In Spotlighting Trendsetters Part 2, we continue our series on spotlighting newcomers to the SP200 list of the Most Powerful People in Real Estate. For the full list visit www.sp200.com.
Cindy Ariosa, Senior Vice President, Long & Foster
A New York native who attended college in Towson Maryland and never left, Ariosa began her real estate career at age 27 when she was hired by Mary Bell Grempler, a founder of Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR) and the owner of a female owned independent brokerage in Ariosa’s area.
By the time Ariosa turned 30 and became a branch manager for Mary Bell Grempler, she had already recognized how computers would transform the industry and jumped at the opportunity to help older agents transition into the computer age. While seasoned agents were skeptical, her passion for technological innovation ended up giving her a recruiting advantage as she helped transition agents from paper offers to leveraging computers in order to streamline the transaction process. This in turn, lead to her promotion as senior vice president of Coldwell Banker Gempler.
Two years later, driven by her competitive spirit, Ariosa transitioned to the role of senior vice president for Long & Foster with Wes Foster, the chairman and CEO, giving her only a year to prove herself. Two decades later, Ariosa has thrived in her position as regional vice president, covering the Baltimore and Southern Pennsylvania area with $5.2 billion in sales volume, 40 offices, 2,220 sales associates, and over 18,000 transactions.
Ariosa also serves the real estate industry in several other capacities including as vice chairman of MRIS, as well as serving on the boards of the National Association of REALTORS®, the Maryland Association of REALTORS®, and the Greater Baltimore Board; with her continued concern that the industry is losing its spirit of cooperation, as off-market listings continue to proliferate. Ariosa is also actively involved in the MLS Evolved Project, which seeks to erase borders between MLSs in order to better serve consumers, brokers, and agents.
Ariosa admires David Charron, president and CEO, MRIS, as a true innovator and believes that Pam O’Connor, president and CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, has an ability to unify and support the companies in her network in a way that is nothing short of remarkable.
Mark Choey, Partner/Co-Founder and CTO, Climb Real Estate
Whether the challenge was to see who could shovel the most snow, sell the most chocolate bars as a kid, or finding a parking spot–or place to live–in the most populous city in the United States, Mark Choey attributes much of his success to the life skills he gained from growing up in New York City.
After receiving a Masters in electrical and computer engineering, Choey worked for the research arm of Citigroup and as an entrepreneur, as he was drawn to investing in real estate. Rather than jumping into real estate as just a Realtor®, Choey co-founded Climb Real Estate Group in 2007, which is located in the San Francisco Bay area.
Aside from participating on advisory boards for organizations such as Zillow, Sindeo, Trulia, or the The San Francisco Association of REALTORS® (SFAR) Strategic Planning Board, Choey also spends his time working in Climb Labs, the innovation grounds for Climb Real Estate, where he leads a team working to accelerate the gradual transformation from traditional business to “instant connectivity.”
When asked about the transformation, Choey highlights that the real estate industry has generally escaped mass change and that while technology has helped make transactions faster and simpler, the overall business structure has changed very little. With an ever-growing need for increased transparency, Choey contends that both the portals and the brokerage community are not using their data to its fullest potential. People are still trying to own the data as opposed to making the data more transparent and using it to provide better services for the consumer. He attributes the creation of projects such as Upstream and the Broker Portal to use of real estate data, by platforms such as Zillow and Trulia, in ways that the brokers did not intend to have it used.
Choey respects Dave Liniger, CEO and chairman of RE/MAX, for his unwavering and revolutionary work in the industry and for his everybody-wins approach. Choey is also grateful for the innovative and consumer-centric approach taken by Glenn Kelman, founder of Redfin, in creating a go-to real estate search site in the industry.