Broker Chris Stark on being a student of the real estate market

RealTrends’ newest award ushers in a generation of leaders in housing

With Gen Z adults coming down the pike as the next, fastest-growing segment of homebuyers, it’s no surprise that housing is also seeing an emergence of young leaders who are dominating the real estate market. 

To recognize these up-and-coming powerhouses, RealTrends launched the first ever RealTrends Emerging Leaders award which honors leaders in the industry who are doing big things before the age of 40. From agents, to brokers, to franchise head office employees, these real estate pros are building teams, achieving record sales volumes and connecting with a younger generation of homebuyers who are ready to invest in real estate.

It’s rising leaders like Chris Stark, 37, executive vice president of Stark Company Realtors in Madison, WI who inspired RealTrends’ newest award. With more than 13 years of experience in real estate, Stark works to create an environment that attracts agents who not only strive to become better real estate practitioners but also stay open to the new ways consumers are wanting to be served. 

As a brokerage, Stark Company Realtors is consistently ranked as the number one residential real estate brokerage in Dane County, based on volume sold. With about 200 agents, Stark takes pride in helping his clients and his team move towards the life they want.

RealTrends reached out to Stark to hear more about the current market in southern Wisconsin and his path to leadership at Stark Company Realtors.

RealTrends: How would you describe the current real estate market in your area and how are you differentiating yourself against the competition?

Chris Stark: Our real estate market in Madison, WI is dealing with the inventory shortage much like other markets. It has also been a very competitive and fast-paced market for both buyers and sellers, again like other markets. We’ve been staying on top of the market data to understand the trends we are seeing to better inform our agents who can better inform their clients. In a fast-paced market, it’s easy to react, misinterpret information or get caught up in oftentimes inaccurate narratives, so we try to be students of the market so we can bring some clarity to all of this. We find our clients appreciate an informed agent who can help them understand what kind of market they are getting into.

RealTrends: What’s your approach to supporting the next generation of emerging leaders in real estate?

Chris Stark: We try to create an environment that attracts those who want to become better real estate practitioners, who embrace the fundamental principles of serving clients but who are also open to the new ways consumers are wanting to be served. We believe that when we come together, learn from each other, we all become better at what we do, which ultimately makes it a better customer experience. We try to create those spaces and be intentional about who we bring into our culture so that we have a positive effect on each other.

RealTrends: Do you have any mentors or leaders in your life who have influenced your career or management style?

Chris Stark: There are many people who have influenced me in my career, but if I had to boil it down, there are three people who stand out. Larry Kendall with Ninja is also someone who made me clear that residential real estate was the career I wanted to pursue. When I first heard him speak about the Ninja philosophies, which was before I knew I was going into residential real estate, I saw a different perspective into what a sales career really is and I was inspired. Robin Guernsey is an agent at our company who, when I started in real estate sales, taught me about taking care of your clients, being determined and growing your business to serve more people and serve them well. And last but not least, my father Dave Stark has always been my role model. His ability to lead with a humble confidence is something I try to replicate in my own way.

Nominations for the RT Emerging Leaders close May 30, 2022. Don’t miss this opportunity to recognize a leader from your organization!