Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Industry Relations Podcast: Navigating the Realogy Settlement

Are you up-to-date on the Realogy Settlement? Rob and Greg discuss the settlement between Realogy and the Department of Justice, and explore potential second order consequences. Rob and Greg explore how this settlement can potentially affect major players in the real estate industry.

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This podcast is produced by Two Brothers Creative 2023.

The first domino

How it started…

The commission suits are headed to trial. What happens after that?

“In a session called, “Life After the Megalawsuits,” industry blogger, podcaster, and entrepreneur Greg Robertson put the risk to the industry at a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.

“I have a bet … that this stuff will be settled by the end of the year,” Robertson told attendees, acknowledging that his view might be an outlier among the crowd.”

Andrea Brambila for Inman News

How’s it going…

Anywhere settles bombshell Sitzer and Moehrl commission lawsuits

“Real estate franchisor Anywhere Real Estate has reached a settlement with the plaintiffs in the two bombshell lawsuits that have the potential to shake up how real estate agents nationwide are paid.”

Andrea Brambila for Inman News

If I win this bet I’m going to become unbearable.

Anywhere but here

Anywhere makes HQ employee cuts in effort to slash operating costs

“Throughout the summer, multiple real estate companies have streamlined their workforces in preparation for a projected recession in 2023.

Keller Williams cut its marketing team in half three days before its annual Mega Camp conference on Aug. 23, and Anywhere-rival Compass slashed 10 percent of its full-time workforce inflation and rising mortgage rates put the crunch on the company’s cash flow. Redfin, RE/MAX and REX Real Estate also announced layoffs amid restructuring efforts in their tech and mortgage subsidiaries.”

I think the question on the backs of everyone’s minds, is “Are we next?” On the flip side, there are 8 positions available on the Vendor Alley Job Board.

Susan Yannaccone named Realogy’s President and CEO

Susan Yannaccone

Susan Yannaccone Becomes First Woman to be Named President and CEO of Realogy Franchise Group

Yannaccone joined Realogy in 2015, and in her new role, she will oversee the franchise operations of Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21® and ERA®, as well as the franchise and owned operations of Sotheby’s International Realty® and Corcoran®. Yannaccone will report to Ryan Schneider, Realogy’s chief executive officer and president.

“Sue is an exceptional leader who brings deep expertise running both franchise and brokerage businesses at Realogy and within the industry over the past 20 years,” said Schneider. “I am incredibly excited to work with Sue and our brand leaders to further grow our powerful brands for our franchise owners and affiliated agents.”

Always great to hear good news about someone you know. Congrats Susan!

Famous investor shorts Zillow stock big time.

The Real Deal: The “Big Short” investor that bet against subprime has a new target: Zillow

“In “The Big Short” – the 2015 film about the financial crisis – actor Steve Carell plays a character based on noted short seller Steve Eisman, who made hundreds of millions of dollars betting against collateralized debt obligations laden with subprime residential mortgages.
In real life, Eisman is now a portfolio manager at the investment management firm Neuberger Berman, where today he’s shorting companies like Barclays and TD Bank.
But one of his largest short positions is in the Zillow Group, which Eisman believes has run out of new ideas to grow its stagnating home-listing business.”

Yikes! I enjoyed the movie and Steve Carell’s character but I have more confidence in the iBuyer model than he does. But one thing I think he gets right is that Zillow is kind of betting the farm on Zillow Offers. Mike DelPrete did a great presentation at Inman Connect and talked about Zillow slow growth of Premier Agent Revenue. They had to do something.

Time will tell. Looking at Zillow stock, which has sacrificed profits in favor of growth, is up from a year ago when it announced it original version its iBuyer model, while Realogy (a profitable company) is down since the announcement that it was partnering with Amazon. ????‍♂️

Molon Labe

Realogy roars: Corcoran and Climb to franchise in 2019

In a double-barreled play to leverage brand identity and work culture, the new Corcoran and Climb franchises will target franchise opportunities in global metropolises and leisure destinations, senior executives for both companies told Inman. Realogy, the parent company, plans to begin selling franchise agreements early next year.

Executives declined to disclose franchise fees associated with owning one of the new franchises. Realogy has not filed franchise disclosure documents yet.

A lot of people have questioned the future of the traditional franchise model in real estate. Hell, venture capitalists are throwing over a billion dollars in to fundamentally changing how real estate is practiced.

That’s why this move by Realogy is so interesting to me. It seems to be a poke in the eye to venture capitalists and the companies they funded looking to poach, replace, or even eliminate agents all together. Realogy’s play is nothing fancy, just straight up “brand and culture”.

This move by Ryan Schneider, Realogy’s new CEO, might seem counter intuitive to some, but to me its him taking a stand (for his company and maybe even the industry), seeming to say. “You want these agents? Come and get them.”

BPP – Bringing a knife to a gunfight. What Inman News didn’t report.

sumoAnother thing that was not reported in the Inman News article is Mr Perriello’s comments on the Broker Public Portal (BPP). Again Mr. Perriello’s comments were very concise. His main concerns (and I’m paraphrasing) was that the amount of money the current portals spend (Zillow Group, Realtor.com, etc.) is so large that the BPP could never hope to compete with them and that valuable time and money would be wasted on such a folly.

Are brokers tilting at windmills with Upstream?

don-quixoteFrom Inman News:

“At a private conference this week in Houston, Realogy Franchise Group CEO Alex Perriello questioned Upstream’s value proposition and whether the bifurcation of listing distribution could stifle innovation and add unnecessary costs because not all brokers and MLSs will participate.”

I listened to Mr. Perriello’s comments and concerns and I have to say they were very well thought out. I’m hoping (but doubt) the audio or transcript would be made available. I’ve also heard, from some, that Upstream doesn’t need the support of Franchisors to succeed. Which is true. But when many industry leaders start doubting whether Upstream could be properly executed, you have to take time to pause and reflect. This could get very embarrassing for the industry.

NRT hearts Estately

From GeekWire:

Exclusive: Real estate giant Realogy makes strategic investment in Seattle startup Estately

“As one of the largest residential real estate companies in the U.S., Realogy has thousands of agents which could benefit from receiving targeted leads from Estately.

Ward said they already provide leads to some Realogy agents, but very little would change as part of the investment. He said he kept the investment quiet because raising more money “is not that interesting” but also because he didn’t want the company’s agent network to think that things would change due to the involvement of Realogy.

In today’s interview, Ward said that “we love our business model and love our clients,” and he added that Estately is “doing a good job” of competing against large real estate incumbents as well as tech-heavy brands like Zillow and Trulia.

“We are excited about our growth,” he said. “And we see potential in our business model and agent model.”

First off you gotta give it up to Galen Ward, Estately’s CEO, the guy has been crushing it. As many readers know I’ve big a big fan of their site and mobile app (which is my “go to” at the moment). Galen is super smart, humble and I always enjoy catching up with him and talking business.

On another level you gotta be curious what’s up Realogy/NRT sleeve? ZipRealty, now Estately? I’ve got a few ideas what might be playing out here but will hold off on any speculation. Congrats to Galen and his team!

Tough week for CMOs

Inman News reports that Barbara O’Connor, MOVE, Inc.’s Chief Marketing Officer, is leaving for “family reasons”.

I also heard news that Beverly Thorne, Century 21’s Chief Marketing Officer, is no longer with Century 21.

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