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“It is sort of a beacon,” CFO discusses Realogy/ Anywhere rebrand

After completing its corporate rebrand earlier in the week, the Anywhere CFO discusses what this means for the firm

With a ring of the New York Stock Exchange opening bell on Thursday morning, Realogy completed its corporate rebrand to become Anywhere Real Estate, debuting its new NYSE ticker “HOUS.”

Anywhere announced the rebrand in early May, during a firm investor day. But what exactly does the new name and logo mean for the 16-year-old firm, beyond changing office signage?

Anywhere CFO, Charlotte Simonelli, says the transition marks a cultural shift.

“It is sort of a beacon to guide everybody with what our purpose is, and it helps rally employees and agents around the direction we are heading in,” she said. “It is helping ignite a bit of cultural change and a vision for the company and where we strive to go.”

Known for being the parent company of incredibly recognizable consumer-facing brands such as Sotheby’s, Corcoran, Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Simonelli said the rebrand is not going to interfere with the notions home buyers and sellers have when they think about one of Anywhere’s brands.

“The brands really speak for themselves and will continue to have the same prominence that they have today,” Simonelli said. “I think what Anywhere is really meant to signify is how we are going to meet the consumer anywhere on their journey and how they want to transact residential real estate in the future. It is more of a theme for the future of how we are going to drive residential real estate to look and feel different?”

According to Simonelli, the rebrand also plays a role in the company’s pivot to more direct-to-consumer marketing and investment, which she said will help Anywhere achieve the projections for 2026 it also laid out during the mid-May investor day.

Anywhere’s SEC filing projects in 2026 revenue will be $11.5 billion, operating EBITDA will be $1.2 billion and market share will reach 20%. By comparison, after an exceptionally strong year due to unprecedented market conditions, 2021 saw the firm record revenue of $8 billion, operating EBITDA of $902 million and market share was 16.4%.

During the firm’s first quarter earnings call in late April, executives told investors the amount of operating income it predicts to make in 2022 has been pared down from $800-$850 million to $750-$800 million, “predominantly due to the rising mortgage rate environment and its impact on financial results at the company’s mortgage origination joint venture,” suggesting it may be an uphill battle to reach an operating EBITDA of $1.2 billion by 2026.

To arrive at the 2026 projections, Simonelli said Anywhere starts with building blocks, the first of which she views as the housing market itself. From there, she said the team looked at the core business to see what they could do to help agents be more productive and increase their sales volume, which in turn would increase volume for the firm. Then, Simonelli said, they reviewed Anywhere’s strategic objectives and looked for places to increase cost savings.

“Investment in our agents and in products that help us retain and attract new agents, like our Moxie platform, or RealSure or listing concierge services, is helping,” she said. “We are already seeing how these products make our agents more productive and what means more volume for them and more volume for us. Then with cost savings, which is something every well run business looks for, we really have an impetus to do this as splits are rising. We do expect commission splits to continue to rise, but we do expect them to moderate, so they won’t be quite as much of an increase over the next five years as we’ve seen over the past five years.”

Simonelli also said having more of a direct-to-consumer focus will lead to higher margins, as well as higher capture and attach rates for Anywhere’s title and mortgage businesses and joint ventures, which should also increase revenue.

“I think at the end of the day, we are just very excited about what’s next,” she said. “We have a real clear strategy, and our job is to just go execute it.”

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