Real Estate

William Ravis reflects on 50 years of selling real estate.

Inman sat down with Raveis after his firm’s 50-year anniversary to discuss what it takes to lead a brokerage for half a century.

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In 1974, 27-year-old William Ravis rented a small office above a supermarket in his hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut.

Flash forward 50 years and Ravis is still at the helm of the company as it has ballooned to more than 4,500 agents in 140 offices in nine states up and down the East Coast, while still using Connecticut as its headquarters. is maintained. The company gathered last week at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, with speakers and entertainment for a half-century anniversary convention, and to mark March 27 as “William Roys Day” in Connecticut. Official announcement received.

Raveis Celebrates 50 Years of William Raveis Real Estate Photo: AJ Canaria Creative Services

The brokerage has expanded both in size and scope since 1974 with mortgage and insurance businesses alongside its original brokerage business. Ravis has risen to real estate visionary status himself as he continues to lead the company with his sons, Chris and Ryan Ravis.

Inman sat down with Raveis after his firm’s 50th anniversary to discuss what it takes to lead the brokerage for half a century and set it up for success over the next 50 years.

Inman: What are your thoughts on turning 50?

William Ravis: Our journey has just begun. As a family business, we have weathered all economic ups and downs to come out on top. Eight recessions, beginning with the 1974 oil embargo. That same year I decided to leave my job at Westinghouse and open my first real estate office in my hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut.

Which brings me to where we are now in the marketplace: the number one family-owned real estate company in the Northeast, Florida and South Carolina with over 4,500 sales associates and 140 office locations and still growing. . Winning industry awards such as Inman’s Top Brokerage in 2023.

I am grateful and honored to be surrounded by such an incredible group of agents, managers and employees. Fifty years is a big milestone, rarely achieved in our industry.

Ravis in the late 1970s. Photo: William Ravis Real Estate

Inman: What are the keys to longevity for a real estate firm?

WR: Endurance and flexibility are key. You have endured a lot of pain and suffering. As a result, you develop flexibility. This flexibility gives you the ability to navigate any challenges ahead.

Next we believe in helping agents succeed with nationally certified strategic growth coaches and support staff as their operating partner – as preferred customers. Our business model was huge in the 70s and still is today.

Finally, together with his two sons, Chris and Ryan Ravis, William Ravis for the next century with innovation and products for real estate, mortgage and insurance services under one roof for the benefit of all agents and clients. Working to create the future of

Inman: How has the company grown over the past 50 years?

WR: As an entrepreneurial family business, we believe that competition is a good thing. It makes us stronger as a company. We are constantly adapting and growing by leaning into change, not retreating.

For example, the use of AI for luxury marketing and personal branding – two areas where William Ravis agents shine above the competition. Over the years, we’ve seen 100 percent ventures and Wall Street venture-backed firms trying to improve the industry — but fizzle out. Some companies are no longer in business. We are not going anywhere because we continue to evolve.

Inman: William Ravis is an independent brokerage. How does it stay competitive with the big franchises?

Sorry, but we are one of the largest independent brokers in the country. With more than 140 offices, 4,500 agents and nine states from Maine to Florida, we continue to expand into our key luxury markets as #1 in the Northeast and South. How others compete with us will be my question.

Raveis addresses the crowd at the 50th anniversary convention. Photo: AJ Canaria Creative Services

William Ravis marks this milestone at a time of sea change in the brokerage industry. How do you think brokerages will be able to navigate the next 50 years?

Quite simply, it’s all about the value that our company and our sales force deliver to sellers and buyers that counts. The marketplace will ultimately determine the winners and losers, but our goal is to be in the winner’s circle 10, 20 and 50 years from now.

Our family business is built on family values. Treat people as we would like to be treated with compassion, courtesy and respect.

In fact, I wrote a little book that outlines it. Ten Great Principles for Compassionate Leadership Which are the guiding principles of our company. Number 1 is: We are leaders who put others first. But number 10 is: We have fun and enjoy our journey.

Fifty years doesn’t seem like a long time when you love what you do.

Email Ben Verde.




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