the realty alliance

Upstream Revealed

by Victor Lund on October 15, 2015

As many of you know, WAV Group has been working with a group of brokers and franchises for more than a year on a project called Upstream. Today, Upstream is a corporation with one of the strongest board of directors in our industry. It has been an honor to work with the board along with the CIOs and CTOs of their corporations to define the Upstream application and talk to enterprise level technology firms who have the capacity to deliver such an enormous solution. Until now, very little information has been shared openly across the industry. Until the company’s governance was established, the application specified, and a vendor sourced – there was little to say. Upstream has been theoretical. It is about to become operational. We have created a report onUpstream that you can download and share. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. victor@wavgroup.com Download the complete report on Upstream here.  

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A couple of months ago I wrote a post called the “Challenge for Positive Change” that highlighted many of the relationship dysfunctions we are experiencing in the industry today. We have the honor of working with large brokers as well as MLSs, Associations, technology companies and even title and home warranty providers. We see misperceptions and distrust running rampant between each of these groups. It’s clear that there are many that are feeling as though our industry could be working together much better than it is at the moment. Fast forward a few weeks and we get to CMLS and the now infamous outline of issues delivered by Craig Cheatham, President and CEO of the Realty Alliance, a highly-respected network for many of North America’s largest full service brokerages and their affiliated business. Many people in the audience were shocked with Craig’s candor and level of frustration, but I’m not sure why. The types of issues he outlined are the types of issues that have been circling around in MLSs and Associations for a long time. I think the difference is that many groups were simply not listening or taking the conversation as seriously as the tone in which Craig delivered his eloquent presentation of the issues suggests they need to. The issues he outlines are complicated. Some are quite easy to rectify, but many of the issues are based on local tradition, not on sound business logic that considers today’s consumers and the brokers that serve them. I have a theory as to why large brokers believe real estate organizations are in conflict with their business goals. I believe that the industry’s extreme focus on satisfying the perceived needs of agents is getting in the way of progress. When you look at it just about every organization in the industry is agent-centric and not broker-centric. From the National Association of REALTORS® all the way down to a one office brokerage, the needs of agents are considered above all others. Every model depends on agent quantity and not necessarily quality. With that focus comes a lot of dysfunction. Associations and MLSs are well aware that agents and brokers have different perspectives about the industry and yet, in many cases, agents dominate committees, boards and taskforces. They drive decisions that are best for individual agents, but not necessarily the most appropriate or workable for brokerages. In my article called 5 Ways […]

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Howard Hanna enters Michigan Market

by Victor Lund on October 19, 2012

howard hanna logo

At a joint press conference held in Ann Arbor, Michigan this afternoon, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services announced that Edward Surovell Realtors of Ann Arbor, Michigan has become part of the Howard Hanna family of real estate. Surovell is one of the largest real estate companies in Michigan and was #1 in homes sold last year in Southeastern Michigan. As Surovell joins Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, it becomes part of the 4th largest real estate company in the United States and the #1 home seller in PA and OH, with almost $6 billion in volume and 34,292 transaction sides last year. The company was founded in 1957 by Howard and Anne Hanna with one office on the University of Pittsburgh campus; three generations of the family are involved in the company today with home bases in Pittsburgh and Cleveland and 144 offices across the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia and now Michigan. Howard W. ‘Hoddy’ Hanna, III, Chairman and CEO of Howard Hanna, said his family has known the family owned Surovell Realtors for more than 20 years. “Surovell’s superb culture, along with the quality of their agents, management team and business, mix well with our family-owned company,” said Hanna. Howard W. ‘Hoby’ Hanna, IV, President of Howard Hanna Michigan and Ohio, added, “Today we are beginning a new chapter in service to real estate consumers in this region. We are excited about the future and growth of both of our companies, as well as the region.” Surovell’s owner, President and CEO, Ed Surovell, stated that over the course of a year, as he examined the needs of his company and sales associates and staff, the decision was made to seek a business relationship with an established super-regional firm that would broaden the company’s opportunities while also strengthening their core real estate sales, property management and title insurance businesses. “We chose to join forces with the Hanna Company,” said Surovell, “as it models our own company, in that both are family owned and operated with an emphasis on professional excellence, full-time sales associates and a full line of real estate related services. I’ve known the Hanna family for many years and our close relationship will allow for an easy transformation from out three decades of growth as Edward Surovell Realtors to our next stage as Howard Hanna Realtors.” Hoddy Hanna added the company’s exclusive 100% Money […]

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FSBO Sites Grow as Broker and Franchises Languish

by Victor Lund on November 30, 2011

Listing Syndicaiton

One of the pleasures of working at the WAV Group is the barrage of business questions that we are tasked to answer on a regular basis. Often, the questions challenge conventional understandings about the effectiveness of strategies in real estate. A key strategy discussion among executives at large broker firms and at large franchise organizations surrounds listing syndication to FSBO websites. Syndication strategies that each firm chooses varies relative to local market competition and consumer behavior. I highlighted that last sentence because it is the most important statement in this blog post. Many brokers and franchises are looking at what appears to be a radical move by Edina Realty and Shorewest REALTORS to pull out of syndication to FSBOs. It is not radical at all. It is sound business reasoning based upon measuring consumer behavior in their marketplace. At its foundation is the understanding that consumers visit agent, broker, franchise, and FSBO websites to get listing information.

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William Raveis

Last Thursday afternoon was a surreal moment for William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance.   The company was announced as the “Most Innovative Brokerage or Franchise” at Inman News’ 2011 Innovator Awards, held in the beautiful Hilton San Francisco. Inman’s Annual Innovator Awards recognize exceptional national achievements in real estate technology and marketing.  To give a simple analogy: winning an Innovator Award is akin to winning an Oscar at the Academy Awards.  Every year, the real estate glitterati, from world renowned brokerages to Silicon Valley startups-gone-mainstream, gather in San Francisco and New York to talk about what they see in the industry’s future.

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