How William Raveis Actual Property Responds to Market Wants in Actual Time 

As one of many trade’s most iconic companies, William Raveis Actual Property’s (WRRE) origin story is a traditional story of entrepreneurial moxie. Began above a Fairfield, Connecticut, grocery retailer by Invoice Raveis in 1974, the agency now includes 136 places of work in eight states, and is dwelling to 4,300 gross sales associates. In RISMedia’s 2021 Energy Dealer Report, WRRE ranked No. 7, reporting greater than $16 billion in gross sales quantity in 2020.

At this time, Invoice and the following era of the Raveis household—brothers and co-presidents Chris and Ryan—share management duty for rising income and increasing WRRE’s footprint within the coming years and past. On this unique interview, the pair explains how working as a family-run enterprise supplies the agency with two important traits mandatory for progress: cultural agility to activate a dime to innovate; and constant management with an unmatched stage of pleasure, ardour and strategic imaginative and prescient.

“Regardless of how a lot we evolve, this isn’t only a enterprise for us—it’s a household,” says CEO and Chairman Invoice Raveis. “At our core, household values drive each choice we make. From the very starting, I stated our brokers are our clients, and 47 years later, we proceed to offer the instruments, know-how and mentoring to empower their success.”

Right here, Ryan and Chris Raveis share what’s enabled the corporate’s intensive progress over time, together with how they’re serving to brokers and purchasers maximize worth and expertise excellent customer support in any market.

Maria Patterson: William Raveis Actual Property, Mortgage & Insurance coverage is the No. 1 family-owned actual property firm within the Northeast, and your father views the complete agency as household. Please share a bit about the way you and your brother got here on board.

Ryan Raveis: Rising up, Chris and I noticed all these yard indicators and puzzled why our identify was in entrance of everybody’s houses!

We positively had an affinity for the corporate and noticed what Dad was doing and the way laborious he was working. However as we grew up, Chris and I needed to unfold our wings a bit, like most younger, post-college graduates. I made a decision to pursue administration consulting and Chris labored in business actual property. Then, in our late 20s, we had been supplied the chance to affix the household enterprise, however with a really clear understanding. Dad sat us down and informed us there have been two situations: It’s a must to develop the corporate; and you’ll by no means promote it.

MP: I take it you’re glad together with your choice?

RR: I’ve labored in a big public firm and so has Chris. Whereas each trade has its pleasure indirectly, form or type, there’s nothing I’d slightly do than work with my Dad and brother and proceed to drive our objectives of a family-owned actual property, mortgage and insurance coverage powerhouse.

MP: What are among the largest benefits of being a household agency?

RR: The largest benefit is the consistency in management. It is a household enterprise, and our identify is on the door. We take our fame, professionalism and the way in which we help our brokers very critically, to the purpose the place being a household enterprise is a part of our id. We plan on passing the corporate all the way down to our kids, so we need to go away it able the place it’s thriving in every of its markets and every of its companies. The one method we do that’s by delivering superior service for our purchasers and brokers.

CEO Invoice Raveis (middle) poses with gross sales associates and managers at a WRRE networking occasion.

MP: William Raveis Inc. is likely one of the solely privately held companies to supply mortgage and insurance coverage providers below one roof. What function have these companies performed in your progress over time?

RR: I don’t take a look at our mortgage and insurance coverage firms as companies below the true property umbrella. Every of these firms was purposefully constructed with the flexibility to face by itself. Granted, they service our actual property purchasers, however in addition they companion with purchasers who used one other actual property brokerage previous to doing enterprise with the mortgage and insurance coverage firms. We strategically constructed these firms to a considerable stage to help the general entity, and this helps once we’re seeking to increase into new markets.

MP: Does having a longtime mortgage and insurance coverage enterprise play a extra vital function in immediately’s actual property local weather?

RR: I feel it does. In immediately’s market, we see loads of giant personal fairness and public firms which might be looking for their method. They’re struggling to determine how one can make a revenue, and it’s not that simple. We’ve been working William Raveis Mortgage and William Raveis Insurance coverage because the ’80s, and each have well-established operations and wonderful reputations.

MP: How would you describe market situations in your areas?

Chris Raveis: If I’m a house vendor, I’ve seen my worth improve by 30% in all of the markets we serve. If I’m a purchaser, I’m in search of options to assist me discover a dwelling on this market. Total, the market has been wonderful for actual property brokers and brokers, and that may proceed by the top of the yr, notably in Florida, the place we simply had among the largest gross sales in our firm historical past—$80 million and $50 million in Palm Seashore and Naples, respectively. The posh market has taken off in these areas.

MP: WRRE serves luxurious consumers in lots of your markets. What function does the posh market play within the firm’s success?

CR: The posh market is important to our id. We’re acknowledged by Main Actual Property Firms of the World® because the globe’s prime luxurious dealer. We serve among the highest-end markets within the U.S.—Naples, Florida; Fairfield County, Connecticut; Nantucket—and now we have most of the most interesting brokers on the planet serving these markets. Their native information and actual property experience allow them to greatest join with prosperous purchasers, which is a precedence viewers for us.

That stated, now we have a big viewers base and serve different segments as nicely. Greatest practices honed by promoting luxurious properties are utterly transferrable. We’ve absolutely embraced superior customer support at each level within the home-selling and -buying journeys, and consequently, invented new merchandise and processes to help our brokers. Once we take a look at the extent of service we attempt to offer, we’re seeking to emulate manufacturers like The Ritz Carlton and 4 Seasons.

Co-Presidents Chris Raveis and Ryan Raveis snap an image with mortgage banker Francine Silberman and VP of Enterprise Improvement Lisa Theiss.

MP: Inform us about among the methods you’re supporting brokers…

CR: Ryan, Invoice, our senior administration workforce and I are always within the discipline, always listening to brokers. As a household enterprise, we make choices in a short time. Plus, now we have the sources to compete with anyone.

Every department has a full-time supervisor, and now we have a number of layers of admin and advertising and marketing help for brokers. We’re the one firm that gives customized branding for our gross sales associates as a result of we imagine each is an entrepreneur who can’t be match right into a single, particular mildew. Each supervisor is extensively skilled by our profession growth division to develop into an authorized coach and mentor to our gross sales associates. And we additionally herald world-renowned enterprise coaches, like Tom Ferry and Mike Staver.

On the tech aspect, we’re nicely forward of the market, notably with automation. We’ve a totally automated itemizing launch platform, the place in 30 seconds, an agent can get an inventory launched, one that’s personally branded with the agent’s identify. Even higher, now we have built-in efficiency monitoring, giving our brokers and purchasers personalized and speedy insights with real-time analytics.

MP: This yr, you rapidly rolled out merchandise to assist consumers and sellers navigate the distinctive challenges of the market. Inform us a bit about them.

RR: We really stroll the speak on distinctive customer support all through the shopping for and promoting journey. For the vendor who has their dwelling listed however can’t financially transfer or can’t get the fairness out, we offer a bridge mortgage by William Raveis Mortgage.

Another choice we provide is Raveis Buy, the place sellers profit from the velocity of getting out of their dwelling and unlocking their fairness to make a non-contingent supply on a brand new dwelling. With this program, we purchase the house from them and use Raveis Refresh to assist put together and stage the house with our licensed community of designers and set up groups. And right here’s the perfect half: Once we promote the refreshed dwelling at the next worth level on the open market, the shopper retains the upside, which is totally different than some other mannequin on the market. We’ve moved a pair dozen clients within the 90 days since we launched this revolutionary providing (at press time), and the traction has been unimaginable. We’ve a whole bunch within the pipeline.

We additionally simply launched the Raveis CashBid program the place we purchase the house from the vendor—on behalf of the client—and take title to the house. Then we assist these pre-approved consumers get a mortgage and repurchase the house from us. This creates alternatives for these consumers dropping out on provides, in addition to first-time homebuyers who can’t put down an all-cash bid. These are only a few examples of how we’re empowering our brokers to handle their purchasers throughout a aggressive market. We’re all the time pondering exterior the field and partnering for achievement. It’s all actually thrilling.

MP: Have been packages like this borne out of the pandemic?

RR: 100%. When the pandemic hit, we knew that itemizing stock was going to be slim, absorption charges could be quick, and that we would have liked to provide you with options.

Ryan and Chris Raveis with Chief Advertising and marketing Officer Lisa Carpenter

MP: It looks like solely an organization of your scope and dimension, with in-house mortgage providers, may make packages like these work…

RR: Sure, it wouldn’t occur with out the mortgage firm. When the agent understands the 360-degree view of the patron, it makes them a greater agent.
We’ve the sources—the posh, mortgage and insurance coverage merchandise—however having the ability to execute and assist 1000’s of brokers put these sources to make use of is one other factor. With the breadth of our choices and our funding in profession growth, our brokers are higher skilled than anybody else within the trade.

MP: Do such packages signify the way forward for actual property, or are they momentary options to market situations sparked by the pandemic?

RR: If an organization’s enterprise mannequin is banking on packages that purchase houses and resell them, that firm could have a tricky time in a downturn.

It’s a must to be good at recognizing the tenor of the market and actively develop the fitting packages as a result of annually has totally different wants. We always hearken to our brokers and innovate to serve their market wants. This was true in 1974, and it stays the identical immediately.

MP: What different evolutions—to your organization and to the market—do you foresee going down within the subsequent yr or so?

CR: The market will stay difficult. The fourth quarter received’t be like final yr, however will probably be higher than we thought originally of the yr. We’re persevering with to develop—having simply expanded in Sarasota, Florida. Our footprint will embody new areas within the Northeast and down the jap seaboard as nicely.

MP: Lastly, in the event you needed to level to only a few keys to success which were instrumental to the agency’s longevity and progress over time, what would they be?

CR: It’s a must to love the enterprise; it needs to be a part of your soul. When you do, there’s a palpable vitality that frequently motivates you. And being a household enterprise lends so much to that—persons are proud to affiliate themselves with actual individuals versus a big public or personal fairness agency. We thrive off one another and our bigger enterprise household. Our success is really a collective workforce effort throughout.

For extra data, please go to www.raveis.com.

Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s government editor. E mail her your actual property information concepts to maria@rismedia.com.