William Raveis Real Estate continues East Coast expansion while keeping it all in the family

by Liz Hughes

For William Raveis, it’s all in the family. Working alongside his two sons, the chairman and CEO of William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance has big plans for the future of the company he hopes one day will be run by his grandchildren. It’s that passion for family that has helped drive his company’s success for the past 47 years. 

Chris Raveis, Bill Raveis and Ryan Raveis

From left to right: WRRE Co-President Chris Raveis, Founder/CEO Bill Raveis and Co-President Ryan Raveis. Photo Credit: Mindy Briar / WRRE

With the real estate industry undergoing drastic changes and becoming more of a financial industry, thanks to increasing involvement from Wall Street, Raveis says to be successful, you “have to have depth, you need to have size, and you need to have the financial wherewithal to change.”

With his company’s expansion plans and recent announcements, he’s doing just that. 

The privately held, family-owned business offers real estate, mortgage, insurance, title and attorney services under one roof, creating a seamless end-to-end customer experience. WRRE streamlines the homebuying experience by being able to offer competitive mortgage rates and competitive, quality home and auto insurance coverage. Raveis’ two sons, Chris and Ryan, are both co-presidents of the company. Ryan heads William Raveis Mortgage, and Chris leads  residential sales.

In April, the company announced the launch of Raveis Purchase to help sellers who want to sell and buy in a hurry. With Raveis Purchase, WRRE will purchase a client’s home for an initial payment of up to 80% of the current value, enabling them to unlock their home equity quickly, so they can make a confident, non-contingent offer on their next home, which WRRE will also help them buy, finance and insure. Once the seller’s home is empty, the firm handles any needed renovations and readies it for sale before listing.

“We are the first in the nation doing this,” Raveis told Boston Agent Magazine. 

In addition, the newly launched Raveis CashBid program allows buyers to make cash bids, giving them an advantage in today’s competitive market. Under the program, WRRE purchases a home on behalf of the client using its own cash, a valuable tool in situations where the seller wants to move quickly. 

In August, WRRE acquired Sarasota, Fla.-based Key Solutions Real Estate, a luxury and family-owned brokerage with 44 associates. The addition of two offices in Sarasota brought the total number of William Raveis offices in Florida to 14. Since opening its Naples office in 2016 and expanding to Palm Beach in 2018, the company is on track to close more than $3 billion in sales in the Sunshine State. The acquisition broadened William Raveis’ network from areas in the Northeast, including Nantucket, Wellesley, Greenwich, Westchester and Manhattan. 

And that’s just the beginning. 

“By expanding, you have the ability to offer all those services no one else has so far under one roof,” Raveis said. “We now have the competitive advantage, and we are taking that competitive advantage to areas that people in the Northeast go to — Vero Beach, Jupiter, Sarasota, and we have other announcements coming soon. We are very, very active right now, and the reason for it is we have a competitive advantage no one else does.”

As Raveis looks to expand his company’s footprint, “family” is front and center. It’s a niche for a family business to roll up to another family business, he says. 

“We now have our footprint in the East Coast of America from Maine to Miami, and that includes South Carolina and Georgia,” he said. “We have an opportunity to partner with these folks who maybe don’t have the means to survive but are a really good family business and work really hard. We see us as a vehicle to help them continue to do what they’re doing.”

Culture is very important to Raveis, who treats his agents as customers and helps them build their businesses. 

What we do is give them the freedom to be who they want to be,” Raveis said. “We let them be entrepreneurs. It’s not us telling them they have to fit in this box. Our job is to help agents be entrepreneurs — distinguishing us from others. There’s nobody in the northeast like us … we’re looking for opportunities now and will continue to look for opportunities.”

When asked when he expects to finish expanding his business, Raveis said not anytime soon.

“Picasso painted until he died,” he said. “I have my paintbrush in my hand called real estate and I’m painting out the landscape. I’m dying with my paintbrush in my hand.”

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