Charlie Young is the president and CEO at ERA Real Estate.
Are you optimistic about 2016? Why?
I am optimistic about 2016. Looking at industry forecasts, I believe the economy will continue steady progress forward and housing will play an important role. Our ERA brokers across the country are telling us that first time home buyers are making a comeback, the move-up market is being fueled by recent price appreciation and, while still challenged, new construction is beginning to increase to meet demand.
ERA and our member brokers are in a terrific position as we enter 2016. In recent years, we have opened 12 major US markets with market leading affiliates through our ERA Powered program. We’ve significantly grown our agent counts.
We are growing market share across the country. We have reinvented our brand and the way we believe brokerages should operate. The deployment of the ERA Zap technology platform is a big part of this transformation. In short, our brokers and agents are positioned better than they ever have been to capitalize on the vibrant and evolving market we are in.
Will agents be more productive in 2016?
I believe ERA agents will be more productive in 2016. We’ve armed them with the ERA Zap platform. This tool gives consumers world class access to all the listings in the market and gives our agents a battle-proven tool for managing and marketing to their new prospects and their spheres of influence.
Are you planning to expand, contract or maintain our business in 2016?
At ERA we are in growth mode. We expect to continue upon our current expansion path of adding more markets with market share leading affiliates, adding to the significant growth we have seen in the past five years. We also see our existing affiliates expanding their market share in the markets they occupy via mergers and acquisitions and by attracting more agents to their companies.
What is the biggest challenge we face in 2016?
ERA has experienced a major reinvention in recent years. Making sure all our brokers and agents are keeping pace with us as we evolve and grow is challenging, but it’s the right kind of challenge to have.