by Inman Content Studio
With the excitement of its latest acquisition hitting the headlines, family-owned William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance is confidently executing on its roadmap to expand up and down the Eastern seaboard. But this is not a land grab. Instead, for founder and CEO William “Bill” Raveis, it’s a mindful and meaningful way to deliver the most value to the most important people.
“Even after 47 years, 136 offices, and 4,300 agents, we are not a Wall Street firm. We’re still a private, family business,” he said simply. “I don’t answer to Wall Street. I answer to my agents.”
It’s not an exaggeration to say that Raveis considers his agents as family. That’s been his philosophy since the actual day one of his real estate business.
“Nearly five decades ago, I opened my own real estate company with a single desk and a phone over a grocery store. My job was, and still is, to help my agents build their business and be exactly who they want to be.”
The founding principle of William Raveis Real Estate has consistently been that the agents are their number one customers, supported by a robust infrastructure of marketing, technology, coaching, and mentoring. This wasn’t always a popular approach. Nevertheless, it’s what inspired Raveis to make sure every agent that joined the company had direct access to him, with his personal phone number. Even now, he is a cheerleader and coach for every agent on the team.
“Just yesterday I talked with four different agents from four different states about their business,” he shared. “I love doing that. I love mentoring them. It gives me great satisfaction. Real estate agents are still the most unbelievable, entrepreneurial professionals you’ll meet. And to know that each agent is, in turn, helping their own families grow and thrive is the best part.”
As the principles remain constant, the industry has certainly changed. And William Raveis Real Estate has evolved along with it. Throughout the decades, the company’s suite of services has grown to include mortgage, title, and insurance, with a vision to add more to cover all aspects of the transaction. The team continues to develop best-in-class tools and technology for agents. Programs such as Raveis Purchase and Purchase Plus are poised to empower homebuyers like never before. Agents are encouraged to build their own brands and given the resources to do so. And the powerhouse coaching and mentoring program ensure each agent never stops learning.
“If you don’t innovate, you die,” Raveis said. “That’s true for the company and it’s true for agents. I have a legacy business to ensure. My agents have a legacy to ensure. That matters to me.”
For Bill Raveis, the relationships that power the company are its secret to success. His sons Chris and Ryan serve as Co-Presidents, and carry on that tradition, along with always being a call away from any agent at any time. Because trust matters above all else.
“This is a very competitive industry. The margins are getting smaller and smaller. So trust is the currency we believe in most. That’s why we consider each new acquisition carefully as we grow. Not every company that comes to us is a great culture fit. We need to build trust first. My agents trust that we’ll let them be who they are, without forcing a round peg into a square hole. And they trust that we’ll continue to grow in such a way that they can each be successful.”