Patrick F. Stone, chairman of the Stone Group, is best known for his past roles as vice chairman of Metrocities Mortgage and CEO of Fidelity National Information Solutions, a former majority-owned subsidiary of Fidelity National Financial.

Stone has had a lengthy career in the real estate industry, and brings with it a solid understanding of markets and processes.

He will speak at Real Estate Connect in San Francisco, July 23-25, 2008.

He answered a set of questions posed by Inman News:

What do you see happening in the real estate market in 2008?

The real estate market will continue to stagnate through 2008 and 2009. Government programs will help alleviate some of the foreclosure pressures, but stricter underwriting standards have caused affordability to be an issue. First-time home buyers are effectively out of the market for the time being.

What advice do you have to help real estate agents and brokers get through this market?

Focus on what is selling and where it is selling. Certain markets and price ranges continue to experience positive market dynamics. Recognize what is selling and focus intensely.

What was your first job?

Librarian assistant.

What made you get into real estate?

Curiosity and an interest in figuring out how to make processes work better.

What’s been your biggest challenge in running the business?

The biggest challenge in my career is trying to maintain market awareness. The higher you rise in an organization, the more obstructed your view. Subordinates will present information through the filter of their own agenda. You must take the time and make the effort to touch the business at the street level.

If you had one thing to do over again in your life, what would it be?

Have more children.

What style of home do you live in and when did you buy it?

Mediterranean — bought it last year.

What worries keep you awake at night?

The inevitable victory of entitlement over opportunity.

What lesson did you learn in the last year?

The same lesson I learn every year: focus, focus, focus, focus …

What would your second career choice be?


What kind of music do you listen to?

Sixties, jazz and classical.

Who is your hero?

My father. I wish I would have appreciated him more and told him so more often.

Hear Stone speak at Real Estate Connect in San Francisco, July 23-25, 2008. The conference program and registration are available online via the Connect Web site.


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