Editor’s Note: This spotlight is from the class of 2021 Newsmakers. RISMedia just recently released its 2022 list of Newsmakers, which can be viewed here.
As president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Ryan Gorman leads the brand’s day-to-day franchise and brokerage operations.
While in the role, Gorman has prioritized diversity, inclusion and fair housing by launching the Coldwell Banker’s Inclusive Ownership Program, which aims to support diverse broker-owners in their first two years of business.
Here, Gorman discusses becoming an RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker—individuals recognized for their positive contributions to the real estate industry—and how he is positioning Coldwell Banker agents and brokers for success in 2022.
Jordan Grice: How does it feel to be named an RISMedia Newsmaker?
Ryan Gorman: It’s a big compliment to the 100,000-plus professionals who work daily, and they are the reason why people think so highly of Coldwell Banker in the first place, so I give a big shout-out to them. They’re the reason why I got the nomination in the first place.
JG: What has been the driving force for Coldwell Banker’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion in recent years?
RG: What it comes down to is homeownership. We’re big believers that homeownership is a solid positive for individuals, families, and communities. We believe the single best way to chart a path to homeownership for anyone is to work with a trusted advisor at your side.
The inclusive ownership program is one of the examples of how we are looking to address that and grow the opportunities of homeownership for everyone.
JG: What have been the results of the program since it launched?
RG: We launched it in Feb. 2020, and we all know what happened that March. It was a tough time to launch, yet we’ve added approximately one inclusive ownership broker every month since then, and we’re going to be accelerating our pace on that, which is great.
I’m most proud of how our inclusive ownership brokers have grown. They have, on average, more than doubled the agents in their brokerage and, in many cases, have increased their overall volume production by literally thousands of percentage points. They were biased toward growth which is why they sought us out in the first place and our partnership with them.
What Coldwell Banker delivers is mentorship. My pleasure is to work with them as they come into the program to see how we can connect the dots between their ambitions and their successful reality.
JG: What is Coldwell Banker focusing on for 2022’s real estate/housing market?
RG: For our agents, we’re asking for them to focus on market share and, more specifically, listings. We believe that trusted advisors will help existing homeowners learn the value of their homes in today’s market. We think that that knowledge will drive more inventory into the market. That additional inventory is desperately needed amid steadily strong buyer demand.
We ask that each agent, broker and office focus on the markets they serve and methodically execute a plan to increase their share in that targeted market.
JG: How are you planning on addressing the challenges still facing the industry, like lagging inventory?
RG: I think there is an information asymmetry. I don’t believe that most homeowners know what their home is worth, and we hear this consistently from agents on listing presentations whose clients are blown away by what they can get for selling their home today. That work can create the inventory that we desperately need.
The next step, of course, is helping them understand how they can move affordably into another property, especially by leveraging maybe newfound freedom of being able to work remotely. They may be able to look in different markets than they had been contemplating before, so their relative affordability is actually high. That’s where the trusted, informed advisor comes in, and it’s our job to make sure that our advisors stay informed and get in front of homeowners and prospective buyers.
JG: In your perspective, what factors have the most significant influence on the market today and in the foreseeable future?
RG: Global savings rates are at record highs. That means that there are significant fund flows, and those funds are flowing into the U.S., and they are looking for safe and sound investments with asset backing, which has made mortgage-backed securities (MBS) appealing and kept rates low even as the Fed tapers buying a bit.
Also, the ability to work more remotely for individuals part-time or permanently is broadening and deepening that buyer pool, including for second homes and for a change of primary residence, which keeps demand really high. So you’ve got these two key factors keeping affordability in check with rates and keeping demand high.
Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.