Inman News is preparing a series of articles focusing on the everyday experiences of real estate brokers, including the pressing issues and hardships they face. We will profile brokers across the country, detailing the market conditions that they face and their varied operating styles and business models.

Many brokers have been faced with tough decisions during this national recession and prolonged housing slump, such as staffing cuts and office downsizing and consolidations. This series will examine how brokers are enduring this challenging onslaught of foreclosures, tightened lending, and economic decline, and what changes they are making to survive and thrive.

As we prepare this series we are open to reader recommendations on broker profiles: Send us names and contact information for brokers who you think we should profile, as well as your reasons on why they would make a good subject for this series.

Inman News is preparing a series of articles focusing on the everyday experiences of real estate brokers, including the pressing issues and hardships they face. We will profile brokers across the country, detailing the market conditions that they face and their varied operating styles and business models.

Many brokers have been faced with tough decisions during this national recession and prolonged housing slump, such as staffing cuts and office downsizing and consolidations. This series will examine how brokers are enduring this challenging onslaught of foreclosures, tightened lending, and economic decline, and what changes they are making to survive and thrive.

Inman News has also launched a To Be a Broker Survey (click here to take the survey), and we are offering a chance to win two free tickets to the upcoming Real Estate Connect conference in New York City for those who participate in this 19-question survey (note: those who have already registered for the event are not eligible for the free tickets).

The survey is accessible online: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=ww6nM2Vf6Qj1YLwuo_2fpUiw_3d_3d. As we prepare this series we are open to reader recommendations on broker profiles: Send us names and contact information for brokers who you think we should profile, as well as your reasons on why they would make a good subject for this series.

In addition to our staff-written content for this series, Inman News will accept and review first-person guest perspectives written by brokers, and other guest pieces written about real estate brokers. We plan to publish the best ones we receive. Please note that these guest pieces should not be promotional in nature and are intended to offer strategies and examples about successfully navigating this economic downturn. These guest pieces should be no less than 300 words in length and can be submitted via e-mail to: future@inman.com.

We are also accepting multimedia contributions, including online video and audio clips, photographs and other media that you feel illustrate and illuminate the daily working life of real estate brokers. These guest works are subject to review and edits by the Inman News editorial department, and Inman News will retain copyright of all published work.

Inman News is offering two free passes (for new registrants only) for the upcoming Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs Jan. 13-15, 2010, to the creator of the best guest submission that is published at Inman.com. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 30, 2009.

Some questions we are planning to address in this upcoming series:

  • How are some brokers growing market share during a period of economic shrinkage?
  • What innovations are helping brokers to navigate through these difficult economic times?
  • What business opportunities have brokers found in working with distressed owners and properties?
  • How are brokers compensating for shrinking home prices in their business plans?
  • What issues occupy the most time and effort these days for brokers?
  • What are agents’ most pressing needs, and how are brokers helping to fulfill these needs?
  • What are brokers’ policies and rules for: Agent teams? Social media participation? Lead generation? Advertising? The online distribution of property information?
  • How are brokers retaining the best agents and recruiting new ones?
  • What is changing about brokers’ commission/compensation splits with agents? Charges to consumers?
  • What support services are brokers offering to agents, and has anything changed with this offering?
  • How are brokers budgeting for technology in a time of constrained budgets?
  • Have real estate consumers’ behavior and expectations changed? And if so, how are brokers adjusting to these changes?
  • In what ways are brokers more relevant to agents’ success these days, and in what ways are they less relevant?
  • Is it more or less difficult for small brokers to compete with large brokers in the current market environment?
  • What, if anything, has or will permanently change about brokers’ duties and roles as a direct or indirect result of this housing downturn?
  • What will the recovery look like for brokers, and what indicators are brokers watching most closely to gauge the state of the market?
  • How does this market cycle compare and contrast with previous market cycles that brokers have experienced?

For any questions, comments and suggestions related to this upcoming series, send an e-mail to: future@inman.com.

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