Consolidation is coming to the real estate industry and those not aligned with bigger companies will feel the heat, Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider predicted during a chief executive-packed panel Thursday at Inman Connect New York.
Far from unbiased as leader of the largest real estate holding company in the country, Schneider said his company plans to listen to — and support — agents over the coming decade.
“For me, it’s all about how our agents and franchisees tell us we’re doing supporting them,” Schneider said. “There’s going to be a lot of change in the world. A lot of consolidation.”
“If you’re not with a big player who can provide a lot of things for you, whether its marketing, technology, lead generation, data, it’s going to be a struggle,” he added.
Joined by RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos and EXIT Realty CEO Tami Bonnell, Schneider and his fellow chief executives revealed how they’re companies are working to better connect with consumers during a panel discussion entitled, “Here’s How to Win in the New Decade.”
The next decade in real estate will revolve around the consumer, be it by supporting agents with more tools, deepening personal relationships with agents or even engaging in a little self-care.
Schneider’s support of his company’s agents, whether on the franchisee or company-owned brokerage side, will feature prominently in Realogy’s strategy.
“I get to see all of the different data that comes through and get to actually see what’s really happening in our business with our agents from a trends standpoint,” Schneider said. “And when you see things happening with groups and franchisees and agents, there’s usually something to learn there that can actually help you to do your job well.”
For Contos, RE/MAX’s laser-focus is also on the consumer and how the company can engage with that consumer in the best way, to protect their interests.
“That’s ultimately the goal — how do we deepen that consumer experience, deepen that relationship with the consumer, and continue to create more effective, more focused agents and brokerages?” Contos asked.
Well, for one, it’s an emphasis on distilling the noise to ensure you’re not losing track of the human element of the business and eliminating fear mechanisms like disruption, Contos explained. The way you measure how successful you’ve been is not only just agent feedback but what the consumer is saying.
“Let’s not forget what our business is based on and that’s people,” Contos said.
Contos also emphasized self-care on the panel, as a way that agents can serve their clients in a better manner.
“You can’t be good to your agents, if you’re a broker, you can’t be good to team, if you’re a team leader, you can’t be good to the consumer, if you’re an individual agent, if you’re not good to yourself either,” Contos said. “We have to be aware of our health.”
Bonnell said eliminating distractions is another way to better serve consumers — like keeping your cell phone out of the bedroom. It’s a key part of a three-part strategy that also includes acquiring knowledge and knowing oneself. In acquiring knowledge, Bonnell explained that agents should become experts in certain areas, or befriend workers in other areas like local zoning and planning or construction.
“Everybody should have a really strong lane, even if that lane is just the ZIP code you represent,” Bonnell said.