Every once in a while, you get a rare opportunity to share your passion with a receptive group of like-minded peers. Kevin and I recently found ourselves in that position at the latest RealTrends conference, Gathering of Eagles. After a guided company tour of Metro Brokers in April, Steve Murray, CEO of RealTrends, was impressed enough to ask us to speak to 200 broker/owners of large real estate businesses across the US.
While we were in Dallas, we heard from the top industry experts about where this market is headed. There is good news on the way. Keep reading for more.
Let’s All Be Friends: The Broker Panel
Kevin participated in a panel about new brokerage models with fellow CEOs Mike Golden of @properties in Chicago, and Pat Lashinsky of Zip Realty. The three could not be more different in their approach to real estate.
Zip Realty’s business model is consumer-focused. For example, consumers are allowed to switch agents with the click of a button, write online agent reviews, and can receive up to 20% of the agent commission as a rebate.
@properties has gobbled up downtown Chicago market share over the past six years. They have created a strict business model for their agents, which they must follow exactly and generate $100,000 in GCI their first year in order to remain with the company. They provide an enormous amount of marketing support to every agent.
We all know Kevin’s centralized, brokerless office model, which focuses on creating a rigid business process for staff, and leveraging technology to provide customized and unique tools for our agents. Armed with PowerPoint and humor, Kevin wowed the crowd.
Let’s All Try to Stay Awake: The Technology Panel
Talking technology to a bunch of CEO’s and COO’s can be a little challenging. I was on a panel with three real estate technology vendors. For the first two presenters, I got to watch the crowd fiddling with their mobile phones and reading The Wall Street Journal.
However, when I stepped up and began explaining the creative ways Metro Brokers generates and manages internet leads, everyone was paying attention. I talked about how we monetized the Open House Pool, and how our billboards drive direct traffic to metrobrokers.com. It’s hard for the uninitiated to adjust their thinking and imagine billboards as internet advertising, but I think we succeeded.
The Market Ahead, and Other GOE Takeaways
Those who follow my Twitter account may have already read some of this, but there are a few projections and ideas from the conference I would like to share.
- Larry Kendall wants you to stop waiting for the market correction, and accept the market as it is. “Stop waiting for the storm to end. Start dancing in the rain.”
- Generation Y (those born between the early 1980’s and mid-2000’s) are projected to number 73 million, and they will communicate via social networking and tools yet to be invented. The oldest of this generation are in their mid to late twenties. Get on board or change careers, folks.
- Steve Murray projects the market has reached the bottom, but don’t get too excited. While the upturn is near, it will move up at a slow pace.
- The market changes are permanent; get used to them. Steve Harney says we will not reach 2005 numbers until 2012 to 2014.
I will leave you with a diagram of the real estate market cycle of emotions, from Steve Harney’s closing presentation.
When someone asks you when the market will get better, ask them “Better for whom?” It will NEVER be a better time for first time homebuyers. It will NEVER be a better time for move-up buyers. It will NEVER be a better time for investors.
Now is a great time for real estate!