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Making the Next Play: With Instant Offers, Zillow to Begin Buying and Selling

Apr 15, 2018 by

Zillow announced on Thursday it is becoming a buyer and seller through its Instant Offers platform, beginning in Las Vegas and Phoenix with Premier Agents this spring. Arik Prawer, formerly chief integration officer at Invitation Homes, has been appointed chief business development officer to oversee the participation of Zillow on the platform.

On Instant Offers, Zillow is going to be represented by a Premier agent in the area, and make improvements to properties, if needed, to swiftly turn around transactions. Zillow has chosen to enlist help in the process—a distinction from Opendoor and Offerpad—to “enable agents to earn commissions,” according to the announcement from the company.

In a CNBC interview on Friday, CEO Spencer Rascoff discussed the motivation to participate, noting he expects to have held between 300 and 1,000 homes for sale by year-end.

“We’re ready to be investors in our own marketplace, because what we know is that home sellers welcome a hassle-free experience,” explained Rascoff. “We think we have huge advantages because we have access to this huge audience of sellers [and] huge audience of buyers…that’s why we’re doing this.

“We’ve done this a very industry-friendly way, and that’s why the reaction so far in the industry has been welcoming,” Rascoff said.

WHITE PAPER: The Disruption of the Real Estate Industry: A Survival Guide for Brokers and Agents

Instant Offers was introduced in May 2017 in Las Vegas and Orlando; with the announcement on Thursday, it has expanded to Phoenix. For its foray into Las Vegas and Phoenix, Zillow has partnered with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona and Nevada Properties, Coldwell Banker Premier Realty and West USA Realty.

“Even in today’s hot market, many sellers are stressed and searching for a more seamless way to sell their homes,” said Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer at Zillow, in a statement. “They want help, and while most prefer to sell their home on the open market with an agent, some value convenience and time over price. This expansion of Instant Offers, and Zillow’s entrance into the marketplace, will help us better serve both types of consumers, as well as provide an opportunity for Premier Agents to connect with sellers.

“This is expected to be a vibrant line of business for us and for our partners in the real estate industry, while providing homeowners with more choices and information,” Wacksman said.

“We are tremendously honored to have been selected by Zillow as a primary partner in their expanded Instant Offers program,” said Robert Hamrick, chairman and CEO of Coldwell Banker Premier Realty, in a statement. “Coldwell Banker Premier Realty has a decades-long legacy of combining high-touch client engagement with high-tech innovations for fully-serviced home-selling and -buying experiences. Our agents are competing with investor buyers. As Zillow’s partner in the Instant Offers program, we are able to stay in front of changing consumer demands and provide clients an additional option when selling their home. Our brokerage is passionate about empowering our agents to best meet their clients’ needs. We are excited to be a part of Zillow’s program.”

With Instant Offers, homeowners enter information about their property, and, within two business days, get investor offers and a comparative market analysis (CMA) by a Premier Agent. For agents, the benefit is that they can earn listings of presumably ready-to-act sellers.

Eighty-seven percent of agents and brokers in a June 2017 RISMedia survey believed Instant Offers is “a shift by Zillow toward becoming a brokerage.”

“We have always felt, and will continue to maintain, that agents are a crucial part of the real estate transaction and our goal is to find ways to continue to integrate them in the transaction process, even as the process continues to grow and evolve,” said Zillow in a statement to RISMedia at the time.

Stay tuned to RISMedia for more developments.

DeVita_Suzanne_60x60Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®: Ready for the Next Stage

Apr 1, 2018 by

Editor’s Note: This is the cover story in the April issue of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine.

April18_LRE_Cover_300x420Name something, anything, that’s of top concern to a broker operating in today’s market, and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has it covered. Competitive differentiation? On it. Consumer analysis? Got it. Cloud technology? Check. Global reach and luxury expertise? Done.

As the network transitions to its new, highly-skilled leadership team headed by President/CEO Paul Boomsma, LeadingRE has never been better positioned to champion independent brokers and solidify their place in a rapidly changing real estate environment. Whether it’s competition from traditional franchise brands or the new class of real estate disruptors, LeadingRE has stepped up its offerings on every level to enable its members to keep growing and succeeding.

And this was exactly the vision recently-retired President/CEO Pam O’Connor set in motion. “Succession planning was an obligation I took seriously, so I worked for some time to put the right people in place,” explains O’Connor. “They were clicking on all cylinders, the company was operating very successfully and the timing was perfect to pass the baton. LeadingRE has been very good to me. I wanted to leave it in a good place, and I believe I’ve done just that.”

Pam O'Connor and Paul Boomsma toast the future of LeadingRE.

Pam O’Connor and Paul Boomsma toast the future of LeadingRE.

MORE: The Real Deal: Pam O’Connor Builds a Network, Influences an Industry, and Impacts Lives

LeadingRE Chairman of the Board Joe Horning, president of Shorewest REALTORS®, will work with the leadership team to take the network to the next level. “Growing our network with quality independent firms around the globe remains a priority—as does expanding the services and tools we offer to help them thrive in their marketplaces and retain their competitive positions,” says Horning. “Paul’s track record and skill in technology and marketing make him the ideal leader to continue accelerating what we offer our members.”

But First, the Members
There are many factors that have been responsible for LeadingRE’s success—and many more that will be critical for its next phase—but none more important than its members. Built by brokers and run by brokers, the network’s cadre of invitation-only member firms serves as a unique competitive advantage on today’s often homogenous real estate playing field.

LeadingRE members celebrate at a recent hospitality event. Credit: Al Canaria, PlanOmatic

LeadingRE members celebrate at a recent hospitality event. Credit: Al Canaria, PlanOmatic

“Our network was created because brokers wanted to do something different, something better than what was out there,” explains Boomsma, who was formerly chief operating officer of the network, as well as president of the company’s Luxury Portfolio International® division. “We are a hybrid—not a franchise, not an old-school referral network, but rather, a combination of the best qualities of both.”

This distinction defines the members that comprise the LeadingRE network. “We look for top-ranked brokerages in their respective markets because those companies are characterized by great leaders,” says Boomsma.

LeadingRE serves as a hub to 565 independent firms in 70 countries around the world, representing 130,000 sales associates. LeadingRE’s model supports members in doing what they do best—deploying their talent in the local real estate market—while LeadingRE takes care of delivering complimentary services that enhance their business and a powerful global network connecting them to buyers and sellers around the world.

“At the top end of the market, having global reach is particularly critical,” says Stephanie Anton, the new president of the Luxury Portfolio International® division. “The wealthy are wealthier than ever, and they typically own multiple homes in many locations. They want to know that their properties will have global exposure when being marketed. And they want to work with real estate professionals who are globally-aware, sophisticated, and, perhaps most importantly, connected.”

“The depth and breadth of LeadingRE’s reach is incomparable and differentiates us from our competition,” says Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Halstead Real Estate Diane Ramirez. “Our LeadingRE colleagues are best-in-class and truly the most established, notable brokerages in their respective markets.”

Stephanie_Anton_PQ_p31“In real estate, as in so many areas of life, your network is essential,” says Lulu Egerton, senior director and head of International Strategy for the United Kingdom’s 100-office Strutt & Parker. “Our affiliation with LeadingRE and Luxury Portfolio places us alongside the leading lights of our sector, opening doors and beckoning in mutually beneficial business relationships with our peers from around the world.”

What Today’s Consumers Want
“Independent brands are sought-after these days,” explains Boomsma. “Over the last decade, corporate brands lost some of their luster in the wake of the global economic crisis. A lot of people prefer the connectivity and authenticity of the local broker and the trust that comes with knowing who owns the firm and what they’re doing for the community.”

This preference was clear in the results of a LeadingRE-commissioned survey of more than 3,000 U.S. homeowners, conducted by McKee Wallwork + Co. and Decision Analyst, with more than 88 percent of respondents saying they preferred working with an agent from a “well-known, local real estate company,” while just 12 percent preferred those affiliated with a national franchise.

Ramirez explains, “One of the biggest advantages of being an independent brokerage is that our brand can be unique to us as a firm. We have the ability to define and differentiate who we are and truly own it. Our independence also empowers us to move on a dime and make nimble, autonomous decisions that will enhance our business.”

Chris_Dietz_PQ_p33Local Powerhouses With Global Reach
A critical strategy woven into LeadingRE’s DNA is the continuous development of its strong global network. Today, the network boasts members in 70 countries around the globe, including the recent additions of Monaco, Ghana, Vietnam, India, Japan and Thailand.

“We have a passion for connecting like-minded, local market leaders and have extended that reach to six continents. We are the global brand behind the successful local brand,” says Chris Dietz, executive vice president of LeadingRE’s global operations.

LeadingRE members are automatically given powerful worldwide exposure and the distinction that comes from co-branding with LeadingRE.

And the need for being part of something international is becoming increasingly evident, explains Dietz. “Foreign investment in many markets is exploding. Being widely connected is not optional anymore—it’s a must—and we are the leaders in global expansion. We facilitate 40,000 client introductions annually between members and place referrals in over 100 countries.”

To truly succeed in the global marketplace, Dietz emphasizes the need for members to become immersed in the customs and cultures of colleagues in other countries. “Real estate professionals have to be more globally aware in order to turn these connections into profitable business transactions. You have to know the nuances and how to work with them in their market. That’s why participation in events like our Global Symposium in Barcelona and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Immersion Conference in Kuala Lumpur is so important.”

When it comes to selecting firms to invite to the LeadingRE global network, Dietz looks for both culture and high performance. “We prefer people with a vision. We want to add great people to our network who share our philosophy.”

Linking to Luxury Throughout
To become a competitive global network, having a powerful presence in the high-end market is essential. Luxury Portfolio International® is a vital pillar of the LeadingRE model, with strategic channels for reaching affluent consumers, including its award-winning website, luxuryportfolio.com, which last year marketed over 50,000 $ 1 million-plus properties around the world.

Paul_Boomsma_PQ_p34In order to help members stay competitive in the luxury arena, Luxury Portfolio carefully monitors trends.

“We keep a really close pulse on affluent consumer trends,” says Anton. “We’re always looking through the consumer lens: What are their priorities? How are they spending money? How can we best connect with them? We know that luxury is a lifestyle—a 360-degree approach to how they live.”

To that end, Luxury Portfolio recently released a groundbreaking trend report, “The Rise of the New Aristocracy,” which tracks a critical shift in this elusive demographic.

“In the last 12 years, we knew the affluent consumer was a boomer who was born ‘middle-class’ and whose wealth was self-generated rather than inherited. They were really approaching purchasing with practical decision-making, but we’re now at a unique moment in time when affluence is flipping from the wealthy boomers to the wealthy younger buyers who grew up in affluent households.”

Anton says, “They may want a traditional Tudor on the outside, but they want contemporary spaces inside—three to four bedrooms, dedicated space for exercise, wine rooms and theaters. It’s a fun and exciting time in the high-end—there’s a whole new group of people coming into the space.”

Next-Level Technology and Training
Whether it’s the Luxury Portfolio division or the global growth of the network, LeadingRE continues to keep the network a step ahead by providing a menu of cutting-edge tools, training and resources, all designed to help members deliver the best possible value proposition to agents and consumers.

“I’ve never seen a market where an excellent agent does not add value to a transaction,” says Boomsma. “We want to make sure brokers have all the best tools to support and articulate that value.”

LeadingRE also believes strongly in offering programs à la carte. “We have so many resources members can use,” adds Boomsma. “They can be strategic in choosing what’s right for them, and they don’t have to spend money wastefully. We are the antithesis of ‘cookie-cutter.’”

LeadingRE Chief Economist Dr. Marci Rossell addresses the conference audience on global economic trends.

LeadingRE Chief Economist Dr. Marci Rossell addresses the conference audience on global economic trends.

LeadingRE also sees itself as a learning organization committed to elevating performance through educational resources for its members, both at the agent level and for leadership. This is evidenced by its No. 1 ranking on Training magazine’s 2018 Training Top 125 list for organizational learning and development excellence across all industries worldwide. The network’s Institute, an online learning program with more than 350 proprietary courses, its world-class conferences and its MAESTRO Leadership Program played key roles in achieving this high honor.

Horning agrees that the education LeadingRE provides is essential to the ability of its members to remain competitive in an increasingly challenging marketplace. “Strengthening the leadership bench and growing second-tier leaders is a critical challenge for many of our brokerages,” says Horning. “LeadingRE’s MAESTRO Leadership Program addresses this need unlike anything in the industry, with an interactive curriculum that develops all facets of these next-generation leaders.”

Of course, remaining competitive also means staying ahead of the curve in the tech realm. To that end, LeadingRE recently announced the LeadingRE Cloud to empower members to connect with the most innovative technology as efficiently as possible.

“We’re taking an aggressive stance to simplify access to the latest technology and integration among different systems,” says Boomsma. “Sometimes people get chained to their technology because it’s just easier to stay with what they have versus change, which can be painful and expensive. We want them to be able to embrace the very best technology, affordably and seamlessly.”

“Brokers face the challenge of competing in a world of ever-changing technology, where everyone touts their latest platform,” agrees Horning. “The LeadingRE Cloud is our answer to this issue—making it easier for independents to deploy the latest innovations, but allowing them to choose the tools that work best for their company and their agents. While a large regional broker may have different needs than a boutique firm, all of our members will benefit from the efficiencies of the LeadingRE Cloud and the competitive edge it will bring them on the technology front.”

To ensure that edge, LeadingRE is also investing in Moderne Ventures, an investment fund focused on early-stage technology companies in the real estate space, so that its members have firsthand exposure to the next, best tools for clients and agents.

Making the Best Brokerages Better
No matter what level of success LeadingRE members have achieved, an openness and willingness to share is pervasive. “When you come to our events, there’s always someone you strive to be more like, and you’re humbled,” says Boomsma. “Our people find great value in learning from one another—and it doesn’t matter who you are: a broker leading a 25-agent boutique that outsells others in an affluent bedroom community, or a CEO of a company with thousands of agents whose brokerage ranks in the top 10 in the country. There’s always someone else who’s doing something different and is willing to share.”

It is these relationships that set LeadingRE apart. “The aspect of our affiliation that I value most highly,” says CIR Realty partner Ron Stader from Calgary, Canada, “is the strong relationships with premier brokers who have supported our company’s growth with idea-sharing and advice that have sparked innovation and higher levels of performance. The connections are invaluable on many levels—from referrals to best practices—and by helping one another, we all get better.”

According to Boomsma, LeadingRE’s mantra, “Making the Best Brokerages Better,” is centered on giving its market-leading brokerages a forum for collaboration and shared business opportunities, as well as access to extensive business resources that might be cost-prohibitive on their own. “At our core, we are a community of quality-focused, highly-productive firms—and that’s by design. From there, we provide the global capabilities that help them become even stronger in their local markets. As we enter this next stage in our history, we are excited to build on our successes and chart new territory to support member growth in ways that are uniquely ‘LeadingRE.’”

For more information, please visit www.leadingre.com.

Patterson_Maria_60x60Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at maria@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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New HMDA the Next TRID?

Nov 7, 2017 by

Is the new HMDA the next TRID?  That’s the way it looks to us…  What are your thoughts? CLICK HERE to see the list.

The post New HMDA the Next TRID? appeared first on National Real Estate Post.

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The Next Tech Companies You Need to Know

Jul 11, 2017 by

NAR PULSE— Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of REALTORS®, recently announced its 2017 REach® class, featuring a roster of startups focused on security, process digitization, information transfer and more. The diverse companies in this year’s class are all focused on ways to help you and your agents take your business to the next level. Learn more about the REach® Class of 2017: Centriq, HouseCanary, immoviewer, Notarize, Occly, Pearl Certification, Relola and Trusted Mail.

Explore Medicare Supplemental Insurance Options Through NAR
NAR is pleased to introduce the new Members Medicare Exchange, which allows Medicare-eligible NAR members aged 65 and older to easily quote, shop, and enroll in a variety of Medicare supplemental insurance options. The exchange is offered through the popular REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace, available through the REALTOR Benefits® Program. Learn more.

Break Through to a More Effective You With realtor.com®!
Join realtor.com® for two incredible days of hands-on learning, exclusive insights and celebration, Sept. 18-19 in Las Vegas at the Results Summit!

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Goldberg Named Next CEO of NAR

Jun 23, 2017 by

Bob Goldberg has been named CEO of the National Association of Realtors®. Goldberg currently serves as NAR senior vice president of Sales & Marketing, Business Development & Strategic Investments, Professional Development and Conventions for NAR.

Goldberg was the choice of NAR’s leadership team after an extensive national search. He succeeds Dale Stinton, who is retiring after 36 years at NAR and 12 as CEO. Goldberg has been with NAR since 1995 and will be NAR’s 12th CEO since the association was founded in 1908.

“For more than 25 years, I have had the pleasure of knowing and successfully working with Bob Goldberg on many different projects,” says RISMedia President & CEO John Featherston. “Bob, has worked tirelessly on behalf of REALTORS®, fearless in his defense of the membership and the immense value proposition the National Association of REALTORS® provides for our country. In an industry that is continually challenged by technological, competitive, economic and legislative changes, Bob has been a stalwart leader in helping our industry address, meet and adapt to the evolving needs of both the consumer and the National Association of REALTORS® membership.”

“Bob’s vision, business acumen and unique ability to successfully leverage NAR’s technology investments will ensure Realtors® remain at the center of the real estate transaction,” says 2017 NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California. “With extensive knowledge of the association and real estate industry, Bob brings with him a strong track record for future-based thinking and enacting change, which is why the NAR leadership team is extremely confident in his ability to lead the association and membership to continued future success.”

In his current SVP role, Goldberg is responsible for brand and strategic marketing and association non-dues revenue, and oversees the largest employee base at NAR, with 69 division personnel. He guides a broad range of association initiatives including business development, strategic planning and partnerships, association product and marketing services and management, member professional development, competitive brand positioning, marketing, advertising and promotions, and group conventions.

In addition to his NAR roles, Goldberg also acts as SVP of administration for REALTOR® University, overseeing graduate school staff, day-to-day operations of the research center, curriculum development and budgets. He is also president and CEO of the REALTORS®Information Network, or RIN, an NAR for-profit and wholly owned subsidiary responsible for overseeing the realtor.com® operating agreement with Move, Inc.

“I’m humbled and excited to be named NAR’s next CEO,” says Goldberg. “This is a dynamic time for the association and the industry, and I am looking forward to my new role and working with Realtor® leaders and staff to advance the association and our members toward long-term success.”

After soliciting and considering recommendations from NAR’s members, the Leadership Team appointed a diverse 15-member search committee in December 2015 to work with executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to recruit candidates for the CEO position. 2015 NAR President Chris Polychron served as the search committee chair, and 2003 NAR President Cathy Whatley served as vice chair.

“Finding a successor for Dale Stinton was far from easy, but it was a challenge our search committee took very seriously. The final candidates, who were all top-notch, brought diverse backgrounds and the right mix of skills, but Bob Goldberg stood apart because of his considerable understanding of and expertise in the many the issues facing the industry and NAR’s members,” said Polychron. “We greatly appreciate Heidrick and Struggles’ insights and assistance throughout the entire selection process and look forward to moving ahead.”

Stay tuned to RISMedia.com for updates on this story. For more information, visit www.nar.realtor.

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