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Real estate experts bet on partnerships, productivity

Discounters disadvantaged during downturn?

NEW YORK -- Real estate discounters are down but not dead, and more traditional companies are struggling, too, under the weight of a wounded economy and hobbled housing market. That's the word from Glenn Cohen, founder and CEO of Expert Real Estate Services, an online real estate marketing and lead company, who spoke during a panel at the Real Estate Connect conference last week in New York City. Discounters are especially challenged in a slumping real estate market "because in a down market people are desperate to sell," Cohen said. "And in their mind (consumers) believe -- whether it's true or not, and in some cases it very well is -- that the local agent of the big brand name can do a better job for them and they're less likely to trust the sale of their home with a discounter." He added, "I don't say (discounting) can't work, and there always will be a small place, I think, for flat-fee MLS and for discount. And if you develop some best prac...