Realogy CEO Richard Smith recently hosted a conference call for top brokers affiliated with a Realogy brand. During the call several topics were discussed.
The good news:
- We believe the housing market is near the end of this cycle correction. In our view, existing home sales appear to have bottomed and the national average sales price for existing homes is close to its low. In spite of enormous challenges, we believe housing in the macro sense has essentially stabilized for now, although at depressed levels.
The tactics brokers/owners should be considering:
- Owners were encouraged to focus on costs and productivity.
- On the cost side of the equation the discussion centered around occupancy costs and labor costs. Any reduction in square footage is a positive outcome. Labor costs need to be constantly monitored. Every position needs to be evaluated and reevaluated.
- Walkovers and organic talent attraction are critical at this point.
- Gaining market share is the most important focus right now for residential brokerage owners.
- If you have taken the appropriate levels of costs out of your business, then even marginal improvements in market share will have significant positive impacts on your business.
Mr. Smith also recently testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development where he addressed the current state of the nation’s housing market. During his address he focused on a number of potential solutions to help with a recovery in housing.
During both his conference call to the network of Realogy brokers and the Senate Subcommittee Mr. Smith advocated that recovery is not just about housing. It’s about jobs. We need a jobs correction. Unemployed and underemployed people do not buy houses. Housing will recover when unemployment and underemployment decline and consumer confidence is restored.