Ryan M Schneider
President and CEO, Realogy Holdings Corp.
Overall Rank: 4
A newcomer to the industry and to the SP200 last year, Schneider completed his first full year as president and CEO of Realogy Holdings Corp. in 2018. The world’s largest real estate conglomerate headhunted him from his executive finance position with Capital One Financial Corporation. His position as head of Realogy carries enormous power and reach but also massive challenges; he has spent most of 2018 working to retool and refocus the corporation.
Some of his most public moves include installing a new generation of Realogy leadership -- promoting Ryan Gorman to CEO of NRT, Katrina Helmkamp to CEO at Cartus, Dave Gordon to CTO of Realogy, and Mike Miedler and Simon Chen to CEO at Century 21 and ERA, respectively. Less public has been his effort to reinvigorate Realogy’s staid culture, inspiring leadership to operate faster, nimbler and with more innovation. Schneider has brought a new energy to the organization, and is shifting the culture from a prim-and-proper, buttoned-down style to a jeans-and-sandals one.
Although revenues for the first nine months of 2018 are up a slight 1.2 percent to $4.7 billion from the previous year, profits dropped 9.6 percent to $161 million. Over the same period, Realogy’s brokerage wing NRT saw transactions dip slightly from 2017 (0.7 percent to 261,083); and because agent commissions rose 3.8 percent in that period, company dollar dipped 5 percent to $1.0 billion.
To combat these drops, the company has implemented a new emphasis on operating efficiency backed by data analytics. But this will take time to mature and deliver results as a slew of new, well-capitalized brokerages with new business models offer stiff competition.
Realogy’s NRT faces the relentless industrywide pressure of increasing agent commission splits and competition from all sides. Add to that a potentially slowing housing market, and traditional companies such as Realogy and NRT face a challenging immediate future. Nonetheless, the company has introduced exciting projects, such as the much-celebrated 2018 Century 21 rebrand from a stale ’70s look to a sleek and cutting edge one. It is among the most successful rebrands of a global real estate brand in the last three decades.
The company also announced in late 2018 it will turn two of its boutique brokerage brands – international luxury brand Corcoran Group and urban, millennial-focused Climb Real Estate – into new franchises. These new brands join the world’s largest stable of residential real estate brands including some of the oldest and most respected in Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Sotheby’s International Realty.
Time will tell how successful Schneider’s restructure of the massive residential real estate conglomerate will be. Meanwhile, do not forget, it is the world’s largest real estate company, by a huge margin. Size matters.
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