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Brokerage revolution hinges on Web-savvy consumer

Guest Perspective: New business models are back to the future for real estate

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There is a strange feeling of deja vu today among many real estate brokers who survived the drastic changes faced by our industry throughout the 1990s. Experts say the real estate industry is facing a dilemma similar to the one it successfully overcame some 10 to 15 years ago. Let's rewind to the 1980s: The Federal Trade Commission issued a report on real estate "agency." The buyer brokerage "movement" was born. By the early 1990s, state real estate commissions were implementing rules that required brokers to change their established way of doing business through additional disclosure. An advisory group was formed to study "agency" and make recommendations to brokers in the state trade groups. The late 1990s were witness to a transformed real estate landscape in which established brokers legally could practice what had been opposed just a decade earlier. Buyer's brokers ushered in the failed revolution of "agency," which did not catch the attention of the public or the media (excep...