Executives from Homes.com and Real Estate Webmasters (REW), both Diamond Sponsors of RISMedia’s 2019 Real Estate CEO Exchange, presented company updates to the more than 300 attendees at the event, held in New York City September 18-19.
During his presentation, Homes.com President David Mele noted that the company has been a repeat sponsor of the annual event, which he said brings “a great cross-section of leaders together to wrestle with important topics, challenges, opportunities and change.
“We certainly have a lot of change going on in our industry,” he stated. “Change challenges our concept of tradition as we look at innovation, but we think about tradition as the time-tested truths that should be respected, that should be protected and that should be preserved. Tradition is one of those things we believe can coexist with innovation through change.”
Mele laid out Homes.com’s beliefs and promises to the real estate industry. For example, the company believes consumers should always work with a licensed real estate professional.
“The agent should remain, and will remain, at the center of the transaction,” he said. “We don’t see a future where technology eliminates real estate agents. We see a future where technology enables real estate agents.”
Homes.com also believes in the value of the MLS and the importance of providing clear, accurate listing data for consumers and listing agents alike.
David Mele, President, Homes.com (Credit: Korin Krossber of PlanOmatic)
As for promises to the industry, Mele said Homes.com vows not to compete against agents and brokers, adding that the company isn’t in the business of buying and selling real estate.
“We think that’s an important distinction, because we can then put your best interests front and center as we craft a solution together,” he said.
Homes.com also promises to not favor lead-buyers and to always send a copy of every consumer inquiry on a property to the listing agent.
In closing, Mele said, “Our promise is that it’s you’re listing, so it should be and will be your lead, and it will continue to be your commission.”
During a separate presentation, REW provided an update on some of its latest initiatives, including a revamped CRM, a new branding agency and an overseas expansion.
To design the new CRM, REW “went out into the market and looked at how to get the most interaction and engagement,” explained Tim Collins, senior enterprise account executive.
Tim Collins, Senior Enterprise Account Executive, and Laura Monroe, Head of Industry and Partners, Real Estate Webmasters (Credit: Korin Krossber of PlanOmatic)
Laura Monroe, head of Industry and Partners, discussed the launch of REW’s branding agency, noting the initiative was a response to industry-wide demand. She said, “Rebranding requires a good team of consultants and designers, so we have built that now into our services package.”
Monroe also declared that REW is going global and has decided to “make some big infrastructural changes this year.
“We’re always looking for ways to get better,” she said. “We’ve decided to double down on the global infrastructure and start to adopt a new vision toward international development that we believe will not only help make us more agile, flexible and efficient here, but start to forge the path forward as we begin to do more and more with markets abroad.”
As Collins put it, “We’re taking REW on the road.”
Originally from the UK, Collins said real estate transactions outside North America are “really difficult,” adding that some foreign practices with funny names, such as “gazumping,” “gazundering” and “gazanging,” can complicate or even ruin a deal.
Collins and John Featherston, President/CEO, RISMedia (Credit: Korin Krossber of PlanOmatic)
Collins said REW’s global expansion is starting with Europe in an effort to “create an international MLS so that data standards throughout the world are similar. Data really is the future.”
Monroe noted that REW collaborated with the Real Estate Standards Organization to further standardize adoption and create more efficiencies.
“We need to take the obstacles out of this,” she said. “We need to have a system in place that doesn’t feel like building IKEA furniture every single day. This is something we are really passionate about moving forward.”
Joe Bebon is RISMedia’s associate editor. Email him your real estate news ideas at email@example.com.