More than 10,000 real estate professionals joined RISMedia online last week for its virtual event, ‘Real Estate’s Rocking in the New Year,’ starting the year off getting inspired and gaining knowledge, strategies and insights from more than 50 industry leaders who headlined the event.
The media firm’s fourth-annual new-year educational forum is a one-day virtual event held in early January from 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and this year again included a dynamic cross-section of real estate executives, brokers and agents as moderators and panelists speaking over 16 sessions on a wide array of pressing topics.
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As the industry transitions from the challenging market of 2023 to many of the same headwinds facing real estate professionals in the new year, RISMedia Founder, CEO and President John Featherston kicked off the event noting the reason for continuing to host the virtual event is more important than ever.
“Our collective goal today is to help the thousands of real estate professionals watching, to start off this year better equipped to tackle the current challenges, from the shifting economy to the ongoing lawsuits,” Featherston said. “We hope to provide you with information, techniques and strategies shared by leading professionals to help you improve your skills. We hope today you’ll start off your year stronger than ever before.”
RISMedia Executive Vice President Maria Patterson then introduced the event’s keynote speaker, Gino Blefari, CEO of HomeServices of America and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, who delivered an inspirational message through his “Six Philosophies on Life and Business.”
Some of his tenets include, “There will always be somebody who’s better;” “Inspirational discontent is your friend;” and “Find mentors.”
“To make any dramatical change in your life, you have to become so upset with where you are that it moves you to do the things that you’ve been avoiding, the things that you’ve been procrastinating on, the things that you didn’t want to do,” Blefari said. “You know, we can all do the busy work, right? We can all do the stuff that makes us feel like we’re achieving. But like Jim Rowan would say, never mistake activity for achievement.”
He summed up the fifth tenet, “Struggle is necessary for human growth,” with this conversation he shared with Featherston while planning his talk for the event.
“A few months back, John Featherston and I were having dinner, and one of the things we talked about was how we all wait for things in life to get easier.
“Think of your own life, if you waited for something to get easier. ‘Oh, I just gotta get through this and then it’ll be easy.’ ‘I just gotta get through this until interest rates go down and then I’ll be okay.’
“Or ‘I just gotta get to the spring market, then it’s gonna be easier.’ It’s what we do. We wait for stuff to get easier. Well, what John and I came up with is, it never gets easier.
“What happens is, you get better at handling hard.”
Each of Blefari’s six inspirational and motivational points can be viewed by purchasing a Replay Ticket here.
Next, Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, chief economist for Bright MLS, spoke on the shifting economy and the factors that are shaping the real estate landscape in the coming year. There are positive signs, she says, but didn’t mince words.
“We are in a new era for mortgage rates,” she said. “We all know that we won’t see mortgage rates fall back to where they were during the pandemic. That is not going to happen in our lifetimes.
“We are going to be in a period of relatively higher rates, and I’m saying relatively because I’m expecting that we’ll see mortgage rates kind of bump around here in the first quarter of 2024, but they will come down further as we head through the year.”
Sturtevant then forecasted that average mortgage rates will be in the low sixes, perhaps hitting 6% by the end of 2024, adding historical context that over the last 50 years, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage has averaged around 7.75%. “So while we’ll be a little bit elevated, compared to where we’ve been, we are actually in a pretty good position.”
Featherston then had a one-on-one panel with iconic Buffini & Company real estate coaching company Founder Brian Buffini, who talked about the impact of the Burnett vs. NAR case fallout.
“The fact of the matter is, as we all know, this thing’s going to appeal,” Buffini said. “It’s going to take a long time. I think the industry is far more prepared for the appeal than they were for the initial case. And ultimately, what I believe being a part of this thing, I don’t think we’re gonna see changes for years to come and when we do see changes, it’s actually going to be a gradual transition.”
He added, “It’s a lot of headlines, it’s a lot of noise. It’s going to appeal. I will tell you this. If a seller wants to sell their house in 2024, they better be offering a commission because buyer’s agents are not going to be walking into houses that don’t offer a commission.
“I’ve had to debate people on TV, and they’re like, ‘Hey, it’s just like travel agents, you know, they’re gone.’ The bottom line is…there’s a hell of a lot of work that has to be done, and there’s a big part of the work that cannot be done by AI or some computer system, as the ball has to be actually physically gotten across the finish line, and that requires a skill professional.”
Buffini along with dozens more real estate superstar real estate leaders shared several hours more of advice, strategies and material that will be invaluable to real estate professionals navigating the 2024 market and year ahead.
Some of these included:
- Getting Ahead of the Lawsuits: Preparing for the Compensation Conversation with Jessica Edgerton, Chief Legal Officer/Executive Vice President of Industry and Learning, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
- The 5 Best Paths to Success in 2024 with Bess Freedman, CEO, Brown Harris Stevens; Larry Flick V, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®/The Trident Group; Rick Haase, President, United Real Estate; and Drayton Saunders, President, Michael Saunders & Company
- Building Your Staying Power: How to Stay Competitive in Any Market Cycle with Darice Eppinger, REALTOR®, Keller Williams Tri County; Anthony Lamacchia, Broker/Owner/CEO Lamacchia Companies; and Chris Sears, President and CEO, JPAR – Real Estate
- And so many more
If you missed this year’s event, click here to purchase the replays and learn what your industry’s top leaders are planning to do to see continued success in the year ahead.
Stay tuned to RISMedia for more coverage of this year’s Real Estate’s Rocking in the New Year. Sign up for RISMedia’s Premier today to see the full coverage.
2024 Real Estate’s Rocking in the New Year Sponsors:
Real Estate Webmasters
American Home Shield
Forbes Global Properties