Connect the Speakers: Ryan Gorman on NRT's high-touch and high-tech hybrids

Informing and arming agents with what they need to be successful in the market as it unfolds

As the President and CEO of NRT, Ryan Gorman has been managing the day-to-day operations of Realogy’s company-owned brokerages — quite a large feat, and one that Gorman has proven himself skilled at executing. He helped launch NRT’s property management this business and has been highly focused on taking an already prestigious business to the next level.

Gorman will be speaking on stage at Inman Connect New York, January 29 through February 1 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. He told us about how he sees the agent’s role shifting in the future and why a product mindset is his focus right now.

Tell us a little more about your session. How will it address how the industry can embrace the shifting market?

In terms of facing the market with confidence, I do have a lot of confidence in agents’ role not just in the current market but in future markets. A large part of what we’re doing is informing and arming agents with what they need to be successful in the market as it unfolds. One of the approaches we’re taking is marrying a boutique high-touch operation and a high-tech operation where it makes sense, to ensure that agents are investing their time as trusted advisors in applicable ways. Some would view iBuyers as a threat to the agents; we launched a product called Catalyst that allows agents to augment their portfolio of services with a quick-cash offer so they can offer their full breadth of services to a listing client and/or a cash offer. So agents are armed with these various tools.

What do you think are the biggest opportunities to focus on in the real estate industry right now?

For us, it would be in that vein of arming agents with what they would need into the next generation. Focusing on that with which you have the greatest leverage: Agents as trusted advisors who know their clients and their properties and who can leverage some things more than others. We talked about the iBuyer trend and how they could potentially leverage that trend; there are other trends that might be harder to leverage and we might not focus on as much. Buyer lead generation is of course important, but seller lead generation and differentiated presentation to sellers and presenting options to sellers, that’s a bigger opportunity today. I think a lot of the investment and focus in the industry in general has been on the buy side, and the list side focus could include advising sellers and potential sellers of their options and creating a differentiated message, and then developing the content to help them figure out what to do next.

To stay competitive, agents, brokers and companies need to execute quickly. What do you feel are key areas where quick execution can vastly improve the customer experience?

I think execution is sort of the watch-word for 2019 for us for sure; the best encapsulation of that would be having a product mindset, very focused on user experience and delivering the right solution at the right time. Creating an agile methodology, to use the software term, that focuses on the problem and level of agility combining the technology team with deeply knowledgeable industry folks, and to insure we’re not just talking about the industry and informed about where it’s going, but we’re developing tools that follow where the industry is going and shaping the future of the industry. That really comes down to execution, which for us internally means a shift from a team mindset to a product mindset and a waterfall mindset to a future mindset, where we develop, iterate and improve.

What are your hopes for the next 12 months, and what will you be working on?

The concept of that high-touch boutique marketing service matched with the high-tech match to the platform — one big example of that is Listing Concierge, it’s a proprietary platform we’ve built that utilizes and engages the best technology we’ve seen to create the best marketing for listings. So we can walk into a listing meeting, wow them with what we’re able to do and then help the agent execute that. We’re rolling out a relatively customized productivity suite, homegrown technology and insights — making sure the tools are working very cohesively and seamlessly together for the agents, and that will be a combination of mobile and social approaches for us. And we’re working very closely on mining Facebook and Instagram leads, including working closely with the teams focused in that areas.

Discover the opportunities in a changing market at Inman Connect New York, January 29 – February 1. Jumpstart 2019 with tactical takeaways, unlimited networking and thought-provoking speakers. Learn more.

Thinking about bringing your team? You may qualify for special group perks! Contact us to learn more.