Editor’s Note: RISMedia recently released a special advanced look at the Top 100 firms ranked in RISMedia’s 35th Annual Power Broker Report, exclusively for RISMedia Premier Members. The Top 500 Power Broker firms will also be released in advance to Premier Members in the coming days, and the Top 1,000 firms will be available this April.
In a year where we saw the nation’s Top 1,000 firms from this year’s RISMedia’s annual Power Broker Report reveal a more than $220B decrease in collective sales volume over 2021 as a result of over 670,000 fewer transactions, few companies saw profitability in 2022. Holding firm at the No. 3 position on the report its second year in a row, HomeServices of America is one of those notable few.
The company’s iconic CEO, Gino Blefari attributes that success to the leaders across the organization and their ability to execute the company’s goals and strategies. In this exclusive interview with RISMedia, Blefari shares insights into how the company was able to achieve profitability amid such consternation in the market as well what agents need to be doing now to ensure their success in the year ahead.
HomeServices of America
No. 3 Sales Volume
No. 3 Transactions
HomeServices of America
Was HomeServices’ performance in residential sales volume and transactions for 2022 in line with your expectations for the year? Why or why not?
We were extremely impressed by and grateful for the performance of our real estate professionals in 2022. In one of the most dramatic shifts in the real estate market and mortgage rate environment in decades, our agents continued to display their expertise and commitment to helping clients navigate inventory and affordability challenges. While transactions across the industry were down year over year, HomeServices was one of the very few national companies to remain profitable in 2022, including each of our business segments of brokerage, franchise, mortgage, settlement services and insurance. It is a testament to the manner in which our leaders across the organization execute their strategies and goals each day.
What is the most significant change the company is making this year to ensure success in a shifting market?
One of the risks to any organization is becoming complacent and waiting too long to address obvious issues. Facts don’t cease to exist just because you ignore them. Thankfully we entered 2023 in a very strong position which allows us to be more strategic in our decisions and alleviates the need to make knowingly bad business decisions simply to save money in the short term. Certainly, the COVID-era accelerated many of the office trends that were already well underway. We are executing on opportunities to right-size offices for today’s environment while maintaining these extremely important spaces where real estate professionals gather, collaborate and mastermind together. Real estate is a social endeavor by its very nature, and bringing people together is a key to our culture.
How can leaders keep agents motivated and productive in unpredictable times?
First and foremost, each of us needs to focus on what we can control and tune out the rest. Too many of us direct our attention to things we have absolutely no control over, rather than directing our energies to areas we can influence. Can you control what mortgage rates are going to be in 2023? No, don’t fixate on it. Can you control inflation? No, don’t fixate on it. Can you directly control if there are 4.5, 5 or 5.5 million home sales in 2023? No, don’t fixate on it. The things that are within your control are your attitude and daily actions. Those that don’t operate from a scarcity mindset will find plenty of opportunities in the coming year. Most real estate professionals know exactly what it takes to be successful. The right mindset is critical as is having a morning routine; those that get up every day and put it into action are the ones that rise to the top. Communicating and educating should be two top priorities for every one of us this year. When markets are volatile, many consumers step back to the sidelines simply out of fear or a lack of understanding. Reach out to clients at a renewed frequency and help educate them on exactly what is happening in your market. An informed client turns into a confident client and one that is ready to move with your guidance. There are many ways to sell real estate and REALTORS® have many different skill sets. When I’m asked what’s working for REALTORS® right now my response is always ‘what works is when they work’. One of my favorite quotes is by Ralph Waldo Emerson when he says, “Do the thing, and you shall have the power, but they who do not do the thing have not the power.”