Running a real estate brokerage isn’t for the faint-hearted. But broker/owners have a passionate advocate in James Corcoran, Vice President of sales strategy and operations for Realogy Franchise Group. His team supports franchise sales for Realogy’s six real estate brands — Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Corcoran, ERA Real Estate® and Sotheby’s International Realty® but he sees his biggest role as bringing solutions to brokers.
It’s evident to anyone who talks to James that he is bullish about the brokerage business and highly confident in the significant advantages Realogy brands offer broker/owners. We sat down with James recently to talk about the most pressing challenges facing brokers today.
Q: What’s the most significant change you’ve seen in your 15 years in real estate?
JAMES: Definitely the technology — just look at the role it plays in how we market properties and find homes for buyers in this low-inventory market. I’m really proud of the products Realogy launched and has in the works to help agents grow their business, market properties and streamline the broker business. We are constantly investing in new technology and programs to help brokers and agents be successful while meeting consumers anywhere in their buying or selling journey. Just look at the work we’re doing to simplify the buying and selling transaction, which will streamline work for brokers and their agents, allowing them to be the subject matter experts for their clients. Ultimately, it provides a better consumer experience, leading to more referrals and repeat business.
Q: Is there anything that hasn’t changed?
JAMES: Yes, tech can’t do everything. Buying a home is such an emotional adventure, especially for first-time homebuyers and people who have major life changes like having a child, getting married, kids graduating and moving on, and divorce. These are all very emotional events that drive the need to buy or sell a home. For most people, it’s also the biggest investment they’ll ever make in their life. You want an experienced professional you can trust, who can guide you through the process and keep your interests at heart, especially during these emotional times.
You see companies testing things that minimize the role of brokerages or take the agent out of the equation. Realogy stands firmly behind brokers and agents, as they are vital to the real estate business. And that will not change.
Q: How does Realogy make things easier for brokers?
JAMES: It’s hard to operate a brokerage. You have to balance agent commissions with expenses that put pressure on your bottom line. Agents want tech to streamline their work and grow their business, but that’s expensive. They also need training, whether they’re just learning the ropes or want to take their business to the next level. Maybe you need succession planning, want to aggregate your business and grow market share, are facing a new competitor with a different business model, have recruiting and retention issues, or maybe there’s a merger or acquisition that you’re eyeing.
We have solutions, so you don’t have to go it alone. We already have the tech. We have an award-winning agent education program, so you don’t have to create your own or hire an expensive third-party coach. And we have the experience, expertise, connections and resources to help you address the challenges, take advantage of the opportunities and grow and scale your business.
I know being an independent broker can feel a bit isolating. You have questions, but your peers are also competitors, so where do you turn when you need advice? Realogy’s brands offer a powerful network of talented and experienced brokers who readily share with each other. They’ve been through what you’re experiencing, they’ve taken the same journey you’re taking now. And I’ve heard over and over that they’re there for each other — you’ll have a ready-made network of experienced professionals to connect with, which is a huge advantage.
Q: What other advantages do Realogy brands have over other real estate franchisors?
JAMES: Where do I start? First off, Realogy has the data and wisdom of six major national real estate brands, which gives us tremendous insights into what agents need to be successful, what consumers want and where the market is going. No other company has access to that level of learning, which gives us a significant advantage.
We have the unique ability to deliver tech solutions across multiple brands. The MoxiWorks suite is a great example. Realogy was able to leverage its strong financial position to bring Moxi to the affiliates of all its brands, so they have access to the industry’s best CRM, integrated CMA and presentation tool, property marketing, recruiting and retention platform and real estate website provider.
We also have exciting products and programs, both for the agent and the consumer, like RealSure and RealVitalize. And broker/owners are increasingly looking to ancillary services to offset high agent commission splits, and we already have our own well-established and very successful title and mortgage companies.
Everyone today talks about being innovative and investing in technology, but I’ve never seen it done at the level that Realogy does it. Just look at the FWD Innovation Summit that we host each year when tech developers get to pitch their ideas for game-changing real estate products, and the winner becomes part of our open ecosystem. No one else is doing anything like that. Realogy is really driving the tech in real estate.
Q: Any relation to Barbara Corcoran, the Shark Tank judge and founder of Realogy’s Corcoran Group?
JAMES: People ask me that a lot at events. I’ll go along with it for a minute and say, “Yeah, that’s my mom.” But no, sadly, we’re not related.
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*Please note this document was published prior to Realogy’s rebrand to Anywhere Real Estate Inc. on June 9, 2022.