In this episode, Millionacres editor Deidre Woollard talks with Nick Bailey, Chief Customer Officer of RE/MAX about the current hot real estate market, the future of real estate agents, iBuying, and real estate disruption.
Nick Bailey, the Chief Customer Officer of RE/MAX. Nick has had a really interesting career in real estate. He's a licensed real estate broker with over two decades of experience and first joined RE/MAX back in 2001. He's also worked at Trulia and Century 21 so he has seen a variety of different perspectives inside real estate. Guided by his expert insight into the real estate industry, Nick helps Broker/Owners maximize the advantages, tools and services available to them.
Deidre Woollard: Hello. I'm Deidre Woollard, an editor at Millionacres. Thank you so much for tuning in to The Millionacres Podcast. If you're a student of the residential real estate market like me, you've been watching just an incredible run. To explore that topic some more today, I'm speaking with Nick Bailey who is the chief customer officer of RE/MAX. Nick's had a really interesting career in real estate. He's a licensed real estate broker with over two decades of experience. He first joined RE/MAX back in 2001. He's also worked at Trulia and Century 21, so he just has a variety of different perspectives inside real estate. Guided by his expert insight in the real estate industry, he currently helps brokers and owners at RE/MAX maximize the advantages, tools, and services available to them. Nick, thank you for joining me today.
Nick Bailey: Yeah. Pleasure to be with you. Thank you.
Deidre Woollard: It's just been an incredible real estate cycle lately. I feel like I haven't seen anything like this. You've been studying the industry as long as I have. Have you ever seen anything like this?
Nick Bailey: Yeah. You mentioned I've been in a couple of decades. You made me sound ancient, [laughs] gosh. I'll tell you what I have seen; I have seen a seller's market before. At the base of what this is is a seller's market which is purely supply and demand. That's the nature of our business. Granted, there are a lot of parameters around supply and demand, but when you look back over the last 40 years, supply is less than 1 1/2 percent as a percentage of all households in the US. It's the lowest it's been in four years and so the demand is high. So yes, we've seen this before. RE/MAX has been around for 48 years. We've been through seven recessions, a lot of different presidents, and so that part of it is not new. Global pandemic, that's new. But what I do think that we've seen this year is the fact that home has never been more important. It's never been a bigger focus, at least in my lifetime in this industry, and continues to be moving forward.
Deidre Woollard: One of the issues that we've got right now is such low inventory. That's really getting to the point where it may be starting to depress some of the existing home sales. We've seen the numbers just drop and drop. The NAR is saying that we could see a 15 percent sales growth in 2021. Do you think that that's possible given how low inventory is right now?
Nick Bailey: Current estimates are there are between 14 and 23 million people that have a desire to move. A lot of that's due to work and home location. You have a number of people now that are not only looking for more square footage. Who knew the home office would be the number 1 feature of a home? Home needs have changed based on work, based on family, based on children, and education. Not only have the dynamics of home changed but I do think one thing that's here to stay that's driving a lot of this real estate market is location as compared to where you work. Many people are finding that they get to work where they want and they also get to live where they want, and the two may not be in the same place. That continued demand by itself is driven by the first and second-time move-up buyer. That's what we experienced in the second half of 2020 and we're likely to see continue in '21 that will drive sales. Yes, inventory is tight, but it's not for a lack of desire of people wanting to move. They're just saying, I have to list at the right moment because I don't quite know where my next move is, and so it's happening faster. On the market quick, off the market fast.
Deidre Woollard: Yeah, that's very true. I notice the days on market keeps dropping. What can agents do though to help make some inventory happen? How do you convince sellers that now is the time?
Nick Bailey: Well, there is two things. What we have seen is we've never been at a time in which consumers have relied on agents more than right now. Ninety-four percent of consumers are relying on their real estate agent to help connect the dots and the transaction. They've always been the most important part of the transaction and they continue to be. We believe that that's what agents are doing, are communicating with their database, with all their friends, families, neighbors, past clients, and asking the question about people's needs, because there are a lot out there that are available and we have to communicate. The second piece of it is driven by technology, something we're very proud of. Just over a year ago, we did an acquisition of technology, AI and machine learning. It's an app called First, and it uses predictive analytics based on behaviors of homeowners to elevate the opportunities of those considering selling to real estate professionals. There's a lot of noise in our industry with online activity. Lots of people just like to look and dream, but at the end of the day, we're using good old fashioned communication alongside technology with AI and machine learning to identify who wants and possibly needs to sell.
Deidre Woollard: Interesting. Yeah. One of the things that I've found fascinating during the pandemic was a lot of people thought that the traffic increases was just browsing, but it turned out to be actual activity.
Nick Bailey: Well, in many cases, some fun anecdotes by the way, there are many cases where you have spouses or partners, you have two people that are decision-makers on homeownership, and sometimes, they're selling their house and their partner or spouse doesn't even know yet because the other one's already making plans. It's not unusual to see that people are out browsing and looking and thinking ahead before they make the move. In many cases, people are looking 6, 12, 18 months before they make that decision. I think now, the time is shorter given the timeframe, and the demand for the change in home and space and needs, that's accelerated the time that they're looking.
Deidre Woollard: Excellent. I wanted to talk to you a little bit about the decision that RE/MAX made to display buyer agent commissions. I know that's become a hot-button issue in real estate. Why is this so important and why do you think it's happening now?
Nick Bailey: Well, first of all, I don't think it's overly monumental. We've had an evolution of access to information and transparency that's been happening for decades. Not too long ago, you rewind on the clock and there weren't shared listings online, data that used to sit in big books at the courthouse was not online. All of that has just continued to follow the tech evolution which has become part of our business. Homeowners, potential buyers, sellers, people are living in a space where they go online and they want to research and learn and find out and be part of the process. This is part of the evolution. We as RE/MAX have taken a leadership stance in this. There was pending litigation that ended up in a settlement between the National Association of Realtors and the DOJ. One of the rulings that they're finalizing is possibly requiring the display of this on websites. That is still in process and not for us to comment on as we're not party to either one of those discussions on how they'll settle the actual implementation of it. But we did at least take our technology team and build the availability and so that we're ready to go as this transparency evolution continues.
Deidre Woollard: Excellent, thank you. I want to talk to you a little bit about how you talk to new agents that have never known a down-market. We're in this amazing market right now. It's pretty easy, not that it's ever easy to go through a transaction, but certainly there's a lot of business out there. How do you talk to agents who may not be prepared for a cycle in a market?
Nick Bailey: I think it starts with looking at this. Unfortunately, the barriers of entry into real estate are low, but I like to say the barriers of success are much, much higher. Statistically, 87 percent of people that get a real estate license don't have it and are out of the business five years later. That's a phenomenal rate of failure. Given the fact that there are high barriers of success, the key to it is putting yourself in an atmosphere of being able to have great education. So we're telling folks right now that it's one thing that most people have been through a run-up of a seller's market over the past 10-plus years, but we will start to see market shifts in turns. Even during the pandemic, even though it was a very short pause, there were individuals that were seasoned that could share. We have a network, thank goodness, we're in 110 countries and nearly 140,000 agents that they all share how to get through things. Sharing, having access to education, and the right culture of knowledge is what we see as one of the keys. But you bet there's going to be a first time for a lot of folks coming up in the next few years on some market dynamics. Some are going to rely on their experience and their education to get through it because home will always still be at the forefront of the needs of people. Some will not know how to navigate it as well as others. But we believe based on our nearly five decades of experience, we've seen every change that a market can bring and we are making the awareness and preparedness front and center for our people.
Deidre Woollard: Excellent. Thank you. Let's talk a little bit about iBuying. It's gathering all the headlines right now. It's still such a small part of the market. How is RE/MAX thinking about iBuying?
Nick Bailey: Well, first off, it is less than one percent in terms of the overall market. Every one of the iBuyers paused their business last year when other components of real estate kept moving ahead. They maybe had to do it differently. But the reality is we have to break down what the term iBuyer means. What it means is it's a cash buyer. It's not new. We have had cash buyers, groups of investors, that have gone in and purchased properties for cash for as long as this business has been around, and certainly for as long as I've been alive and in this business. From that side of it, it's not new. The component that is interesting though is consumers saying, I would like to take some of the speed bumps out of the process. Most people don't transact on a regular basis. They do it once, twice, maybe three times in their lifetime. It's a process they look to an agent as a trusted advisor to get them through. What we're seeing with iBuyers is consumers want less friction in the transaction, they want advice from a professional, and they want to look at the best offer that they can for their property. In some cases, cash offers are great. In other cases, maybe there's a better offer that's financed. It all just depends on the entire offer and what the seller is looking for. But at the end of the day, we stand for equity. We believe that every single homeowner, when they sell, should be able to maximize their equity in the best way possible. Sometimes, that's a cash buyer, and sometimes, it's not.
Deidre Woollard: We're taping this. Zillow just announced that they're putting their Zestimates and cash offers together. Any preliminary thoughts on that?
Nick Bailey: Well, you look at Zestimates and AVMs, the valuation components. Those have been embraced by homeowners and buyers and sellers to be able to go online and just get information about neighborhoods. Where are prices going up and down? What's the approximate value of either their home or the one that they're looking at? I think that's been a good piece of evolution of the business. The challenge is that a computer hasn't been in your house and they don't know the specifics about it. That's probably going to be one of the things that continues; estimates based on public data, and past sales data, neighborhood data. Those are going to continue to get better and better. But at the end of the day, being able to price a home based on that individual home and the homeowner's needs I think are going to remain front and center for most consumers. But going back to Zillow offers, that's one of the iBuying platforms that's a cash buyer. I don't believe all houses will be purchased for cash by a group of folks, but there is room in the market for it. I don't believe that there's one thing that works for every single consumer. I think that it's got a place in the market for the right people at the right time.
Deidre Woollard: I want to ask you a little bit about the millennial generation because they're now the biggest home buyers. We had heard in the beginning when millennials were growing up, oh no, they're generation rent, they're not interested in buying. Clearly, that has not happened. They just came to it a little bit later. But one of the things I've noticed from the millennials that I work with is they really think of real estate as an investment. One of my coworkers is doing a house hack, for example, he just bought a duplex. Have you noticed that as well, that the millennial generation seems to think a little bit differently about real estate?
Nick Bailey: Yes and no. I love that you call it gen rent. About five years ago, I happened to be giving a presentation, and someone said, oh millennials, they're just going to rent and ride an Uber. We're never going to sell cars or houses again. The reality is that that's just not correct. Now, the reality of what's driving that, you talk about later, when you look at the average age of someone getting married and the average age of someone having their first child, which children is generally one of the leading indicators to need for housing or need to move, need for more space, just marriage and the rates of children have moved out 6-8 years in age just in the last few decades. What I also think is happening, they're getting a lot of professional experience in that period of time. Instead of the first-time home buyer being early 20s, that's now a little later. They have more business experience. They have more real life experience. So they may be looking at it more from an investment perspective. But at the end of the day, here's where millennials are no different than any generation before them; the primary purpose of home is shelter and to have a home to live in, possibly raise a family, and that really continues to be the number one driver of what they want. Now, do every one of us hope that our homes appreciate? Yes. The average net worth of a renter in this country is $5,000. The average net worth of a homeowner is 200,000. So it has proven to be a wonderful gateway to building wealth.
Deidre Woollard: That's very true. I think that's one of the reasons that it's really important to make sure that everyone really has access to homeownership. There's been a lot of talk about the rates of homeownership among African Americans and encouraging diversity in real estate. Is that something also that RE/MAX is paying attention to?
Nick Bailey: We love it, every minute of it. You look at it right now, the African American homeownership rates sit at 44 percent and Asian Americans are just above that hovering around 48-50 percent. You've got yet the homeownership rate as country as a whole between 68, 69, 70 percent, that's come up. We work with the industry, organizations that are advocates for the multiple demographics or communities throughout our country. As we just become more diverse overall, we are here to embrace and help partner with these industry leaders to help drive initiatives throughout all of the country with homeownership. I'll give you an example. Statistics from just a few years ago indicated that Hispanic Latino/Latinas would be the number one group of first-time home buyers by the end of 2020. One of the youngest demographics but one of the leading demographics in first-time home ownership. I think that's a wonderful thing. We stand for homeownership for all. We are doing what we can to help educate, spread the word, support. In fact, the NAREB which is the association that supports the African American community, we just recently partnered with just a matter of a couple of weeks ago, hot off the press, to help them drive homeownership throughout their organization as well.
Deidre Woollard: Nick, I want to talk to you about Motto because the way RE/MAX is getting into mortgages is a bit different than some other competitors, and it seems like you've had some good growth there. Can you explain what Motto is?
Nick Bailey: Yeah, Motto is actually the first of its kind. It's a mortgage franchise. Similar to the innovation that RE/MAX founds nearly five decades ago about bringing real estate brokerage ownership to the masses through entrepreneurship, we're doing the same thing within the mortgage industry. We have found a way to franchise the mortgage industry to allow those in their local market to provide mortgage services to those not only within the RE/MAX system but also outside the RE/MAX system. That business has continued to accelerate. You look at the mortgage market for 2020; four trillion dollars went through the mortgage sector, and the highest on record was 2006 with three trillion, so a huge jump. The mortgage business obviously has been key to homeownership. There are 34 percent of homes in the United States without a mortgage, there are currently 63 percent with positive equity, and just a little over two percent with negative equity. Most people are in a good place, but we know that given the fact that the mortgage is generally the biggest component that homebuyers think about when buying a home, do they have enough down, can they afford a payment, we believe that the combination of working across the real estate sector and bringing mortgage more readily available to entrepreneurs is a huge win.
Deidre Woollard: Is RE/MAX considering the idea of having what I call nose-to-tail transactions, is that something that is important to RE/MAX as well?
Nick Bailey: I think the industry is on a race to who can help link those components together. But we all know, fortunately, unfortunately, however you look at it, that the real estate sector and all the components that go into a successful transaction are very fragmented. One of the biggest challenges we all have that I believe that we're all in a race to though is, how do we reduce the friction, bring together the fragmentation, and create an overall better consumer experience. You better believe that's important to us because we know that if it makes buying or selling a home easier in conjunction with a full-time professional, that's going to be a win for consumers and agents alike.
Deidre Woollard: Absolutely. During the pandemic, we started to use video more. Everybody's on Zoom. At The Motley Fool, we started Fool Live and we've had our analysts talking to people every day. I know that you've got something similar in that you've had Good Morning RE/MAX. I've seen some of those episodes. How has that experience been like for you as the company shifted to this virtual world?
Nick Bailey: Well, I'm glad to hear that I'm talking to a viewer. That's so exciting because Good Morning RE/MAX has been really fun for us. It actually launched just about a year ago live at our R4 conference. It was modeled after The Tonight Show. It was in a spirit of how to bring high energy, some smile, some laughs, but also some really good content, education, and to make people smarter and happier when they got finished watching. Just as you mentioned to what you've been doing, we responded by saying, how can we reach out to the community as a whole. This is public. It's on the We Are RE/MAX Facebook page, so anyone in the world can see it. It's become a global show that we did virtually. It has been really exciting in a nice way at a time when people are nervous. There's things that are unsettled. There are people with hardship. We had to find the right balance. I will honestly tell you that I was very nervous about going forward with it just after the pandemic started because it does have a natural humor element to it, and that's my personality. But we wanted to make sure it was done in a way that it was received positive all the way around. What we found is that's what people were looking for. They wanted to get a little smarter and have a few laughs along the way. It is such a compliment to have as many wonderful guests, those like Dr. Ben Carson, we just recently had Dave Ramsey, we had Marie Osmond, the co-founder of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Our agents donated eight million dollars last year, even in the pandemic. We've been with them 29 years and $170 million later. The list goes on and on. At the end of the day, it's just a nice way to bring value back to the community in a way that we're using the technology to get through it.
Deidre Woollard: I love the fact that you said smarter and happier because that's two-thirds of our motto. We exist to make people smarter, happier, and richer through real estate investing. That's fantastic. You also mentioned R4. Now, I know that R4 is RE/MAX's big conference. Things are different this year. We're not seeing real estate conferences right now. I know Inman is scheduled for October. Hopefully, that'll happen live. How has that been for RE/MAX? You guys are usually at dozens of conferences every year. What's that been like for you?
Nick Bailey: Well, we are going live. We're going live and virtual. Our R4 coming up for this year is in Orlando. It's March 23rd through the 25th but we are doing a live event. Now, we're following all the guidelines. We're having to rent space for eight or 10,000, and we have to cap it at two. So it won't be nearly as large as it has in the past. We're calling R4 Your Way. We believe that this is a time that each and every individual in society has to advocate for themselves because of their own personal situations. Some people are more at risk than others. You have to make the decision that's right for you. But I think as a leader in an organization, we've all struggled with when will be the right time. I think what we've all realized now, a year later, there's not going to be a magic button that we push and this is just all over. This could be just something that we live with for the rest of our lives in some form or fashion. We looked at it and said we thought the time was right. We had a lot of feedback from our network. We're going to move forward with a dual event by live and in-person, and we believe that after someone does it, and we were planning to do it right, that others will follow.
Deidre Woollard: Do you feel like that's going to be the model going forward in the future? Will next year's R4 have the same components?
Nick Bailey: I think for us, it will. Here's why. When you span over 110 countries like we do, there's just a point at which everyone can't travel the globe all the time. But to be able to finally get used to tech like Zoom and to be able to drop in, or these other platforms. We don't use Zoom. We do more enhanced platform so it's a much better virtual experience versus just see each other on a camera box. I think that's here to stay. But I also know the DNA of an agent because I am one. We like to hang out together. We like to brainstorm together. We like to put our arms around each other and share the successes and the miseries, and it is just a relationship-driven business at its core. I think that includes seeing each other in person and also maybe dialing each other up on FaceTime. So I don't think the pendulum is going to swing one way or the other. I think it's going to end up somewhere in the middle.
Deidre Woollard: I think that's true. I think the agents I've talked to are definitely missing conferences and the cycle of interaction. Most agents tend to be pretty extroverted and pretty social.
Nick Bailey: Deidre, how about that? We've all had that one time when we wanted to go to an event, but maybe a life event, maybe a child was getting married or a child was giving birth and you just couldn't make it, and it was terrible to not be there in person. That's what I think is probably going to end up being a nice benefit of what we've gone through. There will always be travel conflicts for people and maybe they'll be able to join in on the fun and just not be in person. Now, maybe the idea of FOMO gets a little less for everybody.
Deidre Woollard: [laughs] I love that. You mentioned that RE/MAX has a lot of offices around the world. I know that's one of the things that makes RE/MAX different from some of the other real estate companies. How has that been? Obviously, different markets are very different. We saw that last year, we're still seeing it this year. What markets have changed? I know RE/MAX is entering some new markets. How has it been managing this whole experience globally?
Nick Bailey: Well. I am just so proud to be part of an organization that is so diverse, to be in many cultures and countries. It is so awesome to be able to sit and watch what is, unfortunately in a year of hardship, the reality of so many wonderful people. I'll tell you where it's helped. We went in last year. We dialed up our leadership in Italy and featured them actually in Good Morning RE/MAX. They were about a month ahead of some other countries, and said, hey, here's how things are working for us in society. South Africa was locked down. When you start going around the country, they were experiencing exactly what happened in the US. We knew that states like Michigan and Pennsylvania and the Bay Area in California were stricter than some of the other states. What ended up happening is, as competitive as this industry is and always will be, the thing that I love about it the most is how co-operative and supportive we are. We were able to leverage as we continue to do our global footprint to support one another. Reality is, just a couple of years ago, there was $153 billion that came in from outside of the US to purchase real estate. It was less last year for obvious reasons. But we truly are in a global economy. When it comes to home ownership, we have more in common than we think, no matter how far apart we are from each other.
Deidre Woollard: That is very true. I wanted to talk to you a little bit about agent training, because I know part of your job relates to agents and brokers. What things are happening in terms of how agents are being trained now and what things are different because of COVID-19? It must be a little more challenging for a new agent to join the business right now.
Nick Bailey: Let's take what's happening. Unemployment goes up. People are getting their real estate license. Just a few months ago, NAR announced that there are more people that have a real estate license, over 1.5 million. It's hit a historical high for NAR's membership. So there are a lot of new entrants. Now, I think we talked a few minutes ago, a hot sellers market makes it easier for maybe new agents to shortcut some of the fundamentals. I think that'll catch up to some, but that's why we have to educate. I think when it comes to education though, people want on-the-fly short snippets versus saying going in for a half day or a two-day training. They say, I want to see this 12-minute what's a top agent doing. Testimonial-driven education still remains at the top, at least in our network. They want to see what top producers are doing, what their secrets to success are, and how can they replicate, duplicate news in their local markets. But then it always comes down to this, and this is what's always interesting to me; how do we determine if education truly puts commission dollars in your pocket? I think it comes back to designations, which are still so strong. You look at the average commissions in the US are around 46, $48,000 for an agent. At RE/MAX, they're over 120,000 on average because we're more than two to one on productivity. But then start putting on top of that, the average agent that has a CRS designation averages 170,000 in income. At the top of the mark is the CLHMS, the luxury homes certification. Those agents that have that certification average over 260,000 a year. I think it's so important in agents that are thinking about their business, how do they want to invest in their business, how do they want to make more money, education is one of the keys. Get a designation, find out what top producers do, how they drive their business, and without question, you can be successful. Takes hard work. A lot of people get into this and say, "Wow, they drive nice cars," and it's a get-rich-quick scheme, but at the end of the day, it's more about selling a lot of houses and having the discipline to run your own business.
Deidre Woollard: How do you get people to make the leap from an agent to broker? Is there a process within RE/MAX for that? Is that an evolution that people go through?
Nick Bailey: I think it's an evolution. I went through it. I started as an agent and learned, and said, hey, this looks great and I think I want to have a leadership role, and that moved me into being a broker, and the rest of this history. But yes, I think for each person, it can differ, but it is part of the evolution for those that want leadership and they want to expand. I see a lot of top producers that have done amazing things in their business for, say, 20 years, and then that's how they want to give back, to share their knowledge. A lot of the coaches in our industry started out as agents and then went to be brokers and then have gone on to be coaches. So I think that's a natural desire. We have a saying at RE/MAX that you're in business for yourself, just not by yourself. I think that that in itself has driven the entrepreneurial spirit, but I think the real estate business is entrepreneurial at its core and you're going to see people that want to run their own business, be their own boss, and be by themselves as an agent, you see people that run teams, that they want to bring people along and accelerate their production, and then you see folks that want to help and foster the careers of others. The beautiful part is, you can determine your path in this industry whichever direction you want to go.
Deidre Woollard: Excellent, thank you. I want to talk to you a little bit also about technology. You've bought two companies that I respect and actually know some of the people. You mentioned first, I know Mike Schneider is very smart. Also, you bought [inaudible 00:33:43] which is a website and CRM platform. What kinds of businesses is RE/MAX looking to acquire next and how did you integrate those technologies into your platform?
Nick Bailey: Now, first question, I can't let you in to our secret vault of what's next.
Deidre Woollard: [laughs] Well, that's true.
Nick Bailey: We are publicly traded, but yeah, those have been really exciting acquisitions for us. Because here's what it comes down to; agents don't want to log in to seven or eight disparate systems to run their business. Because the fragmentation in tech and a lot of new entrants, and there's always some exciting things, agents find themselves having to go in multiple directions to solve for their business needs. We believe that it can be better. We believe that you can tie many of these platforms together, and as a company of our size and scale and brand presence, that we want to put some of these systems together for two reasons. One, to make the lives of real estate agents better and easier to use one system to run their business, and the second part is to then use those systems to deliver a great consumer experience to buyers and sellers. We're really working on this path of improved technology consistency and an ecosystem that delivers better to both parties.
Deidre Woollard: You mentioned you're publicly traded. I wanted to give you a chance to if someone is listening and they're shareholder, I'm a shareholder, what would you like to say to shareholders?
Nick Bailey: RE/MAX has had a phenomenal business, and your timing is interesting because we have earnings tomorrow morning nice and early. So no hints or giveaways here, but you can tune in tomorrow and find out. But I think the reality that we've said for a long time, RE/MAX is the number 1 brand in unaided brand awareness across the globe in real estate. We sell more transactions on this planet than anybody else. It's been a very successful business that started with our co-founders Dave and Gail Liniger, that they've run it well, positioned it well, run it conservatively. We have a very strong company, and that's because of our strong brokers and our strong agents. That continues to be the foundation of what makes RE/MAX as successful as it is and I believe is the cornerstone of what will continue in the future.
Deidre Woollard: Are you concerned about disruption? We keep hearing disruption as a buzz word. Do you feel like the process itself can be fundamentally disrupted?
Nick Bailey: We need to change the word. In this industry, when we talk about disruption, we need to throw it out and we need to call it leveling up. Because let's rewind, in so many circumstances, I can point to how we have really leveled up our industry all around. RE/MAX started it. Rewind 48 years ago, it was a big deal on the economics. One of the best splits as an agent you could get was 50-50. Here came RE/MAX with the dynamic concept on maximum commission. Dave and Gail Liniger will say they didn't invent the 100 percent concept or the maximum commission concept, they just perfected it in a lot of ways. But it leveled up, it gave a raise to every agent. If you've never been with RE/MAX or have never started with RE/MAX, never been with RE/MAX, it gave a raise to agents all across the industry. Look at IDX as another great example. At the time when people said, hey, I'm only putting my listings on my site, you put your listings on your site, and consumers were saying, I just want to see everything that's for sale, by putting together IDX, it leveled up. There are many of these components that we call "disruption" and there are a lot of technology players and players in the market that have made some recent announcements that say, oh, it's disruption, it's disruption, and it is. But what it's doing is it's creating everyone to rise to the occasion, and that's what I mean by level up. This is an industry of evolution, and you can point to a lot of players over a lot of years that have truly leveled up and made the industry better, and that's what I think. It's not about disrupting. To me, disrupting is trying to tear something apart. I guess you could say that you tear something apart maybe to make it better, but I personally view a lot of the evolution as just making it better for everyone that's in this business, not just for some in this business.
Deidre Woollard: I like that. You mentioned IDX, and one of the controversies that we're seeing lately is things like coming soon listings or listings that are private. There has been a lot of talk about that lately. What's your take on that? Do you feel like there's a little bit of fragmentation going on?
Nick Bailey: Yeah. A lot of it is something that we feel that, depending on the size of company and scale, we don't believe that companies should take advantage and change the rules just to their advantage. For example, the size that RE/MAX is, we believe that we want to keep the industry working all together in a spirit of cooperation, and we don't design rules that just benefit RE/MAX, for example. When it comes down to coming soon, first and foremost, I think between the seller and their agent, they determine the best marketing plan for their property. Not every property is the exact same, not every home seller is the same, and so that's the foundation of where it starts. But the idea of people trying to create different rules because of their different influencer system, we're not supportive of that. We say, hey, let's keep it fair to the industry, let's do what's best for the buyer, what's best for the seller, and let's continue to work in the spirit of cooperation. That's something that's cool about this industry. You and I can go out, we'll compete head-to-head for a listing, but once you get it and I don't, I'll still put my arm around you and say, hey, let me try to find a buyer and let's see if we can get it sold. So there is continued to be a healthy spirit of competitiveness, but we like the spirit of cooperation.
Deidre Woollard: As we wrap up. I just want to talk a little bit about real estate investors. This podcast is for real estate investors as well as anyone interested in real estate. Do you consider yourself a real estate investor?
Nick Bailey: Well, I guess I'd have to say yes, [laughs] because my real estate investing started when I was 17, and I had the chance. I bought two commercial retail buildings in the community where I lived on Main Street, and so that's what got me into real estate. I leased one while I ran a business out of the other. It was non-real estate related but it was investment for me. I owned that for 10 years and doubled my money. But the intent in which I bought it was to run my own business and it was cool having another building next door that the tenant was helping pay my rent, so it worked out okay. But yeah, there is a lot of room to invest in real estate. The vast majority of residential people do it for home, like I mentioned earlier. But yeah, I am an investor because I believe that there's one thing that's not infinite, and it's land and it's space, and as long as our households continue to increase like our population does in this country, the value of real estate will always be pretty important. But my personal residence, yeah, it's been a good investment. It's been primarily for my wife and my kids and for us to have a home. It's second as an investment, but then I have other properties that I look at more as just an investment. So a blend of both.
Deidre Woollard: [MUSIC] Excellent. Thank you. Well, this was fantastic. Thank you so much for your time today. Just a reminder to listeners, you can always learn more about RE/MAX at remax.com. Stay well and stay invested. [MUSIC]