Is The Industry Ripe For Disruption? RE/MAX's CEO Doesn't Think So

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Top takeaways from the RE/MAX Broker Owner Conference.

I had the opportunity to attend the RE/MAX Broker Owner Conference in Chicago in August 2019. Here are some takeaways:

  • CEO Adam Contos said there is one main question to ask before hiring anyone, whether managers or agents, and that is: Are you coachable? “Do you want to be pushed? Do you want to be told things you don’t want to hear? Recruit coachable people, but you as a leader have to be as well,” says Contos.
  • While there is a lot of noise in the industry, (Think: new business models, iBuyer and low to no-fee brokerages) Contos doesn’t think real estate is ripe for disruption. “Buying real estate is not getting a ride, buying a book, or renting a movie. Disruption starts with unhappy customers, not changes in technology. Some 93 percent of U.S. sellers work with an agent or builder,” he says. Larry Kendall of Ninja Coaching gave him five questions to answer to determine the potential for disruption. They are:
    1. Is the purchase frequent?
    2. Does it have a significant cost?
    3. Is there a risk?
    4. Is transaction complicated?
    5. Is the product unique?
  • RE/MAX’s technology platform Booj is rolling out its first iteration. They will have a progressive launch cycle to add on new capabilities so as not to overwhelm agents and brokers during the process. The first cycle will see the CRM, lead cultivation, and client manager portion. “Throughout the year, we will get deep into marketing and back office, finally, we’ll get to the consumer part,” says Contos. About half the conference sessions were dedicated to teaching broker-owners about the platform and how to encourage agent adoption. “Getting agents trained in the system is a priority for us. We are going on the road with 324 days of live training in 90 days,” he says.
  • That’s not all in the tech area. RE/MAX has a new app called Photofy, that includes recruiting and retention material where brokers and managers can engage prospects with email, social, and text messages. “It takes 14 touchpoints before agents want to consider a move to your brokerage. This free service offers an easy way to make those touchpoints. A prototype of the agent version of Photofy is in the works.
  • The fun stuff. RE/MAX is launching a line of Emojis gifs or stickers that can be used in text messages.

Best Quotes From The Conference:

“Real estate agents need leads. The technology is there to make that happen,” Chairman and Founder Dave Liniger. “However, being in touch with the client, doing right by them, and providing a great customer experience gets you leads for free.”
“Motion is talk but doesn’t get anything done. Action gets things done. Allocate time and focus on recruiting. Use the tools and tech available to you, and coach and be coachable,” CEO Adam Contos.
“Embrace change and thrive. Make course corrections. The internet didn’t kill agents and apps won’t either; they are tools to help you do their jobs,” Contos.
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This article originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of the REAL Trends Newsletter. It is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends, Inc. Copyright © 2019. To read the rest of this issue & more, please visit our Real Trends page online.

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