RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JUL 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

Issue link: http://remag.rismedia.com/i/996974

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Page 52 of 126

48 July 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE "The biggest opportunity we have right now is to take our unparalleled value proposition and showcase it to both competing agents and consumers, and to be a leader in innovation." – Paul Breunich President & CEO, William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty cellent opportunity for us to continue to distinguish ourselves by creating value for our clients and our agents. What are the biggest opportunities for in- creasing business right now? MR: Millennials are on the cusp of surpassing baby boomers as the na- tion's largest living adult generation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is a huge opportunity for Dorsey Alston, REAL- TORS® and our business. We have more than 30 real estate professionals who fall into the millen- nial generation, which accounts for more than 10 percent of our agents. We're focused on not only hiring the top young real estate professionals in the field, but also on giv- ing them the training and support to succeed. With millennials transitioning from renters to homeown- ers, we're well-positioned. How are you updating your technology and training to provide the resources agents need to succeed? MR: We're in a very competitive market where marketing materials and mediums are as important as ever. To that end, we've made new hires focused on social media, graphic design and personal mar- keting support for agents. We've also made greater investments in produc- tion equipment this year than any other time in our company's history. What do people enjoy most about working at your firm? MR: We've not only cre- ated an environment that fosters business success, but we've also created a fun working environment and a place that appreci- ates all the individuals that comprise our team. In addition to our focus on our clients, we also em- phasize giving back to the community and building our camaraderie within. Paul Breunich An Unparalleled Value Proposition Paul Breunich, presi- dent & CEO of William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby's Internation- al Realty, celebrated his 30 th year at the company in 2018. "What drives me most about this business is the competition and the survival of the fittest as- pect," says Breunich. "It's pure capitalism. No one knows what a house will go for; it's all supply and demand." During his three de- cades at William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby's In- ternational Realty, Breu- nich has navigated the firm through an explosive growth cycle, which in- cludes the opening of 11 new offices, its expan- sion into the Connecticut shoreline, Berkshires and Massachusetts markets, as well as bringing build- ing and land technology onboard as an equity part- ner in order to position the company for future growth. How would you charac- terize your market in the first part of 2018? Paul Breunich: The new year started with some- what lower sales versus the first quarter of last year, with every market we serve experiencing a small decrease in either unit sales or dollar volume, or both. The declines aren't enormous, but they're consistent and, therefore, significant. This is the first time we've observed an overall decline in several years. I believe the pas- sage of the new tax bill helped to prompt a pause among buyers at the end of last year, spreading a degree of uncertainty among consumers, par- ticularly in those states like ours where the bill may have the greatest effect on income and property taxes. This pause led to a lower rate of clos- ings in the first quarter. However, we remain in a very healthy economy, and we're now starting to see a normalization of our markets, with deals and sales activity pacing very similar to this time last year. I'm optimistic that high consumer confidence will override concerns as- sociated with the tax bill going forward, though we can't predict the future. Any plans for growth at the firm in 2018? PB: 2018 will certainly be a year of growth for us. We recently opened a new regional office in Hartford County, Conn., expanding our presence in the state while bringing the global Sotheby's International Realty brand and its luxury real estate services into the Hartford market area,

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