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The Leader in Real Estate Information

Nowhere but here A new brand campaign for an iconic real estate company

– Page 74

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Realty ONE Group, Inc. is committed to providing services that enhance the careers of its business professionals. The information and figures presented herein are illustrative and intended for informational purposes. Figures, services, and depictions are not exact, vary by location, and are subject to change. Realty ONE Group, Inc. is not making any claims or guarantees regarding the content herein or its services. Contact your nearest Realty ONE Group, Inc. office for further information. Each office is independently owned and operated.

This is home. It’s a place called reputation. Whether your clients are buying or selling, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is dedicated to ensuring confident home ownership. With over 3 million inspections completed and a 98% recommendation rate, we prove our commitment to excellence, and to you.

800-294-5591 Each office is independently owned and operated.

{Contents} October 2019/Vol. 35, No. 10 •

ON THE COVER 74 Nowhere but here A new brand campaign for an iconic real estate company

Nowhere but here A new brand campaign for an iconic real estate company


An iconic local leader with both national and international reach for 43 years, Sarasota, Fla.based Michael Saunders & Company (MSC) certainly didn’t need a branding campaign to make its presence known. But an increasing amount of “clutter” in the market led company Founder and CEO Michael Saunders and President Drayton Saunders to view the firm through a fresh lens. “We knew it was time to enhance and tell our story a little bit better,” explains Michael. “In the competitive world we live in, you have to be clear on your story.” In this month’s cover story, the leaders discuss how, with partner 1000watt, they clearly defined their messaging and refreshed their brand, all while preserving the company’s rich history on the Gulf Coast.

HIGHLIGHTS 30 HomeSmart: Under the Hood Matt Widdows, HomeSmart CEO and Founder, talks revolutionizing the industry through tech and building the brand that will change the game.

40 Furnished Monthly Rentals— Redefined Here, learn how HouseStay is changing the temporary housing industry as we know it.

56 Creating a Culture of Collaboration In this exclusive feature, take a closer look at how the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand is redefining relationships.

70 Green Principles Being Baked Into Every Aspect of Real Estate as the Tide Continues to Turn 96

Introducing the 2019 EverGreen Award winners.

HEADLINERS 13 Policy Matters: Long-Awaited Win for FHA Condo Approvals

14 NAR Power Broker Roundtable: Business Planning for the Year Ahead: Putting Growth Strategies in Place

20 Executive Appointments 23 REBAC Report: The Art and Science of Hiring Top-Producing Agents

61 Trump Makes Moves to Privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Overhaul Mortgage Financing

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 3

90 Intel: Is Middle-Class Homeownership Becoming Unsustainable and Inaccessible?

95 Meet the Newsmakers: Manny Gutierrez

101 Confidence in Housing Leaning Positive

103 Blog Spot: How to Find the Right Home If You’re Part of a Beginning Family Homebuyers Torn: Should I Buy, or Hold Off?


FEATURES 28 G  lobal Spotlight: Distinctive Properties and Prestigious Residences Abound in France

36 H  unt Real Estate ERA’s Powerlifter of Teams

45 M  LS Is Going Global 48 S  trategies: American Home Shield® (AHS®);

52 I magine the Possibilities at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo

62 P  ower Broker Perspectives: Jean Rawls, Stephen C. Roney

69 Committed to Success 74 Nowhere But Here 96 RISMedia’s Great Spaces

102 W  ebinar Recap: Key Tips

58 A  llen Alishahi – Why the

for Building a Rock Star Real Estate Team

Time Is Ripe for a New Kind of Partnership


65 K  athy Baker – It’s Your

88 V  ickye Vasser, HomeSmart

67 A  shley Farrugia – How to

Education. You Choose. Attract, Retain and Empower Agents With the Right Tech

Realty South

89 R  obert Slack and Dan Walters, Robert Slack, LLC


68 Y  azir Phelps – Making It Work—Together

73 P  at Shea – Broker Success Story: Why Homesnap Became Lyon Real Estate’s Mobile Solution

24 C  arl Carter, Jr. – REALTOR® Safety: The Fight Continues

26 D  arryl Davis – Service, Not Selling

92 A  dam Long – Don’t Skip the Inspection. It Could Cost Your Clients.

38 D  esirée Patno – Views Vary When It Comes to the Gender Gap in Women’s Leadership

43 L inda Wendt – Parcel-Centric Strategy for Brokers: Driving Buyer and Seller Engagement With Public Records

47 B  rian Buffini – The Best Way to Create and Maintain a Positive Mindset

51 A  dam Contos – A Chance to Help Is a Gift in Itself

93 T erri Murphy – Are You on Target to Win?

POWER TEAMS 79 Verl Workman – Finish Strong 80 J im Knowlton – For a Ship With No Destination, No Winds Are Favorable

81 C  leve Gaddis – Comfortable Discomfort

54 B  ret Calltharp – Zillow Partners With Giveback Homes to Support the Real Estate Industry in the Wake of Natural Disasters

82 S  ara Guldi – Change. Sounds Easy Enough.

86 T he Redbud Group: Embracing Growth as an iBuyer’s Partner

94 S  herri Johnson – Close More Appointments Into Sales With a Value-Driven Strategy


RISMedia Online


Publisher’s Desk

16 Real Estate by the Numbers 18 Trending in Real Estate 107 Service Profiles 115 Referrals 45

120 Real Estate—‘My Sharona’ Muse to MySharona.Realtor

4 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Save the Date RISMedia’s Power Broker Reception & Dinner Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 | San Francisco


A Bright Future

Trending on View these and more at!

Our CEO Exchange addressed changes in the industry, and opportunities. For exclusive insider reporting and takeaways, visit

6 Essential Tips for Selling a House ‘As-Is’

Selling your home without fixing it up first presents potential challenges for some homeowners. For others, it may open up different opportunities. Selling a house “as-is” can be a good thing. It all depends on your approach to selling it.

Halstead Finds Success Featuring Live Musicians in Listing Videos When it comes to online marketing and garnering engagement, video is king. However, with so much noise, often only the best content finds success—and this is where Halstead comes in.

Creating a Stir

New Teachers Are Struggling to Pay Their Rent, Zillow Data Shows

New Zillow data shows that teachers may be struggling to pay their rent or mortgage. In fact, the average rent is unaffordable for entry-level teachers in 49 of the 50 largest metros in the U.S.

Real Estate Study: Top 30 Cities for Millennial Veteran Homebuyers

In today’s real estate market, homeownership has become more and more difficult for millennials to obtain. However, one subdemographic may have a leg up: millennial veterans.

Quick and Easy Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Your home should be a sanctuary that feels welcoming and comfortable to both you and your guests—and that includes the outdoor space. If your home’s curb appeal could use a little love, there are some easy ways to make major upgrades.

In our Industry Influencers series, we’re highlighting innovative marketers, from podcast pros to stars on YouTube. Keyword “Industry Influencers” on

Start Strong

Connect With RISMedia @RISMediaUpdates






6 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Curated with proven tips, RISMedia’s Sunday Showcase gives you the know-how to tackle your week. Subscribe at

Give your clients (and yourself) one less thing to worry about. Always include American Home Shield® home warranty coverage. Moving into (or out of) a home can be expensive, and it’s reassuring to know that American Home Shield will help manage the costs to repair covered components of home systems and appliances — like a furnace — protecting both buyers and sellers from the unexpected.

Visit to learn more.

Limitations and exclusions apply. See plan for details. © 2018 American Home Shield Corporation. All rights reserved.

EMPOWER and ENGAGE your agents

NAR’s Member Experience, Engagement & Legal team provides trusted knowledge, resources, and experiences covering: ▶ Association Governance

▶ Member Support

▶ Association Leadership Development

▶ Member Networks / YPN / 30 Under 30

▶ Commercial


▶ Global

▶ Outreach to Industry Partners

▶ Legal Updates

▶ Professional Standards

▶ Library & Archives

▶ Risk Management Resources

Learn how your brokerage can utilize these resources at

{Publisher’s Desk} Fighting Back With Value



aving just returned from our 30th annual CEO Exchange in New York City, it’s safe to say that if there’s one challenge most brokers are collectively confronting today, it’s aggressive recruiting from venture capital-backed firms. Big signing bonuses and the shine of sleek technology models are luring their top producers away, sometimes in droves. And if it’s not a big money firm, it’s another model offering similar promises. But while the competitors may be new, the problem is not. It boils down to the age-old dilemma of how to retain our top agents. While many—including Wall St.—question the sustainability of these cash-rich firms, our solution can’t simply be to anticipate their demise because another iteration will simply emerge from the ashes. Instead, as the astute brokers at the CEO Exchange concurred, our response today—and always— must be to shore up our own value proposition. Two decades ago, Matt Widdows knew that adding value through technology was critical to building a sustainable company—so much so that HomeSmart now has 100-percent tech adoption. As the firm celebrates its 20th anniversary, Matt sat down with us for an in-depth interview about the value proposition he founded the firm upon, and how it’s evolved since then to make HomeSmart the 5th largest brokerage in the U.S., and a franchise now located in 30 states. Never one to beat around the bush, Matt also weighs in on the forces of competition in today’s market. “Other companies are getting billions of dollars in valuations for technology that we have had for years and that our agents and brokers are currently using to streamline their business,” he says. “They’re focused on bells and whistles, whereas HomeSmart focuses on technology that makes people’s lives easier. Agents need technology that helps them move faster and increases their transaction velocity.” In other words, the solution to the threats posed by today’s competitors—and any competitor hereafter—is to continually offer real value, whether that’s in the form of technology, culture, compensation, training…or all of that and then some. To read more of the HomeSmart story and gain insight into the industry landscape from Widdows’ perspective, turn to page 30. And to hear the insights shared by the more than 40 broker panelists and expert speakers at our event last month, please visit and enter “CEO Exchange” in the search field. We’ll have a full photo recap of the event in next month’s November issue. Wishing you continued success,

John E. Featherston CEO & Publisher

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*MMR Strategy Group study of unaided awareness. ©2019 RE/MAX, LLC. Each Office Independently Owned and Operated. 19_301896

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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 Associate Editor Joe Bebon Contributing Editors Lesley Grand; John Voket; Barbara Pronin; Keith Loria; Andrew King; Deborah Kearns

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PUBLICATIONS & SERVICES Real Estate magazine Annual Power Broker Report & Survey ACESocial (Automated Content Engagement) (Daily e-News) • (Housecall) RISMedia’s Real Estate CEO Exchange Power Broker Forum, Reception & Dinner Real Estate Newsmakers Reception & Dinner Copyright® 2019 by The Relocation Information Service, Incorporated-RISMedia, Norwalk, Connecticut. All rights reserved. Editorial and executive offices at 69 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851. Telephone: (203) 855-1234. Magazine subscription rate $83.40 per year, including postage ($166.80 for two years); Canadian subscription rate $200.00 (U.S.) per year, including shipping and handling ($400.00 for two years). All subscription and advertising correspondence call 1-800-724-6000. Material in this publication may not be stored or reproduced in any form without permission. Requests for permission should be directed to Managing Editor, RISMedia, Inc., 69 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of specific authors and columnists and are not intended to or do not necessarily represent the opinion or views of the publisher, his staff, other authors, advertisers, or subscribers.

{Policy Matters}

LongAwaited Win for FHA Condo Approvals This column is brought to you by the NAR Real Estate Services group.

by Megan Booth


ondominiums are often the most affordable homeownership option for firsttime buyers, small families, single people, urban residents and older Americans looking to downsize. Beginning Oct. 15, 2019, buying a condo with an FHA-insured loan will be a whole lot easier. After years of lobbying by REALTORS®, a number of FHA rules have changed that previously prevented buyers from purchasing condominiums, harmed homeowners who need to sell their condominiums and limited the ability of condominium projects to attract resident buyers.

Unlike conventional mortgages, FHA borrowers have been limited in their ability to purchase a condominium. First, the entire building had to get FHA approval to allow units to be purchased with an FHA loan. This is a time-consuming, burdensome and somewhat costly endeavor for often volunteer condo boards. Many condo boards simply did not want to go through the process. The certification was also eligible for just two years, and took about six months to obtain, so it hardly seemed worth it for some properties. Under the new rules, the FHA certification will be good for three years, with an additional six-month grace period to re-

certify. In addition, instead of having to submit the same paperwork every two years, the rules now require any necessary documentation to be updated. This should greatly reduce the burdens on condo boards, and will hopefully lead to more buildings being FHA-approved. Under the new rules, if a building is not yet FHA-approved, an FHA buyer may still be able to purchase a unit. FHA is bringing back single-unit approval (previously called spotloan approval). Under this process, a lender can approve an individual unit for FHA mortgage insurance. The building has to meet a number of criteria, but this change should greatly increase the supply of available condominium units for buyers with FHA loans. One of the most popular types of condominium projects, the towncenter model, also got a boost. In these types of projects, there is often retail space on the first floor, with perhaps one level of office space, and condominiums above. Under the new rules, FHA increases the allowable commercial space from 25 to 35 percent and will allow exceptions up to 49 percent. Parking garages have been a specific problem in town-center developments, because the garage is considered all commercial space. The new rules will now allow any parking spaces allocated to residential units to be considered residential—and not commercial space. That should be a significant help for these properties to be approved. The number of units that are rented within a condominium build-

ing affects FHA certification. Unlike Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, who do not restrict the purchase of primary residences based on the number of rentals in a condo building, FHA required 50 percent of the units to be owner-occupied to be eligible for certification. The new FHA condo rules lower the owner occupancy rate requirement to 35 percent for properties that are more than one year old and have less than 10 percent of units in arrears on their dues. This should greatly improve the number of properties that can be certified. There are a number of other changes that will also benefit homebuyers. They are outlined at According to a HUD press release, “While there are more than 150,000 condominium projects in the U.S., only 6.5 percent are approved to participate in FHA’s mortgage insurance programs. As a result of FHA’s new policy, it is estimated that 20,000 to 60,000 condominium units could become eligible for FHA-insured financing annually.” The new rules go into effect on Oct. 15, 2019. Real estate professionals should work to educate condominium boards about the changes, as well as the advantages of having FHA approval. RE

Megan Booth is the director of Federal Housing and Commercial Policy for the National Association of REALTORS®. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 13

{The NAR Power Broker Roundtable} Business Planning for the Year Ahead: Putting Growth Strategies in Place MODERATOR:

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

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

Diane Glass CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group, Chicago

Candace Adams President & CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England, New York and Westchester Properties The Power Broker Roundtable is brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Jim Imhoff, NAR’s Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations. Watch for this column each month, where we address broker issues, concerns and milestones.

Jim Imhoff: Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi

Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.” The Yankees superstar was right on the mark on this one. If you don’t map out your strategy for growth, you don’t stand much of a chance of getting anywhere, much less where you want to be. With 2020 right around the corner, the time is now to get business strategies in place. First question: Do we handle this internally, or do we pay an outside facilitator?

Drayton Saunders: Brokers, like agents, are easily distracted by the next shiny penny—or by the next 14 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

perceived “disruptor.” But if you’re going to grow, you need to stay focused—to keep your eye on the prize. It may be that an experienced outside facilitator can help identify the market trends and specific issues you need to address and map out workable strategies for dealing with them.

JI: I think some brokers are a little scared to bring in a facilitator. They think they can’t justify the cost. But sometimes it takes a neutral, unbiased eye to identify SWOT: our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. That’s the first step to strategizing how we will navigate through them. Diane Glass: In the definitive business planning guideline we’ve developed, goal setting is critical. We’re using the MoxiWorks platform to keep us on track to increase profitability, recruitment and retention, and to provide our agents with a CRM that leverages their strengths and gives them a working way forward: What should I do more of? What should I do less of? How can I best nurture long-term leads? Candace Adams: I think timing is

essential. Our company businessplanning process begins in late summer and is finalized in October. It goes to managers in early November, and they are charged with making certain every agent has a plan in place before the end of the year. All plans are flexible and modifiable, but everyone—even our top producers— needs to measure their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and have a plan in place to aggressively address them.

JI: Who’s responsible for seeing these processes through? And how do you handle accountability? CA: Managers see that every agent has a formal plan in place, but we

“If you’re going to grow, you need to stay focused—to keep your eye on the prize.” – Drayton Saunders President, Michael Saunders & Company know that agents have different skillsets. We work in a very supportive environment, and results speak for themselves, of course—but we do schedule quarterly check-ups, and we adhere to that.

DS: Software like MoxiWorks helps agents stay on track, but accountability is key. Our managers are constantly monitoring. We don’t want to overwhelm our agents, but we do stay in touch. How are you doing? What do you need? What can we do to help? DG: The value of a formal business plan is that it gives you a framework and a practical, hands-on process that helps you step back and look at what you’ve been doing, how you’ve been doing it, and how you can do it better—no matter the shiny pennies or disruptors. JI: I think most brokers are diligent about helping agents plan and stay on track. But the path to growth starts with the brokerage. We do an annual agent survey to determine how we, as a company, are doing in supporting and inspiring their success. We want them to rate our training programs, our information technology and our face-to-face support. We typically get a response from more than 70 percent of our agents, and they don’t pull any punches. It’s a good way to measure our accountability as a brokerage so we can strategize the best ways forward for the company and the agent. RE 8For an expanded version of this article and other NAR Power Broker Roundtable topics, please visit

2018 LeadingRE Global Symposium | Barcelona, Spain | Photo by AJ Canaria, PlanOmatic

Delivering the highest quality service to home buyers and sellers is what defines our invitation-only community. Our members are market leaders with distinctive personalities, deep local knowledge and the agility to address market-specific trends. They come together as Leading Real Estate Companies of the WorldÂŽ to leverage their inherent strength with global connections, industry-leading resources and international business opportunities.

Real Estate by the Numbers


The percentage of mortgages nationwide that were delinquent in June, down 0.3 percent year-over-year. Source: CoreLogic’s Loan Performance Insights Report


The number of U.S. metros—out of 50—where rent is unaffordable for entry-level teachers, with median market rents taking about 46.8 percent of an average starting teacher’s salary. The one affordable U.S. metro for newbie teachers? Pittsburgh. Source: Zillow


The number of survey respondents—74 percent— who would experience financial difficulty if their paychecks were delayed for a week, reporting that it would be somewhat or very difficult to meet their financial obligations. Source: American Payroll Association

16 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE


The U.S. median listing price in August, which is 4.9 percent higher year-over-year, but 1.8 percent lower than July, the largest drop from July to August since 2012. Source:®

If the fact that this headline has has a typo is driving you nuts, you’re just the kind of detail-obsessed agent we’re looking for.

JOIN THE RELENTLESS © 2019 Century 21 Real Estate LLC. All rights reserved. CENTURY 21®, the CENTURY 21 Logo and C21® 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.

Trending in Real Estate Described as a restorative, meadow-inspired green, Behr’s 2020 Color of the Year is “Back to Nature,” a versatile, slightly yellow-based green that lends itself to any room and any style, from country to contemporary.

In a recent survey of more than 100 economists and real estate experts conducted by Pulsenomics and Zillow, respondents believe construction could stall until 2022 or later. Additionally, expectations for home-value growth over the next few years continue to weaken.

While known for leading a tech-centric life, according to a recent survey, nine out of 10 Gen Z adults (those born between 1995 and 2012) plan to use a real estate agent to buy a home.

Approximately 40 percent of outstanding mortgages, or about $4.1 trillion of unpaid principal balance, would likely experience a benefit from refinancing, according to Fannie Mae’s Q3 2019 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey®. The share of refinance originations is expected to grow through the remainder of the year.

18 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Take the long trail home. "Having a dedicated Quicken Loans Agent Relationship Manager has been wonderful. It allows me to do more with my day, knowing that I will be updated on every part of the transaction.”

Justin Cain REALTOR® Detroit, MI

Your success is our focus. We’re committed to providing an elevated mortgage experience, giving you more time to explore new trails. Quicken Loans Inc.; NMLS #3030; Equal Housing Lender. Licensed in 50 states. AL License No. MC 20979, Control No. 100152352. AR, TX: 1050 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226-1906, (888) 474-0404; AZ: 1 N. Central Ave., Ste. 2000, Phoenix, AZ 85004, Mortgage Banker License #BK-0902939; CA: Licensed by Dept. of Business Oversight, under the CA Residential Mortgage Lending Act and Finance Lenders Law; CO: Regulated by the Division of Real Estate; GA: Residential Mortgage Licensee #11704; IL: Residential Mortgage Licensee #4127 – Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation; KS: Licensed Mortgage Company MC.0025309; MA: Mortgage Lender License #ML 3030; ME: Supervised Lender License; MN: Not an offer for a rate lock agreement; MS: Licensed by the MS Dept. of Banking and Consumer Finance; NH: Licensed by the NH Banking Dept., #6743MB; NV: License #626; NJ: New Jersey – Quicken Loans Inc., 1050 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226, (888) 474-0404, Licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance.; NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Banking Dept.; OH: MB 850076; OR: License #ML-1387; PA: Licensed by the Dept. of Banking – License #21430; RI: Licensed Lender; WA: Consumer Loan Company License CL-3030. Conditions may apply. Quicken Loans, 1050 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226-1906 ©2000 – 2019 Quicken Loans Inc. All rights reserved. Lending services provided by Quicken Loans Inc., a subsidiary of Rock Holdings Inc. “Quicken Loans” is a registered service mark of Intuit Inc., used under license.

{Executive Appointments}

Realogy Holdings Corp. announced strategic organizational changes to accelerate growth for agents and franchisees. Planned moves include the integration of the Coldwell Banker® affiliate network and companyowned brokerage, the formation of a new Expansion Brands portfolio comprised of the Better Homes and Gardens®Real Estate (BHGRE®) and ERA® brands, as well as the Climb® brokerage operations, and the creation of a Product and Innovation Group. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, the integration will start with a unified Coldwell Banker leadership team to be helmed by Ryan Gorman, in addition to his current role as NRT president and CEO. As of January, current Coldwell Banker CEO Charlie Young will move into a senior advisor role supporting the integration. The new Realogy Expansion Brands portfolio will further focus the company’s investment, as well as dedicate resources to fuel growth. Industry brand-builder Sherry Chris, who launched BHGRE® and has thoughtfully guided its growth over the past 10 years, will lead Realogy’s Expan-

sion Brands. To leverage the best of Realogy’s resources to develop innovative products and services and enhance speed to market, the new Product and Innovation Group will bring together agent technology, partnerships, learning and recruiting as one team to be led by former ERA CEO Simon Chen.

RE/MAX has announced that industry veteran Nick Bailey has returned to the organization in the newly created position of chief customer officer (CCO). Bailey, who most recently served as president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate LLC, a subsidiary of Realogy, brings more than 23 years of real estate industry experience to his new role. As CCO, Bailey will report directly to CEO Adam Contos and oversee areas such as business growth, brokerage support, franchise sales, professional development, industry relations and international expansion. Title Resources, a member of the Title Resource Group (TRG) and the Realogy family of companies, has further strengthened its management team with the promotion of Lynn

Stillman to senior vice

president, regional manager. Stillman will focus on growing and supporting TRG’s extensive family of title agents in Texas, as well as expanding the company’s footprint in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Willis Allen Real Estate, a leading luxury real estate brokerage in the San Diego area, has named Zane Burnett as chief digital officer. Burnett will drive digital growth and strategy for the company to further drive Willis Allen’s position as leaders in the San Diego market. Inside Real Estate announced the appointment of Steve Ozonian to its Board of Directors. With a long history of driving innovation at the intersection of real estate and tech, Ozonian brings more than three decades of experience serving in executive roles at Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Prudential Real Estate & Relocation and®. RE

For more executive happenings, please visit

Wow Moment



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

© 2019 Copyright. All Rights Reserved. Realtors Property Resource, LLC® is a member benefit of the National Association of REALTORS®.

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{REBAC Report}

The Art and Science of Hiring Top-Producing Agents by Marc D. Gould


s a broker, one of your biggest challenges is finding agents who are capable of becoming top producers. It’s a tall order. Each agent who joins your brokerage represents a substantial investment of time and resources. Every hire needs to count.

Is it possible to improve your hiring results with a deeper understanding of job requirements and how to screen for those skills while interviewing candidates? At the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), we’ve been exploring ways to help brokers enhance their interviewing skills and hiring decisions with assistance from Paramount Consulting Group, a Columbus, Ohio-based firm that specializes in hiring decisions and team development. The results of this research were shared with brokers who attended our recent Broker’s Edge programs in Portland, Ore., and Pinehurst, N.C. Which qualities were most essential for top-producing agents? Among more than three dozen skills and traits, the research identified six critical dimensions within two distinct categories: Intrinsic behavioral traits required for the job: • Interaction - Frequent communication and engagement with others. • Customer-orientation - Identifying and fulfilling customers’ expectations. • Competitive nature - Assertiveness and a “will to win” in highly competitive situations. Personal skills already possessed or capable of being developed:

• Problem-solving abilities - Anticipating, analyzing, diagnosing and resolving problems. • Personal accountability - The capacity to answer for individual actions. • Resiliency - The ability to quickly recover from adversity. Additionally, it’s essential to understand a candidate’s passions and motivations, since these factors are the energy behind an agent’s actions and the intrinsic drivers of performance. Ask Better Questions It’s not enough to know which qualities are most desirable. The more significant challenge is learning how to identify those qualities during a job interview. Hiring experts emphasize that it’s crucial to develop a list of carefully crafted questions that will reveal the extent to which a candidate measures up against essential job skills. This is true regardless of whether you’re interviewing a new agent, an office manager or a transaction coordinator. Hiring decisions improve if you resist relying on “gut hunches” and learn how to leverage professional interviewing techniques. For example, to probe for an agent’s ability to display optimism and enthusiasm in dealing with others, you might ask:

- How do you handle frequent interruptions from other people? - How do you respond to people who ask you question after question? - Are you more comfortable with details or people? Listen carefully to a candidate’s answers. For better side-by-side comparisons, it’s best to work from the same list of questions. Additionally, pay attention to the questions each candidate asks. Their questions are excellent indicators of how well they understand job requirements, as well as what’s driving their interest in the position. Helpful Resources NAR offers a broad collection of resources for broker/owners and managers at Through this link, you can find details for upcoming Broker’s Edge events and the annual REALTOR® Broker Summit, held March 31 through April 1, 2020, in Hollywood, Calif. Presentations from prior Broker’s Edge events, including “Recruiting and Selecting the Right Agents” can be found at brokers-edge-events. Finally, if you’d like to request a complimentary copy of the Real Estate Agent Interview Guide, send a request to Paramount Consulting Group via 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

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 23

REALTOR® Safety: The Fight Continues

Remembering Beverly Carter on the 5-year anniversary of her tragic death Commentary by Carl Carter, Jr.


ept. 25, 2019 marked five years since my mom, REALTOR® Beverly Carter, was kidnapped during a property showing. She was missing for five days before her body was found in a shallow grave. All it took was one appointment to devastate a family and leave the real estate industry shaken.

I’m continually touched by the kindness and openness of our industry to embrace my sweet mom’s story. I’ve often asked myself why mom’s story resonates all these years later. I think there are a few reasons for this. First, she truly represented the average agent as a 50-year-old female, so I think many agents could, in some ways, see themselves in her. Secondly, I’ve seen firsthand the emotional response of shocked 24 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

agents when learning of the predatory plan that led my mom to that showing. I’ve heard the following phrase more times than I can count: “I would have made the same decisions as Beverly. That would have been me.” Unraveling the complexity of this predatory plan, although uncomfortable, contains dozens of safety reminders for all agents regardless of gender or geographical location.

Since mom’s passing, I have observed our industry continually strive to make itself safer, most notably in technological advances within the past few years. During this time, we’ve seen technology that’s already existed expand to incorporate safety features. I find it exciting to see lockbox technology, such as SentriLock, continue to enhance features to integrate home-seller and agent safety within the same application. To expand on this point, I have seen a lot of real estate safety technology come and go, too. From my viewpoint, success in the agent safety technology space requires the development of practical solutions agents can easily incorporate into their everyday sales and service activity—not another tool they have to remember to use. It’s been assuring and inspiring to see the National Association of REALTORS® REACH® program embrace agent safety through its program in recent years. Technology such as Trust Stamp and Kleard have taken the safety conversation from “that could never work” to realities that could help save lives. Additionally, the creation of the REALTOR® Safety Network this year has given agents a single forum to rally together in times of missing agents, fraudulent activity or in response to physical threats. My sweet mom isn’t the only agent driving our passion at the Beverly Carter Foundation. Through the generosity of our industry, I have been blessed to conduct over 85 instructor-led training sessions spanning 32 states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. Time permitting, at the conclusion of each of these sessions, I’ve been approached by at least one agent with their personal story of victimization. While citing my experiences with these precious agents is hardly scientific, they each reinforce the need for continual education, awareness

and advocacy. I’ve been entrusted with stories of theft, harassment, rape and a few agents lost like my precious mom. We hold each of these people in our hearts as we strive to make our industry safer. Looking to the future, I’m hopeful to partner with the National Association of REALTORS® to improve the results of their annual safety survey, as it is the best tool we have to gauge the overall safety trends and perceptions in the industry. Largely due to our independent

Financial advice that makes dollars and sense.

contractor status, we have very few data sources related to agent safety and criminal statistics. Without the leadership and resources of the National Association of REALTORS®, we’d solely have self-reported data through the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and internet search results of specific crime coverage. Additionally, I think we have a lot of opportunity to make safety resources more easily accessible and customizable. Personally, I would love to see downloadable safety kits that are easily branded for brokerages, as I believe they have the greatest opportunity for frequent, continual influence in raising safety awareness. I’m also hopeful that more Young Professionals Network (YPN) chapters will embrace the safety message, as they can inspire safer, more efficient business practices early on in an agent’s career.

Even though REALTOR® Safety Month has come and gone, the time is now to take the opportunity to examine your sales and service processes to reduce as many risks as possible. Let your safety practices be an extension of your professionalism. To those precious victims through the years, we remember you, and we pledge to keep your tragic circumstances from being in vain. RE For more information, and to join the cause for safety, please visit Carl Carter, Jr. is a REALTOR® and founder of the Beverly Carter Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to improving agent safety. His mom, REALTOR® Beverly Carter, lost her life at the hands of two clients in 2014. Since his mother’s passing, Carter has dedicated as much time as possible to spreading the message of safety. He has a Master and Bachelor of Business Administration degrees from the University of Arkansas.

Introducing the FREE Financial Source Webinar Series The Center for REALTOR Financial Wellness presents a new, monthly resource designed to help REALTORS® understand financial topics on a deeper level. Hear from subject matter experts on topics including: Budgeting and Saving, Succession/Exit Planning, Taxes and Retirement, Business Planning, and more. Encourage your agents to register for the upcoming webinars at

Service, Not Selling Commentary by Darryl Davis, CSP


n the wake of a series of steamrolling disruptors—such as the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) lawsuit, which calls us conspiring and attacks our commissions—and misleading, myopic iBuyer programs whose momentum is invoking panic in agents from coast to coast, it’s time for change. Significant change.

What do we change to help break the momentum and create a breakthrough in our businesses? Come from a place of service over sales. Position yourself as a coach, not a closer. Whether you’re making prospecting calls, canvassing your farm, taking buyers to see a home or standing face-to-face at a kitchen table on a listing appointment, authentically be there to help and serve. When you do, you’re genuinely building relationships and creating connections, which translates to trusted advocate, valued professional and sometimes even friend. In the “old days,” there was a mantra among some agents when prospecting for listings that went something like, “I’m not going to go over to see if I can get a listing, I’m going to see if I want it, and if I want 26 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

it, I’ll take it.” At the time, it was meant to help embolden agents and make them feel more confident. I get that. For many agents though, that doesn’t feel aligned with who they are and how they want to connect with other human beings. It’s a lot more “taking” than “serving”— and that disconnect not only makes them cringe at the idea of prospecting, but also leaves them terrified of how they sound when the “canned scripts” they’re required to recite come out of their mouths. I get that, too. It feels smarmy and insincere, which wouldn’t make anyone want to go to work—and certainly wouldn’t make consumers want to work with us. We’ve got to level up as sales and service professionals. We can’t wait any longer. Disruptors tell us many

things about the market, consumer awareness, media interpretation and how quickly misinformation can be disseminated and presumed real. One thing they tell us loud and clear is that our value as REALTORS® is under siege. Here’s the difference a service mindset and practiced communication skillset makes: People will see your value more clearly. They’ll feel seen and heard. They’ll recognize that you’re there to genuinely help them get to their next level—to move closer to the grandkids, settle closer to a new job or find a home in a great school district. They’ll know that you’re not focused on dollar signs and closing tables, but rather, on them. There may be some that say it’s just semantics. “Service” over “selling.” Will this one small shift make a difference? Absolutely. My students and agents across the country are proving it daily with increased listing inventory, growing referral bases, commissions based on value and solid communication skills that allow them to do what they love every day without fear of market trends and disruption. That’s the kind of change I think every agent—and every brokerage—can get behind. Call me. Let’s talk about it. RE Darryl Davis has spoken to, trained and coached more than 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe. He is a best-selling author for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and his book, “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate,” tops Amazon’s charts for most sold book to real estate agents. He is the founder of the Next Level® real estate training system The Power Program®, which has proven to help agents double their production over their previous year. Davis earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, held by less than 2 percent of all speakers worldwide. To learn more, visit

Relationships Matter

What Matters To You And Your Business?

{Global Spotlight}

Distinctive Properties and Prestigious Residences Abound in France by Paige Tepping For more than 80 years, Groupe Mercure has had luxury and heritage real estate at its heart. Offering a complete selection of distinctive properties and prestigious residences throughout France, Groupe Mercure is driven by its reputation and roots. Adapting to the evolution of the business, Groupe Mercure is guided by the values of trust, respect for traditions, honesty and professionalism. Based out of Toulouse, the firm consists of nine additional agencies that are based in large French cities, offering a presence throughout the country. Here, CEO Olivier de Chabot provides a glimpse into the current state of the luxury market.

28 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Please describe your current housing market. Olivier de Chabot: We currently have nearly 2,000 properties scattered throughout France, with a portfolio made up of properties that fall into a variety of categories: urban, countryside, seaside, mountainside, Chateaux and design. With an average home price right around $1 million, we’re seeing prices rise dramatically in popular areas, including the French Riviera and large cities like Paris. Prices in more rural areas are rather stable at the moment.

Tell us about the types of properties in your market and which are most popular. ODC: While we sell properties in multiple categories, historically, we’re best known as Cha-

teau specialists, which are our most popular properties. We also sell a lot of character homes that are full of history and charm.

What types of buyers do you work with? Are they predominantly local, or mixed from other countries? ODC: Most of our buyers are predominantly local and French, but we also work with foreign buyers who are British and Dutch. The composition of our buyers has changed in recent years as we’ve concentrated on attracting buyers from Europe and neighboring countries. With the help of LeadingRE, we’re able to attract buyers from countries all around the world, which is a real bonus for us.

What are some of the most important trends in your market? ODC: As previously mentioned, the rising prices we’re seeing in large cities is the most important trend in our market at the moment. Not only is the price-per-squaremeter dramatically increasing, but, also, there’s much more demand than there is to offer.

What are your biggest challenges/opportunities for growth? ODC: Our history and anchoring position us to be leaders in the rural market, but the challenge we face in various popular areas such as the French Riviera, Cote Basque and even large cities is accessing new business—as these are areas where our competitors are strong.

How does being part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® help advance your business? ODC: Our affiliation with LeadingRE is extremely beneficial to our business, as it allows us to be present worldwide, which increases the number of customers we work with—buyers and sellers alike. Being part of LeadingRE also provides us with new opportunities in terms of markets, marketing and selling tools. When working with partners on referrals, they offer us cultural guidance on how to best adapt to their clients. It’s also beneficial in that it allows us to meet real estate professionals from all over the world. RE For more information, please visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 29

HOMESMART UNDER THE HOOD Matt Widdows, HomeSmart CEO and Founder, Talks Revolutionizing the Industry Through Tech and Building the Brand That Will Change the Game by Maria Patterson

30 October September 2019 2019 RISMedia’s RISMedia’s REAL REAL ESTATE ESTATE


ust shy of its 20th anniversary, we asked HomeSmart International’s tech visionary, CEO and Founder Matt Widdows, about the rapid growth of the Inc. 5000 Hall of Fame company. Here’s what he had to say:

‘WE’VE HAD THE TECH THIS WHOLE TIME!’ “We always hear about new technology entering the space, or funds raised to develop back-end systems and more tech. We read articles about ‘firsts’ in the industry, and we shake our heads, as we’ve had a full proprietary tech stack this whole time,” says Widdows. Maria Patterson: How did you know tech was going to be so critical to the future of real estate?

Matt Widdows: I spent years working for various real estate brands and felt technology was lacking in the industry. I started HomeSmart in 2000 because I knew there had to be a better way to serve agents. The traditional way of reviewing a file was antiquated and inefficient. As a small brokerage with one broker and a receptionist, I needed a way to eliminate redundancies and give real-time status updates to agents. This need led to my first web app. It was rudimentary, but it did the job. I then hired developers to continue what I had started.

MP: How has your technologi-

cal approach to real estate provided long-term growth and stability for the brokerage?

MW: My vision was to utilize technologies that supported systems and services to make both the agent and brokerage successful. By using tech in our day-to-day processes, we can be more available for answering calls and helping our agents. The software reduces the number of team members needed, therefore allowing the brokerage to be profitable with a flat-fee model. In short, we hire people to service agents. We build technology to serve the business.

MP: How is HomeSmart’s technology driving the company’s success?

MW: HomeSmart is an industry leader in innovation. Our proprietary technology provides an efficient and systematized structure to the real estate brokerage. It allows for operational excellence through efficiencies and enables agents to have successful careers without paying high fees. We provide our franchisees the systems

Left: HomeSmart International employees celebrate 20 years of amazing culture. Right: Matt Widdows answers agents’ questions at the 2019 HomeSmart International Growth Summit.

and support they need, from marketing to transaction management to training. This allows them to function with low overhead. Franchisees in almost 30 states wouldn’t be able to leverage our Centralized Services team, which provides a national level of consistent service and support, if they weren’t all running on the same tech platform. Investing in creating technology that moves us forward is part of what makes us successful. MP: Why did you build RealSmart Agent and RealSmart Broker?

MW: I knew allowing agents to keep more of their commission was the model of the future. Technology was the only way that could happen while still being profitable. I built RealSmart Broker and Agent as a way to differentiate HomeSmart from the rest of the industry and innovate the way real estate was being done. In general, if it’s a repeatable task—or something that can be forgotten or prone to human error—I program it. Our technology stack has allowed us to do just that and made it easy to scale due to the automaRISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 31

market, we build it and integrate directly into our existing platform. And because we developed it in-house, we provide most of it for free across our entire brand. This provides a consistent experience and offering for every HomeSmart broker, agent and consumer across the nation. When I see other brokerages who are just now rolling out proprietary tech, I think, “Good luck!” We’ve been doing this since 2002, and it’s not easy. MP: What sets HomeSmart’s culture apart?

Matt Widdows launches SmartReception technology in 2002. tion built into our systems. I wanted a way for agents to manage their entire business in one place, using a single login. That philosophy remains today, and when you look at our tech, it isn’t just a bunch of fluff that slows you down. It makes the jobs of our agents and brokers easier and more efficient, while allowing them to provide outstanding customer service in a consistent, repeatable and profitable manner. MP: What does it mean to be fully integrated, and what does an end-to-end platform look like at HomeSmart?

MW: Fully integrated means not bolted together. No APIs, no multiple logins or windows, no double entry. Just seamless workflows. Our systems are built in the same platform and are inherently integrated. On top of that, we aren’t held hostage to a third-party company and its development priorities and contract renewals. Our technology is in-house and end-to-end, from the listing or buying appointment to post-closing. MP: How do you use technol-

ogy to improve service to your agents?

MW: Often, technology is created for the sake of creating technology, not to solve specific problems. We

32 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

create technology to imitate human processes. If we’re doing something manually, we take those “human” steps and translate them into an automated solution. Our goal is to remove manual processes for our agents and make it simple with a more error-free digital experience, saving them time and making them look better in the eyes of the consumers. Through automation of tasks, what one person can do manually in 120 hours, they can now do in 40.

‘WE’RE POISED FOR EXPLOSIVE GROWTH OPERATIONALLY, TECHNICALLY AND CULTURALLY.’ “We’re business first, real estate second. We understand what it takes to accomplish our goals. We focus our team in four key areas: growth, operational excellence, technology and culture,” says Widdows. MP: There are a lot of brokerages and technology companies in real estate. What makes HomeSmart different?

MW: Integration and adoption. Our end-to-end technology is built in-house, allowing HomeSmart to seamlessly integrate every aspect of our tech stack, from transaction management to CRMs to marketing tools. If we see a tech need in the

MW: Our focus on outstanding customer service for everyone we serve. We’re heavily motivated by metrics. They’re part of our company fiber. We expect a lot from everyone at HomeSmart, but we also give back and take care of our people. I want a place where people come to work to work hard, have fun and make an impact. I never want to dread coming to the office or working with people that I don’t enjoy being around. It never ceases to amaze me when I go to functions and everyone is relaxed, casual and fun to be around. HomeSmart is not a place for stuffiness or egos, and those qualities generally don’t last long within our culture. I love that! We treat each other as family and

with respect. Preservation of that culture is hugely important, and we protect it with a vengeance. It took a long time to get here, but it’s real and company-wide.

MP: I get the 100-percent

MP: How can HomeSmart

MW: It’s all about scale and smart business. We run a business that happens to be in the real estate industry. I think that’s a unique viewpoint. We build business processes that allow us to be efficient and lean without sacrificing service. Then we scale it. The technology is what enables us to do so at a profit.

brokers manage such a large volume of transactions with such a lean staff?

MW: Technology allows our departments to maximize their output by focusing on their specific roles within the transaction. This keeps our brokers on high-level calls, file review and legal matters while the rest of our team handles the other aspects of the transaction. We also have a dedicated support team to answer calls about anything non-transactionrelated. When each team is hyperfocused, we can do more with less. That’s the beauty and one of the key differentiators of our proprietary end-to-end systems. As the fifth-largest brokerage in the United States, we’re able to manage a 9,788-plus agent brokerage with 100-percent agent tech adoption. We processed 36,064 transactions last year, answering our phone 92 percent of the time before going to voicemail with a team of only 38 brokerage employees. We’ve figured out a smarter way to run a brokerage.

model and why it’s a benefit to agents, but how can you run that model, still make a profit and provide leadingedge technology?

‘HOMESMART IS THE COMPANY TO WATCH THE NEXT 20 YEARS.’ “We’re not interested in a few key stories or wins. We’re in this for the long game. We know the industry, brokers, agents and consumers. We’re here to ease the path to homeownership while revolutionizing the industry as we go,” says Widdows. MP: Why push yourself so hard? What are you trying to accomplish?

MW: I’m working to revolutionize the real estate industry. I want HomeSmart to be the brand that does so—the brand that made real estate better for brokers, agents and

consumers. HomeSmart will stand the test of time and will continue to innovate through the ever-changing industry landscape. MP: What is your day-to-day involvement in HomeSmart’s tech and systems?

MW: Technology is one of my passions. I’m heavily involved in the design, development and implementation of our software. I meet with the team regularly and strategize with our leadership group about what’s needed to improve our technology. I have a clear vision of the different areas in our business that have processes that can be made better and faster for clients. As the industry continues to change, brokers, agents, buyers and sellers all experience different pains, so we adapt our technology to keep up and relieve them. Creating productive and useful tech is my most significant focus. It’s the biggest impact I have on the company

Left: Matt Widdows and Development Team Manager Gina Ippolito collaborate on advancing HomeSmart’s in-house technology. Below: HomeSmart International Senior Leadership team plans strategic corporate initiatives.

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 33

today—and has always been a large part of what I do. MP: What are some of the recent changes to your proprietary technology?

MW: We recently rolled out a complete rewrite of our RealSmart Broker and Agent platforms and released the RealSmart Agent Mobile app, which allows agents to track transactions, listings, contacts and documents, and perform anything they would do on their desktop in the field. We will soon incorporate our eDocs and signing platform into RealSmart Agent, creating a completely server-based transaction for both HomeSmart agents as well as agents with other companies. Our newly released tools provide an upgrade from our previous offering and strengthen our foundation. We’re working on building technology for the consumer to connect all aspects of the transaction. We want to take the same positive impact our tech has had on our brokers and agents and bring it to the consumer. This means not only providing the typical home search capability, but also better insight into the transaction process. Integrating with other vendors such as title and mortgage will allow our platform access to past transactions and electronic documents with any of our brokers or agents. It’s all about thinking of tomorrow and implementing today. That’s how we will win with our disruptive model in a rapidly changing industry.

MP: There are critics of the 100-percent model that call companies who use it “discount brokerages.” How do you respond to that?

MW: Most of those critics are now scrambling to figure out how to either switch to our flat-fee model or maintain a value proposition with high fees. We’re seeing a shift away from the traditional model. We provide the

34 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Matt Widdows discusses HomeSmart International’s next franchising opportunity with Chief Counsel Susan Watson and Senior Vice President of Franchise Sales Bryan Brooks. tools you get at a split-fee brokerage, plus proprietary tech that makes it easier for our agents and brokers to run their businesses at maximum profits. We’re agile and efficient, and no matter if the market is good or bad, the model is profitable...and it’s working. Twenty years ago, we were looked down upon in the industry, but that’s not the case anymore. I invite anyone to come by our headquarters for a tour. HomeSmart offers everything a traditional brokerage provides and then some. We have beautiful offices with conference rooms, technology and private workspaces. We have broker support seven days a week and a department approach to servicing our agents quickly and efficiently for their specific needs. We provide mentoring and training, including CE, and offer community impact events for our agents to participate in. Our agents receive excellent support, training, marketing tools and free technology—and keep their commissions. MP: Next year marks the 20th

anniversary of HomeSmart. Two decades later, how do you see the company today?

MW: What started as an idea to offer a low-cost, technology-forward

real estate company has grown into a technology company operating in the real estate space. For us, this is a substantial competitive advantage. HomeSmart’s technology is the best-kept secret in the industry. Other companies are getting billions of dollars in valuations for technology that we have had for years and that our agents and brokers are currently using to streamline their businesses. They’re focused on bells and whistles, whereas HomeSmart focuses on technology that makes people’s lives easier. Agents need technology that helps them move faster and increases their transaction velocity. Other companies want it and are trying to get it. We’ve had it and continue to improve it. It’s important to understand that we’ve always been about continuous innovation. We created virtual reception technology in 2002 to allow for scale of service to multiple branches. We went paperless in 2008 when everyone said it would never happen. A year hasn’t gone by where we haven’t created or improved what we offer from a technology perspective, or any perspective, for that matter. I think that’s part of the secret to our success. The status quo has no place in our organization. RE For more information, please visit

Hunt Real Estate ERA’s Powerlifter of Teams by Zoe Eisenberg


ike many who work in the business, Jason Sokody’s first career wasn’t in real estate. He was a teacher for 16 years, developing programs for at-risk youth who struggled to thrive in a traditional classroom setting. A bodybuilder covered in tattoos, Sokody doesn’t look like the typical teacher—and, indeed, he wasn’t. In 2007, Sokody obtained his real estate license while working as a site director at a local Boys and Girls Club. Almost three years ago, he started at Hunt Real Estate ERA, where he is now a full-time associate broker. “I had been at a very standard, traditional setting before coming to Hunt Real Estate ERA,” says Sokody. “I had to wear long sleeves all the time because of my tattoos, and people dictated what I could and could not put on social media. It was very constraining.” At Hunt (and ERA), on the other hand, he is encouraged to be himself. And last year, Sokody’s sales team was ranked No. 1 in units and was among the Top 20 for volume nationally by ERA. Along with their incredible success, his Grand Island, N.Y., team is known for building people’s careers from the ground up. “My favorite

thing is working with people who are starting from scratch,” says Sokody, who is developing an agent training platform he hopes to launch next year. Despite being the head of a 26-person team, he doesn’t let anybody call him “boss.” He calls his teammates his partners and emphasizes the importance of recognizing that everyone’s a leader on the team. “Whether you’re a veteran or brand new, you get treated the same.” Sokody applies the same philosophy to his interaction with customers. “I’ve sold a house for $5,500 in a fairly impoverished section of Buffalo, and I’ve also sold houses for as much as $2.5 million,” says Sokody. “No matter the price, everybody receives the same level of service and care.” If you ask him, Sokody will tell you that he doesn’t have a leadership

style. That may be true, but it’s safe to say that he’s people-centric above all else. Sokody has a master’s degree in organizational leadership, which he decided to pursue instead of an MBA. Sokody believes that people drive business. “That’s why I went with organizational leadership—because the program focused on the psychology and behaviors of people. How do you drive and motivate? What I’ve learned is to recognize that we’re all different—that we’re all special—and to make sure you take those moments and those features of each person and help drive them exponentially. I don’t want to change anybody; I just want to improve what they’re best at,” says Sokody. His team is composed of parttimers, full-timers and everyone in between. Sokody sees his team’s diversity as a strength. According to him, it doesn’t matter if your team is made up of two people or 50 people, as long as you have the proper culture. “If you have a culture of peace, love and kindness, then everything will work out great.” A huge fan of ERA’s FUEL conference, Sokody draws inspiration from attending each year and soaking up the brand culture on a national level. The culture at his office is one that embraces family as a way to keep centered. “We not only support each other like a family; we recognize that everyone comes to work so they can take care of their loved ones,” explains Sokody. “Once you recognize that simple fact, everything else falls into place.” RE For more information, please visit

Jason Sokody, fifth from left, poses with his rock star team from Hunt Real Estate ERA. The Sokody sales team cultivates a diverse and unique team approach that gets real results. Last year, the team was ranked No. 1 in units and was among the Top 20 for volume nationally by ERA. 36 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

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Views Vary When It Comes to the Gender Gap in Women’s Leadership Commentary by Desirée Patno


iscussions of gender diversity in the workplace, especially in top executive positions and boards, have become a more prominent public concern; however, the advancement of women in these levels has been slow. Gender discrimination and unconscious biases are still obstacles women professionals must face when attempting to climb the corporate ladder. This is especially true for women of color, who represent only one in 25 senior leaders. One obstacle is a wide gender gap in perspectives on whether women are well represented in leadership positions and the obstacles they may face reaching them. According to a Pew Research Center study, about seven in 10 women believe there are too few women in top executive positions and high political offices, compared to approximately half of men who believe the same. Women are more likely than men to recognize the structural barriers and high expectations that hold women back from gaining these top positions. About seven in 10 women, compared to half of men, believe that women need to do more to prove themselves in order to attain 38 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

executive positions. Moreover, while 60 percent of women say gender discrimination is a major obstacle to female leadership in the corporate world and politics, only 44 percent of men think this is true for the corporate sphere—and 36 percent for the political sphere. A majority of Americans view men and women equally capable of being leaders and having the capacity to possess the key qualities and behaviors essential for effective leadership. This is despite a majority, at 57 percent, who believe men and women in top positions have different leadership styles. Despite these differences, 62 percent do not believe one is better than the

other, while 22 percent believe women have a better approach and 15 percent believe men do. Some believe women have an advantage over men when it comes to being compassionate and empathetic toward others. A substantial amount of Americans also believe that women are better at working out compromises and standing up for what they believe in. In the corporate sphere, 43 percent of Americans believe women are better at creating a safe and respectful work environment, while 52 percent believe there is no difference between men and women in this regard. Generally, people do not see a difference between the ability of male and female leaders to value people from different backgrounds, consider the social impact of business deals, offer mentorship and guidance, and provide fair pay and good benefits to their employees. However, those who do see a gender difference tend to give women leaders the advantage. Overall, a majority of Americans say that having more women in top leadership positions in business and government would improve the quality of life for all citizens, at 69 percent, for women specifically, at 77 percent, and for men specifically, at 57 percent. However, women are more likely than men—two-thirds of women compared to 47 percent of men—to say that having more women in top executive positions will be more beneficial for the public. 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

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Furnished Monthly Rentals— Redefined by Paige Tepping

HouseStay is changing the temporary housing industry as we know it


or Manu Bhagatjee, founder and CEO of HouseStay, an extensive travel schedule that found him living in hotels for months at a time had him longing for a home away from home every time he hit the road.

“The novelty of staying in a hotel was wearing off,” says Bhagatjee, then an investment banker. And so, the idea for HouseStay—an online marketplace for furnished homes and apartment rentals—was born. “Once the idea was conceived and I Bhagatjee began to understand and categorize the various market dynamics and stakeholders involved in the process, I recognized just how fragmented the industry is on the supply and demand side,” says Bhagatjee. Aggregating the market feedback he received led to a simple solution that involved pooling the overall supply, driving demand to it, and tying it all together with a seamless transaction. 40 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

Serving stakeholders on both the B2B and B2C side, HouseStay offers a curated selection of fully furnished turnkey apartments and homes available for rent for 30 nights or more. HouseStay has created an online booking engine from inquiry (beginning) to a signed lease (end) to bring the process of booking temporary housing for individuals and businesses1 online. “HouseStay is changing the dynamics of renting furnished homes for a few months at a time by altering the way we currently do business in the temporary housing space. By bringing the experience online, the platform is essentially automating the administrative part of the transaction with the help of technology for tasks such as tenant screening, identity verification, payment processing and lease signing,” says Dan Carrillo, principal and president of Global Mobility at HouseStay. Joining the team in 2017, Carrillo notes that his extensive experience in the relocation industry has taught him the importance of getting transferees and new hires into a safe and accommodating space so that they can be productive in their new position as soon as possible and with the least amount of inconvenience.

“In all the hustle and bustle, this is often lost,” says Carrillo, but HouseStay is changing that one rental at a time. And it’s not just transferees, new hires and consultants that are benefitting. In fact, buyers and sellers alike Carrillo are turning to HouseStay to help with their temporary housing needs. “Today, there are a lot of people living temporarily, and HouseStay provides a stepping stone that makes our lives and the client’s lives easier,” says Debbi DiMaggio, a REALTOR®with Highland Partners in Piedmont, Calif. “For someone selling a house, HouseStay allows them to move out of the space and live in a temporary place without being tied into a year-long rental while they prepare the property for sale,” says DiMaggio. On the flip side, those looking to buy now have the luxury of moving into a short-term rental if their home sells prior to them making a purchase. DiMaggio But the benefits don’t end there. “HouseStay provides the opportunity for prospective buyers to move their families into areas they may not have found out about otherwise,” says Carrillo. “This is a huge gamechanger for those moving into large cities across the U.S., as it allows them to get a good taste and feel for the various neighborhoods before they buy a home,” adds Carrillo. Expanding the potential for temporary housing even further, HouseStay provides the opportunity for real estate agents to earn recurring revenue by going to their past, present and future owners of properties. “I recently had a client who had a lot of unfurnished units that he used as long-term rentals, but by turning some of them into short-term rentals—and listing them on HouseStay—he was able to earn more when renting for a few months at a time because of the lack of inventory of quality non-vacation rental homes,” says DiMaggio. “We’re currently in an environment where real estate professionals are looking for other sources of income,” says Carrillo. “We’re enlarging the temporary housing supply if you will, by seeking out supply that isn’t currently on the market.” “We’re helping landlords who have unfurnished homes see the light by asking if they would be open to renting a home for three months at a time if they were to see a 25 - 35 percent premium, while having peace of mind that each and every tenant would be high-quality,” says Bhagatjee.

While there’s no shortage of rental sites designed to guide individuals through the booking process, one key factor that sets HouseStay apart is their fully automated process. “There’s no other platform out there today where you can rent a furnished home for a few months in under an hour—and with just a few clicks,” says Bhagatjee. The completely automated process consists of the following six steps, which make booking a rental fast and easy: 1. Send host a booking request. Send a booking request for a property that meets your requirements. 2. Make due-at-booking payment. Once a host accepts the request, users have 24 hours to make the dueat-booking payment (first month’s rent, deposit, service fee). 3. Complete background check. After the due-at-booking payment is made, users complete the free online background check. 4. Confirm resident information. Confirm all the information for the users who will be staying in the accommodations. 5. Sign the HouseStay lease. Once all resident information has been confirmed, users will be required to sign the HouseStay lease. 6. Move in and enjoy your stay. After your booking has been confirmed, you will be connected directly with your host to coordinate your move in. “HouseStay is a necessary addition as it fills a huge void in the industry,” says DiMaggio, who goes on to explain that the decision to take advantage of everything HouseStay has to offer was a no-brainer. As the future unfolds, there’s a lot of growth on the horizon for the online marketplace. “Short-term, we’re looking to launch the service in every major metro across the country,” says Bhagatjee, “which we’re aiming to complete no later than Q3 2020.” “On that road, we’re going to find new ways to enhance the platform that we haven’t even thought of yet,” says Carrillo. From there, it’s all about educating real estate professionals and bringing the fragmented, furnished-home inventory under one umbrella. RE For more information, please visit Businesses: global mobility professionals, third-party relocation, licensed real estate agents and HR professionals


RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 41

Parcel-Centric Strategy for Brokers: Driving Buyer and Seller Engagement With Public Records Commentary by Linda Wendt


ou probably know that publishing “off-market” information about a home has been a successful strategy used by the big portals for quite a few years now. The idea was to create a web page for every home and give the visitor something compelling to see when they arrive. If the home isn’t listed for sale, the visitor typically sees public record information and an automated valuation model (AVM) providing a rough sense of what their home is worth. That’s juicy content driving visits. Who hasn’t visited an online property portal to see what’s out there about their home—the biggest thing most of us own? I certainly have. These portals, and the big brokers who have done it, too, know that having a single web page for every home populated with as much compelling data as possible is great for SEO. Every time a homeowner searches their own address, up pops that page. So all those years a homeowner is NOT in selling mode, they’re visiting those sites and getting accustomed to thinking about them when it’s time to find an agent. This truth is not a good dynamic for brokers who limit their websites

strictly to listings. They haven’t driven consumer traffic all those years, so consumers aren’t thinking about them (or their agents) when it’s time to buy or sell. That’s a significant disadvantage. That “sticky content” approach has worked quite well for the portals. It’s a cornerstone of their customer acquisition and retention strategy. Their huge visitor numbers are significantly impacted by consumers who simply check in. Familiarity is the greatest asset in lead gen and data value is the key ingredient to driving multiple visits. This is a “parcel-centric” strategy to create visits, loyalty and leads. It’s above and beyond the traditional

“listing-centric” approach most brokers take today. Adopting a parcel-centric approach on your website takes work. Specifically, two things are required. First, a broker must have a developer who’s willing to translate a public record data feed, create a unique page for it on the broker’s website, publish it and refresh it as needed. That’s not trivial. Second, a broker needs to purchase a license to the public record data to be that sticky content driver. If you’ve ever used Realist®, you might have an appreciation for the sheer volume of public record data that my company, CoreLogic®, curates on a daily basis. Pretty much every home in the U.S. has rich Realist public record data. CoreLogic provides brokers with the option to license this data as a feed to publish on their websites. And, good news, the price is reasonable. Not only is the public record data licensable, but the CoreLogic AVM is, as well. While AVMs aren’t perfect measures of true worth, we like to think of our AVMs as the industry “gold standard”—worthy of showing lenders, appraisers and visitors to your websites. A user often visits simply to get a read on what their home is worth today. That’s as sticky as it gets. Driving traffic, building loyalty and investing in a long-term strategy to create leads for agents is what adopting a parcel-centric approach is all about. It’s certainly working for the portals that have adopted it. If we can help you with the data licensing part of that equation, I’d be happy to tell you more. Feel free to contact me at RE CORELOGIC, the CoreLogic logo and REALIST are trademarks of CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Linda Wendt is principal, Solution Sales at CoreLogic. For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 43

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MLS Is Going Global Real Estate Webmasters partners with government, Google and Slalom to bring modern MLS technology to world

by Zoe Eisenberg


eal Estate Webmasters (REW) is developing a multilingual multiple listing service (MLS) that will revolutionize real estate industries on a worldwide scale.

BSP Program Announcement, North Vancouver, BC (left to right): Morgan Carey, CEO, Real Estate Webmasters; Terry Beech, MP, Burnaby North—Seymour, GOC; Vy Luu, Director of Product, Real Estate Webmasters; Hon. Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, GOC

Major partners in real estate, government and technology have already jumped on board to back this leader in real estate tech. REW has received funding and engineering support from Google, and has partnered with software engineering company Slalom for its international data architecture. Most recently, the Government of Canada (GOC) has stepped in with a huge show of confidence through their Business Scale-Up and Productivity (BSP) program. This exclusive program offers match-funding to the most innovative companies who show the highest merit and can deliver on the stringent program objectives. REW has committed more than $2.5 million in advance toward the

project. With the GOC match-funding program, the total investment will top well over $5 million. As pan-European markets are targeted for initial launch, this international, multilingual MLS project has caught the attention of RE/MAX Europe, who will become the flagship customer to launch this new program. “We are very excited at this announcement and are looking forward to the next steps of working with Real Estate Webmasters,” shares RE/MAX Europe CEO Michael Polzler. “Together, we are going to change the way real estate is done in Europe.” This strong bond between REW and RE/MAX Europe first started five years ago, when RE/MAX Europe approached REW.

“At the time, they were in the market to replace their existing website vendor,” shares REW CEO Morgan Carey. “An organization this dynamic is very complex. We have spent the last few years going to Europe and meeting with regional directors so that we truly understand their platform needs as we replace their current vendor.” As the two companies work together on moving their current website over to the cutting-edge and modern REW platform, they are also working together on shaping the multilingual MLS for international audiences. “We share RE/MAX Europe’s vision of bringing a more organized structure to the real estate industry in Europe. One of those avenues is to work with the Government of Canada, who is also very passionate about technology growth, job creation and generating external sources of revenue,” Vy Luu, REW Director of Product, affirms. The team plans to incorporate the successful practices of the current North American MLS system, including integrating the newly developed RESO data standards and processes for all real estate transactions. “When you open up data, it facilitates competition and calls for higher transparency between both buyers and sellers, benefiting both sides,” Luu continues. Once the international MLS system is in place in Europe, sales cycles could reduce from three years to as low as 90 days, on average. This time reduction is expected to have a significant economic impact for not only Europe, but in the world markets as economies strengthen. RE For more information, please visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 45

At ERA®, we embrace individuality, yet we know no one can do it alone. We recognize that each customer, community and agent is unique. We are focused on helping you build your success your own way.

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YOU + ERA is a real match.

© 2019 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.

The Best Way to Create and Maintain a Positive Mindset by Brian Buffini


n today’s fast-paced world, many of us lack balance between our professional and personal lives. When this happens, you might feel stressed, overwhelmed or drained of the energy needed to create and maintain a positive mindset. Fortunately, these situations don’t need to be permanent. You can reset and reconnect with a positive mindset by creating balance. I’ve found that the best way to maintain a positive mindset and overall well-being while improving my business and strengthening relationships is to focus on five major areas in life: spiritual, family, business, financial and personal. Imagine these five areas as overlapping circles that depend on each other to create perfect balance. With too much focus on one area, the other areas suffer. Here’s a deeper look at each circle, and a few tips to help you find your balance and shift your mindset.

SPIRITUAL Spirituality is a big concept that includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves. Often overlooked in favor of the more tangible and pressing areas of life, this one has the potential to bring you great rewards. Ask yourself: How are you feeding your spirit? Where are you in your faith? Consider reading a book by a spiritual mentor, volunteering or taking some time each day for quiet meditation or prayer. FAMILY No matter who you consider your family, these folks are the most important people in your life. It’s easy to rush through each day and not pay attention to loved ones. Be intentional about your interactions

with the most important people in your life to maintain the best possible relationships. Make it a routine to share a weekly meal together, and plan vacations and weekend time so you can connect with each other. Make sure everyone is on the same page with a positive mindset.

BUSINESS Your business is your bread and butter—it’s your source of income, and, hopefully, something you’re passionate about. Keep it healthy by writing clear, powerful goals and thoughtfully managing your time through set priorities. Because daily challenges will pop up, a real estate coach or accountability partner can also be a huge help for a consistent business.

FINANCIAL To create balance in the financial circle, put aside what you need for day-to-day expenses and then set up automatic savings accounts to fund your financial goals. This includes separate accounts for taxes, investments and travel. Investing is a great way to make your money grow and work for you, so seek out professional advice on how to start. I personally think real estate is still the single greatest investment. PERSONAL It’s vital to take care of your health and fitness, both physical and mental. Yet many of us believe it’s selfish to put ourselves first. In case of emergency on an airplane, adults are always instructed to put on their own oxygen masks first before helping those around them. It’s the same in your everyday life. Take care of yourself first to help you better serve others. Spend time each week doing something healthy for you, whether it’s hitting the gym, spending time outdoors or reading a great book. Of course, balancing requires continuous adjustments, and it’s a work in progress. But with a positive mindset, you can be hugely successful in business and still have time to enjoy your other circles. For more tips on how to live the good life, check out my podcast, “The Brian Buffini Show,” with new episodes out every Tuesday. 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 more than 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 6 million listeners a year through “The Brian Buffini Show” podcast. For more, visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 47




fter meeting the team and experiencing their enthusiastic attitudes earlier this year at an industry conference in her hometown of San Diego, broker and agency owner Diana DuPre decided to experiment with the lead generation and marketing platform. That experiment with’s Local Connect and Lead Concierge services yielded such immediate and satisfying results that DuPre is poised to shift virtually all her online marketing and lead generation to the platform. She’s also in the process of hiring a new assistant to help her and her team of four agents with all the new business surging into her growing firm, DuPre Real Estate, which serves San Diego and Los Angeles. Having launched her own brand in 2016 after working in several capacities in and around the real estate industry, the former agent, underwriter, loan officer and broker has been familiar with for a long time. But when she encountered a rep last spring, she was inclined to give the system a try. “I learned how good the product was, how great the services, and that they were launching a concierge pro-

48 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

gram, so I signed up for a very small territory,” says DuPre. Since then, she’s received numerous quality leads. “The price point for these leads is a fraction of what I’ve paid for any other leads in the past, and I already have someone in escrow, as well as several other buyers I’m taking out on a weekly basis to see properties,” explains DuPre, who initially estimated closing on five or six leads by the end of the year. “But the way it’s tracking, it’s going to end up being two to three per month,” says DuPre. “I have an automated system in the background that sends a text and email as soon as the lead comes through, and others have mentioned that my website is really easy to navigate.” Better yet? The customer service she’s received has been top-notch from the get-go. “Their customer service reaffirmed that I made the right choice,” says DuPre, “as their response time is virtually instantaneous.” As far as operability, DuPre says the interface is very easy. “I can access it from everywhere, and the concierge system is top-end. It’s easy for me to keep notes on each lead, track how that lead came in and even make comments about the properties my leads are interested in,” says DuPre. “Out of the three platforms I use to market my company, is by far the easiest to use and navigate,” concludes DuPre. For more information, please visit



risti Fox, a REALTOR® at CENTURY 21 Beal in College Station, Texas, has been in the industry and with the same company for nearly 20 years. She joined Century 21 with the intention of focusing on giving back and leaving her community better than she found it—and in the past two decades, she has delivered on this goal. For Fox’s clients, her dedication also shines through. From the impeccable service they receive to the array of excellent services they’re offered, each and every buyer and seller that works with her gets the full treatment. One way Fox sets herself up as a go-to resource in her local marketplace is by educating her clients on the benefits of placing a home warranty, such as an American Home Shield (AHS®) home warranty, on the properties she lists. “I found value in talking about home warranties with every seller and buyer early in my career in order to help protect their budget during the listing period, first year of ownership and beyond.” For Fox, knowing that the price tag on a costly covered repair could be reduced—helping to save her cli-

ents from surprise financial struggles—is a rewarding feeling for her. “As home costs rise faster than incomes increase, the need for saving money where you can becomes more and more important,” says Fox. “Unwelcome financial burdens can easily cause homeowners to get behind on their mortgages, or worse, find themselves in foreclosure.” Looking beyond the traditional offerings of a home warranty, American Home Shield recently introduced new services. These include a rekey service, a seasonal HVAC tune-up service, an Electronics Plan—and they are currently testing TV installation service in a number of markets. For Fox’s clients that have chosen American Home Shield home warranties, and have taken advantage of the new services, the results have been nothing short of excellent. With a wide range of services to choose from, Fox notes that the rekey service, in particular, has been very popular with homebuyers. “Safety is such an important topic,” she adds, “and knowing that no one else will have a key to their home is super comforting.” But the benefits provided by AHS don’t end there. Fox also enjoys working with her AHS local account representative, Amy Bedsole. Not only is she attentive, but also, she takes the time to listen, and she’s always available to answer any questions Fox’s clients may have. RE For more information, please visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 49

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A Chance to Help Is a Gift in Itself by Adam Contos

Note: A few weeks ago (at press time), I had an experience I won’t ever forget, and I posted about it on social media. The response from the real estate community has been overwhelming and humbling. It reminded me what type of individuals we have in our space—kind, caring, empathetic and always ready to help. Here’s a shortened version of the story I shared:

I sat down on the plane to fly home from a quick business trip to the East Coast. An older lady was seated next to me. She said hello and told me her name was Lorraine. She’d been taken onto the plane by wheelchair during preboarding. Super nice lady. I could see it in her eyes. I went through my business travel routine. It’s the same every time: headphones, podcast and laptop. I was all set for four uninterrupted hours of productivity. But Lorraine started talking to me. So I took off my headphones. They never went back on. Lorraine was talking for a reason. She was a little confused and

scared. It struck a chord with me. I understood my mission. She hadn’t flown in quite some time. She didn’t know how to open the tray table or do other little things a regular traveler understands. This was my chance to help. She’d left Florida to avoid Hurricane Dorian, and said she’d be staying with family in Denver. But she kept repeating things. She spoke with a sense of helplessness. She was scared about the trip. Scared of being alone. I could see her eyes welling up. This happens to people who are losing their memory. It’s scary to not know if you have the help you need. She had good long-term memory,

but little recall of today’s events. She wasn’t quite able to tell me what was going on, and she didn’t have a phone with her. I helped her with her tray table, food and drinks. We had dinner together, and she even tried to share her meal with me. The flight got bumpy, so we made jokes to ease her mind. The lady across the aisle and I helped her to the bathroom and back to her seat. I asked the flight attendants to make sure she had someone picking her up; they weren’t sure for a while. Lots of conversation and questions ensued, and the airline worked on figuring it out. We landed and an airline manager was at the gate with a wheelchair to greet her. I wrote my cell number on my card and gave it to her. I told her to call me if she needed anything. I joked that she was a rebel for escaping her retirement community and that her friends would be jealous of her adventures. She liked that. We’d had a good time. She thanked me and said I’d made her day. What Lorraine didn’t realize was that she’d made my day, too. By needing help, she was giving me a gift—the opportunity to come through for her. No matter what your role in this business, you have a chance to help someone virtually every day. Watch for these opportunities. Take time to listen. And follow up with care and action. As I learned on that plane, it’s worth doing every time. RE

Adam Contos is CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 51

Imagine the Possibilities at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo Commentary by Victoria Gillespie


hen the NAR leadership sat down to brainstorm the 2019 convention, the goal was clear: design a conference that reflected the endless possibilities on the horizon for REALTORS®. After all, in this age of proptech, opportunity zones, increased professionalism and advocacy initiatives that expand homeownership, the landscape is ripe for REALTORS® to strengthen the value they already bring to communities. Enter this year’s Conference and Expo. With 100 educational sessions, 400 exhibitors and 20,000 REALTORS® in one place, the possibilities for building your knowledge, expanding your network, and finding inspiration are endless! I am thrilled that San Francisco is the site of the National Association of REALTORS® Conference & Expo, taking place Nov. 8 - 11. With world-

52 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

class cuisine, a vibrant art and cultural scene and incredible natural beauty, San Francisco provides the ideal backdrop for this unforgettable event. Designed to propel your business forward, the REALTORS® Conference & Expo will give you new ideas and innovative tools to save time, increase efficiency and grow your profits. Monday, Nov. 11 is designat-

ed solely for educational sessions and hands-on workshops to further enhance the value of attending. While there, I hope you find time to visit the Expo. With hundreds of diverse exhibitors, the Expo is a dynamic place to be, and at the heart of it all is NAR Booth No. 5545. Be sure to stop by to take advantage of the many exclusive member offerings. •DISCOVER SAVINGS and unique offers just for REALTORS® from more than 30 industry-leading partners through NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program. Then, visit the Member Value Plus (MVP) program kiosk to sign up for the eNewsletter and start earning free rewards!

•TAKE ADVANTAGE of tech tools like Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) to access data, tools and reports that help REALTORS® “wow” clients and close more deals, and zipLogix™, the leading technology included in your NAR transaction management benefit, including zipForm®, zipTMS™ and zipVault®. •LEARN HOW TO STAND OUT by building your unique brand online with the .realtor™ and .realestate domains. And see how the REALTOR® Sustainability Program supports REALTORS® on topics like solar, green valuation and smart home features. •LOOKING TO INCREASE YOUR EXPERTISE and leadership qualities? Enroll in the award-winning Commitment to Excellence program to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to conducting business at the highest standards. Develop and grow strong Volunteer Leadership skills through programs and resources from the REALTOR® Leadership Program and NAR’s Leadership Academy. •FIND OUT how the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness

helps you meet specific financial planning needs with educational resources on topics regarding wealth building, business planning and investing in real estate. •GET TO KNOW the Member Experience, Engagement & Legal team and their services, including Association Governance, Association Leadership Development, Commercial, Global, Legal, Library & Archives, Member Support, MLS, Professional Standards, outreach to industry partners, and the Young Professionals Network. Also, meet the editors of REALTOR® Magazine, the awardwinning business tool and news source just for NAR members, to pitch your story ideas and subscribe to the digital edition. •LIKE TO SHOP? The official REALTOR® Store offers businessboosting products at 10 percent off! And the REALTOR Team Store® carries all your REALTOR®branded product needs. Look for That’s Who We R® merch and the 2019 limited-edition conference lapel pin. •NEED A LITTLE INSPIRATION? On Saturday, from 1 - 3 p.m., meet and take a photo with Billie Jean

King, sports icon and champion for social change and equality. Receive a signed tennis ball while supplies last. •AND WHILE YOU’RE AT NAR BOOTH NO. 5545, learn how to leverage That’s Who We R®, NAR’s national ad campaign, and snap a selfie at the photo display! Beyond the Expo floor and convention center, there is so much to see—whether you register for an NAR tour or explore on your own. You can jump on a trolley, take in the art and amazing food, tour Napa Valley wineries, wander through Chinatown, escape to Alcatraz, and enjoy the comical seals at Fisherman’s Wharf! The years ahead represent endless possibilities for REALTORS®. What better way to prepare than to register for the REALTORS® Conference & Expo. To do so, visit I can already imagine the possibilities in the future. Can you? RE

Victoria Gillespie is the chief marketing and communications officer for the National Association of REALTORS®.

Zillow Partners With Giveback Homes to Support the Real Estate Industry in the Wake of Natural Disasters

lost all of their belongings when their home in old Magalia burned down due to the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California history. The Zillow and Giveback Homes Disaster Relief Fund is providing Tammy with a washer and dryer for her new home, which she is in the process of rebuilding.

Commentary by Bret Calltharp

- Mike Richards was first licensed as a REALTOR® in 1986, leaving the industry to work as a firefighter for several years before returning to real estate. The home he shared with his wife Christy for less than 11 months was destroyed in the Camp Fire. The Zillow and Giveback Homes Disaster Relief Fund will provide Mike with a new fridge, since the one his wife loved, and had only recently purchased, was destroyed.


n recent years, there have been a number of unprecedented natural disasters, from Hurricane Harvey—the second-most costly hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland since 1900—to the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California’s history. These disasters uproot families and wreck communities.

At Zillow, we have long emphasized a corporate culture of giving, from our support of closing the opportunity gap in public education to our investments in addressing housing insecurity and homelessness. Recently, we partnered with Giveback Homes to launch a Disaster Relief Fund. Through this fund, we are supporting real estate agents, their families and other members of the real estate community facing losses after natural disasters. We launched the campaign with Giveback Homes with a $10,000 donation and have committed to provide a $1-for-$1 matchup to $20,000. At Zillow, we believe in investing in the real estate industry—to support the agents and brokers we work 54 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

alongside, especially in the midst of devastating events. Together with Giveback Homes, Zillow wants to help make home feel like home again for those impacted. The funds donated are being used to help impacted families rebuild their lives. Families receive in-kind donations such as refrigerators, washers and dryers, mattresses and other necessities to help in their rebuilding efforts. To date, the campaign has helped three families impacted by last year’s California wildfires: - Tammy Spirlock has worked as a REALTOR® since 1997 and has sold real estate in Paradise, Calif., since 2003. She, her daughter and son

- Kelly Kissman has worked as a REALTOR® for 15 years and served as the 2018 President of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® Ventura. Her family, which includes five children, was displaced by the Woolsey Fire. Their home was a total loss, and they currently share a one-bedroom apartment. The Zillow and Giveback Homes Disaster Relief Fund is providing Kelly and her family one-month’s rent for their apartment while they work on rebuilding. At our core, Zillow is a missiondriven company working to improve people’s lives through the places they call home. Please help us continue to support those whose lives have been disrupted by disasters by donating or nominating a family. To nominate a family and learn more about Giveback Homes, please visit https://donate.givebackhomes. com/campaign/zillow-givebackhomes-disaster-fund/c207920. RE

Bret Calltharp is director of Industry Outreach, Zillow.

Creating a Culture of Collaboration How the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Brand Is Redefining Relationships by Liz Dominguez


t Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, collaboration is more than simply working alongside agents and brokers to increase transactions. It’s about building relationships— an element at the core of everything the brand accomplishes.

For three Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brokers, collaboration across the brand has trickled down into their respective business cultures, and even further down into the day-to-day of managing real estate transactions and providing an exceptional experience for everyone involved—most importantly, agents and the consumers they serve. “With the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand, it’s an awareness thing,” says Mark Woodroof, managing partner for Better Homes and Gardens Real

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Estate Gary Greene, which recently merged with Heritage Texas Properties, becoming one of the top 50 real estate firms in the U.S. “It’s all about the value proposition— the fact that from a consumer standpoint, there is hardly anyone that hasn’t interacted with the brand Woodroof in some way throughout their lives.” That immediate recognition of a brand that stands for lifestyle, family and homeownership stems from a culture of collaboration. At the top, it begins with nationally recognized partnerships that even those outside the world of real estate can appreciate. Most recently, these include teaming up with Amazon for TurnKey and Agent X—a home-buying incentive program and real estate virtual assistant, respectively—as well as working alongside the iconic Better Homes & Gardens® magazine.

“I feel that with our company being able to announce to everyone in our community that we have a relationship not only with Better Homes & Gardens® magazine and Meredith Corporation, but also with a major online company such as Amazon with Realogy, is a big statement for our brand,” says Dana Hall-Bradley, owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Fine Living. “No other real estate companies can touch this.” This type of brand-wide collaboration heavily influences agents and consumers on the ground level, as well. According to Jeff Martel, broker/owner and director of marketing at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate 43° North, he’s seen the most impact on the relocation segment of his business. “The relocation component, which is making up a large percentage of our Martel business, is really influenced by the brand,” says Martel. “There’s an instant trust formed with our agents because these consumers don’t know anybody and don’t have any connections in the area. But they are relying on trust built from the brand—that instant familiarity to the magazine or to seeing signage.” With inter-office collaboration, agents and brokers know how to foster these consumer relationships so that they are more than a transaction—they become a client for life. But first, brokers need to fill one of the largest gaps in the industry: a lack of training. That’s why Martel created a mentorship program that is doubly productive for both new and veteran agents. “We built a mentorship program around giving agents a good launching pad, even if they already have access to systems and tools because they often don’t understand how to use them,” says Martel, who pairs up new recruits with top producers. “It instills in agents the habits and skills they need to run a business, and is also designed around mentorship for life. After the term ends, we are watching them continue on, becoming co-collaborators who can rely on each other for different things.” Hall-Bradley also prioritizes agent-to-agent collaboration, stating that she always has a trainer available at the office should anyone need assistance. “I am very hands-on with planning the training that is provided to our agents and staff,” she says. “I am constantly reminding agents that I am available if they need me, whether it be support with negotiating a contract or going with an agent to a listing appointment.” For Woodroof, this type of collaborative approach is what helped him land the title of Most Admired CEO in 2018 by the Houston Business Journal. “By working to-

“Being able to announce to everyone in our community that we have a relationship not only with Better Homes & Gardens® magazine and Meredith Corporation, but also with a major online company such as Amazon with Realogy, is a big statement for our brand.” – DANA HALL-BRADLEY Owner, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Fine Living

gether, the brokerage is able to expand its philanthropic efforts to make a difference in the lives of people they regularly touch, such as agents, staff members, the community, etc.,” he says. Where does it all connect? A built-in culture of collaboration ties these brand brokerages together. “The mentoring program has strengthened our culture and has helped us form deep and true relationships with people who rely on each other and know each other’s strengths. It builds a bond within the organization,” says Martel. This culture is brand-wide, Martel explains. “By creating this strong collective as a whole, we can thrive rather than trying to compete with each other. There are enough challenges outside of our brokerages that we need to be worrying about,” he adds. Woodroof follows this same mindset, keeping the brand’s collective strength at the forefront of his brokerage’s goal-setting. “We are very collaborative. We get better because we have a goal of getting better together,” says Woodroof. “Even today [at press time], we’re sitting here at one of our agent fairs, putting on panels for other agents so they can listen and learn and collaborate with each other.” And with the future in mind, these brokers are certain that the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand will not only help them maintain a competitive edge, but also lead to further collaboration within the brokerages and, in the process, to more bountiful benefits. “I think more recognition and trust is gained when you can walk into a listing appointment and mention names like Better Homes & Gardens® magazine and Amazon,” says Hall-Bradley. “I think moving into the new year, this collaboration will assist us even more with growth in our real estate market. We are very excited about it.” RE Want more insight into navigating the changing nature of real estate? Please visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 57

Why the Time Is Ripe for a New Kind of Partnership Commentary by Allen Alishahi


hese past few months have seen several high-profile partnerships announced—from Realogy and Amazon, to Redfin and Opendoor, to Keller Williams and Offerpad—and it feels like this is just the beginning of a trend that’s going to take an even stronger hold over the next year. At first glance, it could just be that these are simply new branding opportunities where two like-minded companies (who aren’t in direct competition with each other) get together to promote their services. Those in the real estate industry have been building partnerships for decades, so this is nothing new. But what I sense taking place now is representative of something bigger. We’ve reached the point where real estate tech firms have maxed out their niches, and now, they need to find a way to go wide. A deeper shift is taking place, and this is what will direct the course of the next phase of our industry. Since it’s a quantum leap to go

58 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

from appealing to a core audience to one that’s broad and widespread, companies have to find a way to make the jump in a strategic way (unless they can afford to spend millions on extensive ad campaigns). The fastest, most cost-efficient way to do that is to join forces with someone else and tap into the fertile ground of each other’s respective audiences. That’s what is taking place right before our eyes. It isn’t just partnerships as branding. It’s partnerships as seismic shifts in where our focus is going to be. While it’s true that the need to expand is an outside pressure bearing down on all these real estate companies, there are also interior

forces in place that will help make this happen. This couldn’t have happened 10 years ago, or even five. Realogy launched in 2005, Redfin launched in 2004, and though Amazon began in 1994, the company didn’t have a strong foothold until a number of years later after expanding beyond books and videos. (For those who are curious, Zillow got its start in 2006.) Only now, after the tech start-ups have gained a solid footing in the market with operational systems deeply in place, can they even begin to think about reaching across the aisle and working with other organizations. Sometimes those groups will be at equal levels of development, but it’s just as likely that an established company can bring on the energy of a young start-up—especially in cases where they provide a niche product or service, such as with Redfin partnering with five-yearold Opendoor. We’re now about 15 years into the growth of these tech companies, and they’re starting to reach saturation point for the trajectory they set out to achieve from the beginning. While on the one hand that’s a good thing, as it means they’ve been successful in their goals, it also means we’re gearing up for another re-direct inside real estate. Whether it’s two established companies working together or a young company partnering with one that already has a footprint, the question is no longer which tech firm will pull ahead of the rest, but which partnership will provide the greatest amount of impact so that both sides rise to the next level. RE

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

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Trump Makes Moves to Privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Overhaul Mortgage Financing by Liz Dominguez


he Administration is making moves to distance the U.S. mortgage market, specifically government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, from federal government control. In a reversal from a decades-long stalemate in privatization discussions by various organizations, the Trump Administration last month said it will now back a return to private ownership for the mortgage entities that purchase nearly half of the loans on the $10 trillion U.S. mortgage market, according to the Urban Institute. The proposal was packaged along with a more comprehensive, 53-page housing finance reform plan released by the Treasury that includes steps to: • End the 10-year conservatorship of the GSEs • Create more healthy competition in the housing finance market • Regulate GSEs to minimize risk and provide financial stability • Ensure the federal government is appropriately compensated for GSE support “The housing finance system is in serious need of reform,” states the Treasury plan. “The GSEs remain in conservatorship more than 10 years after the financial crisis, and they continue to be the dominant participants in the housing finance system. Although they remain critical to the functioning of that system, they are not yet subject to capital and other regulatory requirements tailored to the risks they pose to fi-

nancial stability. This lack of reform has left taxpayers exposed to future bailouts.” The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) supports the move toward privatization, says President John Smaby. “The National Association of REALTORS® thanks President Trump and his administration for initiating thoughtful, genuine effort toward housing finance reform. We look forward to reviewing the proposal in more detail and are optimistic that, at a minimum, the White House’s efforts will shed light on the remaining mile markers on the path to reform, along with the critical role the GSEs and Federal Housing Administration play in America’s housing market,” said Smaby in a statement. “NAR continues working with the White House and Congress as we move closer to securing palatable, pragmatic improvements to our housing finance system, and we maintain our belief that NAR’s blue-

print for GSE reform represents the best path forward for this system and our economy,” Smaby added. “Our proposed utility model, as any successful reforms must, highlights competition, protects taxpayers and remedies the failures of the precrisis system while ensuring equal access for responsible, mortgageready Americans in every community, safeguarding the role the GSEs were intended to play in our housing market.” In a similar vein, the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) supports the motion to instill change in the way these mortgage entities function within the real estate finance system, but is apprehensive that the move toward privatization could negatively impact high-cost areas, such as California. “We have concerns that the proposal will harm high-cost areas, such as California, by reducing support for mortgages with higher loan balances,” said C.A.R. President Jared Martin in a statement. “C.A.R. is also concerned about the impact on cities and communities throughout California if support is reduced for vacation homes and mom-and-pop investors.” Moving away from federal control could help to dampen concerns that the mortgage giants curried special favor from the government. While portions of the plan still need to be approved by Congress, which largely stands divided on the issue, ending the conservatorship doesn’t need to be officially authorized—but a privatization plan has yet to be spelled out and could be costly and time-consuming, at the very least. RE

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 61

{Power Broker Perspectives} by Keith Loria

Jean Rawls:

Leveraging Technology to Build Better Relationships Jean Rawls, operating principal of Keller Williams The Rawls Group in Atlanta, Ga., first became involved in real estate 30 years ago, and continues to enjoy the people aspect of the business, whether it is a client buy/sell relationship or the relationship she has with her 2,150 agents, helping them grow their business and serve others. Here, she talks about the dynamic Atlanta real estate market, and how she plans to keep her business on an upward trajectory. How is the Atlanta market faring in 2019 and what are the contributing factors? JEAN RAWLS: Our market is holding steady and strong. One of the greatest factors is strong population growth as more

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companies choose to do business in Atlanta. Our ongoing supply of active listings continues to be low and we are seeing a continuation of the seller’s market. Low inventory creates greater competition among buyers, keeping overall median sales-price ratios high and days on market low. Buyers need to move fast on a desired property. Mortgage rates have somewhat moderated and accessible credit is likely helping to overcome market headwinds. Are you planning to grow your firm over the next year? JR: We are always interested in sharing our business platform with agents and companies. Mergers and the growth of our agents’ business is always top of mind. Keller Williams’ unique technology has recalibrated the real estate industry and is a magnet for growth and success. What most sets your firm apart in the marketplace? JR: Regardless of the new technology that is being rolled out on nearly a daily basis, Keller Williams has never lost sight of the relationships that agents have built with their clients and the company culture that sets us apart from other firms. Gary Keller has launched an incredible tech platform that is a game changer in

VITALS: Keller Williams The Rawls Group

Years in business: 20 Size: 6 market centers and 1 business center, 2,150 agents Region served: Metro Atlanta 2018 sales volume: $4.83 billion 2018 transactions: 14,890 the real estate industry, while always keeping the agent/client relationship in mind. Our agents are able to leverage technology and individualize the real estate experience on a deeply personal level for each client. What are the biggest opportunities for increasing business right now? JR: The greatest opportunity will be for our agents to build stronger and deeper relationships with their clients by tracking their individual needs and exceeding their expectations through leveraging our technology. Agents will be able to understand and service a greater number of people with an in-depth understanding of their needs. How are you preparing your salesforce to meet the expectations of today’s consumer, especially first-time homebuyers and millennials? JR: We are a training and tech company, and we con-

tinue to train our agents on the current trends affecting what first-time homebuyers and millennials are looking for. No matter what segment of the population our agents work with, they first seek to understand how clients like to communicate and tailor a level of service that fits their individual needs.

Stephen C. Roney:

Service and Marketing Expertise Make the Difference As the former president and CEO of the First American Corpo-

ration’s Residential Group and its subsidiary, MarketLinx, Stephen C. Roney was responsible for building one of the largest residential real estate platforms to provide transaction management, MLS and CRM software and services to more than 500,000 agents and brokers. Today he serves as CEO and owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties, one of the state’s largest brokerage firms. What are you seeing in the Utah market this year? STEPHEN RONEY: Along the Wasatch Back (Park City area), there continues to be significant development activity throughout our market area coupled with enhancements to both Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain. We believe this, in conjunction with anticipated inventory increases and low interest rates, will continue to drive our markets in a positive direction. As the market begins to stabilize, we see increased buying opportunities in Summit and Wasatch counties, especially with the continued growth around the Jordanelle Reservoir and Heber Valley. Along the Wasatch Front (Salt Lake

Valley through Ogden), strong demand and low inventory levels persist. We expect appreciation to continue, sales to remain strong, and a variety of development options to emerge across all sectors of the Wasatch Front. We anticipate mortgage rates will reduce slightly in the near term and also expect increased buyer activity, especially at or below median prices. With a strong regional economy in Utah, we see little sign of a market downturn in the foreseeable future. Are you planning to grow your firm in the next 12 months? If so, in what capacity…increasing agent count, new offices, new markets, mergers/acquisitions, etc.? SR: In short, yes. We have recently opened an office in St. George, which has seen rapid growth as retirement, warm weather and business expansion bring more and more buyers to the area. We are also actively evaluating entry possibilities in other markets in Utah and nearby states. What most sets your firm apart in the marketplace? SR: In one word, culture. We have great agents and employees who demonstrate knowledge, services, integrity and teamwork every day. Additionally, we have unparalleled experi-

ence in development marketing, sales and advisory services in our markets. We also have an in-house marketing department that includes marketing strategy/planning, graphic design, digital and social media marketing, and print and public relations capabilities. How are you updating your technology and training to provide the resources agents need to succeed? SR: Our chief technology officer and executive leadership team are constantly evaluating new technology and maintaining alignment with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ existing platforms and future initiatives. How are you attracting new agents to your firm and retaining top producers? SR: We have a very selective recruiting process for new agents. We look for

strong-producing agents or other individuals with significant sales and service backgrounds who will fit our culture and benefit from the strength of our marketing capabilities, development experience, and leadership team. We also place great value on collaboration and collegiality. Retaining topproducing agents requires building and maintaining the “best in market” leadership team and support capabilities. What do you look for in someone new coming into the company? SR: A successful and sustainable business will flourish in a culture that honors service, knowledge and a strong work ethic. Preserving the trust of our agents and their clients is our No. 1 priority. RE

VITALS: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties Years in business: 43 Size: 30 offices, 475 agents Regions served: Northern Utah: Wasatch Back (Park City, Heber Valley, East Summit County, Jordanelle), Wasatch Front (Utah, Salt Lake, Davis and Weber Counties), and moving into Southern Utah: St. George 2018 sales volume: $2.195 billion 2018 transactions: 3,556

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 63

It’s Your Education. You Choose. Commentary by Kathy Baker


ur industry is ever-changing, and yet, the support, technology and leadership needed to help real estate professionals master the fundamentals have been slow to evolve. The need for continued education and training is the same today as it’s always been—knowledge is power—but it takes even more to engage today’s agent. Today, we use more emotive and powerful words like guidance, navigation, perspective, collaboration, knowledge, culture, enlightenment, instruction, nurturance, improvement, direction, development, preparation, conditioning and readying in an effort to salt the oats and create and deliver compelling content. But, in an industry where actions count, and only the determined and knowledgeable thrive, it’s training, teaching, coaching, mentoring, and, most significantly, accountability that provide the greatest opportunity to the agent who wants to succeed. One thing that has changed dramatically to meet the needs of today’s fast-paced, technology-driven

professional is the mode of delivery. We still believe and subscribe heavily to instructor-led classes that deliver one-on-one interaction and feed the competitive spirit, but we’re more committed than ever to reaching our entire audience, so we now offer education that can be consumed by the learner anytime and anywhere in a variety of formats. Realty ONE Group is committed to meeting the needs of its professionals and now provides education and training on a learning management system (LMS). Our platform provides each learner with a custom, personalized learning development path that empowers them to work independently or under the guidance

and support of their broker, owner or mentor. An LMS certainly isn’t new to Fortune 500 companies, but it’s new to real estate, and gives our agents the opportunity for unlimited growth and increased productivity. Imagine a broker, owner or mentor having the ability to assign learning modules, monitor the progress of the professional and then guide and navigate them to higher production and profitability via an individualized learning path that’s right for them. This platform allows you to monitor their progress and proficiency within each fundamental real estate concept or activity and coach accordingly. Now imagine today’s real estate professional being able to choose when and how they learn, and do it at their own pace. You create your own learning path and choose the delivery that fits your learning style. Whether its in-person and led by an instructor in your office or selfdirected through Realty ONE Group’s ONE University (ONE.U), it will never be without the guidance, care and accountability you need working in partnership with your broker, owner or mentor. At Realty ONE Group, we’re committed to helping real estate professionals achieve greater success— faster—and are confident that the most effective way to do that is to give agents the systems and tools that work for them and allow them to choose their own path to success. Knowledge is the key to opening doors, allowing us, as real estate professionals, to provide our consumers with the most awesome experience possible. RE

Kathy Baker is director of Learning, Realty ONE Group. For more information, please visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 65

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.


How to Attract, Retain and Empower Agents With the Right Tech Commentary by Ashley Farrugia


ood technology should be a driver of efficiencies, capacity and profitability for agents and, by default, brokerages. A good evaluation baseline when assessing any technology is to ask yourself: “Will this technology help my agents manage more, sell more and/or list more?”

We believe that the best and most critical technology that you can provide agents falls into two broad buckets: 1. Sphere Management - Lead ingestion, managing and growing new and existing prospects 2. Promotion - Agent, expertise, results and properties The business fundamentals of an agent require them to manage and grow their sphere of prospects and to market themselves, their results, their expertise and their properties.

SPHERE MANAGEMENT More and more brokerages and agents are realizing the power of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms as an effective way to manage relationships across a growing pool of prospects. Your CRM selection should be

based on ease of use, fun to use (if possible) and its ability to be as integrated as possible with lead generation sources to allow the seamless ingestion of new prospects. Your CRM should add to an agent’s day, rather than absorb big chunks of it. A good CRM should also provide open-API access so that an agent can seamlessly synchronize their prospect list with other technology tools and allow for a two-way flow of data and actions between/across the chosen tech ecosystem. Another area that’s gaining increased interest is that of the Virtual Assistant (VA). VAs can play a crucial role in the qualification of new prospects/inquiries, with the added benefit of never sleeping.

PROMOTION How you will help the agent promote themselves, their results, their expertise and their properties will go a long way toward retaining existing agents and attracting new ones. There are a million ways in which you can promote an agent and their properties, but what’s the best tech you can select to assist in this area? Email should be the foundation to your promotional tech stack. It’s proven technology that’s stood strong against all other comers. It remains, by far, the highest ROI-grossing area in digital marketing with returns of

3,800 percent (DMA). Your email solution should be integrated with your CRM and deliver agent outcomes such as: 1. Prospect profiling 2. Automated “Just Listed” emails to their sphere, as well as other agents and brokers 3. Weekly or biweekly automated summaries of properties for sale (matched to prospect profiles) 4. Open house notifications 5. Market reports unique to each prospect’s location 6. Sold property reports All communications should be dynamic and unique to each prospect. Your email solution should also allow an agent to establish drip campaigns that nurture prospects between transactions, keeping the agent front of mind when the next move is about to happen. For all industries, personalized emails average 5.7 percent greater open rates than non-personalized emails (Statista), while nurtured leads improve deal win rates by 20 percent (Annuitas Group). Your email solution should also provide seamless integration with amplification tools that simultaneously boost the promotion of a property (or an agent) across other digital media channels. It’s a complex and bewildering time to be in real estate. The above, we believe, are the core components to any successful tech stack that will empower your agents. There are, of course, many other tech tools and applications out there—a dissection of which would take up this whole publication. RE Ashley Farrugia is the CEO of ActivePipe, a leading marketing automation platform built specifically for the real estate industry. For more information, please visit RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 67

Making It Work—Together Best practices and conflict resolution for real estate teams Commentary by Yazir Phelps


or real estate agents just starting out, being part of a team can be a great way to launch and grow a new business. For experienced agents, putting together a team can add leverage and energy to an existing real estate business. For couples, friends or close colleagues, working together on a team can offer the opportunity to bring the strengths of each partner to bear on every transaction. So, what do you do when your team is struggling to work together?

Your ‘Better Teamwork’ Action Plan Maybe your real estate team is suffering from internal conflict, frustrations from a slow market or unanticipated growing pains. Whatever the case, getting a handle on your issues and making a plan to get back on track involves honesty, communication and actionable strategies.

1. GET REAL For many people, the hardest part of handling problems is admitting that there’s a problem in the first place. All that simmering tension isn’t just going to go away. You have to address it and get everyone on board with working toward a solution. Action: Put together a workshop or retreat to give everyone a chance to fully address the issues and put together a plan for improvement.

2. SPEAK YOUR TRUTH Conflict doesn’t magically go away if everyone isn’t making their opinions heard. You have to be willing to be honest with each other about things that are problematic or upsetting. This may mean some uncomfortable conversations with people you love and value, but in this case, honesty really is the best policy. Action: Emphasize the value of hon68 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

est communication and keep the end result in mind.

3. UNDERSTAND THE SOURCE OF CONFLICT Sometimes, personal conflict spills over into the workplace. It may be that the tension you’re feeling isn’t work-related, but personal. In that case, those relationships need to be mended to benefit the entire team. Action: Have an honest conversation with the people involved and offer support as they work out their differences.

4. REVISIT YOUR ROOTS Over time, you may find that you’ve forgotten the things that worked well when you were just starting out. May-

be you’ve begun to micro-manage or, alternatively, you’ve checked out and stopped taking an active role. Maybe your team used to socialize together, but that has fallen by the wayside. Action: Think back to the beginning when things were working well and see what has changed.

5. TAKE STEPS AND CHECK IN All this communication means little if you’re not taking actionable steps to improve the situation. Once you understand the problems, come up with a plan to address them. Maybe the solution involves a more equitable distribution of duties. Maybe it involves more facetime and better communication. Maybe you just need to bring in some support to take some of the operational burdens off your team members. Action: Put your plan into action and check back often to ensure that the steps you’ve identified are still being implemented. A real estate team is built on relationships and needs to be nurtured like one. Show how much you care about your team by taking the time to address issues as they arise, be part of the solution and keep everyone operating at peak performance. RE Yazir Phelps is the chief marketing officer at Real Estate Express, the national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Phelps has over 18 years of experience in marketing, fueling growth at Fortune 500 organizations, and over five years of experience working directly with real estate professionals. Her extensive background in generating demand for products and services encompasses crucial strategies for a successful career in the field. To learn more, visit

Committed to Success

RE: What does Lone Wolf do for real estate professionals? JK: Our core mission is to simplify

By Liz Dominguez

transactions. We offer the industry’s No. 1 solutions for transaction management (TransactionDesk and zipForm Plus), eSignature (Authentisign) and back-office and accounting (brokerWOLF). These products work together to simplify the entire deal, from the second a contract is started to the day the deal is closed and the parties are paid out.


ISMedia’s Real Estate magazine recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jimmy Kelly, CEO of Lone Wolf Technologies, to discuss his vision for the company—and what that means for the real estate industry.

Real Estate magazine: Tell us about yourself. Jimmy Kelly: I’ve worked in the software industry for more than 25 years. That includes a variety of industries, such as healthcare, education, oil and gas, and finance; customer-facing functions, such as training, support, sales and customer relationship management; and roles such as president, COO, VP of Operations, head of Services, etc. I’m from Houston, born and raised, and spend all my downtime with my family. My wife and I have been married for 21 years and have two amazing kids. I believe in trust, integrity and accountability. And I love sports. Growing up, I played everything, especially golf—though I haven’t had much time recently to work on my game.

RE: What are your thoughts on real estate? JK: It’s an amazing and complex industry. It’s intriguing because of its focus on trust and relationships, but

also the bottom line. And it’s also on the verge of transformation, with rapidly evolving technology, customer expectations and transactional complexity. I’ve found that real estate professionals are hard-working people capable of extraordinary achievements, but that the industry’s complexities make their jobs much harder than necessary.

is to make the user’s job easier. That’s precisely what our products do. We provide our customers with everything they need in one place so they can focus on strategic tasks that matter most—closing deals, servicing clients, coaching agents, increasing profitability, etc.

RE: What’s your focus as CEO of Lone Wolf? JK: The focus of our entire organiza-

RE: Does Lone Wolf do anything besides transaction management? JK: We also offer a curated ecosys-

tion is to make things simpler for our customers. I’ve seen what happens when a company culture cares more about the corporation than its customers. As CEO of Lone Wolf, I will not let that happen. Our team is committed to our customers’ success above anything else.

RE: Who are Lone Wolf’s customers? JK: Generally speaking, our customers are real estate professionals— agents, administrators, brokers, association executives and more. More specifically, our customers include 1.4 million agents, 9,000 brokerages and 20,000 offices in North America. We provide technology to more than 1,000 MLSs and associations and power the national transaction management member benefits in both Canada and the U.S., so chances are, if you’re a real estate industry professional, you’re likely one of our customers.

RE: How can real estate professionals benefit from these products? JK: The end goal with any software

tem of leading technology solutions. This ecosystem includes everything else that real estate professionals need to serve their clients—websites, CRM, lead gen, title and consumer services (like moving services, home inspections and escrow transfer). And we’re constantly collaborating with other innovators and leaders in the industry to add more components to this ecosystem.

RE: What’s your vision for Lone Wolf? JK: To go above and beyond the solutions that currently exist for the real estate industry and provide its professionals with an entire marketplace of integrated technology. A place that—composed of best-of-breed products, integrations and partnerships—ensures the real estate profession is amazing, exciting and, in a word, simple. RE For more information, please visit

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Green Principles Being Baked Into Every Aspect of Real Estate as the Tide Continues to Turn by Keith Loria

Introducing the 2019 EverGreen Award Winners


he Green REsource Council’s EverGreen Award, presented at the National Association of REALTORS®(NAR) annual convention, honors those real estate professionals who have dedicated themselves to sustainable business practices and a green life- and workstyle. In addition to possessing NAR’s Green Designation, EverGreen Award winners are recognized for performing exemplary acts in regard to green practices.

One of this year’s winners, Kimberly Pontius, is CEO of the Traverse Area Association of REALTORS®(TAAR), based in Traverse City, Mich. “This honor means a great deal to our association, as we will now be the proud recipient of three EverGreen awards,” says Pontius. While the association was first awarded in 70 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

2010 for being a pioneer in greening the MLS, in 2012, then trainer and REBAC Green Instructor Bill Costley was bestowed the honor. “This third award is personally gratifying for me,” says Pontius. “It signals an appreciation by NAR for over a decade’s worth of service promoting an understanding of the importance of green principles to our REALTOR® members and the consumers they serve.” Understanding the importance of NAR’s Green Designation, Pontius is seeing the tide turn as more and more real estate professionals share his belief. “A decade has changed a lot of people’s perceptions as they watch the world changing around them,” says Pontius. “I think that green principles are finally being baked into everything we do as people become more familiar with the triple bottom line approach to profit and prosperity. Personally, I think that the Pontius comprehension of the principles of green, sus-

tainability and community resilience—which build upon Another honoree of the EverGreen each other—is what will keep REALTORS® at the center Award is Christina Mathieson, of the real estate transaction. I strongly believe that LEED Green Associate, Instructor these principles will also be a part of the new member- for Green EDU, and REALTOR®with ship value proposition of our association.” Keller Williams in Woodbury, N.Y. The Traverse Area Association of REALTORS® first “It’s an incredible honor to be recmade an impression on the committee a decade ago ognized by NAR,” says Mathieson, Mathieson with the greening of its MLS. This put the city on a list who has been working exclusively on with Portland, Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and exploring the impact of solar and energy upgrades on a real estate transaction for the past four years. Boston as those leading on green initiatives. “The goal of this work is to effectively demonstrate “NAR was surprised when they did a call-in for whitepapers on greening the MLS and we sent a four-inch-thick, the value of solar power and energy-efficient upgrades how-to manual,” says Pontius. when we sell a high-performing home,” This was followed by an awareness “I think that green she says. “It’s one of the great joys by the TAAR of the impact of land-based of my career to be able to share the principles are finally knowledge I’ve accumulated with the activities on the water given that Traverse City is primarily a water destinaagents I train at Leap EDU’s Green being baked into tion that attracts a great deal of people EDU classes.” everything we do to its inland lakes, rivers, streams, Hundreds of the firm’s agents have Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan. taken Mathieson’s Green EDU “Beas people become coming A Solar Specialist” certifica“We began changing people’s perception about the relationship of land and more familiar with tion class, which uniquely qualifies water,” says Pontius. “We want them to them to handle the sale and purchase know that visiting, working or living here the triple bottom line of solar-powered properties for their in this wonderful place is a privilege clients. approach to profit that should be handed to future genera“In addition, Keller Williams strives tions in a sustainable way. Therefore, to adopt sustainability throughout its and prosperity.” we partner with our land conservancies, business practices, including limit– KIMBERLY PONTIUS ing the use of paper, encouraging our watershed centers, food and farming CEO, Traverse Area Association of agents and homeowners to reuse and networks, conservation groups, local REALTORS® (TAAR) repurpose, and offering quarterly sugelected officials and land use professionals. In fact, we have a saying that gestions on safer cleaning products states that this place is ‘Where Green Meets Blue,’ and and ways to live in a healthier home,” says Mathieson. knowing and protecting this makes our real estate more “We have a commitment to sustainability—helping our resilient to market forces.” agents and clients evolve their homes by using clean enBeing honored this year comes from what Pontius de- ergy, becoming more energy-efficient and improving their scribes as “an incredible series of great and understand- indoor air quality, and then ensuring that they receive the ing board members and leadership teams who get it and highest possible price when we sell their homes.” have formed a continuum of and approach to systems The team at Leap EDU, especially principal Adam thinking within our organization.” Barda, has been instrumental in enabling Mathieson to These green efforts have helped consumers under- introduce solar energy and energy efficiency to many real stand that the environment isn’t always on the outside. estate professionals. In fact, inside their homes is an environmental system “We also work with a Long Island nonprofit,, that’s connected, and, further, the home connects to oth- which has a network of real estate professionals who are er systems that are outside of their personal space. Ac- ‘go-givers,’ meaning they donate a portion of their earncording to Pontius, in order to lead a healthy and fulfilled ings back to the community,” says Mathieson. “Through life, both environments need to work together. PinkTie, we’ve been able to reach out to this network, as “People want a safe, secure and resilient place to live well, and get them on the clean energy and energy effithat reconnects them to the natural world,” he says. ciency bandwagon.” RE “Where I live is one of those regions, and when people come here and get out on the water and look back at the For more information, please visit land, they connect these dots.” RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 71

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Broker Success Story: Why Homesnap Became Lyon Real Estate’s Mobile Solution Commentary by Pat Shea


iving consumers what they want earned Lyon Real Estate a 97 percent customer satisfaction rating, based on client surveys conducted over the last three years through a third party. Leveraging “best-in-breed” technology versus utilizing a single platform solution helps our agents provide clients with the most engaging and effective home-buying and -selling experience.

When our previous mobile app was sold to a competitor, we selected Homesnap, the public-facing brand of the Broker Public Portal (BPP), as our mobile solution. It was important for us to provide the services and tools that our agents were accustomed to, and we were excited about an app that would also consistently improve as technology continues to accelerate. Homesnap does that and more. Lyon’s move to Homesnap is a win-win for everyone: the broker and the agent, but also the consumer. It presents a golden opportunity for our agents to get their listings in front of potentially thousands of people with no competing agent advertising interfering with their listings. This has been a pain point for agents with other national portals, where they must compete for leads on their own listings. Another excellent feature is the Homesnap Broker’s Suite, which delivers custom branding for our brokerage and an exclusive opportunity for our agents to brand themselves to their clients. We’re even more excited about what the future holds for our agents as we deeply integrate Homesnap

and drive leads into our CRM. This will make Homesnap our agents’ “go-to app” and drive significantly more adoption and usage. All of these factors made the selection of Homesnap as our mobile app an easy decision. Already, 95 percent of our agents are registered with Homesnap. As a brokerage, we have already generated 81,000-plus brand impressions through Homesnap—and we are just getting started. We are thrilled about the positive feedback from agents who are now actively using Homesnap.

Why Not Build an App? We know that some brokerages who find themselves in a similar situation may consider a “build your own technology” approach. But we had no desire to build a mobile app. First, you can buy technology today with even more exciting new innovation coming. Second, the Homesnap brokerage solution was by far the more cost-effective option. You can spend upwards of $100,000 building a basic brokerage mobile app, and then it takes half that much continued investment every year to maintain and update it. Third, due

to the intense competition with mobile apps in the space, consumer adoption of brokerage’s apps simply doesn’t scale. Homesnap is a proven mobile app in the hands of more than a million agents nationwide. It has reigned as the top-rated real estate app in the App Store for years. Our agents love the fact that consumers are coming directly to them through the Homesnap app. It connects each of our agents to their clients for life. As a brokerage, we also benefit from the fact that BPP with Homesnap consistently reinvests a major portion of its revenue into making the app better and more widely adopted. It’s actually in their business charter. What other mobile app company does that? Despite the surprise of unexpectedly losing a key technology services vendor, the good news for Lyon agents is that we haven’t missed a beat. Lyon continues to provide one of the very best technology stacks in the industry. We do believe, however, that the most important place to compete is on service. Homesnap helps Lyon agents deliver better service to every client. And that’s the kind of technology that helps us remain a leader in the industry. RE Pat Shea has more than 25 years of real estate leadership and sales experience in the Greater Sacramento Region in Northern California. Under his leadership as president and COO, Lyon Real Estate has maintained the No. 1 ranking for independent residential real estate brokerages in the market. RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 73

Michael (right) and son Drayton (company president, left) began work on the rebrand with creative agency 1000watt in November of 2018.

A Nod to History, a Look to the Future How Michael Saunders & Company Mastered a Brand Enhancement by Maria Patterson


n iconic local leader with both national and international reach for 43 years, Sarasota, Fla.-based Michael Saunders & Company (MSC) certainly didn’t need a branding campaign to make its presence known. But an increasing amount of “clutter” in the market led company Founder and CEO Michael Saunders and President Drayton Saunders to view the firm through a

74 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

fresh lens. “We knew it was time to enhance and tell our story a little bit better,” explains Michael. “In the competitive world we live in, you have to be clear on your story.” In this exclusive interview, the leaders discuss how, with partner 1000watt, they clearly defined their messaging and refreshed their brand, all while preserving the company’s rich history on the Gulf Coast.

Maria Patterson: Congratulations on a successful and beautiful brand refresh! I’m curious to know what led to the other words, why now? Drayton Saunders: First of all,

As the saying goes, if you are not telling your story, somebody else is.

Michael Saunders: A brand cannot be stagnant. It’s a living entity, like a person. You interact with it daily— it needs to be current, and it needs to be interesting. It needs to reflect the community, our leadership, our amazing agents and employees. We knew it was time to enhance and tell our story a little bit better. In the competitive world we live in, you have to be clear on who you are. You have to distill your story and distance yourself from the competition.

there’s never a bad time to go through a refresh. We have always tweaked our messaging to align with what we know is core to the company’s success: our values, our history in the market and our people, all of which are built into every aspect of how we do business. At the same time, we realized a thorough brand review was long overdue and we felt like this was the right time to do it. The industry seems to have more noise than ever about what it is to be a strong real estate platform, and we wanted to be clear about how we’re communicating our story.

MP: You refer to this initiative as a “refresh” as opposed to a “rebrand.” Please explain the difference, and why it’s important. MS: There was nothing broken about

Southwest Florida’s coastline is bordered by long, narrow barrier islands, pictured below. The jewel tones from the natural landscape of the region were the inspiration for the brand’s new palette.

the brand. It is a respected name, certainly within the community, as well as within the industry nationally and internationally. It just needed to be enhanced—kind of polished a bit. Enhance is an even better word than refresh. It was really about using a

lens to make it very clear who we are, how we are different, and what our value is to agents, staff and the community.

MP: Why and how did you make the decision to partner with an outside agency? MS: We’ve refreshed the brand often since 1976, but we never engaged an agency to work with us. We felt it was time to look at our message— the look, feel and emotional part of the brand story—and we knew if we did this internally, we might miss key things an outside agency with this type of expertise would find. We’ve worked with 1000watt on other projects and trusted their creativity and understanding of our space. But we had them pitch us on their vision. Going through something like this, the agency partner was equally as important as the decision to do it.

DS: Working with an outside agency allowed us to get the external jolt of perspective only new eyes can add. Knowing that everyone has a blind

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 75

spot, the value of a skilled agency let us look at every aspect of the company—from print to web to the story on the street—to bring out elements of our story that might have been missing. 1000watt brought the creative spark, which was an essential ingredient to the overall success of our process.

MP: Why was 1000watt the right choice? MS: We knew that the founders (Marc Davison, chief creative officer and Brian Boero, CEO) are highly creative and speak real estate. And they have built a respectable agency of outstanding creative and strategic thinkers and developed a methodology for producing original work that produces results. What amazed us was how deep they went and how detailed they were. Their approach was formidable and went well beyond discovery with Drayton, myself and our Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Horvat. They spent a full week living here in the community, speaking to everyone, including our agents, department heads, locals, community leaders and people on the street.

MP: What would you highlight as the most significant components of the brand refresh? MS: 1000watt pulled everything to-

gether to come up with one simple, three-word campaign mantra: “Nowhere But Here.” It speaks to who we are, the quality of our agents and services, and the community itself. We’ve grown up here, we wake up here every day, we have roots here. It’s really a mindset. At first, I pushed back on the mantra. But one day I sat under a tree and began thinking about it. I started applying it to everything. Nowhere but here can agents find someone as rooted as we are, with an international reach. Nowhere but here can they be involved in a charity like ours, the MSC Foundation. Nowhere but here can agents find fellow leadership, non-selling managers and division heads, tech and marketing support, and a community like ours. So much of the campaign 1000watt created touched on this sentiment. It took time, but I trusted them. When it finally hit me, I got it in a big way.

MP: How would you describe the visual elements of the campaign? MS: 1000watt underscored who we are and gave us that saturation of color reflecting the beaches and sunsets and lushness of our landscape. They gave us the power to take the brand color—our blue—that we’ve used for years, and make it pop with the added texture and color they designed.

And it’s all about the white space.

MP: Michael Saunders & Company has such a long and important history in the region. How do you tackle revitalizing the brand while not disturbing its roots? DS: One aspect was looking at the internal story and how it flows through our associates and all of our branded materials. Michael was very focused on the details of our history, which goes back to 1976. It was all about focusing on those details, then turning the lens and being hyper-focused on what that means in the community. Our agency’s approach was to go out into the community and take what they heard and use it in creative ways to re-engineer our presence through that narrative. We’re a local company that lives and works in the community. Our agents identify that we’re a company with roots and history in the community they love and care about.

MS: People think history is stuffy and old. But it doesn’t have to be. It all depends on how that story is expressed. We wanted to give a nod to our history, but a look to the future with something creative, fresh, bright and sharp. A fusion of historical strength and innovative, creative leadership. 1000watt pulled all those elements together to tell our story in a way that we’d be too modest to say, and really, we would never think to tell it. They helped us express all the things we built the company on over the years: values, trust, creativity, innovation.

Since launching her company in 1976, Michael Saunders has pushed the boundaries of real estate brand marketing. She’s pictured here, to the right of her mother, Fran Mayers (left) and her brother, Tom Mayers (center), standing in front of the company helicopter, once used to view the extensive development happening in Sarasota from a birds-eye view. 76 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

help them compete and increase business moving forward? DS: The rollout of the brand has

Beyond static colors, the brand’s refresh brings in dynamic tones and textures inspired by the landscape of the region Michael Saunders & Company serves.

MP: So how has the brand enhancement helped clarify the evolution of Michael Saunders & Company? MS: In the beginning, the company was just focused on waterfront properties. We’re still the leader in the upper end of the market and waterfront, but we have expanded to serve all markets. We wanted this refresh to give us options for agents to enhance and grow their own brands while proudly connecting to ours. We’ve given them a palette of color and texture to work with and we’re watching the brand enhancement come alive through our agents’ use of it in all media.

MP: How has this effort helped underscore the company’s competitive differentiation? MS: One of the first tasks that 1000watt undertook was an analysis of the competitive brands in the marketplace, as well as those who might enter the marketplace. We had to show how we’re different to the consumer and the agent. We’ve built the company based on relationships,

and that’s what makes us different. That’s what we wanted to get across to our agents and any agent looking for a home. It truly is our ethos—it’s the sum of everything we are.

DS: We know we are in a competitive industry, and when you look at the ingredients of a successful company, you think tools, local knowledge and creativity. What the brand exercise has done is to remind us that we bring all of those together in a unique way for the people we serve and the markets we are in. Ultimately, the competitive edge was to bring to light that we had a lot to celebrate and offer, and not be hesitant to tell that story. The microsite is a great example of taking that narrative and bringing it back to light in a way that is vibrant and different. It really showcases some of the new ways we are engaging the market.

been a strategic approach that includes layering in elements as we move through the fall and ramp up for 2020. The biggest piece of this was unveiling the concept of Nowhere But Here. The response to the messaging has been extremely positive. How the refresh translates to agents’ day-to-day business is about connecting their own story of Nowhere But Here. Real estate is local, it is people to people, and in an industry where it is easy to be distracted by the latest technology, our brand refresh ultimately doubles down on the importance of relationships. Whether it is working with our customers or introducing our communities to the newest curious visitor, when it comes to real estate, we want them thinking, Nowhere But Here.

MS: People say agents don’t like change, but it’s a myth. Agents love and want change as long as the change makes sense, is strategic, is executed beautifully and benefits them. Our agents think what we’ve done is very exciting. It helps define them in a new way and gives them a strong foundation and confidence in the company that supports them.

MP: Finally, what do you anticipate from the brand refresh moving ahead? MS: I couldn’t be more pleased with

MS: The microsite is a growing, breathing organism that continues to evolve. It tells our story and gives us the opportunity to never be static or stand still.

our enhancement. It’s a fabulous evolution. But this is not a one-anddone brand enhancement—it is a guideline and map for the future. Our in-house marketing and technology teams will continue to work with 1000watt to launch this campaign and evolve it over time. This is just the beginning, and we’re very excited for what’s to come. RE

MP: How was the brand refresh received by your agents? How will this

Learn more at the brand campaign microsite, RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 77

{Power Teams} Finish Strong by Verl Workman


oming out of the busy selling season stringing three or four good months together is okay for many; however, coaching clients of Workman Success are taught to start strong and finish stronger than they start. As we move into the final few months of the year, it’s easy to take our foot off the gas and coast through the next few holidays, gearing up again in January to begin 2020 and do it again.

Top income earners don’t believe in seasons, nor do they believe that people stop buying and selling houses in the fall and winter months. They know that to continue to grow every year, they have to be willing to do the things average agents and brokers aren’t willing to do. Here are five critical activities that when followed will help you grow marketshare while others are waiting for business to come to them later.

1. Build your 2020 business plan and execute. Don’t wait until January to build your plan. If you focus on January business today—create your four pillars of income—and build each pillar as if it’s the only thing you’ll do—you’ll find that your business will grow, and maybe even double, in 2020 regardless of the shifting market. 2. Increase your touches. Stop buying leads and focusing all of your efforts and available resources on strangers. By collecting sales data from tens of thousands of transac-

tions in North America, we know that the lowest cost lead and the most pleasant transactions come from your database. By setting a schedule to work your SOI and calling through your database regularly, you’ll find that if people hear from you, they’ll think of you when real estate comes up.

3. Schedule events. One of the best ways to increase your touches with past clients, friends and people you want to do more business with is to always be building for the next event. Elite producers are integral parts of the communities they serve. Halloween events, pie day, photos with Santa, backyard BBQs, movie nights, etc., are all great ways to increase your touches without sales messaging. We suggest a minimum of four events per year and as many as 12 as you get your team in place to execute. Events drive revenue. 4. Message to the market. As the market shifts from a seller’s market

to a balanced market to a buyer’s market, make sure you know how to explain what that means to each person in the transaction. Educate your clients with data, examples and stories that back up the market data so that they’re the most informed person in the transaction.

5. Follow up. Nobody wants to be “sold,” but people will choose the agent who follows up when they say they will and provides value during the incubation period. Set up your follow-up system and automate it so people don’t fall through the cracks. Persist until you succeed. If you’d like a copy of our WSS business plan template, I’m happy to share it. Please email me directly at

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 2019 79

{Power Teams}

For a Ship With No Destination, No Winds Are Favorable by Jim Knowlton


or a ship with no destination, no winds are favorable. This is true not only in maritime rules, but in elevating your business growth, as well. You must first define growth (where am I going and how will I get there?) before you can even begin to have clear benchmarks to evaluate your success. The key to this is creating a solid business plan that includes a “to-do” list in the form of an agile “idea backlog.”

If you Google “business plan,” you’ll get hundreds of examples, but how do you choose what’s right for you? Let’s break it down into manageable pieces. Start with your mission statement and core values. Your mission statement tells the world why you do what you do, which coincides with your core values. Core values are the expectations you have for your team’s behavior and attitude. Take the time to truly think about what message you want to send out into the world. Next, identify your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). What are your special skills, how can you use those to compensate for your weaknesses, and where do you have exposure to internal or external risks?

80 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

From there, focus on setting goals by asking yourself which tasks or activities you should do now to help yourself reach your future goals. Set short-, mediumand long-term goals and continually update your progress. Make sure your goals are clear and measurable, and be sure to include at least four pillars to your business. These are four areas in which you can specialize your skills in order to produce multiple streams of income. This protects you against inevitable market shifts and is a foundational piece to building wealth. Finally, create a budget. Have you ever heard the saying: “It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep”? Overspending on costly pay-per-click (PPC) platforms or other high-volume lead generation tools while not tracking the return on your investment can often lead to a lower net. Use an agile to manage your projects and goals. Originally developed in Utah and created for software development, agile has become an easy way to see and

manage multiple projects at the same time. Use only the section titled, “Idea Backlog,” and simply list all of your ideas for your business. Give each idea a numeric value between 100 and 1,000 based on importance and then sort. Choose three or four ideas and create a “sprint” to get the idea to market. A sprint takes a larger project and breaks it down into 10 or 20 steps, assigns a responsible party, a start and end date—and then runs. If you spend an hour in your agile every day, working on your business instead of in your business, you’ll find it much easier to elevate your growth. Nearly three decades of real estate experience— including 15 years of coaching with Verl Workman— has made Jim Knowlton one of the top agents in the country and one of the most popular coaches on the Workman Success Systems’ team. In addition to serving as director of Coaching for Workman Success Systems, Knowlton also owned and managed several real estate franchises, earned numerous awards for his performance and continues to lead a Keller Williams Mega Agent team in New Hampshire today. Contact him at

{Power Teams}

Comfortable Discomfort by Cleve Gaddis


ersonal and professional growth require us to be uncomfortable (since we have to stretch ourselves). At least that’s what my friend tells me… and he’s decided he doesn’t like being uncomfortable anymore. Let me help you get to know my friend a bit better. He’s over 50 and has been in sales and sales management for 30 years. He says he’s just downright tired of being uncomfortable. He’s sold landscaping services, vacuum cleaners (yep, you read that right), Christmas trees (doorto-door, believe it or not), high-pressure steam irons, mortgages (not for very long though), private coaching, houses, condos and townhomes. He’s even leased a few rental properties. He feels like he’s been talking people into spending money on products or services for so long that it might be causing him brain damage. He feels like he’s earned the right to be comfortable, but he has one itty-bitty problem…there’s still way more he wants to accomplish. What’s wrong with him? Why does he still want to accomplish more? Can’t he just relax a bit and coast along for a while? Nope. He can’t because there are more people to help, especially new people in real estate who just need to learn how to sell. He doesn’t know why, but he believes he was put here on earth to help others by either selling them a

product or service or by teaching others to do the same. Even as I write this, it sounds like baloney to me, but it’s totally true. “Whatcha gonna do about it?” I asked him recently, and here’s what he said. He’s going to:

1. Set higher goals than he set in the past—so high that he might not actually want to tell anyone, but he said he’ll tell people anyway. 2. Plan the strategy for achieving these goals. He’ll figure out exactly what’s necessary to achieve these goals, how each goal breaks down, what he needs to do each week and what activities are required. 3. Outline, in advance, the obstacles he expects to encounter while trying to achieve the goals he’s outlined—the impediments, if you will. Additionally, he’ll have a plan for removing or overcoming each of the impediments. (Now that’s a novel idea, isn’t it? Decide in advance why a goal won’t be achieved

and figure out how to achieve it anyway.) Are there many others out there who feel just like my friend? Like they’ve paid their dues and deserve to coast for a while? I’d be willing to bet there are, but there’s probably more for them to do, too. More people who need their help. More ways for them to change the world—even if it’s in seemingly small ways. If you’re tired of being uncomfortable, but you know you still have much more to do, then shoot me a quick email at and I’ll send you a copy of the goal achievement system I’m using to try to stay comfortable in my personal discomfort. Cleve Gaddis is a Master Coach with Workman Success Systems and a team leader with Gaddis Partners, RE/MAX Center in Atlanta. He learned sales the hard way, selling vacuum cleaners door-todoor, 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

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 81

{Power Teams}

Change. Sounds Easy Enough. by Sara Guldi


hange. Sounds easy enough. Yet, anyone who’s tried to change a habit or a pattern unsuccessfully will tell you that it isn’t. I think it’s both easy and hard. It may take us days, months or even years to decide that we’re ready to change, and then suddenly we make a decision and we change in an instant. Follow these five steps to elevate your growth to levels you never thought possible before when you’re challenged to change.

Know Your Outcome Be clear on what you want. This step is non-negotiable. Think about what you desire and list specific goals and outcomes you commit to achieving. Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. Take Action Have your list? Take action. So many times we sit and ponder what

the next step is without ever acting on it. Want a new career? Go look for a job. Want to lose weight? Eat less and move more. Sitting around wishing things would change is how life passes by.

Have Sensory Acuity Sensory acuity is using our senses to observe ourselves and others. Pay attention to the feedback and signals you get from yourself and others. Be aware of the feedback and use it to adjust as needed. Have Behavioral Flexibility Recently, in a real estate-focused Facebook group, I saw a post where a newer agent asked how agents dealt with “annoying kids distracting their parents” during appointments. Some commenters got indignant, berating him. Others offered great suggestions on managing the situation. I reached out to him and we had a conversation. He explained to me that reading social cues was challenging for him. I suggested some ways to preempt the distractions and how to be more flexible when they did come up, as they are bound to do. And, more importantly, to see that compassion would always help him. Compassion for the parents, compassion for the kids, and for

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - Viktor E. Frankl the situation. By being more flexible in the face of distraction, he’ll succeed at more listing appointments. If the way you’re behaving isn’t working, be willing to change your behavior.

Operate From a Physiology and Psychology of Excellence This includes how you stand, how you present yourself, the thoughts that run through your mind, as well as how you act. Be certain that the thoughts you think and the actions you take move you toward achieving your outcome. How do you present yourself every day? Do you dress for success? Do you know your market stats? Do you listen to respond and speak thoughtfully and clearly? Be congruent in how you act, behave and carry yourself in public and private in order to achieve your goals. Recognizing that you can change and acting to achieve that change will elevate your growth to levels you didn’t realize were possible. RE 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 annual production with an average sales price of approximately $165K. 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 businesses and lives using the performance coaching systems developed by Workman Success Systems. Contact her at

82 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

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The Redbud Group: Embracing Growth as an iBuyer’s Partner by Suzanne De Vita


ith the backing of his 25-member real estate team, Trent Corbin had been focused on his strengths: problem-solving, strategizing and staying on top of trends.

“We expect that we will have, between pending and active status, hundreds of listings by the end of the year.”

As president of The Redbud Group, based in Charlotte, N.C., he had built a gainful operation, allowing him to concentrate on his core skills, delegating to the group and handpicking leadership to manage the team. Then, Zillow called. “Zillow reached out to us and mentioned they were exploring talking to various teams about [Zillow Offers],” Corbin explains, whose Redbud Group, affiliated with Keller Williams SouthPark, is currently one of the iBuyer’s representatives. “We have 60 people on the team now [at press time],” Corbin says. “We’ve scaled very quickly.” In expanding Zillow Offers, Zillow

- TRENT CORBIN President, The Redbud Group

86 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

has hired local partners, and, to date, the company is in 15 markets. In Charlotte, The Redbud Group is the exclusive representative. After the agreement was finalized, Corbin and the group had to jump on preparations—roughly in a six-week window. “It required significantly scaling in a very compressed timeline,” he explains. “We did a lot of training with Zillow, and a lot of hiring, and a lot of thinking through how we would structure our hiring. As various parts of Zillow Offers fell into place, we hired people into those roles, so we didn’t

have people sitting idle early on. We made sure we had the right people in the right seats.” Of the hires, The Redbud Group brought on closing coordinators, expanded leadership and pricing specialists, many of whom were contracted initially, and then brought on full-time when listings shot up. Now, eight months in with Zillow (at press time), Corbin is fielding the increase in listings, and consumer feedback in the marketplace is promising. “The response has been very good,” he says. “We have very strong demand. The feedback we’re getting from sellers is that the process is very convenient, and it’s great to know that they have the certainty of a closing date and a purchase price. It’s made things easier for people who want to be able to look for their next home without the stress of being able to sell the one they’re in.” In Charlotte, where inventory is still tight, that convenience matters. “The Charlotte market is doing very well,” says Corbin. “Inventory in our market is still low, and we continue to see upward pressure on prices, because the demand is still very high.” With the jump in listings, The Redbud Group is gearing up for growth this year, and Corbin is eyeing the future with optimism. “We have a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) of $1 billion of annual volume within the next three years,” he says. “Within this year we expect to close north of 1,000 transactions, and we expect that we will have, between pending and active status, hundreds of listings by the end of the year.” RE

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




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{Broker Best Practices} Hitting 100 Agents, One Referral at a Time

by Zoe Eisenberg

real estate company. HomeSmart was already huge in other areas, but not here, so I saw a huge opportunity. However, no one had heard of HomeSmart, so I was trailblazing, and that has been the biggest challenge. In the past two years, we grew from three agents to 100. The key was getting over that hill of people knowing who we were and what we do. Once agents and clients understood that HomeSmart Realty South has incredible technology and broker support, as well as a fantastic company culture, things took off.

Vickye Vasser Broker/Owner HomeSmart Realty South New Orleans, La. Region served: New Orleans, La. Years in real estate: 25 Number of offices: 2 Number of agents: 100 I understand you have a legal background. Has this benefitted your journey in real estate? Prior to my real estate career, I worked in the legal field, and I keep my license active because I put those skills to use every day. It’s helpful to be able to negotiate with other brokers, and I’m able to identify and avoid pitfalls my agents could fall into and make sure they’re protected and supported. What is one unique challenge you and your team have been faced with over the last few years, and how have you adapted? I’m from New Orleans, but I lived in California for 20 years before coming home five years ago. When I moved back, I realized there was a void in the market of a transaction-based

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How have you facilitated such large growth in that time? My agents have exceeded my expectation in helping me grow. I don’t pay referral fees because I feel that when a potential agent comes in to interview and they’ve been referred by one of my agents, they usually ask, “Is there something in it for the agent that referred me?,” and when I say no, that makes the recommendation authentic. New Orleans is focused on Southern hospitality, and we do take care of each other. I take care of my agents, and my agents have helped me build my business. What does success look like for you and your team? Success to me would be striking that balance of financial success and freedom. A lot of the time when you grow, the price you pay is being a slave to your job. When I started, I was still wearing 18 hats, so success would be having the growth continue without burdening myself or my team. This means having the proper systems in place. HomeSmart helps by offering excellent systems, many of which I’m still learning.

“Once agents and clients understood that we have incredible technology and broker support, as well as a fantastic company culture, things took off.” - VICKYE VASSER Broker/Owner, HomeSmart Realty South

What is your top tip for new agents entering the field today? I’m a fundamentalist. I know technology is fundamental to success these days, but I tell agents to focus on their relationships. I love Brian Buffini’s personal notecard system, and I believe that if you target a few reliable people in your sphere that want to see you succeed, and you take them to lunch and let them know how important the relationship is, you will succeed. It’s not just personal contacts, either. Partner with businesses in the area. Ask your dentist if he or she has an agent to refer to their clients. If they say no, take them to lunch and see if they’re interested in having that kind of relationship.

For more information, please visit

Robert Slack Took the Lead on Leads: How They Got There and How They Grow From Here by Zoe Eisenberg

Where are your leads coming from? Dan Walters: The [lead] quality is very important to us, as our entire model is based solely on converting online leads. We have found that® leads are by far the leads that convert the highest for us. We are constantly looking for additional lead sources, but always come back to® due to our conversion rate. This is why we are possibly the largest client of® and spending in the millions per year.

Robert Slack (right) Founder & CEO

Dan Walters (left) Partner & COO Robert Slack, LLC Ocala, Fla.; Region served: Florida Years in real estate: 5 Number of offices: 3 Number of agents: 375 Robert, your company has a reputation of closing an abundance of leads. What is your top lead generation tip? Robert Slack: Just having the leads is not enough. If you don’t have the processes in place to manage the leads, you will never convert them. I’m sure everyone has heard of “speed to lead.” This is the most important task when working with online lead conversion. At Robert Slack, we have a call center that reaches out to our leads within five seconds. You must also have technology to continue to engage the leads over a long period of time.

When it comes to closing leads, what are the key things you focus on that allow you to aim for the highest ROI? RS: You must have systems in place to manage the distribution, engagement and conversion of each lead. Without having the tools and technology in place, you are taking a very high risk of losing money. You must also have agents who have been trained to manage the online lead customer. These leads tend to start a little earlier in the home search process, and you must have dedicated agents who will stay with them until they are ready. In terms of scaling up your lead program, what are a few of your “must-dos”? RS: We have always said that our business model is very scalable. We started with four agents less than five years ago and now we have over 375. In order to scale any organization, you must have a system and team in place. As we continue to grow, we have had to add additional layers of oversight with regional team leaders who are

responsible for ensuring agents are following up and converting the leads. How does your team recapture past customers? DW: Most agents have good intentions of instituting a past customer drip campaign, and some may do it very well. However, a majority of agents close the deal and start focusing on the next transaction. We understand that when people start their search again, they tend to go back to where they started. For us, that is®. We are huge proponents of the® Local ExpertSM program. Sellers and buyers tend to go to® to view comparable properties near their home to research value and to size up their competition when they are ready to list. Having our Robert Slack brand front and center where both sellers and buyers are searching is an excellent opportunity to have them remember our company and agents. How else does Local ExpertSM allow you to leverage your brand advertising with sellers? DW: An excellent component of the Local ExpertSM program allows you to choose to substitute your brand advertising for your listings. This is a huge advantage for both experienced agents, who now have a competitive advantage over other listing agents, and it provides newer agents with confidence to walk into a listing and have a marketing tool they can personally show on the® website. For more information, please visit

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Is Middle-Class Homeownership Becoming Unsustainable and Inaccessible? Indicators Point to a Challenged Segment, But There’s a Light at the End of the Tunnel by Liz Dominguez


he middle-class lifestyle is becoming more difficult to maintain, impacting homeownership




income group and creating impossible growth standards for entry-level buyers. According to Pew Research, 52 percent of U.S. adults lived in middle-class households in 2016. While the number has remained relatively steady over the years, underlying factors are threatening to disrupt the balance, making middle-class homeownership more difficult to maintain and, for entry-level buyers hoping to grow their wealth, nearly impossible to achieve. 90 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

What’s to blame? Experts point to burdensome debt loads, growing income disparities and regular market challenges as the biggest indicators that the middle class could be losing its strength in numbers. The Market Is Creating Affordability Challenges Many industry professionals believe housing affordability and tight inventory are the biggest obstacles. “Middle-class buyers in my market are unable to find homes due to a lack of inventory and increase in market value,” says Jacqueline Balza, a broker/salesperson with United Real Estate in New Jersey. “With market values increasing, this holds buyers back because there are barely any homes in their price point to view.”

Matthew Gardner, chief economist for Windermere Real Estate, says there needs to be a “significant increase” in home construction in order to meet demand—a goal he does not believe is realistic with rising construction costs and existing home prices. Gardner says home appreciation has been “stronger in the lowerprice tier compared to homes sold in the upper-price tier,” based on data from Black Knight, Inc. and Realtors Property Resource®. “This can stifle middle-income households,” says Gardner. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), metro home prices increased 91 percent in the second quarter of 2019. Edward Tull, director of Technology and Process Management at JB Goodwin REALTORS®, says that Austin’s median home price has increased 30 percent in just the last five years. “With home prices increasing in and around Austin, it can be difficult to find a single-family home under $350,000,” says Tull. “Home prices are surpassing what is considered affordable for middle-class families.” Balza has noticed a similar trend, stating “there really is no median price point anymore.” She adds “this has impacted many people trying to purchase property as a middle-class buyer because they now have very little to no buying options. When a home does come out in the buyer’s price point, my buyers then compete with 10 - 15 other families who are bidding on the same home. This is driving up home prices and making it extremely hard to get these buyers under contract, let alone being able to find them a home they like.” Income Strength Is Weakening While the national family median income increased to an estimated

$78,366, according to NAR, salaries that once supported the middle-class lifestyle have weakened over time. NAR data shows that a buyer putting down 5 percent as a down payment would need to make $62,192 per year in order to purchase a single-family home at the national median price. With 10 percent and 20 percent down payments, the income requirements drop to $58,918 and $52,372, respectively. Of course, middle-class rankings vary widely depending on location. In more expensive metro areas, such as San Jose and San Francisco, salary requirements for median home prices shoot up to $295,832 and $233,552, even with a 25 percent down payment, according to NAR. “Although there are certainly a number of housing markets across the U.S. that are affordable to middle-income households, they tend to be in areas with weak economies and, therefore, markets where many households do not wish to locate,” says Gardner. According to a Redfin report, Detroit, Mich.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Dayton, Ohio, are the most affordable metros for middle-class families. In Detroit, a family only needs to earn $26,690 per year in order to purchase within the median price point. The least affordable areas for middle-class buyers are all in California: Anaheim, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego. Debt Is a Serious Problem Financial obligations continue to pose a challenge to consumers trying to maintain or achieve a middleclass lifestyle. According to the Wall Street Journal, the middle class is going deeper in debt in order to maintain their lifestyle. In early 2019, households dedicated 9.9 percent of their dis-

posable income to paying off debts, which include auto loans, student loans and credit card debt. Gardner says he’s seen an increase in household debt across the board, with the exception of HELOCs, which decreased by about 7 percent. “In the second quarter of this year, total household debt was measured at $13.9 trillion—up by 4.3 percent year-over-year,” says Gardner. “The biggest obstacle to first-time buyers is certainly student debt loads, which currently stand at $1.48 trillion.” In Tull’s and Balza’s markets, high debt is a major factor when getting first-time buyers approved for a home loan. “I have seen consumers deplete their finances to stay close to Central Austin and maintain a middleclass lifestyle,” says Tull. Balza has seen many new buyers look for creative lending options because of their high-debt scenarios, but she has also witnessed a resilience to pay down debts, save money and purchase a home, despite their financial constraints. With high debts and less effective wages, market challenges like a lack of inventory and rising home values could significantly impact middleclass homeownership across the U.S. However, one indicator may be a glimpse of a silver lining ahead. According to the S&P CoreLogic/ Case-Shiller Indices, there’s an overall slowing of home price appreciation, potentially pointing to a balanced market, which could give the middle-class the boost it needs to strengthen and stabilize. RE

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 91

Don’t Skip the Inspection. It Could Cost Your Clients. Commentary by Adam Long


urchasing a home is your client’s biggest purchase in their lifetime. Even if they do find a great deal on a house, there are some additional expenses they might not think about, including the home inspection, closing costs, moving costs, etc. The home may appear to be in great condition or be newly built, but they should still have a home inspection performed—and here are the reasons why: in their eyes. Buying a home is a big decision, so it’s essential to have it evaluated first. A home inspection helps buyers save money and gives them peace of mind.

Relatively Inexpensive Since buying a home is such a significant investment, the small amount of money it costs for a home inspection should make the decision to have one easy, even if the buyer feels very comfortable with the home they’re purchasing.

Improper Additions or Installations Structural Issues One of the top reasons to have a home inspection is to determine if there are any structural issues with the home. Structural issues can cost thousands of dollars to correct if discovered, and by performing a home inspection, new homeowners can avoid these substantial expenses in the future.

Confidence About Their Purchase A home inspection assists in the sales process by making buyers feel certain about their purchase. It makes them happy and satisfied, while eliminating potential buyer’s remorse. Additionally, when you advise a buyer to have a home inspected, it makes you look more professional 92 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

A home inspection can reveal whether altered or added rooms, garages and basements were completed properly. Even new homes with systems that weren’t installed properly will become a financial “problem” that needs to be fixed at the expense of the new homeowner after the builder’s warranty expires.

Negotiating Tool If there are some material defects that are discovered during the inspection, it may be appropriate to renegotiate the terms of the original accepted offer. Depending on the terms of the original contract, deficiencies from the home inspection can be used as a reason for a reduction in the price or a concession from the seller toward closing costs.

Forecast Future Costs A home inspector can approximate the installation age of major systems in the home such as plumbing, heating and cooling systems, as well as important equipment like water heaters and appliances. They can diagnose the current condition of the structure itself, and tell you how long components have been in the home. Understanding when these components may require replacement can help homebuyers make important future budgeting decisions.

Insurance Some insurance companies won’t insure a home if certain conditions are found. Qualified home inspectors can save the homebuyer time and money in the long run by looking for issues that would cause a problem with insurance coverage. A home inspection will cost some time and money, but in the long run, your clients will be glad they chose to purchase a home inspection. The inspection can reveal material defects they may be able to get the current owners to fix or pay for before they move in. For new home construction, it’s also a crucial part of the home-buying process since the builder’s warranty may expire before an issue presents itself. If your clients are first-time homebuyers, an inspection can give them valuable information about home maintenance and a checklist of items that need attention to make their home as safe and sound as possible. Whatever the situation, addressing issues early through a home inspection can save them thousands of dollars down the road. RE

Adam Long is president of HomeTeam Inspection Service. For more information, please visit

Are You on Target to Win? by Terri Murphy



t’s almost here…and you know it’s coming. It’s the inevitable countdown to the end of the business year for most sales professionals. You know what I’m talking about—the moment when we take a minute to measure our progress toward our goals to see if we’re on target. Right now is the moment when you must decide whether you’re going to slow down or accelerate through the last quarter of the year. Super producers are set on finishing on top. They will not have a year go by without hitting their sales goals. As the seasons shift into year-end, it’s time to assess your intended goals and your actual productivity— and review your excuses for failure. Here are a few tips to take you from sluggish to superstar slugger:


Revert back to your ‘why.’ Ask yourself, “Why do I want more sales?” When you really study it, it’s not just about earning more money, but what you want to do with the income that’s the real driver. Your

“why” is the reason you perform the mundane activities that produce the magical results you’re seeking. When your “why” is strong enough, you’ll endure the endless challenges and hassles that try to derail your goals.


Examine where your time is being spent on non-dollar-productive activities. Real estate is a “shock collar” kind of business and every day provides new obstacles. You can’t control what happens in the world of real estate, but there’s definitely a way to control you. Your job is to power through those challenges for more profitability. Implementing a system for tracking your activities to see where you’re wasting time is a great way to identify those time-stealers that impact your time and make you less profitable. The Daily Success Habits Tracker* is a great tool to monitor and measure those daily activities that help convert more productive time to income. When you hard-block segments of

time for productive activities, you can better identify the time you waste on trivial administrative tasks that can be easily delegated and free up your schedule. When you focus on the dollar-producing work of prospecting, negotiating and closing transactions, your new habits result in high productivity at year-end.


See the people. How many times have you heard that people like to do business with those they “know, like and trust?” So why do most agents abandon their clients after the transaction is closed? The problem is they don’t have a consistent touch process to “see” their past clients, referral resources and sphere of influence on a consistent basis to nurture the relationship. The upcoming year-end is a great time to schedule annual client appreciation events in order to see this valuable group in a festive format. Think about combining the event with a local donation drive for all to do some good and have a great time at a non-salesy function. Even if they can’t attend, you’ll have “touched” them in a meaningful way that will keep you top of mind. Are you ready? It’s time to put the pedal to the metal, accelerate your sales to new heights and finish this year in the winner’s circle. RE * For a free copy of the Daily Success Habits tracking form and other productivity tools, visit Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, speaker, consultant and master coach with Workman Success. She is the author of five books, a TED Talk speaker and co-radio host on For more information, please visit or email

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 93

Close More Appointments Into Sales With a Value-Driven Strategy by Sherri Johnson


very top salesperson has an effective strategy and can create successful and positive outcomes for themselves. Most agents, however, don’t have a strategy, and, therefore, don’t know how to approach and convert a new buyer or seller client into an appointment. Having a strategy before every appointment, prospecting call or open house needs to be part of your agent’s action plan to create business for themselves. at a higher level and dramatically increase their conversion rates and income.

As their sales manager or broker, it’s your responsibility to increase their sales skills and abilities to help them overcome objections and convert more opportunities into listings, sales and income for both them and your office. These strategies will help your agents create better value that will help them close more appointments. By following these proven strategies, your agents will fill their calendar with listing, showing and negotiation appointments. Even better, they will be thanking you, their manager, for teaching them how to compete 94 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

STRATEGY 1: Hold weekly training and coaching sessions in your office. If you haven’t held a sales skillsrelated training event in your office, schedule one within the next week. Invite specific agents that would benefit from learning better communication, negotiation and strategy skills to help them attract more clients and actually close more leads into income. Any experience level should be included, as some of the most experienced agents don’t know how to add value and be effective with a strategy to close. New agents should be required to attend a session on how to communicate their value better to close more business to get appointments. Ask them what challenges they have, as well as any objections they’re having a difficult time overcoming, and make those your talking points. STRATEGY 2: Hold a workshop to train and coach on listing and buyer presentations. Your agents may know that your company offers a beautifully designed marketing brochure for them to use

on a listing or buyer appointment, but do they know how to communicate the value of the programs and benefits that make a difference to the experience of the seller or buyer? Additionally, many agents haven’t updated their presentations in a long time, and they don’t have the necessary marketing tools in their marketing proposals. Help them by showing them how to create more value for the customer with information on the entire home-buying process, from mortgage and pre-approval to home search, the contract, title, escrow process, home inspectors, moving checklists, and more. You’ll be helping them communicate their value proposition to a new buyer through better printed or digital materials that will differentiate them from the competition and get them hired. STRATEGY 3: Create a follow-up strategy for converting leads. Help your agents create follow-up systems for converting leads that aren’t immediately ready to list or buy. Through your CRM (or theirs), show them how to create a 90-day drip email campaign that includes 12 - 15 emails, each offering a different value to the buyer or seller lead. Using my exclusive GoldMine Pipeline™ Strategy, you can help your agents create predictable, consistent monthly income. For a free copy of my Exclusive GoldMine Pipeline™ Strategy, visit https://sherrijohnson. com/rismedia/. 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

{Meet the Newsmakers} 2019


Manny Gutierrez Broker/Owner Prime Real Estate of Florida


n established name in the luxury markets of South Florida, Manny Gutierrez, broker/owner of Prime Real Estate, has consistently zoned in on the client,

making it his goal to use his knowledge and expertise to truly enrich the consumer experience. “Our mission is to provide exceptional customer service while exceeding expectations, and, more importantly, it’s about building lifelong relationships with the people we serve,” says Gutierrez. His role in his firm’s explosive growth, with a goal of closing $1 million in transactions per week, makes him a notable figure in the real estate community. Additionally, his achievements in the accelerated and auction markets make him a stand-out and consummate real estate professional. Gutierrez’s past as a former marine, serving as a Promotional Board Liaison at the Naval Annex and the Pentagon, has played an influential role in his career,

“Our mission is to provide exceptional customer service while exceeding expectations, and, more importantly, it’s about building lifelong relationships with the people we serve.” specifically in creating and nurturing significant client relationships that have led to his impressive reputation as a leader and influencer within the community and within real estate as a whole. With more than 20 years of experience in sales, management, marketing, property operations, brand development, licensing, real estate and financial services, Gutierrez has sold luxury waterfront and estates, new homes, condominiums, country club communities, commercial property, multi-family dwellings and land. Previously, as co-founder and CEO of Entertainment Financial Management Corp., a management firm representing entertainers and athletes, Gutierrez represented Grammy award-winning artist, Scott Stapp, lead singer and frontman for the band Creed. RE

For more information, please visit To see all of our 2019 Real Estate Newsmakers, visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 95

{RISMedia’s Great Spaces}

“Villa Splendido” is splendid, indeed.

Homes With a View What beats a seriously stunning home? A seriously stunning home with a spectacular view. From Martha’s Vineyard to Malibu, these properties feature skylines to die for. by Zoe Eisenberg

Malibu Spec Spot Sports Sweeping Ocean Scene Roosting high atop a Malibu hilltop, this five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home overlooks what’s known as “Billionaire’s Beach,” and for good reason. With 17 acres of lush tropical landscaping, the three-story home offers 180-degree ocean views, a wellness center that includes a gym, massage room, and more; an outdoor entertainment center sporting a bar and pizza oven; and a standalone guest house.

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Ample indoor/outdoor living space, sunny terraces and a posh infinity pool further enhance the property’s “spa vibes,” and the endless ocean view lends the feeling that you’re living at the edge of the world. Referred to as Villa Splendido, the spec home was designed by Doug Burdge (AIA). Listed by: Ani Dermenjian, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Listed for: $49,995,000 Photos by: Luke Gibson Photography

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 97

Nothing beats that cityscape!

Matthew Perry’s Los Angeles Penthouse Most well-known for his role as Chandler Bing in hit ’90s sitcom “Friends,” actor and producer Matthew Perry recently listed his circular Los Angeles penthouse, which roosts atop the posh building known as The Century. Dubbed Penthouse 40, it occupies the entire 40th floor. Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the 9,000-square-foot unit—decorated by interior designer LM Pagan—hits a vibe that is somehow both contemporary and classic, with sleek furnishings, floor-to-ceiling windows and large, regal pillars throughout. The space includes four bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a deluxe screening room with plush velvet seating, a master bath with two tubs and a fireplace, as well as four large ter-

98 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

races. The cherry on the property’s proverbial cake, however, is its stunning 360-degree views of the Los Angeles skyline, from downtown to the ocean, the iconic Hollywood sign and the adjoining Hollywood Hills. Upon leaving the unit, one can explore an abundance of luxury features included in The Century building, such as an oversized pool

with cabanas perfect for lounging, a state-of-the-art fitness studio, a movie theater and wine storage. Listed by: Greg Holcomb and Cassandra Petersen, Compass Listed for: $35,000,000 Photos by: Michael MacNamara and Jason Speth

Originally a small cabin, this Aquinnah estate has been lovingly renovated.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s Martha’s Vineyard Estate Red Gate Farm, the formal name of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s Martha’s Vineyard estate, recently hit the market for $65 million. Located in Aquinnah, Mass., the estate sits on 340 acres at the edge of Squibnocket Pond, and includes over a mile of Atlantic Ocean beachfront access with gorgeous water views. Kennedy Onassis purchased Red Gate Farm in 1979, when the acres of land—operating as a sheep farm—housed nothing more than a small cabin on its grounds. The estate was built in 1981 and renovated in 2000, and has been treasured by the Kennedy Onassis family for over 41 years. Now, Jacqueline’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, seeks the next steward for this ecological haven. The property includes a 6,456square-foot, cedar-shingled main

This island estate boasts water and dune views.

residence with five bedrooms and two large decks facing the beach’s sandy dunes, as well as a two-story, four-bedroom guest house. Outside, features include two freshwater ponds, a vegetable garden, a blueberry patch, an outdoor pool, a tennis court and a fairy treehouse built for the Kennedy Onassis grandchildren. The original cabin still remains on the property. Other structures include a three-bedroom caretaker’s house, a barn, two garages (one with a two-bedroom apartment), a temperature-controlled storage building and a boathouse.

Red Gate Farm is being marketed globally by Christie’s International Real Estate, which is represented locally by Tom LeClair and Gery Conover, agents of LandVest, the exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate on Martha’s Vineyard. RE Listed by: Christie’s International Real Estate Listed for: $65,000,000 Photos by: Christie’s International Real Estate

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 99

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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.

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Confidence in Housing Leaning Positive by RISMedia Staff


mericans’ confidence in housing is leaning positive, according to the August Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI). However, their feelings mask some uncertainty.

“Growing expectations that mortgage rates will remain flat or decline

are reflected in the HPSI’s latest reading, which is now at a survey high even though other indicators of economic and housing market sentiment are flat to negative,” Doug Duncan, chief economist and senior vice president at Fannie Mae, says. “Unfortunately, much of the lower interest rate environment can be attributed to global economic uncertainties, which appear to have damp-

ened consumer sentiment regarding the direction of the economy. We do expect housing market activity to remain relatively stable, and the favorable rate environment should continue supporting increased refinance activity.” In August, the HPSI ticked up to 93.8—a high point in the survey. RE For more information, please visit

Webinar Recap:

Key Tips for Building a Rock Star Real Estate Team

by Jameson Doris


f you’re a broker, there’s a good chance you’re constantly on the lookout for real estate talent. But what are you looking for in an agent—and what’s the proper way to recruit? The latest RISMedia webinar took a look at just that.

Sponsored by mortgage lending leader Quicken Loans, the webinar, entitled “Brokers: Recruit Rock Star Talent for Your Rock Star Team,” ran down the myriad ways to recruit agents—and who you should be looking for. Featured on the webinar were Toney B. Black, Sr., broker-in-charge/ owner at Kingdom Builders Realty North Carolina, and Paul O’Connell, associate broker at Realty ONE Group and co-owner at HouzAZ and Associates in Arizona, as well as Michael Hudson, divisional vice presi102 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

dent of Agent Relationship Managers at Quicken Loans. Terri Murphy, president of Terri Murphy Communications and coach with Workman Success Systems, moderated the webinar. Murphy began the webinar by asking: “How do you reduce friction? How do you make the home-buying process simpler for clients?” The answer? Recruiting rock star agents who can provide that kind of service for clients. Here are a few of the top things to look for when recruiting talent:

NEW AGENTS There’s no substitute for experience, but the next best thing may be drive. New agents are often the ones that are going to put in the extra workday because they have to if they’re going to carve out a long-term career as an agent. “We’ve found that many of the new agents are the ones putting in the real effort,” said Black. “They’re starting from the ground floor.” SELF-MOTIVATED INDIVIDUALS “We need to help our team members because if we’re just calling up leads that are given to us, we become one dimensional,” said O’Connell. Finding agents that are selfmotivated and willing to put in the work to garner leads and contribute to their team, and the brokerage in general, should be one of your highest priorities. O’Connell added that your goal, when recruiting, should be to find people who share a common vision and are in it for the long haul. A SOLID SPHERE OF INFLUENCE An agent’s greatest asset, or at least one of them, is having a wide sphere of influence. Engaging and enthusiastic individuals who join a brokerage and are already bringing an address book full of numbers of friends and relatives will automatically have a leg up on others. “I’m looking for agents who come with a solid sphere of influence,” said Black. “Those that are willing to make daily touches and aren’t afraid to reach out to their father’s mailman.” RE To view the webinar in full, visit https://bit. ly/2PiWrbe.

Jameson Doris is RISMedia’s blog/social media editor.

{Blog Spot}

For Your Clients:

How to Find the Right Home If You’re Part of a Beginning Family by Meghan Belnap


s your family grows, it’s important to create an environment that’s conducive to creating lasting experiences and memories. That’s why you should ensure your family has a comfortable and spacious place to live.

If you’re part of a beginning family, you’ll need to consider which type of home will work best for you. Here are some things to think about:

COST Buying a home is a massive investment that will require upfront costs. You’ll need to consider whether you have enough to cover the down payment, closing costs, and more. Sure, it’s possible to negotiate a portion of the fees with your agent’s help; however, you don’t want to come to the table with no money down. MAINTENANCE Once you’ve purchased a home,

you’ll want to consider the cost of maintenance. This is one factor that many people don’t fully take into consideration. It’s wise to set money aside to cover expenses like repairs and updates. It’s also important to consider monthly maintenance costs, like various utility bills.

RESALE VALUE If you decide that your next home is where you’ll want to set your roots, you don’t need to worry about reselling your home; however, if you know that you’ll want to upgrade within the next 5 - 10 years, it’s a good idea to consider the resale value of both options. If you were to add a few up-

grades to a single-family home, the impact it can make in terms of how much more money you’ll get when you resell can be major. A real estate professional can help you work through those details to help you decide the most feasible option for your family.

SPACE FOR KIDS The more children you plan to have, the more space you’re likely going to want. While you can maneuver around the dilemma of limited space by using bunk beds and room dividers, that can only last so long. Think about the future members of your family and the space you’ll need as you figure out the type of home to buy. Ultimately, you need to make a decision that honors the goals you’ve created. As you think about your goals, your family’s future and the reality of your situation, it’ll be easier to make the decision that works best for you. RE Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. This article originally appeared on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit us at

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 103


Real Estate

A real estate team can be a lucrative venture…

TEAM Guide

But creating or expanding a team involves many challenges that must be tackled head-on in order to reap the rewards. In RISMedia’s Ultimate Real Estate Team Guide, dozens of leading teams from across the country discuss strategies for building and running a winning team, sharing best practices on:

• Navigating the legalities of forming a business entity • Tackling financial challenges • Hiring, motivating and delegating • Creating work-life balance • Determining marketing ROI • Choosing the right technology • Creating a profitable social media plan • Successfully generating and converting leads

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Homebuyers Torn: Should I Buy, or Hold Off? by Suzanne De Vita


re homebuyers making moves, or sitting it out? Both narratives take, a new report shows.

According to August data from®, there are buyers locking in low mortgage rates today, and buyers delaying due to economic uncertainty. How do we know? The movement of prices and supply. According to®, in August, inventory slid 1.8 percent year-over-year—a first in the past year—and the median national price rose 4.9 percent. However, comparing month-overmonth numbers, the median price reversed 1.8 percent—the biggest fall for that period since 2012, and a likely marker of uncertainty. “The state of the housing market as we head into the latter half of 2019 is a tug of war between increased affordability and economic anxiety,” explains George Ratiu,

senior economist at®. “We’re starting to see this tension play out in our August data. On the one hand, lower interest rates have given buyers more purchasing power, which is contributing to August’s decline in national inventory.” The average 30-year fixed rate recently sunk to 3.49 percent, according to Freddie Mac—a low not seen since 2016. “However, concerns over trade wars and cutbacks in corporate spending are causing some buyers to postpone their search,” Ratiu says. “This is contributing to both the slowdown in prices, as well as the inventory decline, as buyers stay put in their current homes.” Beyond current events, if a downturn hits, 56 percent of buyers could

postpone purchasing, according to a recently released separate survey, also from®. Of those findings, 36 percent of buyers expect a recession in 2020. “If the headwinds of economic uncertainty intensify, it could prompt a decrease in buyer demand and shift housing inventory’s current trajectory, but if increased purchasing power prevails, we could see even more inventory declines and intensified competition between buyers,” Ratiu says. In another recently released survey, conducted by Pulsenomics and Zillow, analysts believe construction could stall until 2022, or even later, exacerbating the inventory shortage. In July, housing starts ticked up 0.6 percent year-over-year, the Commerce Department reported— but, in preowned supply, there were 1.6 percent fewer for-sale homes, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. “The American housing landscape was shaped in a big way by the drive for the classic American Dream; swaths of cities were set aside solely for single-family, detached homes, with big minimum lot sizes and slow local review processes,” notes Skylar Olsen, director of Economic Research at Zillow. “Jump ahead three decades and housing affordability is a major issue across the country.” The affordability challenge hampers millennials significantly. In fact, according to recently released Bankrate findings, 22 percent of millennials “don’t ever think they’ll be able to save enough for a down payment.” RE

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 105


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

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

RREIN Service Providers

ABR®..................................................................................... 108

Ascent Real Estate, Inc........................................................... 112

American Home Shield®......................................................... 108

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate... 112

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices......................................... 108

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices C. Dan Joyner, REALTORS®....112

Buffini & Company................................................................. 108

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty................... 112

Century 21 Real Estate LLC.................................................... 108

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®.....112

Certified New Home Specialist ............................................. 108

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties............ 112

CINC (Commissions Inc)......................................................... 108

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties............ 112

Cole Realty Resource............................................................. 108

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties.................112

Create for the Human............................................................. 108

Calcagni Real Estate.............................................................. 112

CRS Data............................................................................... 108

CENTURY 21 Award................................................................ 113

Darryl Davis Seminars............................................................ 109

CENTURY 21 New Millennium................................................. 113

The Entrust Group.................................................................. 109

Coach REALTORS®................................................................. 113

ERA Franchise Systems, LLC................................................... 109

Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®............................. 113

FCA US LLC............................................................................ 109

Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty.................................. 113 109

Diane Turton, REALTORS®....................................................... 113

HomeSmart International....................................................... 109

Fillmore Real Estate............................................................... 113

HomeTeam Inspection Service................................................ 109

First Team® Real Estate.......................................................... 113

HSA Home Warranty............................................................ 109

GARDNER, REALTORS®........................................................... 113

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®........................ 109

Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate.............................................. 113

Motto Franchising, LLC®......................................................... 110

J. Rockcliff REALTORS®........................................................... 113

MoxiWorks............................................................................. 110

Jordan Baris, Inc., REALTORS® Real Living............................... 114

National Association of REALTORS®........................................ 110

Kinlin Grover Real Estate........................................................ 114

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors................................................ 110

Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc................................................ 114

Quicken Loans....................................................................... 110

Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty.................... 114

Real Living Real Estate........................................................... 110

McCOLLY Real Estate.............................................................. 114

Realogy Holdings Corp........................................................... 110

Page Taft................................................................................ 114®.......................................................................... 110

Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate.............................................. 114

Realtors Property Resource®.................................................. 111

Randall, REALTORS®.....................................................................114

Realty Executives International............................................... 111

RE/MAX 440 and RE/MAX Central......................................... 114

Realty ONE Group.................................................................. 111

RE/MAX Gateway................................................................... 114



RE/MAX, LLC.......................................................................... 111 RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®.............................. 111 Top Producer® CRM................................................................ 111 Workman Success Systems.................................................... 111 Xpressdocs............................................................................ 111 Zillow Group........................................................................... 111 zipLogix.................................................................................. 111

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 107

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

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. • Michael Miedler, President & CEO Century 21 Real Estate LLC is a leading global residential franchise real estate sales organization, with over 9,400 independently-owned and -operated franchised brokerages and more than 127,000 independent real estate professionals in 80 countries and territories worldwide. The Century 21® System capitalizes on brand marketing, promotions and sponsorships, and fundraising efforts with 108 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

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

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, email

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.

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

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

THE ENTRUST GROUP (800) 392-9653 • 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 United States and 31 other countries and territories. ERA Franchise Systems, Inc. is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp.

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

HOMES.COM (866) 697-3308 • 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 nearly 170 offices in 28 states and over 16,000 agents. HomeSmart International offers franchisees, brokers and agents efficiency and innovation, coupled with the systems and technologies necessary to succeed in today’s evolving real estate industry.

HOMETEAM INSPECTION SERVICE (844) HOMETEAM • 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

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

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 more than 565 firms that span over 70 countries with 130,000 sales professionals, visit

RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE October 2019 109



(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.

(800) 294-5591 • • Tampa, Fla. · Stephanie Bowling, Director of Marketing (416) 620-3572 Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post is the No. 1 home inspection brand in North America with over 550 franchisees located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The Pillar To Post difference includes a printed on-site report allowing for faster closings, each inspector carrying $1 million in E&O insurance to cover both the agent and the broker, and convenient scheduling options to meet every client’s needs.


(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 nine years. Along with being the largest mortgage lender, Quicken Loans leads the industry in technology with Rocket Mortgage, the first-ever completely online mortgage experience. Whether applying for a mortgage online or with a mortgage banker, Quicken Loans is committed to client experience.

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

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (800) 874-6500 • • Chicago, Ill. • Bob Goldberg, CEO • Victoria Gillespie, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer • Katie Johnson, General Counsel, Chief Member Experience Officer • Mark Birschbach, SVP, Strategic Business Innovation and Technology • Marc Gould, SVP, Member Development The term REALTOR® identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. NAR members have access to the REALTOR Benefits® Program, NAR’s official member benefits resource, providing savings and special offers on products and services just for REALTORS®. Program partners are industry leaders who understand the unique needs of real estate professionals. Visit NAR is also proud to offer the .realtor™ and .realestate top-level domains to members to help them create a robust digital presence that supports their identity as a REALTOR®, and everything they do for their business. Visit NAR offers a number of designations, certifications and opportunities for continuing education that support member development. Visit NAR empowers REALTORS® to evaluate, enhance and showcase their highest level of professionalism with the Commitment to Excellence program. Visit The REALTOR® Store features publications, webinars and research reports, including the top-selling 2018 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, while benefitting NAR members. Visit

110 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE


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) 407-2162 • • Madison, N.J. • Trey Sarten, VP, External Communications Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) is a global leader in residential real estate franchising with company-owned real estate brokerage operations doing business under its franchise systems, as well as relocation and title services. Realogy’s brands and business units include Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Climb Real Estate®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, The Corcoran Group®, ERA®, Sotheby’s International Realty®, ZipRealty®, NRT LLC, Cartus, Title Resource Group and ZapLabs LLC. Collectively, Realogy’s franchise system members operate over 16,300 offices with approximately 300,000 independent sales associates doing business in 113 countries and territories worldwide.

ENGAGE WITH REALTOR.COM® (800) 878-4166 •® 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 11,000 real estate professionals across the country, Realty ONE Group empowers real estate professionals with business tools, technology, coaching and 24/7 support that aligns with the brand’s core belief in being pro-agent with a YOU-First Focus. Realty ONE Group is committed to creating a dynamic “coolture” that focuses on helping their professionals achieve greater success, faster, and continues opening doors for their clients, real estate professionals and franchise owners every day.

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


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. Workman Success Systems Founder, Master Coach and Speaker Verl Workman delivers the necessary performance skills, the latest and most effective tools, and proven dialogues and systems that work. To hire Verl to speak at your next event, visit 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’s led by zipForm® Plus, the exclusive and official forms software of the National Association of REALTORS®.

(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.

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

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES AMBASSADOR REAL ESTATE (402) 493-4663 • (800) 477-7653 • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate is dedicated to providing progressive, quality real estate services in Nebraska’s metropolitan Omaha and Lincoln surrounding areas. We service all types of markets: single-family residential, new construction, condos, corporate relocation, third-party relocation, acreages and commercial real estate. With approximately 400 licensed agents, we have an agent to meet your needs regardless of the style, price or age of the property you are looking for. We 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 more than 40 locations and approximately 1,800 sales professionals. The full-service brokerage company, founded in 1999, is part of HomeServices of America, the nation’s premier provider of homeownership services. The company is a franchise member of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ network, one of the few organizations entrusted to use the worldrenowned Berkshire Hathaway name. The company offers residential and commercial services as well as seasonal rentals, property 112 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

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

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 20 locations and approximately 900 real estate professionals, New Millennium is consistently included in REALTOR® Magazine’s Top 100 Companies List for all real estate firms nationwide regardless of brand. It is also a past winner of the prestigious Cartus Masters Cup, the Network’s highest honor. The Cartus Broker Network is the largest relocation network in the world and includes more than 775 handselected brokerages in the United States.

COACH REALTORS® (800) 321-7356 x139 • · 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 homegrown, locally-owned and internationally known. Also, we love to give back to the communities we serve through GARDNER LOVE, which is the philanthropic arm of GARDNER, REALTORS® and The Gertrude Gardner Foundation.

GLORIA NILSON & CO. REAL ESTATE (732) 450-2300 • 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 2019 113

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

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

KINLIN GROVER REAL ESTATE (508) 420-1130 • 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 $31.1 billion worth of homes and helped people buy and sell homes nearly 85,000 times in 2017. Visit for more information.

LUSK & ASSOCIATES SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY (717) 291-9101 • When you work with Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty, you can count on specialists who can answer your questions, apply in-depth knowledge of current market conditions, and access extensive resources that can expedite the sale of your home. 114 October 2019 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 2019 115

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+

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+

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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 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

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

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+ 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


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

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

Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate 826 Alexander Rd., Princeton, NJ 08540 Contact: Mark Williams, Relocation Director Tel: (888) 467-MOVE (Relocation Line) • (609) 750-7655 (Direct) Email: • 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+

Jordan Baris, Inc., REALTORS® Real Living 50 Mt. Pleasant Ave., West Orange, NJ 07052 Contact: Carol Abdo, Relocation Director Tel: (973) 736-1600 (Office) • (800) 4-JBARIS (Toll Free) Fax: (973) 736-5159 Email: • 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:

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: Mark Williams, Relocation Director Tel: (888) 467-MOVE (Relocation Line) • (609) 750-7655 (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 2019 117

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 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 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

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: Nichole Moore, Director of Relocation, (864) 678-5362,, Jo Anne Conner, Destination & Broker-to-Broker 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+

118 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

VIRGINIA CENTURY 21 New Millennium 5990 Kingstowne Towne Center, Alexandria, VA 22315 Contact: Todd Hetherington, CEO • Tel: (800) 382-1101 • Fax: (703) 822-0136 Relocation Contact: Jeff Hetherington, Director of Relocation Email: • 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

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®...................................................................................12

Quicken Loans.............................................. 19, Bellyband

American Home Shield.....................................................7

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

Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA)....50

Real Estate Webmasters..................................................27

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

REality® Software............................................................101

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

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

Create for the Human...................................11, 20, 53, 78

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

Darryl Davis Seminars, Inc...............................................59

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

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

RISMedia’s ACESocial.......................................9, 84-85, 119


RISMedia’s Content Solutions.........................................66

RISMedia’s Power Broker Reception & Dinner................5


RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®...........100, 106


RISMedia’s Ultimate Real Estate Team Guide............104

HSA Home Warranty..............................................................22

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

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World ................15

Stewart Title.......................................................................55

NAR’s e-PRO® Certification.............................................42

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

National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP)®..................................................72

Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem NAWRB...............................................................................64

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

Workman Success Systems........................................83, 87


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

Build Your Brand and Generate Leads! “ACESocial allows us to provide a valuable, time-saving social media solution to all our sales professionals. Offering company-branded, professional posts through ACESocial adds value not only to our customers, but also to our REALTORS®!” - Rei L. Mesa, President & CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty

For more information, visit or contact or (203) 855-1234 ext. 1.

{re: Real Estate}

‘My Sharona’ Muse to MySharona.Realtor

Meet the woman who tied her famous name to her real estate domain. Learn how to own your online brand, too.


hen a song written about you reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is synonymous with pop culture, you use it in your business

marketing. After all, it was Sharona Alperin’s first name that catapulted her to fame at 17 years old when she found herself the inspiration for The Knack’s lead singer Doug Fieger in the hit song “My Sharona.” The catchy

“The real estate domains convey that I am a real estate professional, and they allow me to distinguish myself in the business.” – Sharona Alperin Sotheby’s International Realty, and

pop tune that leads up to those familiar repetitive lyrics—“My Sharona!”—turned the Los Angeles native into an instant household name. Years after “My Sharona” first topped the airwaves, Alperin says hardly a day passes by when she isn’t asked whether she’s “that” Sharona. She’s never hidden from the song’s enduring success. Instead, she’s found ways to build a powerful real estate brand that leverages her name and her Los Angeles expertise to cater to Hollywood A-listers and international buyers and sellers as a real estate associate at Sotheby’s International Realty. Alperin consistently ranks in the top 2 percent for sales volume among agents recorded nationwide by NRT, the parent company of Sotheby’s International Realty. She knows when people first meet her, they’ll undoubtedly want to talk about the song. It has become an icebreaker of sorts in her real estate business. She realizes it’s what makes her unique, and so, she’s used her “My Sharona” identity to grow her real estate business. “I do have an advantage with my name. It’s recognizable,” says Alperin, “but my marketing is what helps sell real estate.” That’s why when the National Association of REALTORS® started offering the .realtor™ and .realestate top-level domains for real estate professionals to customize their website addresses, Alperin jumped at the opportunity. She can now directly tie her famous 120 October 2019 RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE

name to her career as a real estate agent through the domains and “The real estate domains convey that I am a real estate professional, and they allow me to distinguish myself in the business,” she says. “It has been a fantastic marketing tool.” What’s more, and also fulfill Alperin’s own personal mission. She doesn’t just want to be remembered as the inspiration behind the hit song “My Sharona,” but also as Sharona the REALTOR®, with an equally long-lasting passion and enthusiasm for real estate. What’s Your Brand’s Domain? My Sharona was a natural fit for Sharona Alperin’s toplevel domain. But, you don’t have to be the muse to a hit song to own an online brand that makes your business stand out. When you think beyond the dot-coms, you may find a greater opportunity to carve out your brokerage’s special space through a unique URL that ties directly to real estate. Both .realtor™ and .realestate can be used to connect your name, brokerage, niche, geographic location, hobby or personal interest to your real estate brand through customized, memorable URLs, whether your hook is something like or Find your differentiator and take ownership over your online real estate brand. Start by claiming your domain: The .realtor™ domain is exclusively available to members of the National Association of REALTORS® and the Canadian Real Estate Association, and .realestate is available to the general public. The .realtor™ domain is free for the first year, one per individual REALTOR®. Learn more at RE

SELL MORE HOMES WITH A NAME THAT SELLS ITSELF. 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.

Š2019 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.

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Real Estate Magazine - Michael Saunders & Company - Oct. 2019  

Custom version of Real Estate magazine for Michael Saunders & Company

Real Estate Magazine - Michael Saunders & Company - Oct. 2019  

Custom version of Real Estate magazine for Michael Saunders & Company

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