Industry News

Realtors, be worried, very worried

Opinion: How will you compete against more competition, new business models?

Real estate brokerage is no easy business, and it's likely to become even harder in the months and years to come. If we were Realtors, we'd be worried. Really worried. The National Association of Realtors now numbers 972,000 members and the total is fast approaching 1 million. That means there are more Realtors in the United States than ever before and more are joining the ranks every day. More Realtors means more competition, and that means competition will be fiercer, more cutthroat, less ethical and at times even illegal. More competition used to mean more realty salespeople chasing the same buyers and sellers with the same commission rate and essentially the same services. But today a percentage point or more has been shaved off that commission rate and the gentlemanly philosophies of "we all do the same thing" and "we're all in this business together" are less often remembered, much less honored. The housing market boom strengthened existing alternative business models and c...