Industry leaders feel that the worst is behind us.

Services for Real Estate Pros with Market Leader, Inc.

I spent a few days in Dallas this week for the 2010 Gathering of Eagles, a conference for the nation's largest real estate brokerage companies put on by Real Trends each year.  While our industry has more conferences than most of us can attend, I always find the Gathering to be an excellent event and a good way to get a pulse for the state of the real estate industry.  Some quick takeaways:

·         State of the Market - the tone of this year's event was decidedly more positive than last year's.  While I don't think many leaders are expecting a robust market any time soon, most feel that the worst is behind us.  Brokerage companies see the current environment as an opportunity to differentiate themselves and seem more willing to invest (albeit cautiously) to take market share.

·         Network Level Innovation - There was an interesting panel featuring the leaders of the leading real estate franchisors and networks.  I heard good commentary from all of the participants but was particularly engaged by Pam O'Connor, CEO of The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, and Mark Willis, CEO of Keller Williams.  Both leaders clearly articulated the ways in which they differentiate what they do from other franchise organizations.   It's easy to see why both companies have continued to be successful in even the most challenging of environments.

·         Lead Generation - More and more attention continues to be paid to lead generation, and all aspects of the who, what, where, and how to be successful at it.  In the "boom", many companies seemed to take a ‘who needs it' approach to the space, but now it's clear that the brokers and the networks know they need to create compelling lead generation strategies if they are going to effectively compete for consumers and for agents.

There were many other excellent talks as well.  Steve Murray, CEO of Real Trends and host of the event, as always, provided valuable insights about where Real Trends sees the market heading over the next few years.  This insight is a big part of why so many leaders make their way to the event every year.  Rich Barton, CEO of Zillow, did a great job of engaging the audience with his take on what's to come, and the important role that the iPad and technologies like it will play in the future.

And speaking of Rich, it sounds like he and I both hit a few tennis balls with the same pro at the hotel.  I didn't know Rich was a tennis player until the pro mentioned that another guy from Seattle had just been out on the court, and that the two of us should play when we get back to the Seattle area.  When I asked how I would do against Rich, he just kept saying "too close to call, but it would be a great battle".  So what do you say Rich - Can I interest you in an online real estate tennis match?  Perhaps we could even make it interesting - for charity, of course.

Comments (34)

Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Hey Ian!  Didn't really get to talk to you last week, but nice to see you.

Having attended the meeting as well, the mood was definitely better than the past two years.  I think this had less to do with the housing market itself, and more with where the Brokers were as business owners.  They've trimmed their businesses back to be lean and mean, they've gotten smarter, and now are ready to start investing smartly to build their firms back up.

One thing I found particularly interesting was how much attention was paid to recruiting.  I think the days of office acquisitions for pennies on the dollar are over, so now companies are looking to grow through recruitment.  So to all you great agents out there, I would be ready for a call from other broker options! 

May 11, 2010 02:51 AM
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Ian: Thanks for clarifying. It may be years before we see good times again but I do agree the market has stabilized.

May 11, 2010 03:00 AM
Franklin & Brentwood, TN Homes Mike Nastri
Keller Williams Realty - Franklin, TN
It matters to us as much as it matters to you.

Good to hear so many encouraging views.  Perhaps the negative comments are speaking more from their local point of view.  From this location (Nashville), things are looking very encouraging and if the national indicators continue to improve, jobs, DOW, etc. can better times be far behind?

May 11, 2010 03:05 AM
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

I was going to warn you that many will not like the 'positive' tone to your post, but you've already found that out!  :-)  

May 11, 2010 03:30 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Ian....delightful thought provoking post.....

This Real Estate Cycle has the pros....scratching their heads. We are all hoping for the best.......but the worse has yet to show all of itself as my fellow commentators point out. Don't unstrap yourself yet and stay seated until we come to a full stop....the ride ain't over and we are heading for a few bumps & keep those arms and legs in your lap (top).


May 11, 2010 03:31 AM
John Mulkey - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Ian - I think the reason there are varying points of view is that we're in uncharted territory.  It isn't wise to base our expectations upon past history; we have no history for the economic conditions we currently experience. And while I'm not necessarily negative about our future, I don't anticipate a return to the boom years in my lifetime.

May 11, 2010 05:45 AM
Michael Goodheim
Commission Express of Western Washington - Seattle, WA
Cash Flow Expert for Real Estate Pros

Ian - nice post on the conference.  I think there will be hard slogging ahead for everyone in real estate, but "worst behind us" certainly seems appropriate.  I think once we all admit that the future will simply be different and more difficult than the boom years, the faster we can all have a positive attitude about our chosen industry.

May 11, 2010 05:53 AM
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

Doesn't mean anything to me.  Of course the industry will think the worst is behind us.  I hope they are right.  But, you cannot ask a child molester if he is done molesting, or the banking industry if things are ok. They are not in a position to see themselves.  I hope they are right. 

May 11, 2010 06:42 AM
Sandy Wagner
RE/MAX Professionals 253.225.8322 - Gig Harbor, WA
Short Sale Specialist Tacoma, WA, and Gig Harbor,

I hope you're right, Ian, but I think we're for a few more years of struggle.

May 11, 2010 06:53 AM
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

Thanks for the positive words, Ian.

My market is having a small surge in activity - long way to go until prices increase, I suppose.  But in my little rural corner of the world - I see the boomer migration as beginning again.

May 11, 2010 10:45 AM
Balboa Real Estate San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA


I don't think the worst is behind us in some areas of San Diego. We will just have to see what 2010 brings.

May 11, 2010 11:52 AM
Timo Yannopoulos
Platinum Realty Licensed in Missouri - Kansas City, MO
Buying and Selling Kansas City Homes

I wish I could believe the worst is over, Unfortunately we heard the same music last year too.

What is the deal with the 70% of all foreclosures are not yest on the market? Is that a rumor or what?

It is great to be positive thinker, but it is greater to be realistic.

Time will show us.

German saying "kommt Zeit kommt Rat" take your time; time will tell,

May 11, 2010 04:51 PM
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Well glad to have you here Ian. It should be fun getting "your" perspective.

May 12, 2010 04:51 AM
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

I too think that we are on the slow slide up.  It is not an incredible difference but It is noticable.

May 12, 2010 05:44 AM
Joseph D. Federico
Donahue Real Estate Co. - Canton, MA
Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate

Ian-Welcome to Active Rain, my Man Greg Nino sent me over to give you a big Welcome!

May 12, 2010 09:10 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

I'm curious to hear more about the ipad comments. I saw one demonstrated at a seminar and then just had to go to Best Buy and sample it on my own. I need more flash which seems to double about every year.

May 12, 2010 01:01 PM
Mike Linkenauger
Jacksonville, FL
Short Sale Specialist Network

Things should definately start inproving to some degree.  Prices are already going up in some areas of the country.   2010 will be the year of the short sale!

May 13, 2010 02:38 AM
Jeannie Chase

I love seeing anything positive. Thanks for the post Ian. In my market (Santa Clara Co.) things have stablized now for about a year. The unfortunate part is that home values have dropped so much over the past 3 years which means we will be dealing with short sales for a long time. According to an article I recently read First American CoreLogic is predicting most areas of the country will not be in a positive equity position until 2015 and in some areas not until 2020.

May 13, 2010 05:36 AM
Rich Barton

Too funny, Ian.  I'll send you mail and we can set something up.  I enjoyed your session on lead management and CRM a great deal.  Good seeing you in Dallas.


May 13, 2010 11:29 AM
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the post.

As you know, KW has fully integrated their eedge system with Market Leader. Congratulations on that. Not only is it a tremendous coup for ML, but it gives you great credibility as well.

Thanks again.


Feb 27, 2011 11:19 PM