HW+ Member Spotlight: Rich DeNicola
This week’s HW+ member spotlight features Rich DeNicola, chief operating officer at Realogy Expansion Brands, which includes Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and ERA. In his role, he is responsible for domestic and international business operations, financial management, franchise performance consulting, network engagement and brand growth strategy for the portfolio.
He has also served as as chief operating officer of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, as well as senior vice president of Membership Development for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.
Below, DeNicola answers questions about the housing industry:
HousingWire: To start off, what is your current favorite HW+ article?
Rich DeNicola: My favorite HW+ article is the Real Trends Brokerage Compensation Report. One of the biggest questions we get from growing franchisees is how to scale their business with staff. This article lays out not only a template of how the top companies are staffing their firms but also pay ranges by region. It is a phenomenal resource for any brokerage owner.
HousingWire: What has been one of your biggest learning opportunities?
Rich DeNicola: My biggest learning opportunities have come in times of crisis. Navigating the business climate during the early pandemic and the 2008 financial meltdown were incredibly stressful times filled with uncertainty. We had business issues to manage and more importantly we had to make sure our franchisees had the resources they needed to successfully manage their businesses.
Luckily during my career at Realogy, I have worked with and been exposed to incredible leaders and mentors. The lessons I have learned from simply watching and listening have been immensely helpful to guide my thought process and how I react to issues. There is a vast difference between leaders and managers and it is times of crisis that bring out the best leaders.
HousingWire: When have you felt successful in your job?
Rich DeNicola: I feel like a success at my job when I hear from our franchisees that their businesses are more successful because of the affiliations with our brands. I often hear stories of how the relationship has effected them personally, their agents, and their families. This is what makes me get out of bed every day and go to work.
HousingWire: What do you think will be the big themes for the housing market in 2022?
Rich DeNicola: Inventory is going to persist as a major issue for the foreseeable future. We all know the statistics on how new construction has lagged the needs of the country for the past decade. I often hear from our franchisees that state and local construction regulations in their area disincentivize builders from putting the shovel in the ground for entry level and mid-market homes.
I think this is a major issue that needs attention. Builders are not going to build if they cannot make the profits they need to run their business. I would think if there is anything out there that could gain bipartisan support it would be an issue like this.
HousingWire: What’s one thing that people aren’t paying attention to that you think they should be paying attention to?
Rich DeNicola: One thing that I don’t think people are paying enough attention to is blockchain technology. I’m not talking about simply investing in Bitcoin and certainly not the meme cryptocurrencies or pump and dump fad investments. There is technology here that is going to dramatically change how industries operate and I think over the next few years we will see some interesting applications in real estate specifically around simplifying and digitizing the transaction.
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