The fact that hundreds of real estate brokers are in trouble across the country is no surprise at all. This real estate and economic downturn has spared no one, and certainly not real estate agents and brokers.
I’ve written elsewhere about the dramatic changes taking place in how people buy and sell real estate, and the extraordinary changes in how real estate is advertised. I’ve written about the dying breed of traditional real estate brokers who hang on to large brick and mortar buildings (and massive mortgage payments or huge leases) and expensive traditional advertising that no longer is effective, and the way-too-high overhead associated with that model.
With real estate commissions way way down, and overhead maintaining a level financial strain for brokers, it is no surprise that hundreds of real estate brokers around the country should seek bankruptcy protection, merge with other companies, or just close their doors.
Here are just a few large offices that are seeking to survive or morph into something that can survive:
- Prudential Americana, a brokerage company in Las Vegas, Nevada that has 1,100 agents.
- Century 21 Advantage Gold, a real estate brokerage in Las Vegas, Nevada with 300 agents.
- Century 21 Town & Country, a real estate brokerage in Rochester, Michigan, that has 550 agents.
- Prudential Cranbrook Realtors, a real estate brokerage in Troy, Michigan that has 90 agents.
- LandAmerica Financial Group, which was the third-largest U.S. title insurance company
- Help-U-Sell Real Estate, a fee-for-service real estate brokerage franchisor that has 1,000 offices in 46 states
- Foxtons, a cut-rate commission real estate brokerage company in West Long Branch, New Jersey
- WCI Companies, a Florida-based luxury home builder
- Haskins Realty Northwest, a real estate brokerage in Portland, Oregon
- RE/MAX Town Centre, a real estate brokerage in Orlando, Florida that has 60 agents.
- Robert and Loraine Dyson, luxury home real estate brokers in Solana Beach, California
What does all this mean? It means the real estate brokerage of tomorrow is not the traditional real estate brokerage that is top heavy. It means buyers are looking for an experienced real estate agent who has powerful tools they can use from the comfort of their own home computer. It means sellers are no longer willing to pay high commissions to cover all the overhead of a traditional brick and mortar. Buildings are still nice, and we all need a place to work, but clients are not as interested in the beautiful hard wood conference tables and the luxurious furniture of real estate offices anymore. Honestly, they spend very little time, if any, in those offices, but the brokers still have to pay for it.
At Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate, LLC, we are working hard to meet our clients’ needs and desires, and we’re doing that on the Internet more dramatically than any of our competitors. How can we help you?
Last Updated on March 23, 2009 by Chuck Marunde
The days of large firms in big offices is over. Buyers and sellers have figured out that they are the ones paying for all that overhead. Remember the listing books? They were the first thing that computers and the internet killed. Next will be the large firm.
Real estate agents are no longer the guardians of the data, but instead have become an assistant in the process. Those who aren’t willing to make the change, will be forced out by the ones who recognize that the roles have shifted.
It’s hard to believe that with the exponential growth of real estate online, there are still agents who don’t have an internet presence.
This situation is not only nationwide. Take a look in areas dealing with holiday homes and especially luxury vacation homes. These agents specializing in these kinds of properties have really tough these days but I guess this is the way of things, after rain the sun will follow. Keep up.
I have to agree with Doug. Thanks for the information