Sherry Chris on what real estate brokers must do to combat margin compression

Real Estate brokers can't control inflation or the market, but they can control the services they offer and how much debt they have.

Today’s RealTrending features an interview with Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Realogy Expansion Brands, including ERA Real Estate and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. She outlines what she thinks brokers can do to combat margin compression and how to market proof real estate businesses.

Here is a small preview of today’s interview with Realogy Expansion Brand’s Sherry Chris. The transcript below has been lightly edited for length and clarity:

Tracey Velt:  Years ago, the buzz phrase in real estate was “one-stop shop.” I’m hearing a lot more of the one-stop shop talk lately. It’s just one way to market proof your brokerage, but there are other ways, as well. What say you?

Sherry Chris: I agree with you. There are many sources of revenue that a broker can take advantage of — mortgage, title, insurance, but also company-generated leads that you’re referring to your agents. Also, think about other services, such as training, coaching, and other services that are revenue opportunities for your agents. And what agents need to realize is that the more they have surrounding them, the higher their productivity will be. It all ties in together.

There are things that we have control over and many things that we don’t. We don’t know when there’s going to be a shift in the market, when COVID buyers are going to diminish and inflation is a worry. But here are some of the things that we’re doing at Realogy, and I’m also suggesting that brokers do as well. Some of these things will help them combat margin compression. The first thing is to pay down any existing debt that you have. Most of us had our best year ever in 2020 and 2021 has definitely shaped up to be, in many cases, an even better year. So that means as a broker owner, you should have cash on hand. Pay down unnecessary debt and get that off of your shoulders.

RealTrending features the brightest minds in real estate. Twice a month, brokerage leaders, top agents, team leaders, and industry experts share their success secrets, trends, and lessons learned navigating this ever-changing industry. Hosted by Tracey Velt and produced by Elissa Branch.