead program we’ve created and our ability to provide quality leads to our agents. What type of impact does your lead-program have when it comes to helping agents increase production? The only con to being in the real estate business is the time it takes to ramp up. While it typically takes the better part of six months to a year to truly get the ball rolling, the 13 packages I created hit on every category, whether you’re a brand-new agent or a veteran with many years of experience. More often than not, agents get into real estate with a specific mindset and encounter frustration as they begin the tough task of generating leads. At Pearson Smith Realty, our goal is to solve this challenge and get agents talking to people, scripting and generating leads from day one. Are you tracking well on converting and closing? We’re doing everything we can to make sure our agents

stay consistent—while automating everything—and the results speak for themselves. In fact, we’ve had 50 - 60 agents who weren’t doing a lot of business at their prior brokerage (or were brand-new), and after going through our program, they’re now ranked among the top agents in the industry. How does this compete in the recruiting marketplace? We add anywhere from 25 - 50 agents a month, and while we don’t do much outbound recruiting, when someone calls in, I can show them five or six packages that are better and more comprehensive than what they’re getting from their current brokerage. And while we’re still new in a sense, we have the ability to change and move course if something isn’t working. We’ve been an agent-focused brokerage from day one—and we truly believe in the value the agent brings to the table. If we take care of the agent, they will take care of the client. As a business partner, how is® performing in terms of driving value and profitability? I couldn’t be happier with®. As for those real estate professionals that don’t believe in online leads, you’re either not working them appropriately, or you’re not giving them enough time.® is extremely profitable for us. Not only do they provide quality leads, but they’re also the only lead program that’s guaranteed. While® is our best lead source, in the end, it all comes down to the lead turn time. In working with®, we’re consistently getting agents hot leads, and they love and appreciate that. For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 105


Branching Into Commercial Real Estate:

RISK VS. REWARD by Andrew King


hether it’s an attorney for a retail chain looking for a corner location with lots of foot traffic, or a CPA for a developer of creative space who needs tenants, chances are, an experienced residential broker’s database is loaded with potential commercial opportunities. How hard could it be to make some calls and bring a buyer and seller together just like they do every day for residential clients? Actually, it’s very hard. “You can’t just go in cold,” says Herbert Chou, an associate broker with Warburg Realty in New York City, who started in commercial and now operates in both markets. “You need a knowledge base before going into commercial real estate.” Despite all the temptations and all the theoretical upside of crossing over into commercial—higher com106 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

missions, diversification of the listing portfolio and not having to deal with emotional residential clients, to name a few—the risks of dabbling in commercial real estate far outweigh the rewards if the broker doesn’t know what he or she is doing. “If you jump from one to the other, it actually hurts you financially,” says Omar Lopez, a Las Vegasbased broker with Berkshire Hatha-

way HomeServices Nevada Properties. “A typical residential agent spending $1,500 or more on their base costs, in commercial would be spending at least $25,000 on the basic systems to represent the client to the best of their abilities.” Additionally, Lopez warns, commercial has a much longer lead time than residential, and that long and expensive wait from the initial offering to the closing can be brutal for even the best brokers. “You’ll be in a market that’s strongly different. If everything goes right, it most likely will take 6 – 8 months to get paid. Between zoning, permits and partners, so much can go wrong,” says Lopez. Lopez had a successful career as a residential broker, but transitioned

to commercial deals when the market started to favor that sector in the mid-2000s. With a practice that’s now mostly commercial, Lopez cautions brokers about making the transition willy-nilly. Perhaps the biggest concern, he explains, is that it might be illegal to represent a commercial client without fully understanding the business. In his state, as in many others, brokers on commercial transactions have to sign off on a “Duties Owed By A Nevada Real Estate Licensee” document, which can hold the broker liable if they don’t exercise “reasonable skill and care.” In other words, it’s illegal to not know what you’re doing—and with bigger commissions come bigger liabilities. “People are trying to do commercial, but they don’t have the right training, knowledge or education,” says Lopez. “Homes are very different from income-producing assets. You never get a buyer looking at a home and asking, ‘How much power is coming into this house?’” Wattage, plumbing, insurance and zoning are among the many variables that need to be researched on the back-end of a commercial real estate transaction, says Lopez. To get up to speed on the relevant issues and lingo, he recommends reaching out to a training institute, such as CCIM, and/or partnering with a local commercial real estate specialist on your first few deals to learn the business and make sure you’re covered from a liability standpoint. “It’s probably best to refer a commercial real estate lead to a specialist…but work close with them to learn the ropes,” Chou advises. “That’s the best approach to start. It’s a learning process for sure. You can’t just dive into it.” In addition to the technical concerns that exist exclusively in commercial real estate, residential brokers also have to learn the nuances of negotiating these highly complex

transactions. Many of the details that need to be ironed out by the broker may not even relate to the current state of the client’s business, but, rather, the future objectives. “The negotiation is a lot more complicated,” says Chou. “It’s not just about price. If [an office space] client wants to expand the footprint—if they can acquire a different floor or spread into a neighboring suite—there are a lot of future events that you have to be aware of. You can also negotiate for rooftop access, parking, signage and naming the building.”

“People are trying to do commercial, but they don’t have the right training, knowledge or education.” OMAR LOPEZ Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties

Chou adds that retail properties are a little bit simpler, but they still require a specific skillset for brokers. “Within the category of commercial real estate there are specialties and subspecialties,” says Bruce Ailion, a broker and attorney with RE/MAX Town and Country in Atlanta. “These include investment sales and property management. In investment sales, someone might specialize in office properties, apartments, industrial properties, churches or even NNN properties like fast food restaurants or gas stations. I recently heard someone is specializing in car wash facilities.” Ailion recommends specializing in a particular type of commercial real estate even if you’re primarily a residential broker looking to dabble in it. There are many training programs available, but he warns that they can be expensive and require a lot of dedication. “Knowing the market, knowing

the jargon, learning how to market or acquire clients and understanding the concerns of tenants or sellers based on the property type is important. You cannot know the entire market, so specializing in a subcategory makes sense. Likewise, the jargon and technology are different in different categories,” says Ailion. “When I was starting out, I happened to get a tenant for a 100,000-square-foot warehouse. I was familiar with dock doors and drive-ins and ceiling height and beam spans, but when the tenant started asking about foundation cuts and the weight per square foot the floor could support, I was clueless. Fortunately, the leasing agent took over and I just shook my head.” With 39 years of experience in both sides of the business, Ailion says he has found a great balance of residential and commercial that can swing to a ratio of 30/70 in either direction, depending on the market demands. Having such flexibility is welcome for an industry as unpredictable as real estate. Dabbling in commercial usually begins with an easy lead, but those who have been there know that it’s much harder to get to the finish line. Big companies, such as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, have deep resources to support those looking to dabble, but usually require agents to secure permission from their broker first because there are so many inherent risks, says Lopez, who has received a lot of interest in commercial from the residential agents on his team. “If they’re not trained (in commercial real estate), they should be seeking somebody they can shadow. That’s the best decision on behalf of their own client,” advises Lopez. “Once you get the skills, knowledge and tools, it’s an exciting career.” RE Andrew King is a contributing editor for RISMedia.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 107

{RISMedia’s Great Spaces}

A House to

Build a Dream On Bob and Laura Keane’s Nantucket Getaway Delivers a Promise for Generations to Come by Barbara Pronin

108 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

A true labor of love, Bob and Laura Keane’s Nantucket getaway blends easily into its natural island setting.


or Bob and Laura Keane, it’s all about family; cookouts on the beach with happy kids splashing in the surf, the annual family tennis tournament and generations of extended family simply spending time together.

It’s why the Connecticut-based Keanes have vacationed in Nantucket, the popular island south of Cape Cod, Mass., for nearly 20 summers, and it’s the rock-solid reason they made the decision to

build their dream home there now. “We fell in love with Nantucket from the first moment we saw it in 1992,” says Laura. “We vacationed there every summer for years, and our kids—Maxx, Chelsea and Sam—were still living at home when we had the opportunity to buy our first vacation home there back in 2009.” The kids grew up on the island’s beaches and still work in its lively tourist trade. For years, their fivebedroom, mid-island summer home seemed like second-to-heaven. But with the three Keane children and their large circle of friends, plus Laura’s nine siblings and their families,

and a close-knit clan of extended family who have open invitations to join them, the Nantucket getaway was soon creating memories for more people than it could comfortably hold. “Then, two years ago, we found a two-acre lot that seemed to have our name on it,” Bob explains. “It’s on a private road, fairly secluded, about a mile from the ocean, and it seemed like the ideal spot to build the dream home we wanted—our legacy for the generations to come.” Keane, a reinsurance broker, and his wife Laura envisioned multifunctional open living spaces and an oversized eat-in kitchen, with a RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 109

Friends and family can hang out in comfort while enjoying nature—and one another.

master bedroom on the main floor, three en-suite bedrooms in an upstairs wing, a finished basement with a bunkroom and a separate two-bedroom cottage equipped to host an ever-growing guest list. Determined to get the plans right, they interviewed several architects. Ultimately, they placed their faith in Nantucket architect Ethan Griffin. Griffin, a senior architect at Chip Webster Architecture, has been custom designing Nantucket homes for years, and is well-acquainted with the needs and restrictions of building in the historic island district. More than that, Griffin connected instantly with the Keanes’ decisive vision. “I saw right away that for this family,” says Griffin, “it was more about lifestyle than luxury—about hanging out in comfortable spaces and enjoying nature and one another.” It was also a whole lot of fun. “The Keane’s lot sits among wooded pines, surrounded by conservation land and winding walking 110 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

trails, and it was clear from the outset that the family wanted to maximize the area’s natural grace and serenity. They have a lively, energetic vibe, and they are open to new ideas. Very quickly, we meshed as a team and we set about designing their dream home.” Ideas took shape and initial designs were examined, evaluated and improved. Amazingly, in just under three months, the final plans were approved—a contemporary casual family compound featuring a sprawling, 6,000-square-foot main house with an adjoining cottage, a tennis court and a gym, and plenty of lawn space with lots of seating and a massive barbecue and fire pit. “Our annual fishing trip is a longstanding family tradition,” notes Bob. “We want to be able to cook up the catch and enjoy it together outdoors in a comfortable, private setting.” As with any project, there was a budget in place, and Griffin wondered, for a time, if he could manage to stay within the Keane’s budget and still deliver the desired custom woodwork and other highend amenities. Enter Nantucket builder Frank Daily. A leader in island renovations and home construction since 1997, Daily and his crew of craftsmen are committed to meeting the most meticulous specifications while preserving the area’s culture and integrity—and to doing it while staying on budget. Like Griffin, he tuned in early to the contagious Keane vibe and quickly became a part of the team. “The Keanes wanted the sand in their feet. They envisioned an indoor/outdoor flow built for comfort and convenience, where people can feel at home,” Daily says. “They’re into beautiful but functional, a lowkey lifestyle with high-end touches, and that’s exactly what we built.” It helped that the Keane’s initial

Nantucket home sold within the first two weeks on market. “It’s a unique property even on this island full of lovely homes— four stories of living space including a finished basement, and lovingly decorated in the fun, beachy style that Laura appreciates,” says Bernadette Meyer who, with partner Craig Hawkins of Maury People Sotheby’s International Realty, was selected to represent the sale. The home sold, fully furnished and at top dollar for the market, to a family as eager to enjoy its amenities as the Keanes had been for years. “It was as smooth a transaction as I’ve ever seen,” says co-agent Hawkins. “Bernadette and I are proud and happy to have been part of the Keane dream team.” The Keane’s new home blends easily into its natural setting on the island. Its cohesive, traditional farmhouse design, complete with porch and dormer windows, features unique elements like a practical “beach room”—the Nantucket equivalent of an inland mud room— and a casual, welcoming vibe. Laura Keane, whose discerning eye helped to make the family’s former getaway such a highly prized commodity, worked with interior designer Julie Furey, owner of Julians Interiors in Madison, Conn., to ensure the new home carries the same unerring style and ambience. Furey, who has worked with the Keanes before in both Nantucket and Connecticut, is familiar with the family’s taste and lifestyle, and is happily in tune with their vision. “We went for clean lines, light, beachy colors, and a contemporary, nautical ambience that reflects the Nantucket environment,” she says. “We wanted a cool palette and a light, airy feel that inspires relaxation and leisure.” One of the challenges of working on an island, Furey explains, is

getting furnishings that have been selected on the mainland delivered in a timely manner. “Nantucket is a three-hour trek from the mainland, including a one-hour ferry ride out of Hyannis,” she notes. “It’s hard to create an ‘instant house’ when pieces of your design are still missing.” Neither was it easy to manage a huge project from 200 miles away. But the Keanes were both pleased and patient. “We’ve been lucky to be working with an amazing team,” says Laura. “I can’t think of a thing we would have done differently.” The family, she says, built much more than a home. “It’s a special place where all the members of our extended family and friends will continue to gather for generations to come.” And this past summer, the Keanes put the design and quality of the home to the test, comfortably hosting up to 19 people at once. According to the couple, “We are very happy with the decisions we made throughout the process, and the various people we worked with to help make our dream come true.” RE

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 111

{Ask the Experts}

Q: Dan Steward President Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

“The person who joined our network 30 years ago isn’t necessarily from the same background as our newer franchisees, since our team ensures that we’re at the forefront of the latest advancements and training techniques available in the home inspection industry.”

Q& A 112 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

There’s no doubt that the home inspection industry of today is vastly different from the home inspection industry of the past. What are some of the biggest changes that have occurred over the years?


It’s an honor and a privilege to be president of the No. 1 home inspection franchise in North America. I’m particularly proud of our franchisees and home inspectors. They’re the ones that elevate us and bring the Pillar To Post difference and values to life out in the field. It also shows us that with the proper training, motivation and passion, someone can enjoy a career in such a booming industry. The person who joined our network 30 years ago isn’t necessarily from the same background as our newer franchisees, since our team ensures that we’re at the forefront of the latest advancements and training techniques available in the home inspection industry. What our franchisees all share is a mutual motivation and passion for this field.

Do you believe there’s a different profile today when it comes to the type of person looking to get into the home inspection field?

As I said, many of their likes, interests and skills are similar, but they’re getting their pre-education in other places. Many of our existing and long-time franchisees picked up applicable skills somewhere in the workplace in fields like construction, home building and development, managing many people in a corporate setting and the like. Today, we find that more than one third of our newer franchisees come from military service, and they do very well in this field.

Why do you think those franchisees with a military background are able to find success in the home inspection industry? The skills and technology learned in our military program are phenomenal; state-of-the-art technology is employed, true discipline and real teamwork all take place. These are all transferrable skills that lead to huge opportunities to be successful in the home inspection industry. I would say that the sophistication of the military candidate in combination with a younger generation emerging from careers in the tech world with a fresh perspective gives our newest home inspectors an advantage. That being said, they do seek out advice and wisdom from our existing owners who have been “in the home inspection field” with a proven track record for years. In the end, nothing replaces wisdom and experience. RE

What Makes a G.R.E.A.T. Agent? Commentary by John Wendorff


ver the last 40 years, I’ve worked with real estate agents to help them reap the rewards this industry can give. The letters G.R.E.A.T. perfectly illustrate my beliefs about what makes a successful agent. “G” Is for Gratitude. Long-term success requires the ability to be grateful. Gratitude is key to success, not only for the real estate business, but any business. Ideally, you’re working with people you enjoy, and you believe your work makes a difference in other people’s lives. Remind yourself that what you do isn’t just about money; you’re helping people solve housing challenges. Be grateful for your skillset and your abilities. “R” Is for Responsiveness. The responsive agent gets referrals and repeat business. It isn’t enough to just return the call, email or text. It’s about responding in a timely and relevant manner. Is this client anxious? Do they need a lot of hand holding? Generally speaking, prospective clients spend about three days deciding which agent to use. Strive to

follow-up with every email, text and phone call within one hour. It’s a discipline, and while difficult, the more you do it, the more you’ll set yourself apart in the marketplace. “E” Is for Enthusiastic. You’re excited about your opportunities and your solutions. Being excited about a transaction means that you enjoy working with these individuals, they’re ready to buy and you have solutions to fit them exactly. If you’re not excited, ask yourself whether you’re the right person for that opportunity. Sometimes, my lack of enthusiasm is a sign that it belongs in somebody else’s hands. Stay focused on helping people solve their problems in the very best way you know how. “A” Is for Awareness. Put people first and the transaction second. One of the hardest things about real estate is staying aware of all the different pieces—regulatory, financial and marketing. We forget that this business is about people and our ability to read them. Are they defensive? Are they indecisive? The ability to understand people and respond appropriately makes all the difference. Without awareness, you might come to the end of the transaction

only to find that you lost the people halfway through. Every time you meet with people, fully engage them. Be aware of where they are mentally and emotionally so that you can empathize and help make their dream a reality. “T” Is for Targeted. Focus on a specific area of the marketplace. Many agents believe that any listing is better than no listing. But without a target, you’ll deplete your energy so rapidly that you’ll never be able to manage everything. Pick an area, a type of home or a type of client. Hand off other prospects to other agents. Be the agent who knows more about a specific neighborhood or a particular kind of client than anybody else. You cannot be a great agent without some type of targeting. Apply these principles to your business each and every day, and you’ll be on your way to success. Most of all, focus on putting people first, as that will truly make you a G.R.E.A.T. agent. RE John Wendorff is chief encouragement officer with The Personal Marketing Company. For more information, visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 113


Agents Just

Get It. Do You Belong? Sign up for Top 5 in Real Estate today at


facebook twitter

RSS facebook

flick RSS r twitter

flick r linkedin facebook

myspace RSS linkedin

myoutube yspace flick r

foursquare youtube twitter linkedin

email mfoursquare yspace facebook

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

In other words, you get everything you need to get the listing, get the deal and get ahead. All for less than most agents spend on smartphone service. Find out how top producers stay on top – and how you can join them there. Visit us at today.

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®..................................................................................... 116

Ascent Real Estate, Inc........................................................... 120

American Home Shield........................................................... 116

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate... 120

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices......................................... 116

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices C. Dan Joyner, REALTORS®....120

Buffini & Company................................................................. 116

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty................... 120

Century 21 Real Estate LLC.................................................... 116

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®.....120

Certified New Home Specialist ............................................. 116

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties............ 120

CINC (Commissions Inc)......................................................... 116

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties............ 120

Cole Realty Resource............................................................. 116

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties.................120

Create for the Human............................................................. 116

Calcagni Real Estate.............................................................. 120

CRS Data............................................................................... 116

CENTURY 21 Award................................................................ 121

DocuSign............................................................................... 117

CENTURY 21 New Millennium................................................. 121

Engel & Völkers...................................................................... 117

Coach REALTORS®................................................................. 121

The Entrust Group.................................................................. 117

Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®............................. 121

ERA Franchise Systems, LLC................................................... 117

Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty.................................. 121

Homes & Land....................................................................... 117

Diane Turton, REALTORS®....................................................... 121 117

Fillmore Real Estate............................................................... 121

HomeSmart International....................................................... 117

First Team® Real Estate.......................................................... 121

HomeTeam Inspection Service................................................ 117

GARDNER, REALTORS®........................................................... 121

HSA Home Warranty............................................................... 117

Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate.............................................. 121

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®........................ 117

J. Rockcliff REALTORS®........................................................... 121

Motto Franchising, LLC®......................................................... 118

Jordan Baris, Inc., REALTORS®................................................ 122

MoxiWorks............................................................................. 118

Kinlin Grover Real Estate........................................................ 122

National Association of REALTORS®........................................ 118

Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc................................................ 122

The Personal Marketing Company........................................... 118

Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty.................... 122

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors................................................ 118

McCOLLY Real Estate.............................................................. 122

Quicken Loans....................................................................... 118

Page Taft................................................................................ 122

Real Living Real Estate........................................................... 118

Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate.............................................. 122

Realogy Holdings Corp........................................................... 118

Randall, REALTORS®.....................................................................122®.......................................................................... 118

RE/MAX 440 and RE/MAX Central......................................... 122

Realtors Property Resource®.................................................. 119

RE/MAX Gateway................................................................... 122


Realty Executives International............................................... 119 Realty ONE Group.................................................................. 119 RE/MAX, LLC.......................................................................... 119 RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®.............................. 119 Top Producer® CRM................................................................ 119 Workman Success Systems.................................................... 119 Xpressdocs............................................................................ 119 Zillow Group........................................................................... 119 zipLogix.................................................................................. 119

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 115

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

AMERICAN HOME SHIELD (800) 735-4663 • As the founder and leader of the home warranty industry, American Home Shield is committed to providing our customers with protection for covered major components of the home systems and appliances that make a home work. The American Home Shield home warranty is included in more than 300,000 real estate transactions per year. And, as the nation’s largest home warranty company, we pay more service requests than any other home warranty company in the nation. That’s added up to more than $2 billion over the last five years. The Memphis-based company operates five customer service centers, employs more than 2,000 employees and has a national contractor network made up of more than 14,000 independent home-service contractors.

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

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

CENTURY 21 REAL ESTATE LLC (877) 221-2765 • • Madison, N.J. • Nick Bailey, President & CEO Century 21 Real Estate LLC is a leading global residential franchise real estate sales organization, with over 8,800 independentlyowned and -operated franchised brokerages and more than 122,000 independent real estate professionals in 81 countries and territories worldwide. The Century 21® System capitalizes on brand marketing, promotions and sponsorships, and fundraising efforts with Easter Seals, to build brand awareness and preference. Technology initiatives include both English- and Spanish-language consumer websites, and www.century21. com/espanol, a recently redesigned intranet site, www.21Online. com, and the Century 21 Learning System®, a web-based learn-

116 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

ing platform. Century 21 Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp.

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

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

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

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

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

DOCUSIGN (866) 219-4318 • • Seattle, Wash. • Suzanne Alberti, Marketing Campaigns Program Manager - Web DocuSign is part of the National Association of REALTORS®’ Second Century Ventures investment portfolio and is the official and exclusive provider of ESIGN services for NAR members under the REALTOR Benefits® program. Offering the exclusive REALTOR® Edition, DocuSign is the safe, secure way to electronically send, sign and store real estate documents. DocuSigned documents are legally binding and backed with an audit trail.

ENGEL & VÖLKERS (212) 234-3100 • ​Since its beginning in 1977 as a specialty boutique providing exclusive, high-end real estate​services in Hamburg, Germany, Engel & Völkers has become one of the world’s leading companies specializing in the sale and lease of premium residential and commercial property, yachts and private aviation. Engel & Völkers currently operates a global network of over 10,000 real estate advisors in more than 30 countries, offering both private and institutional clients a professionally tailored range of luxury services. Committed to exceptional service, Engel & Völkers supports its advisors with an array of premium quality business services; marketing programs and tools; multiple platforms for mobile, social and web; as well as access to its global network of real estate professionals, property listings and market data. Each brokerage is independently-owned and -operated.

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

ERA FRANCHISE SYSTEMS, LLC (800) 869-1260 • • Madison, N.J. • 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, 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 U.S and 32 other countries and territories. ERA Franchise Systems, LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp.

HOMES & LAND (800) 726-6683 • Homes & Land, one of the industry’s most trusted and recognized brands, offers real estate professionals a marketing solution that combines the prestige of print and a suite of digital products. With a network of 220+ magazines in communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, Homes & Land connects top agents and brokers with quali-

fied homebuyers and sellers. Publishers provide custom advertising in an upscale magazine, global reach through, and website partners including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, duPont REGISTRY and Robb Report. Visit to find your local publisher.

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

HOMESMART INTERNATIONAL (800) 865-9025 • Founded in 2000, HomeSmart International is one of the fastestgrowing real estate companies in the nation with more than 130 offices in 20 states and more than 15,000 agents. HomeSmart International offers franchisees, brokers and agents efficiency and innovation, coupled with the systems and technologies necessary to succeed in today’s evolving real estate industry.

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

HSA HOME WARRANTY (800) 367-1448 • • Madison, Wis. • Mike Clear, President HSA Home Warranty has provided outstanding products and service to real estate professional and homeowners for more than 34 years. The HSA Home Warranty helps sellers and buyers protect their budget from the cost of repairing or replacing the major home system components and appliances in their home. With HSA Home Warranty, your clients get reliable budget protection backed by exceptional service, and you, the real estate professional, get a provider who works hard to better serve you.

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

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 117

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

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

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (800) 874-6500 • • Chicago, Ill. • Bob Goldberg, CEO • Matt Lombardi, SVP, Marketing, Communications and Events •M  arc Gould, SVP, Member Development • Mark Birschbach, SVP, Strategic Business Innovation and Technology • Karen Bebart, VP, Member Marketing and Communications The term REALTOR® identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. NAR members have access to the REALTOR Benefits® Program, the official member benefits resource for discounts and special offers on products and services just for REALTORS®. Program partners are industry leaders who understand the unique needs of real estate professionals and are committed to your success. Visit NAR is also proud to make the .REALTOR domain available exclusively to members to help them stand out in the marketplace as the trusted source for real estate for consumers. Visit http://about.REALTOR. And, for a lifetime of learning, REALTOR® University can take your career to the next level with continuing education courses, earning a designation or certification, or a Master in Real Estate degree. Visit The REALTOR® Store features print and ePublications, including top-selling “The Little Red Book: Safety Rules to Live by for REALTORS®” and the “2017 NAR Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.” Visit Additionally, NAR’s venture capital arm, Second Century Ventures, has invested in companies that push forward innovation in the real estate industry and can benefit NAR’s members. Visit

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

118 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

direct mail, email marketing, contact management, prospecting and farming, newsletter programs, FSBO and expired campaigns, client follow-up systems and marketing planning services.

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

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

REAL LIVING REAL ESTATE (866) 373-6228 • Real Living Real Estate is a full-service real estate brokerage network with a comprehensive and integrated suite of resources for franchisees and their sales professionals, as well as the consumers who work with them. The Real Living brand 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) 407-7470 • • Madison, N.J. • Nick Renda, Corporate Communications Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) is a global leader in residential real estate franchising with company-owned real estate brokerage operations doing business under its franchise systems as well as relocation and title services. Realogy’s brands and business units include Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, The Corcoran Group®, ERA®, Sotheby’s International Realty®, ZipRealty®, NRT LLC, Cartus, Title Resource Group and ZapLabs LLC. Collectively, Realogy’s franchise system members operate over 15,600 offices with approximately 294,000 independent sales associates doing business in 115 countries and territories worldwide.

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



(888) 914-7771 • • 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 • 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 • • 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 • • 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 10,000 real estate professionals across the country and global expansion on the horizon, 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. One-hundred percent family-owned and debt-free since day ONE, 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 • • Denver, Colo. RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, who still manage the company today. From a single office in Denver, Colo., RE/MAX has grown to be a global real estate franchise network with more than 100,000 sales associates in nearly 100 countries. The consumer website is consistently ranked among the most visited real estate websites, and LeadStreet provides referrals to RE/MAX sales associates with no fees from RE/MAX. To learn how RE/MAX can take your career to the next level, visit

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

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

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

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

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

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 119

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

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

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

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES FLORIDA REALTY (954) 693-0100 • (800) 386-1554 • Sunrise, Fla. • Rei Mesa, CRS, CRB, President & CEO Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty serves 21 counties throughout Florida with over 40 locations and approximately 1,750 sales professionals. The full-service brokerage company, founded in 1999, is a subsidiary of Lennar Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, and is a franchise member of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network. The company offers residential and commercial services as well as seasonal rentals, property manage120 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

ment, REO & foreclosures, corporate relocations, referral services, title, home warranty plans, and personal concierge services. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty ranks among the Top 10 in the network nationwide and is the overall No. 1 fundraiser for The Sunshine Kids Foundation in Florida, having generated more than $3.5 million since 2001.

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

CENTURY 21 NEW MILLENNIUM (800) 727-6888 • CENTURY 21 New Millennium is a full-service real estate brokerage in the Greater Washington, D.C. area. The company, which specializes in residential and luxury properties, joined the CENTURY 21® System in 1998 and has established a sound and successful organization providing traditional residential and commercial services, on-site mortgage, title, 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 18 locations and approximately 750 real estate professionals, New Millennium is consistently included in REALTOR® Magazine’s Top 100 Companies List for all real estate firms nationwide regardless of brand. It is also a past winner of the prestigious Cartus Masters Cup, the Network’s highest honor. The Cartus Broker Network is the largest relocation network in the world and includes more than 775 handselected brokerages in the United States.

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

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

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

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

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

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

GLORIA NILSON & CO. REAL ESTATE (732) 450-2300 • Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate, 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 • • 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 October 2018 121

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

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

LONG & FOSTER REAL ESTATE, INC. (866) 677-6937 ∙ Long & Foster Real Estate, the nation’s No. 1 independent brand by sales volume, is part of The Long & Foster Companies, a subsidiary of HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. HomeServices is the nation’s second-largest real estate brokerage and one of the largest providers of integrated real estate services. Long & Foster Real Estate is the exclusive affiliate for Christie’s International Real Estate throughout select parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and it is a founding affiliate of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a prestigious global network of real estate professionals that includes the Luxury Portfolio International division. Long & Foster Real Estate has over 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 $31.2 billion worth of homes and helped people buy and sell homes nearly 88,000 times in 2016. Visit www.LongandFoster. com for more information.

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

122 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

MCCOLLY REAL ESTATE (800) 348-2100 x206 • 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 • Since opening its Guilford office in 1980, Page Taft has expanded its presence with offices in the historic towns of Madison and Essex, Conn. Page Taft agents foster long-term relationships with clients based on a strong foundation of trust and an unsurpassed commitment to excellence. These unique strengths set us apart from our competitors and make us your most valuable resource in fulfilling your real estate needs.

PATTERSON-SCHWARTZ REAL ESTATE (877) 456-4663 • Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate is Delaware’s largest independent REALTOR® with 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 • Randall, REALTORS® has been a consistent leader in the marketing of Southern New England properties for more than 28 years. Specializing in waterfront properties and second homes, our agents boast a 98.5 percent client satisfaction rating. Through our extensive marketing network, we offer tremendous exposure for our property listings and continue to deliver successful sales and representation for our clients. In addition, Randall, REALTORS®’ Vacation Rental Department offers a large selection of vacation rental properties serving the Southern Rhode Island shoreline and Eastern Connecticut.

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

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

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

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

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

DELAWARE Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS® 1 International Plaza, Ste. 100, Philadelphia, PA 19113 Contact: Linda Zanzinger, Vice President, Relocation/REO Services Tel: (610) 595-3149 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Greater Philadelphia Region, Greater Allentown and Easton Region, Southeast Pa., Southern and Central N.J., Northern Del. Offices: 65 • Associates: 4,000 Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: • URL: 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: • URL: 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: Relocation Contact: Sharon Sapp, Vice President, Relocation, Referrals & REOs Email: • URL: 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: • URL: Coverage Areas: Metro Atlanta and North Georgia Offices: 22 • Associates: 1,100 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2018 123

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

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

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

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

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

MARYLAND CENTURY 21 New Millennium 5990 Kingstowne Towne Center, Alexandria, VA 22315 Contact: Todd Hetherington, CEO • Tel: (800) 382-1101 • Fax: (703) 822-0136 Relocation Contact: Jeff Hetherington, Director of Relocation Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and the Southern Maryland markets. Our areas of expertise range from Fortune 500 executives to specialized training in military and government relocation. Offices: 16 • Associates: 700+ Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 220+ • Associates 11,000+

124 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

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

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

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

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

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

Tel: (610) 595-3149 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Greater Philadelphia Region, Greater Allentown and Easton Region, Southeast Pa., Southern and Central N.J., Northern Del. Offices: 65 • Associates: 4,000 Diane Turton, REALTORS® 511 Forman Ave., Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742 Contact: Dawn Fetherston, Director of Relocation & Corporate Services Tel: (877) 388-7866 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Monmouth County, Ocean County and Middlesex County (N.J.) Member Organizations: Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, Luxury Portfolio, Luxury Real Estate Offices: 18 · Associates: 375 Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate 826 Alexander Rd., Princeton, NJ 08540 Contact: Patricia (Tricia) Kobos Tel: (888) 467-MOVE (Relocation Line) • (609) 750-7605 (Direct) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean and Somerset counties, N.J.; Bucks County, Pa. Offices: 23 • Associates: 700+ Jordan Baris, Inc., REALTORS® 50 Mt. Pleasant Ave., West Orange, NJ 07052 Contact: Carol Abdo, Relocation Director Tel: (973) 736-1600 (Office) • (800) 4-JBARIS (Toll Free) Fax: (973) 736-5159 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Essex, Union, Hudson and Morris counties. Specifically West Orange, South Orange, Maplewood, Livingston, East Hanover, Roseland, Short Hills, Montclair, Bloomfield, Belleville, Newark, East Orange, Orange, Irvington, Jersey City, North Bergen, Union, Vauxhall, Parsippany-Troy Hills Offices: 2 • Associates: 150 Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: • URL: 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: URL: The Coach REALTORS® Relocation Department understands the complexities and challenges of employee transfers and is very responsive to the many needs of relocating families. Coach’s relocation division is supported by three full-time referral coordinators: Jose Matos, Kathy Brandofino and Roseanne Tourto. These three professionals draw upon more than 50 years of combined relocation experience in order to make the client transition a comfortable one. Offices: 19 • Associates: 650+

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

NORTH CAROLINA Coldwell Banker Advantage 7610 Six Forks Rd., Ste. 100, Raleigh, NC 27615 Contact: Benina Drake, CRP, SVP Relocation & Referral Services Tel: (800) 274-5345 • (919) 846-3330 (Direct) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Apex, Cary, Clayton, Creedmoor, Chapel Hill, Durham, Falls Lake, Fayetteville, Ft. Bragg area, Henderson, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Lake Gaston, Lillington, McGee’s Crossroads, Pinehurst, Pittsboro, Pope Air Force Base area, Raleigh, Southern Pines, Wake Forest and Zebulon Offices: 17 • Associates: 325 Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 220+ • Associates 11,000+

PENNSYLVANIA Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS® 1 International Plaza, Ste. 100, Philadelphia, PA 19113 Contact: Linda Zanzinger, Vice President, Relocation/REO Services, Tel: (610) 595-3149 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Greater Philadelphia Region, Greater Allentown and Easton Region, Southeast Pa., Southern and Central N.J., Northern Del. Offices: 65 • Associates: 4,000 Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate 826 Alexander Rd., Princeton, NJ 08540 Contact: Patricia (Tricia) Kobos Tel: (888) 467-MOVE (Relocation Line) • (609) 750-7605 (Direct) Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean and Somerset counties, N.J.; Bucks County, Pa. Offices: 23 • Associates: 700+ Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: • URL: 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 October 2018 125

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

Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: • URL: Coverage Areas: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Offices: 220+ • Associates 11,000+

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

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

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

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

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

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

126 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

WASHINGTON, D.C. CENTURY 21 New Millennium 5990 Kingstowne Towne Center, Alexandria, VA 22315 Contact: Todd Hetherington, CEO • Tel: (800) 382-1101 • Fax: (703) 822-0136 Relocation Contact: Jeff Hetherington, Director of Relocation Email: • URL: Providers of world class real estate services in the Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and the Southern Maryland markets. Our areas of expertise range from Fortune 500 executives to specialized training in military and government relocation. Offices: 16 • Associates: 700+ Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: • URL: 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: • URL: Coverage Areas: Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland Offices: 6 • Associates: 170

WEST VIRGINIA Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. Headquarters Office: 14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly, VA 20151 Contact: Vicki Hamp, SVP of Corporate Real Estate Services Tel: (800) 335-0356 Email: • URL: 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®...................................................................................14

The Personal Marketing Company..........................54, 65

American Home Shield................................................. IFC

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

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

Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) Certification..................44

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

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

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JF Finnegan REALTORS®..................................................BC

Realty ONE Group............................................................22

Century 21 Real Estate LLC.............................................17 Clareity..............................................................................19

RISMedia’s Automated Content Engagement (ACE)...................................................................9, 86-87, 127

Create for the Human...................................11, 20, 49, 92

RISMedia’s Content Solutions.........................................80

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

RISMedia’s Power Broker Events.......................................5

ERA Franchise Systems, LLC............................................50

RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®.............47, 114

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

Homes & Land..................................................................66

Sherri Johnson...................................................................90

Stewart Title.......................................................................70

HSA Home Warranty..............................................................13

Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc...........................42, 58

Institute for Luxury Home Marketing....................................41 Leading Real Estate Companies of the World .................. 1

Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem NAWRB...............................................................................56

National Association of REALTORS®............................8, 25

Workman Success Systems........................................85, 89


RISMedia’s Automated Content Engagement

We write it. We post it. You take all the credit.

Learn more at

{re: Real Estate}

How Can Brokers Help Shape the Legislative Landscape?


ith the 2018 midterm elections quickly approaching, it’s a good time to remember that legislative decisions at the national and

state level can significantly impact your brokerage, your agents, and your customers. How can you help shape the legislative landscape to support REALTORS® and property ownership? Join the National Association of REALTORS’® (NAR) Broker Involvement Program. The Broker Involvement Program provides broker/owners with a quick and effective tool to rally their agents and send a strong, united REALTOR® voice to state and federal leaders. Once you’ve enrolled, NAR will email your agents, on your behalf, on critical legislative and regulatory issues affecting the real estate industry. These emails are typically sent only three to five times a year. Past results have proven that agents are more likely to respond to a legislative Call for Action if it comes from their broker. You’ll be alerted by email when a Call for Action is being launched and can use an online portal to view agent participation reports. It’s easy to sign up, and there’s no cost. Currently, over 16,000 brokers participate in the Broker Involvement Program, representing nearly 500,000 agents. To register, visit Priorities The REALTOR® Party tackles many issues, all stemming from the mission to support property ownership, private property rights and transfer of real property without undue obstacles, and to promote the free enterprise system. For example, the National Flood Insurance Program provides vital disaster assistance but isn’t financially sustainable over the long run. With strong support from REALTORS®, the program was recently renewed, allowing critical homeowner protection to continue while reform measures are developed. Closer to Home State REALTOR® associations have also used the Broker Involvement Program to engage with their members. Recent examples include: Missouri - In April, Missouri REALTORS® used the Broker Involvement Program to rally their members in support of the Missouri First-Time Homebuyer Initiative (HB 128 October 2018 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

1796), a bill that had passed the House, but was at risk of missing a Senate vote prior to adjournment, forcing the process back to square one in the next legislative session. Grassroots efforts, including the Broker Involvement Program, brought the bill to the Senate floor, where it passed with overwhelming support (29-4). The law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2019, helping more Missourians achieve homeownership using individual tax-free savings accounts. Mississippi - The Mississippi Association of REALTORS® was the first association to use the Broker Involvement Program to help ensure all members had a voice in establishing the association’s state-wide legislative priorities, a key component of its 2019 strategy and vision. First, a Legislative Priorities Survey was emailed to all members, along with follow-up text messages to non-responders and reminders from local boards. Then, using the Broker Involvement Program, another email was sent under the broker’s signature. This innovative approach helped the Mississippi Association of REALTORS®reach members who might have missed the other outreach methods and ensure their voice was heard. Involvement at All Levels The Broker Involvement Program is a significant and straightforward way for any broker to get involved, but it’s not the only way. Leaders in the brokerage community are also actively engaged in federal policy development through NAR committees and in other ways. One of those includes NAR’s Real Estate Services (RES) program, which helps residential real estate brokerage leaders play an essential role in shaping NAR’s policy advocacy efforts and other initiatives. RES brings together an advisory group of CEOs of the largest real estate brokerage firms in the U.S., who employ over 600,000 REALTORS®. Add Your Voice As a broker, your actions can make a positive impact for all REALTORS®, consumers and communities. Join the Broker Involvement Program today by visiting RE

Get Involved Today! Join the Broker Involvement Program

AN AMBITIOUS AGENCY FOR AMBITIOUS AGENTS. Join one of the fastest-growing real estate networks in the U.S. and see what the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices name can do for your career.

Š2018 BHH Affiliates, LLC. Real Estate Brokerage Services are offered through the network member franchisees of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Most franchisees are independently owned and operated. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.Ž Information not verified or guaranteed. If your property is currently listed with a broker, this is not intended as a solicitation. Equal Housing Opportunity. BHH Affiliates, LLC, 18500 Von Karman, Suite 400, Irvine, California 92612 (949) 794-7900. For New York Residents: This advertisement is not an offering. An offering can only be made by a prospectus filed first with the Department of Law of the State of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the Department of Law. For Minnesota Residents: BHH Affiliates, LLC is registered in the State of Minnesota, Registration number F-7072.

Real Estate Magazine - Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JF Finnegan REALTORS®, Oct. 2018  

Custom version of Real Estate magazine for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JF Finnegan REALTORS®

Real Estate Magazine - Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JF Finnegan REALTORS®, Oct. 2018  

Custom version of Real Estate magazine for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JF Finnegan REALTORS®