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A Core Services Think Tank

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Real Estate Services Forum Will Launch New Large Broker Community Initiatives

By Virginia Cook

During next month's NAR Midyear Conference & Expo, a special day will be dedicated to addressing the unique needs of large real estate firms and those companies that aspire to grow and integrate business lines and services. As part of this day-long series of meetings and educational sessions, NAR will introduce brokers to the mission and plans of its Real Estate Services (RES) initiative during an exclusive Real Estate Services Forum. Large Broker Day will also incorporate other specially tailored large broker community programming with RISMedia.

The Real Estate Services Forum will take place on Thursday, May 17, from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. during the Midyear conference in Washington, D.C. This Forum will take on a roundtable format in order to intimately explore the opportunities core services provide for full-service real estate brokerages. Invited speakers including David Lereah, NAR's chief economist and principal officers from three of the nation's most successful full services real estate companies will talk with 100 invited attendees as well as other REALTORS® (brokers and agents) attending the Midyear conference.

David Lereah, NAR's chief economist will outline the role of its recently formed Real Estate Services initiative, a program designed to aid real estate brokers in implementing and maximizing core services, such as mortgage, title and home warranty. Also invited to participate in the roundtable panel are Gerry Griesler, president of Prudential Fox & Roach/The Trident Group; Dave Stevens, president of Affiliated Businesses at The Long & Foster Companies; and Rosie Koberlein, chief executive officer, Long Companies.

In keeping with a recommendation by NAR's Strategic Planning Committee, Real Estate Services will broaden NAR as an association by reaching out to provide added value, added services, and to influence policymaking, not just for the real estate brokerage function but for all the real estate services provided by our companies. The effort began in January, 2006 when a Real Estate Services Task Force was created to work closely with representatives from the large broker community to better understand their business interests and to identify how best to bring them tangible value.

The RES Forum at Midyear will further this cause by providing brokers with a chance to voice their concerns and share their best practices in the core services sector. This session will explore the full breadth of opportunities that core services present to real estate firms, and will investigate the business models that are yielding the best results.

During the RES Forum, we will also discuss the role that affiliated companies play in building a full-service real estate company. The options in adding core services to a firm are as varied as the types of real estate firms themselves. We will look at which options work best in which situation.

We will also discuss how the role of the agent at a full-service company must evolve. As successful brokers know, it's not just enough to offer core services-there must be complete buy-in from the agents in order to build a profitable revenue stream. As the direct line of communication to consumers, the role of the agent becomes critical in maximizing the full-service real estate model.

Later that day, during RISMedia's 2nd Annual Power Broker Forum at NAR Midyear, brokers can partake in an interactive discussion entitled, "Are you Creating a Consumer-Facing Business?" During the Power Broker Forum, attendees will hear expert opinions regarding the strategies and trends-such as the implementation of core services-that will create successful relationships with today's evolving consumers.

Moderated by RISMedia President & CEO John Featherston and Prudential CA/NV/TX Realty President Ed Krafchow, the Power Broker Forum panel includes: John Bearden, President and CEO, GMAC Home Services; Marty Frame, CIO, Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions; Justin McCarthy, Partner Development Manager for Real Estate, Google; and Brenda Shipplett, President and COO, Long & Foster. The Forum takes place from 3 – 5 p.m. and is immediately followed by a reception from 5 – 6 p.m.

We believe that by providing more value for large brokerage firms through Real Estate Services and the Large Broker Day at Midyear, NAR is helping to ensure a better, more profitable future for brokers and the Realtors who serve them, and those companies that aspire to re-invent themselves and evolve into full real estate services businesses.

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