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RREIN Broker Spotlight: Prudential Florida Realty Responds to Consumers, Reaping Big Rewards

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By Maria Patterson

Editor’s Note: The RREIN Broker Spotlight Series offers industry insights from members of RISMedia’s Real Estate Information Network® (RREIN), an elite network of leading real estate companies united behind the belief that Information Share Equals Market Share. In this interview, RREIN member and Prudential Florida Realty President & CEO, Rei Mesa, shares his insights on adapting and succeeding in a changing marketplace.

Maria Patterson: Please tell us how your career path led to your current status as President & CEO of Prudential Florida Realty, Florida Real Estate Services?
Rei Mesa:
I was one of those few folks who got into real estate right out of college in 1981. Real estate sales has been my only career since. I was a top producer in southeast Florida for an independent broker for several years and then opened my own real estate company in 1989, which I operated, grew and then sold in 1997 to NRT. In 1999, I joined Prudential Florida Realty as regional vice president for southeast Florida and was promoted president of Prudential Realty in July 2004. I was given additional responsibilities for Real Estate Services, which included mortgage and title in 2005. Most recently, I was promoted to president & CEO of Prudential Florida Realty and Real Estate Services in March 2010. In 1999, the company had three offices and 71 sales associates and in a short 10 years, the company has grown to become the second largest real estate company in Florida with over 40 offices and more than 1,800 sales associates and support-team members serving 17 counties throughout the state. We are the sixth largest brokerage in North America for the Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services.

MP: Please elaborate on the company’s mortgage and title services.
RM:
Our family of services is a critical component of our growth and strength in the marketplace. In August 2006, we entered into a joint venture with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and created the Florida Home Finance Group, an affiliate of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the number one JV for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Florida and number five in the country. Our title company through First American Title, Florida Title & Guarantee, is the number one title agent in the southeastern United States.

MP: To what do you most attribute Prudential Florida Realty’s incredible growth and success?
RM:
Passion and our people—sales associates, support and leadership team, and our partners. Our growth is due to our ability to surround our company with the best talent in the industry. This relates back to my consistent focus on relationship building.

MP: How has Prudential Florida Realty evolved and grown over the years to adapt to changes in the marketplace?
RM:
In the early years, we grew as quickly as we possibly could to take advantage of the hyper market. At that time, we were acquiring companies and opening offices every other month. In the current cycle, we have shifted our focus to organic growth, increasing usage of our family of services and right-sizing the company for today’s market realities.

We can’t control the market, but we can control our activities, our core services and our organic growth. Early on, we focused on leading our sales associates to embrace the market change and focus on right-pricing their listings. Our plan was to stay in front of the market corrections.

MP: What are today’s consumers most concerned with when it comes to buying and selling real estate?
RM:
Job security is number one. Obviously, consumer confidence is related to everyone’s prospects for future employment and income ability. I truly believe we are looking at pent-up demand and once consumers feel confident that jobs are stabilizing, they will be ready to buy homes.

MP: How has your technology evolved to meet the demands of sales associates and consumers?
RM:
Several years ago, we implemented PRIMA (Prudential Real Estate Internet Marketing Advantage), a host of websites that provide our sales associates with technology solutions and an IDX solution. PRIMA provides them with a CRM back-room operation so they can stay in touch with customers and prospects through an automated e-mail campaign. We will also be introducing a program that will allow consumers to bid on a listing online.

MP: What do consumers most use technology for?
RM:
Information—and all our technology solutions point to that. Our new initiative with RISMedia’s Real Estate Information Network® (RREIN) and our involvement with RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, for example, are technology-driven programs that provide our sales associates and consumers with what they need most—relevant real estate information. Leveraging RISMedia’s rich history in the real estate business to deliver credible, useful information on a consistent basis through turnkey technology programs is just another way we can set our company apart and raise the bar in terms of service.

For more information about RISMedia’s Real Estate Information Network® (RREIN), email rrein@rismedia.com. For more information about Prudential Florida Realty,, please visit www.prudentialfloridarealty.com.

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