At Anywhere, Sue Yannaccone is ‘empowering everyone’s next move’
Yannaccone, CEO and president of Anywhere Brands, says inclusiveness — internally and when working with consumers — is a key strength for the company.
- Yannaccone oversees several household names in real estate — Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Corcoran, ERA and Sotheby's International Realty.
- With 200,000 agents in the U.S. and another 140,000 across the globe, the company reaches and reflects brokers, agents and consumers from diverse backgrounds.
- Authenticity is key to leadership, said Yannaccone, who founded a mentorship program for women in 2020.
Editor's note: Each year, the Swanepoel Power 200 recognizes the most powerful and influential leaders in residential real estate. In this series of SP 200 Inside Look interviews, we're diving deeper and learning about these top leaders' aspirations and accomplishments, and the opportunities they see in the year ahead.
Sue Yannaccone, CEO and president of Anywhere Brands, brings an uncomplicated strategy to leading one of the largest franchise groups through the market's ups and downs: Create a better real estate experience.
"I am really energized by our purpose of empowering everyone's next move — and we're doing that by facilitating a simpler, more integrated transaction experience for agents and the consumers that they serve," Yannaccone told Real Estate News.
Yannaccone's focus in 2023 is to maximize scale, products, technology, and the other tools and services agents need to assist buyers and sellers.
And as a leader, she emphasizes her own core values of respect and inclusiveness with the executives and staff she oversees, and provides the tools to help them succeed in a changing marketplace. Her leadership and influence within the industry earned her the recognition of the Most Powerful Woman in real estate, and the sixth-highest rank overall, in the recently released 2023 Swanepoel Power 200 list.
Two years into her role as CEO and president, Yannaccone said there is no typical day for her. Each of the franchise groups under the Anywhere Brands umbrella — Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Corcoran, ERA and Sotheby's International Realty — has its own distinctive mission and goals. Her role is to ensure all the brands are adding value and helping the company move forward.
"Much of my time is spent working with the leaders of our great brands to work through challenges and opportunities for serving our franchisees, brokers and agents. This kind of work never stops regardless of what's happening in the market; it's our job to constantly improve and expand our value proposition," she said.
No one-size-fits-all approach
Because Anywhere is most everywhere, Yannaccone said it's critical to equip brokers and agents with an understanding of the unique demographics of customers and their expectations for real estate transactions.
"There's such a vast, ever-expanding spectrum of backgrounds, living situations, cultural preferences, familial composition, and so many other factors that influence housing needs," Yannaccone said.
"We have the millennial and Gen Z generations claiming a much larger piece of the market, with many expecting a push-button-simple experience from any purchase. So, the demographic trends really underscore why we need to arm our brokers and agents with the tools to thrive in an evolving marketplace," Yannaccone said.
Cultivating leadership, modeling authenticity
Anywhere has close to 200,000 independent sales agents in the U.S., and more than 140,000 agents working in more than 100 countries and territories.
Recognizing and supporting diversity starts with the company and leaders like herself, said Yannaccone, who strives to reflect the values she expects in others. "One of the factors that I value the most in a leader is authenticity — the courage to bring your true self to work and to encourage others to do so," she said.
With a "relentless" focus on talent, the company is focused on cultivating leadership and supporting inclusiveness at all levels, and offers learning and development programs for both employees and agents.
"I'm passionate about our internal professional development and mentorship programs, and it's important to me that I'm making time during my week to communicate with employees," Yannaccone said.
Her people-first approach enables staff, agents and brokers to "thrive in an accepting environment," she said, noting that the company scores "particularly high" on surveys in the areas of credibility, fairness, respect and pride.
Moving women forward
In 2020, Yannaccone founded What Moves Her, a mentoring network that provides support for women seeking their own path to management, which continues to grow and flourish.
"More than anything, I'm proud of how the program has taken a life of its own and expanded organically. So many amazing women have adopted our platform to produce their own content and events, which has encouraged others to do the same," she said.
As Yannaccone looks ahead, she also reflects on the path that brought her to where she is today, recognizing that she has been propelled by a lifetime of experiences and relationships.
"In an industry built on relationships, I've learned to never lose sight of how important it is to value, maintain, and grow them over time."