The Real Deal New York

Well-funded competitors are coming for Realogy. Here’s the new CEO’s action plan

Ryan Schneider focuses on data and technology
By E.B. Solomont | January 25, 2018 12:25PM

Ryan Schneider, CEO & President of Realogy, speaks at Inmam Connect 2018 in New York (Credit: Jhila Farzaneh)

Realogy is neither a tech company nor a startup. But CEO Ryan Schneider’s vision for the $5.8 billion real estate behemoth takes a page from both playbooks.

The chief executive, in his first public comments since being tapped to lead the company, said Realogy will move swiftly to leverage data and technology in order to boost give agents a suite of tools to boost their productivity.

“We are going to be relentlessly focused on agents,” Schneider said Thursday morning at Inman Connect NYC. “That’s one difference you may feel going forward.”

Formerly an executive at Capital One, Schneider succeeded longtime chief executive Richard Smith, who stepped down in December after 21 years. Schneider assumed the post Jan. 1, and quickly moved to shake up the C-suite. “We’re going to be decisive and fast,” he said Thursday. “I want to get the best team on the field to support agents.”

In an increasingly competitive marketplace — one that includes the likes of low-cost brokerage Redfin and venture-backed Compass — Schneider described a vision for the industry stalwart that leverages data and technology “all in the spirit of making agents successful.”

But don’t think of Realogy as a clunky Goliath unable to move quickly, he said. “Realogy has scale with data and technology to innovate in ways a lot of people don’t have,” Schneider said. “That position of strength to start out is powerful.”

He said the $5.8 billion company has access to more national data than any of its competitors, and that the key is turning that data into insights, products and services that boost agent productivity. There is a “whole suite of things we can do for agents using data and technology,” he said. “I believe we have the scale and resources to do that.”

Though Schneider didn’t deny there’s “work to do,” he said newly-appointed CTO Dave Gordon (who has worked at financial firms) has a “substantial set of resources to deliver the kind of future I’m talking about.” He stopped short of calling his vision a turnaround, but said the world is changing. “What agents expect from us is [also] changing,” he said. “If we don’t keep up, we will fall behind.”