Where is real estate headed anywhere? From toe to toe with Zillow

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Last week, the company formerly known as Realogy threw a curve ball into the real estate industry with the surprise launch of a brighter, brighter and ubiquitous eponymous, Anywhere Real Estate.

Although the reaction to the rebranding has been largely positive — with some linguistic comparisons being made with retail giant Walmart — industry members questioned exactly what the rebranding of the New Jersey-based company would mean other than a new color scheme, name and logo. .

Ryan Schneider

In his first Connect Now appearance since the rebranding, Anywhere CEO Ryan Schneider told Inman founder Brad Inman that the rebranding reflects the revitalized Anywhere consumer strategy it is putting in full swing with Zillow, which Schneider has been in. His net for about a year.

“Our employees, our agents, our owners and other people in our ecosystem have been looking for us to step up and lead,” Schneider said while standing in front of a digital screen bearing the new logo. “The real Reallogy brand, well, there are a lot of cool things about it [but] We haven’t kept up with the company we’ve become.

“I told the world, Brad, that I want a new competitive group in five years. My goal is to be in a different competitive group, including people who do iBuying or super apps or other things to go after the consumer,” he added, referring to Zillow. “Someone from the traditional brokerage industry needs to step away from the package and actually do more to solve consumer issues. That’s what I need to lead our company over time.”

For Schneider, a name change is only the first step in crafting a brand that is more familiar and accessible to consumers and can facilitate a completely seamless digital buying and selling experience, no matter where they are geographically located or in their real estate journey. .

“Obviously I’m new to the industry a lot from you,” he said, “but I am even amazed at how long our industry has talked about the consumer but hasn’t done much about it.” “What I’m trying to make clear is our company’s long-term commitment to doing more [directly] With the consumer, it’s good for the consumer, the agent, and our company, both in building our value proposition, but also financially.”

This commitment, he said, includes learning to aggregate Additional Services Anywhere, which includes iBuying purchasing and energy purchasing through RealSure, inclusion of preparatory services through RealVitalize, and proprietary and settlement services through Realogy Title Group, with its brokerage services in unique ways to meet specific consumer needs. .

“I fully expect consumers to engage at scale — not everyone will want to buy iBuying, not everyone will want to buy energy, not everyone will want X, Y and Z,” he said. “We actually need to be able to meet them in multiple places, whether it’s to remove friction from transactions that happened today, which we can do. Or, whether it’s about direct consumer integration that we can do with the broader parts of the transaction when You get into the title, or the mortgage, or the insurance, or even moving and things like that, or whether it’s just that kind of a simple pressure transaction,” he added.

“All of those have a role in the future. We are in the arena, we are in sandbox, where we can really make changes with clients, we can experiment, we can roll things out.”

As Anywhere delves into creating the digital transaction of the future, Schneider cautioned against pursuing the often-shared goal of making buying or selling a home as easy as ordering a pizza or calling an Uber. The erratic and rising dollar real estate stakes require more nuance, and technology should “complement the agent’s power” rather than replace it.

“It’s a small part of your Domino’s Pizza tracker, but it’s using steroids while complicating this deal,” he said. “We must have consumer solutions that complement the power of the agent, which we believe is a market power that will continue.”

Even as the industry races to make the mechanics of buying and selling real estate easier, the market itself has only become more complex as buyers navigate high mortgage rates, meager inventory and booming home prices.

With other economic pressures mounting, including inflation and shortages of staples like infant formula, consumers and industry professionals are desperately trying to read tea leaves about what disaster may be imminent.

“We’ve definitely been in a storm pit since we were on stage [at Inman Connect New York]Inman told Schneider. “It’s like things have gone wrong – stock markets, interest rates are higher [and] We don’t seem to have any particular strategy to beat inflation.”

Schneider acknowledged the headwinds and spoke of another bubble but said he was “clearly more optimistic” about the market and Anywhere’s ability to help consumers navigate the complexities.

“I am clearly more optimistic than the headlines regarding the next decade of real estate,” he said. “But even when you look at what’s going on through the end of April, the data isn’t as terrible as the headlines, and you know, if we had more homes, we could sell them. Homes are still selling faster than they normally would and at higher prices.

“We will always be good stewards of our expenses, but we don’t stop investing in helping our agents and franchisees because we believe the housing market still has a lot of potential even in 2022,” he added.

Send an email to Marianne McPherson