As a broker, following trends and business models is a must. In the past 5 years there has been an explosion in information available to the consumer on the internet, including real estate information. To handle this change there needs to be a shift in the way real estate brokerages are set up. Let's face it, the goal is to attract agents or buyers who use the brokerage to buy or sell property. So where are the consumers going?
NAR statistics shown in this chart show an explosion of consumers looking online. The 2008 data just released in January show that 87% of home buyers used the internet to search for homes, up 71 percent from 5 years ago . The Baton Rouge Business Report noted in analyzing the NAR statistics that the number of people in Baton Rouge looking online for information about houses increased 29.5% in December. Looking at the patterns that consumers use, that means that a brokerage MUST have a solid online presence to attract buyers and sellers. A second pattern that emerges is that Consumers Follow Agents, not Companies or Brands The highlighted article challenges the traditional real eatate brokerage model of opening an office and establishing your broad(logo, slogan, etc.) The article further shows that (1) referrals, (2)repeat business and (3) the internet are the top 3 lead generators.
Establishing an Internet Presence, Embracing technology, and recognizing that clients follow agents will be key parts of new, innovative business models for real estate brokerages.