Zephyr President and CEO, Randall Kostick, Addresses Current Market Challenges
posted on March 15, 2019 at 2:22 pm
Competitive challenges are nothing new to us. In the mid-eighties, some of you (those with some grey hairs on your temples) will remember it was Hartford Properties; they recruited quite a few agents from us over about a six-month period. During the 90’s, Coldwell Banker raised plenty of eyebrows gobbling up independents. In the early 2000’s, Paragon broke off from Pacific Union and they were the new shiny penny, taking a dozen or more agents from us. (Interestingly enough their big offer was ‘cool new technology.’ Sound familiar?)
Well, Hartford Properties is now a small Century 21 franchise; Coldwell Banker (who controlled the number one market share here for years) concluded last year 7th in sales and you are all obviously aware that Paragon sold out to Compass. Many of the agents that we lost during those times returned home to Zephyr, and we have every reason to believe that history will repeat itself.
For some perspective during that same time frame:
- 1985 – Zephyr had about 45 agents
- 2001 – We broke the 100 agent mark
- 2010 – 175 agents strong
- 2019 – We are now home to more than 300 agents
We weathered 17% interest rates, two recessions, and a financial meltdown. Through all of these challenges, we have risen to the adversity that faced us, maintaining steady growth and focusing on helping agents and staff through difficult times.
I recently heard Mike Staver, a terrific conference speaker, say that if a value is truly important to you then you must be willing to accept hardship and pain in order to preserve that value.
If we were unwilling to stay and fight for ourselves we would have sold to Compass last year when the opportunity was offered to us. What we discovered in our discussions with Compass’ leadership was that we didn’t believe in their business plan, and, what’s even more important, we didn’t trust them. Yes, their predatory recruitment has caused us some hardship and some pain but we have accepted that pain as the cost of holding onto our values.
Rest assured that we are unwavering. We will overcome the current challenges just as we always have. For those of you who feel cynical about the Alain Pinel campaign railing on Compass followed immediately by their sale, let me just say, that was an ad campaign put together by their marketing department. This is me, telling you, that we will never sell to Compass. No marketing campaign, no spin, just the truth.
Many of you have expressed your commitment and resolve to ride this through with us. You are the reason we carry on, and you are what gives us the strength to fight to preserve what we have all built together. Thank you for your support and help in navigating this great company into a bright future.