“The part that I can’t control is the market, but I can control my market share,” Christie’s International Real Estate CEO Thad Wong said at Inman Connect Las Vegas on Tuesday.

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Thad Wong isn’t trying to predict what’s going to happen in the real estate market.

The Christie’s International Real Estate CEO is instead going to focus on growing through the downturn.

“The part that I can’t control is the market, but I can control my market share,” Wong told an audience at Inman Connect Las Vegas on Tuesday. “We are solely focused on share growth.”

“If I sell one more house you’re going to sell one less. It’s very competitive.” Wong said. “Now is the best time to grow and gain share…Now is the time to severely focus on all of your competition and gain share.”

@properties Christie’s International Real Estate already has the highest market share by sales volume in its home market of Chicago, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Wong spoke alongside Ginger Wilcox, brand president of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate; and Alex Vidal, brand president of ERA Real Estate; during the opening day of Inman Connect Las Vegas.

None of the brand leaders said they could predict when the real estate market would thaw out of its relative freeze and recover.

Thad Wong ( left) speaks alongside Alex Vidal and Ginger Wilcox at Inman Connect Las Vegas on Tuesday, Aug. 8. Image by AJ Canaria.

Instead, they focused on educating agents and consumers about the market and trusting that long-standing fundamentals driving real estate sales — such as divorce, job relocation, death and others — will continue to drive purchases and sales.

“People ultimately do need to make moves and we’ve started seeing some of that happening throughout the markets,” Wilcox said.

In his new role as president of ERA Real Estate, Vidal said he’s focused on things that he and his team can control.

“The market is always hot for great Realtors,” Vidal said, adding that the best thing to do in a slower market is to “capitalize on the business that’s happening,” rather than trying to time when things might rebound.

At a time when brokerages are focused on leveraging technology, Vidal said he’s focused on in-person relationships with agents and clients.

“I want to work with our team about how to really connect with them face to face, palm to palm and have genuine, deep conversations,” Vidal said. “Ultimately, that’s what’s going to win.”

Wilcox noted there are markets that are seeing significant upheaval, specifically from natural disasters like wildfires and floods.

While he stopped well short of trying to predict when the market would rebound, Wong cautioned that Russia’s war with Ukraine could pose significant threats to the market.

“Ukraine could be a disaster any morning we wake up,” Wong said. He added the U.S. presidential election next year and general threats to democracy also pose ongoing threats to the real estate market.

Ultimately, Wong and others noted gaining market share through a downturn sets up brokerages for long-term success.

“When this does recover, whether it’s first quarter of next year or three years from now, the more share you have the greater the recovery,” Wong said.

Email Taylor Anderson

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