Industry Relations with Rob Hahn and Greg Robertson

The Notorious R.O.B. and Greg Robertson discuss organized real estate in a disorganized manner.
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Industry Relations with Rob Hahn and Greg Robertson




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Now displaying: July, 2017
Jul 27, 2017

We can all agree that raising the level of professionalism in the real estate industry is a good thing – absolutely necessary, even. But how do we get there? And who’s responsible for elevating the REALTOR brand? With Bob Goldberg assuming leadership of NAR on August 1, there is much discussion around what he can do to be an agent of change in the industry.


The gloves come off today as Rob and Greg debate the validity of the NAR CEO selection process and the best way to go about ridding the industry of incompetent, unethical agents. They discuss the strengths Bob brings to the table, how his leadership may facilitate cooperation among key players, and the likelihood of substantial policy change with Bob at the helm.


Listen in as Greg and Rob get fired up arguing who’s responsible for making the REALTOR brand meaningful. It is up to NAR to raise standards and differentiate between REALTORS and licensees? Or do brokers need to be held to a higher ideal when it comes to recruiting, hiring and training agents? Whether you’re Team Rob or Team Greg on this one, Bob has his work cut out for him as he takes over NAR this month.


What’s Discussed: 


Greg’s experience working with Bob through eNeighborhoods

NAR’s decision to choose someone from inside the organization

Greg’s sense of Bob as a leader

Rob’s take that hiring Bob may have been a ‘done deal’

Greg’s argument that employing a world-renowned recruiting company is ‘thorough’ as opposed to ‘clueless’

Why Rob contends that NAR should have named Bob as successor two years ago

How the NAR membership might have reacted to naming Bob as successor without selection process

How the interview process affords the opportunity for upfront conversation

Greg’s belief in the validity of the selection process

Why a succession plan is more feasible in the corporate world vs. a member-driven organization

Rob’s frustration with the lack of transparency demonstrated by NAR leadership

Greg’s assessment of how things will change with Bob at the helm of NAR

  • Shift in tone
  • Capacity to facilitate cooperation

Rob’s assertion that conflict in the industry is about policy rather than tone

Rob’s skepticism re: the probability of change in NAR policy

The relationship between personnel and policy

Greg’s assertion that bureaucracy comes from the association side rather than staff

The challenges Bob faces moving forward

  • Elevating REALTOR brand
  • Incompetent, unethical agents

Greg’s position that brokers are complicit in hiring unqualified agents

Rob’s counter that agents are not employees

  • Only Redfin hires employee agents
  • Agent pays broker, not vice versa
  • Recruiting agents = sales (not hiring)

Why Rob finds it remarkable that any brokers institute standards

How NAR’s code of ethics runs counter to their acceptance of anyone with a license

Rob’s proposal regarding policy changes that would make the REALTOR brand meaningful

-MLS access no longer tied to membership

-Association staff allowed to take part in ethics hearings

-Remove 1099 exemption for real estate agents


Our Sponsors:




Rob’s ‘Bob Goldberg Era’ Blog

Rob’s Response to Bill Brown’s Comment



Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website

Jul 27, 2017

It’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for…

Redfin has been quietly dominating since its inception in 2004, and no one in the real estate industry seems all that concerned. We dismiss Redfin as a discount brokerage and debate what to call it – Tech company? Brokerage? Something else entirely? Whatever label you put on it, Redfin is disrupting the way real estate works. And with its S-1 filing, we can finally see just how well the company has been doing. With a sales volume of $16.2B and a 31% gross profit margin, Rob is justified in saying that Redfin has the potential to ‘eat the industry.’  

Today Greg and Rob get into the impending Redfin IPO and the potential consequences of its success on traditional real estate. They cover Redfin’s phenomenal company culture and the advantages associated with having employee agents rather than independent contractors – and explain how its software has the ability to capitalize on repeat/referral business in a way that traditional brokerages do not.


Listen to understand why Rob believes that the industry should be more afraid of Redfin than Zillow, and hear Greg’s take on the relative importance of agent relationships versus company culture in shaping the consumer experience. Might there come a day when traditional brokerages would have to partner with (GASP) Zillow to compete with Redfin? As the company goes public, let’s talk about why Rob and Greg think industry leaders should start losing sleep. 


What’s Discussed: 


The importance of culture at Redfin

Redfin’s recent S-1 filing

-Shares in $12-14 range

-Company valued at $1B

The debate around Redfin’s identity

-Tech company

-Real estate brokerage 

-Agent team hybrid

Why there is no backlash against Redfin’s IPO

Rob’s take on why the industry should be more afraid of Redfin than Zillow

How traditional brokerages throw shade at Redfin as ‘discount brokerage’

Rob’s theory that Redfin is going to ‘eat the industry’  

Standout stats from the Redfin S-1

- $16.2B in sales volume, #5 in RealTrends 500

- 31% gross profit margin

How Redfin’s software capitalizes on repeat/referral business

Redfin’s focus on data

- Measures customer satisfaction via NPS

How the Redfin culture affects the consumer experience

The myth that only independent contractors can provide high-level service

Greg’s take on Redfin’s limited ‘boots on the ground’

The advantages of employee buy-in to Redfin company culture

Who might be considered Redfin’s competition

The what-if scenario around Redfin establishing a ‘sneak peek’ listing agreement

How Redfin generates traffic to its site


- Targeted email

When the heads of large real estate companies should start losing sleep over Redfin

- Redfin offers lower commissions, agents paid based on satisfaction ratings

- Customer demand could force traditional brokerages to enact similar policies to remain competitive

How a company with a multi-brand strategy could incorporate Redfin into its business model

How traditional brokerages might need to partner with Zillow to remain competitive

How reducing costs through automation would allow brokerages to charge less for commission 

The way capital acts as an accelerator in the tech world

How having employee agents allows Redfin to fully adopt its technology systems





Redfin IPO: Tech Company, Real Estate Brokerage, or Something New?

Rob’s Redfin IPO Blog – Part 1

Sam Debord’s Guest Blog


Connect with Rob and Greg:


Rob’s Website 

Greg’s Website