Soaring with the Eagles


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 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.

Real Estate Market Cycle Diagram

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!

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28 Responses to “Soaring with the Eagles”

  1. Arthur Harris Says:


    You are right on the money. Now is the best time to be in this business but more importantly with an organization that is always ahead of the game. We are really blessed to have you as our leader.

  2. Terry Young Says:

    Thank you Kevin and Eddie!!! In our everyday lives we tell each other to look to the future & stop living in the past. In the Real Estate world, this is a valid lesson too. It does not mean we should not learn from the past . . . just stop staring at it – it is the past. Look foward. Kevin, you have always said we provide ONE of the three basic human needs – Shelter. It is time we communicate this to the comsumer and the media.

  3. Tyler Brenner Says:

    I’m sure you floored ’em with our technology efforts, Eddie! Nicely done.

  4. ann bone Says:

    I actually think we are somewhere just past Depression and on the way to Hope, but then my husband says that my balloon never lands. Calls are up, offers are up, bargain hunters are tripping over one another to gobble up the REO properties.

    Those who have taken advantage of the “down time” to reinvent/update their business practices are poised to profit greatly.

  5. Carol Terrell Says:

    You are correct! This is a fantastic time for first time homebuyers, move up buyers, and investors! Lets get contracts everyone!

  6. Phyllis Rodkin Says:

    Go for it, Kevin! Thank you for the encouragement and direction in Real Estate as it is TODAY….

  7. Yvonne Thomas-Brooks Says:

    I agree with Terry; It’s time to stop dwelling on the Ghosts of Real Estate Past! And a big thank you for keeping us in the loop via Twitter while you gentlemen were away!
    Being updated on the progress and success of our industry is one thing. Learning about it first hand from our Leadership, who have been asked by the world’s best to share their vision, is quite invigorating (to say the least)!

  8. Dennis Doll Says:

    The roller coaster ride has been one where most people/agents do not know if the cars will stay on the track. Fortunately for those of us at Metro Brokers, we still feel the ride but safety bars have been added to keep us on track. Thanks Kevin & Eddie!

  9. conyersom Says:

    I was suprised to see that the experts think we haven’t reached “depression” on the graph . So, I say let’s just skip it and go right on to HOPE. In our sleepy little town that’s what we’re doing, using the small positive changes we’ve seen in the market lately as our helium to lift us up. This time that’s been slow is an educational opportunity to really take a look at the forms, the tools you use everyday and learn everything you can until you’re the best. When the market swings back up in earnest to the busy side, the new buyers and sellers aren’t going to want to deal with anyone who isn’t at the top of their game. They’ve dealt with mediocre and it cost the public their homes, their lifestyles and their confidence. Everything now is a rebuilding process. It’s the Metro Brokers agents with their superior training and technology avenues that are most suited to be the foundation of that change and the engineers that drive the public to Optimisim- a great place to live! Thank you for a thought- provoking article

  10. Monique Mills Says:

    There is no company out there that can match Metro Brokers innovation and support! That is why we will remain successful!

  11. jglencurry Says:

    It is AWESOME to work for the BEST and with the BEST! We all know this, now the world knows it. Way to go Kevin and Eddie! Thanks for representing us so well in Dallas!

  12. Shirley Johnson Says:

    Glad I don’t work for ZIP! I’d rather work for $

    The R/E MKT cycle of emotions was good encouragement for HOPE. I think most of us who want to see this thing through are accepting the mkt as it is for now and working withing it’s ever-changing boundaries.

  13. Craig McClelland Says:

    Eddie you captured so many great points in this write up. The greatest point for me is the realization of what our market is and that it’s up to us. What defines us is not the market, it’s what we choose to do daily in the market.
    Thank you for the great insite.

    • Bob Morrison Says:

      I have just read a lot of really good comments here, but I think the ones I most relate to are Craig’s and Charity’s. The current market is a reality. As they say, “it is what it is”. However, what we do and how we choose to respond is what will ultimately decide our success or our failure. During your “down” time further your education, contact past clients and ask for their business and/or referrals, or open up new network channels. Pick an area of the business that you don’t know as well as you should and get yourself in the know. If we wait for the good times to come back to us we are in effect backing up. Move forward, folks!
      We have many advantages at MetroBrokers to which we should lay claim and utilize. We also have many individual successes that we need to nurture and grow. Charity said it best, “that work thing is a sure fire money making scheme.” Good luck all!

  14. Roxanne Fucci Says:


    I think those of us on the ground who have worked through the bottom knew all along we are on the way back up. Thank you for your leadership though this time and bringing us the news from the top.

  15. Alison Trevor Childs Says:

    I am incredibly proud to be affiliated with the most forward-thinking, innovative leaders in the real estate world! It is no surprise, Eddie, that you and Kevin outshined other industry experts at the RealTrends conference.

    Kevin’s leadership and expertise has provided a business model and platform for agents to be as successful as they choose to be in today’s market. My confidence is unwaivering that Kevin will always remain one step ahead of the competition because he won’t accept anything less.

    Keep up the brilliant work and thank you for all of your support!

  16. Molly Brandenberger Says:

    As always, Kevin and Eddie are Metro Brokers rock stars! Great job!

  17. sandy minnick Says:

    CHANGE is what we are all about. A quote I once heard states “The only thing that is consisent in our lives is change.” We have to change our methods, attitudes, and expectations as the market and our culture changes. Adaptability makes a difference. Thanks Kevin for the continuing changes at Metro Brokers. They are great.

  18. Michael A. McFadden Says:

    The question that I ask myself daily is “what did I do, to sell a house today”? Eddie you’re on point!!!

  19. Jennie Nerud Says:

    As long as we change with the time, accepting today’s reality, we have no choice but to be successful.

  20. Deborah Gaither Says:

    Speaking as a Flex Agent with Metrobrokers..
    I am in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, doing the right thing.
    Kevin, Broker Support, IT and Staff–“Thanks”

  21. Charity Cason Says:

    One thing we consistently see in Broker Support is that the agents who kept their heads down, kept working and kept reinventing their businesses are the ones who are profiting from their efforts now.

    We’ve been preaching for months and months about staying with the positive people, keeping away from the negative media stories and WORKING. Yep, that WORK thing is a sure-fire money making scheme! 🙂

  22. Kurt Cooper Says:

    It’s great to be at the point of maximum opportunity. It is interesting to note the point of maximum opportunity occurs between despondency and depression. Blue sky is coming!

  23. Brenda Waters Says:

    I agree with Steve Haney that we are at the maximum point of opportunity. Those who haven’t armed themselves with the ability to communicate with the Y generation better watch out. They are definitely moving into the driver’s seat!

  24. Mark Laycock Says:

    Is there opportunity here? Kevin Levent has crafted a finely built, precisely operated, real estate machine. He has a clear vision and shares his insight with his followers. He has lead by example and joined generation Y in the new communication arena.
    In order to be the best, you must be willing to embrace new ideas. You must be willing to make decisions quickly. Regardless of the market conditions, there is opportunity with Metro Brokers.

  25. Mark Broyles Says:

    In the best selling book “Who Moved My Cheese”, the story is about change. Those that linger too long at the old “cheese station” will always lose out to the ones that are always on the look out for the next opportunity. This book reads in about an hour and is a great analogy for our current real estate market. Also, I recently was listening to an audio “tape”. The fact that it was a tape, tells you all you need to know. The general idea of the tape was that the market sucks but will always recover. If you just hang on long enough, things will get better. The intresting thing? The tape was from 1991. For those emerged into the general swoon of the early 90’s, it was hard to imagine the market ever recovering. Sound familiar. I’m proud to be soaring with Eagles while other companies are clucking around trying to scratch up seeds and grubs. Kevin and Eddie know that Real Estate will lead us out of our current economic malaise. Fancy word “malaise”. Hope I spelled it right!

  26. Beverly Curry Says:

    It’s ALL here and at our finger tips. We’d better get on board or watch things pass us right on by. What else? When? The time is NOW!!! Capitalize, capitalize, capitalize…every day and every minute!

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