Real estate, nonessential? Realcomp CEO Karen Kage disagrees

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Realcomp II Limited: After 42 years in real estate, Karen Kage, the CEO of Realcomp II Limited, still doesn’t like to make predictions. Who would have guessed what happened following the Great Recession? And how could she have anticipated the effect of a pandemic on the housing market? Kage, who has been with the Farmington Hills-based multiple listing service since its 1993 inception, has been the CEO since 1997. Although the coronavirus-related economic shutdown presented a number of challenges — including a large decline in the number of real estate agents — she said Realcomp’s 18,000 customers are now the most the service has ever had.

Can you talk me through what the coronavirus did to the industry?

March of 2020 is when we had to close our doors here. … Later that month, the whole state was shut down and real estate was deemed not to be essential. So there was no real estate taking place. That left our customers completely out of business.

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