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Last week, RISMedia’s CEO Exchange provided an interactive platform for some of the strongest players in real estate to come together and brainstorm ways to commandeer this slowly recovering market. The two-day event included multiple panels and discussions, covering everything from modernizing technology plans to exploring the Dodd-Frank act.

One particular session, titled, “Increasing Marketshare: Recruiting, Roll-Ins, REOs and Other Ways to Expand Your Business,” featured a panel of Power Brokers who discussed ways to grow your business in today’s market, including polishing your recruiting team and taking advantage of niche markets such as luxury and international, building a stronger strategy for acquisition and expanding your brand through key alliances.

“There’s a small margin between the gold level and the silver level,” noted panel moderator Verl Workman, Co-Founder of Pinnacle Quest Consulting and the president of RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, who compared business success to the recent Olympic games.

Rick Davidson, President and CEO of CENTURY 21 Real Estate, spoke of how fertile the international investment market is, and how real estate companies should be taking full advantage. “International investors look at the U.S. market as a safe investment space,” he said. He went on to note that the best way to advance is by harvesting the entrepreneurial spirit of your most passionate agents, starting from the ground level and working out. “The entrepreneurial spirit of the agent is what is bringing these opportunities forward,” explained Davidson. His suggestion for excelling in an international market is simple: Form a global task force.

“Passion for real estate is the same from country to country,” said Davidson, “but understanding the culture is critical to doing business with foreign investors.” His top tips? Leverage your technology, learn your culture, and join supporting organizations. He suggests joining groups like AREAA and NAHREP.

But these aren’t the only groups you should be building relationships with if your aim is to stay on top of your business. Georgianna Finn, Co-Owner of Coach REALTORS®, explained her unique strategy for acquisition. She suggested building strong relationships with other firms, including brokerages that some may view as competitors.

“Talk to competitors in a non-competitive way,” she recommended. “Build relationships—it takes a long time, but building relationships with other brokers is the most important thing we do in terms of acquisition.” Coach REALTORS® has built alliances with several other brokers in order to expand their brand, growing their market reach.

“We share all our listings onto each other’s sites, with no referral fees. It’s unique, it’s powerful, it’s inexpensive, and it’s effective,” Finn said.

However, business growth should come from inside your own company as well, and it’s important to build a firm core with an all-star team. Todd Hetherington, CEO of Century 21 New Millennium discussed the importance of finding leaders that can recruit on all levels. “Get the right people on the bus,” said Hetherington.

Peter Hunt, President and CEO of Hunt Real Estate ERA had similar suggestions. “Find the right people for recruiting, and hold them accountable.”

Whether you’re focusing on niche markets, building an all-star recruiting team, creating alliances or all of the above, there is ample opportunity to increase your market share in today’s recovering real estate climate.

Stay tuned for more post-event coverage here at