Note: I've decided to use the [PROMO] tag in the title when I'm talking about one of my premium content pieces.
I just published something I consider to be among my best written works to date. It came to over 15,000 words and if it were printed out, I think it fills 40 pages of 12-pt text. Yeah, it’s big. It’s massive.
And I’m really quite proud of it.
Starts With Realogy
It starts off as a report on Realogy, the company behind major brands like Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, Sotheby’s, and others. It is where I began my career in real estate lo these many years ago, back when it was still part of Cendant, and over the years, I’ve written about Realogy from time to time.
So when Realogy went public, I knew that I had to write about them. Public filings and the accompanying management discussions are absolute gold mines of information. In this case, I felt it was an even more important and interesting task because Realogy is by far the largest real estate company and real estate brokerage (through its company-owned NRT division) in the country. As I note in the report, Realogy affiliated agents were involved in almost 1/3 of the total sales volume in the U.S. in 2012. One out of three. I felt when I began, and I still feel, that Realogy is a bellwether for the entire real estate brokerage industry.
Furthermore, having spent some time there and knowing some of the people at Realogy, I think that some of the sharpest operators in our business have leadership positions there. People like Alex Perriello and Bruce Zipf, like Richard Smith and Tony Hull, did not get to where they are because they’re idiots. They know and understand the industry, the business, how to run a successful brokerage, and have the scars to prove it. So the opportunity to “listen in” as it were, while these executives lay out the thinking behind Realogy’s strategy and operations to Wall Street is one we can’t pass up.
Just for that insight into Realogy, its financial results (they kicked ass), its operations, its strategy alone is something I think would be of value to brokers, managers, agents, MLS and Association executives, and technology people in the business. Of course, I think it would be valuable to investors too, but those fellas have legions of Wall Street analysts to help them.
The State of the Real Estate Brokerage
But where things went next is what I found so interesting, and why I’m so proud of the report.
Looking carefully at Realogy, its results, how it got there, and what its strategies and its fears are, one can discern the overall state of the real estate brokerage industry today, and where it is likely to head in the next couple of years. So much of what all of us have been focusing on over the past year or two on this blog, in the RE.net, in conferences, and so on was… well, not missing the boat entirely, but maybe failing to see the real story of what’s going on today.
The real story, you see, is the rise of the agent team. The company/brand that embraced it first and supports it most today is Keller Wililams. There is a tremendous a-ha when we walk down the road of Realogy to understand where traditional brokerages are today, what their core competencies (as personified by the NRT) are, how they operate and should operate, and then compare/contrast that with KW, a nontraditional brokerage.
Along the way, we make sense of technology and its effects, understand the role of IDX in the current landscape, and even start to grasp why all of the various fault lines in the industry are where they are.
Yes, I’m proud of it. This took an enormous amount of work to put together, not so much because of the documentary research, but because making sense of the threads, pulling them together, and then stepping back to understand the big picture all took time and effort. But I think it was time and effort well spent.
So, I present my newest premium work to you:
Louis Cammarosano, formerly of HomeGain, who proofread my first draft told me that the report was worth $500. I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I would want more than five people to read this report. I really think this is one that might be valuable to my wider audience. So it’s priced at $99.99 (for old readers, you’ll realize this is an increase from when I first introduced it).
Thanks for putting up with the promo, and if you do decide it’s worth paying for, I look forward to discussing it with you in the comments.