2022 RISMedia CEO & Leadership Exchange Recap

Read the blog below:

Anthony: Real estate, media, and CEO event recap. I just got back from Washington, DC. I was there for a couple of days with our chief operating officer and wow, what an event. I want to talk to you all about it. I want to share some of the insights that I picked up on, things that I picked up on that were larger topics, or things that stood out to me. Number one, there is no longer any debate whatsoever if the market is in a downshift. That debate is over. Everyone knows that the market is settling down, coming back down to earth after a two-year frenzy.

The only debate is, will it be through the rest of this year and then get back to a sense of normalcy? When I say normal, I’m talking pre-pandemic normal, which remember was still hot, or are we going to stay slow for a year or two and then get back into what’ll probably be another 8 or 10-year cycle? I would tell you that it was probably a 75-25 on that particular debate.

75% of people thinking this is just a temporary lull while interest rates are higher and then we’ll come out of it and go on another eight-year run probably starting the first of the year. Probably 25% of the folks in attendance we’re talking about how they feel it’s going to be a little bit longer, more like a year or two. I am in that camp. I am in that camp. That’s what I see on our horizon.

Just so you all know before I get into numbers two, three, and four, there were no slouches at this event. This was the cream of the crop. This was the biggest leaders in the industry. Almost all of them were there. It was wild. I don’t know of any other industry trade show or event that pulls more of the top leaders of the top real estate companies than RISMedia. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was terrific, but that was the general sense.

Like I said, no debate on whether we’re in a downshift. The debate was, is this going to be prolonged for a year or two or is this going to be back off to the races on another eight-year run at the first of the year? I told you what I thought. Next. Back to the basics. A lot of talk about back to the basics. Let me tell you, there was a lot of people there that were real vets in the business.

I was moderating a panel of five different people, all of which I respect. They all run large companies. Everybody on the panel was, I would say, at least 800 realtors or more. At least a billion dollars or more, all the way up to several billion dollars a year in annual sales. The gentleman who I have a lot of respect for who’s become a friend, JB Goodwin out of Austin, Texas, has been doing this 50 years. I went to him first and we talked about what type of market it is. He’s in the same camp as me, by the way. He thinks this is going to be a year or two of it being a little slower and then we’ll take back off again. One of the things that he talked about is back to basics.

We were in a frenzy, a complete out-of-control frenzy for two years. Now we’re back to getting back into a normal real estate market. Maybe it’ll get a little bit slower. It’s not yet. We’re still seeing multiple offers, but maybe it will get a little bit slower than that or slow for a couple of years and that’s what requires realtors to get back to basics. Being in touch with clients, being in touch with past clients. Two things you didn’t really have time to do for the last two years because all you’ve been doing is running around like a maniac, running to show houses as fast as they come on, running to write offers, and get involved in multiple offers situations. You didn’t have time. Now you have the time. Take advantage of the time.

Another item that came up a lot, which is my personal favorite, training. Several veterans brought up how now realtors need to get back to training basics. Myself and several others vets in the business said half the industry has realtors that haven’t really had very many, if any, price adjustment conversations. Price improvement, that’s the new term. They didn’t have that when I did it.

Price improvement conversations. Very few realtors were doing it 15 years ago. Half the realtor crowd wasn’t doing it eight years ago. Now it’s time to sharpen up on those skills and that’s something that we’ve been working on at our company since the spring because I saw this coming over the horizon. Next item on the agenda to talk about is re-engaging realtors. Remember, this was an event full of leaders and what they talked about was re-engagement, getting their realtors more serious, getting realtors in their offices, decreasing Zoom, increasing in-person showings. I’ll tell you these are all things that we’re doing in our company.

We just come out with a commitment to success and a recommitment to success for our existing realtors and RISMedia picked it up and the news picked it up because we’re not playing games here. We want people who are serious about thriving in this business. Funny enough, several people were talking about that. Several veterans were saying, hey, the last few years it was easy to be successful. It’s not going to be easy to be successful for the next couple. It’ll get easier again, but for the next couple, it’s not going to be. People need to be in person, be serious, and be attentive as often as possible.

The other conversation that there was a lot of was about mergers and acquisitions and how there will be a lot of them. This was several panels. John and his crew, they did a tremendous job putting together some of the best and brightest in the business with respect to mergers and acquisitions. There were some great conversations about that. I’ll tell you, we as a company, we’re looking for acquisitions. We’ve been talking to some and we’re on the hunt and we’ll continue to be over the next couple of years while things are a little bit slower.

They talked about how some companies aren’t going to have a choice. As we get into this market here, these are times that people start realizing, eh, maybe I do need some help. Maybe I can’t keep doing this on my own. Hey, I was really busy when the market was good, now I’m not busy at all. Well, if that’s the case, there’s no shame in teaming up with someone larger.

It was great for us, for myself and our chief operating officer, Jackie Louh, to be there and involved in that. We both moderated panels and we both sat in on several panels and conversations with respect to mergers and acquisitions. There was just a lot of talk about how there’s going to be a lot of that over the next couple of years. There was also some talk and some barbs thrown at companies that have been very unprofitable and are going to have a hard time here in the next couple of years. There was a lot of that conversation.

Those are the four items I wanted to tell you about. Overall, phenomenal job by RISMedia, absolutely phenomenal. John, Kara, Maria, and I mean the whole crew. They just did a phenomenal job. I know I’m forgetting some people, Kristen, Jordan, there’s a lot of them but they did a phenomenal job. If you’re a leader in the industry and you miss this event next year, you’re mistaken.

I’ll tell you right now, if you’re a leader and you only go to that event, you’re in good shape. It was a really, really great event and I sure won’t miss it next time. I hope that gives you a good recap. I hope that gives you a good understanding and a good view into what the biggest leaders in the industry are thinking and talking about right now. That’s all. Good luck, happy home selling.