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Doer, noun. A person who acts rather than merely talking or thinking.

RETSO has always been for the doers of the real estate industry. As we strive to refocus the industry on what matters most, we can’t do it without the doers. At this year’s event we will teach strategic thinking, build unique business models, and learn a common language – but none of this will matter if the doers stop doing.

While we’ve been pointing a finger at what’s wrong, I want to also acknowledge that three fingers are pointing back toward us. RETSO is as guilty for sharing ideas and technology without giving relevant context to your actual business model as any conference. Our video on the homepage said we needed to break RETSO. Now that we have, let’s rebuild it for the doers to do amazing things. Here is a quick breakdown by industry segment of what you will be able to do by attending RETSO Refocus.

Real estate agents will discover unsatisfied customer needs and design business models around them. If they already have the business model designed, then we will help them articulate the goals, strategies, and values of their model. We will also help them assess the opportunities for improving their business. They will leave with a custom business model in writing and the confidence to master execution of their strategies.

Brokers will be able to evaluate their current business model.  Some will then design a new business model in an old industry, others will recognize unique advantages their model affords and adjust focus to leverage the advantage.  We will teach the business model canvas to be applied to internal departments.  They will leave knowing they can’t decide the future, but will have a tool in their hand to allow them to design the future.

Are you a key resource to your customers or do you perform a key activity?  Is your customer the agent, the broker, or the buyer or seller?  We will help codify these answers in a way that allows everyone to understand the role an MLS plays in our industry.  Completing the blanks in the workbook will bring clarity to your business model and allow mastery of the value proposition you provide.

Can an association serve the public, the agent, the broker, and the affiliate under one business model?  We will showcase the versatility of the business model canvas to account for multiple customer segments and mulitple value propositions on one page.  Association staff and volunteer leaders alike will leave with confidence on how it creates, delivers, and captures value for all it’s customers.

Lenders play a key role in the real estate industry as they provide access to money.  But how do customers prefer to access money?  Does the answer vary by customer segment?  We will show lenders how to deliver value via preferred channels and also define the role a key partner plays in a business model.  Lenders will leave knowing not only how they provide value, but also how to play the role of key partner effectively in other business models.

Vendors and consultants play a vital role in our industry by helping clients question their business models and envision building better ones.  However, they often need to find the right business model themselves in order to launch an innovative product.  They will leave with a codified business model and mastery of the language to spread their ideas throughout the industry.

Executives will be able to take their vision for the company and design a business model to execute effectively.  They will take their ‘why’, turn it into ‘how’, in order to accomplish the ‘what’ of their unique ideas.  Through the simple yet powerful resource of the business model canvas, executives will leave with a tool to change their organization.

Those doers who work for executives yet perform like an entrepreneur are what make companies amazing.  We will help them exploit technological developments by tweaking business models to allow creative tactics for success.  They will leave with the ability to communicate with executives on a level playing field and collaborate to find meaningful innovation.


While we still acknowledge the key role technology plays in our industry, we simply want to change the focus to start with business model design. From there, we can properly evaluate technologies as either a key resource or key activity to create value for your customers or a channel in which to deliver value. It’s this language of business model design that is so important for our industry to unite around. A common language is one of the most powerful tools a culture can own. RETSO Refocus wants to help the doers of the world master the language of business model generation.