Realogy Expansion Brands CEO Sherry Chris and Compass U.S. Region President Neda Navab said the brokerage of the future is one that prioritizes innovation and embracing change.

Inman events are the best way to connect, learn and grow. Join us this week for Inman Connect New York, in person or virtually. Then, continue to gain insights and build your network in August at Inman Connect Las Vegas. Reserve your ticket now, prices will go up!

The next decade isn’t going to see brokerages disappear, or consolidate to the point that only a handful survive. But according to a panel of industry leaders, traditional companies that don’t innovate or evolve are at serious risk of becoming disintermediated.

The panel assembled for a session of Inman CEO Connect in New York Tuesday dubbed “What Will Our Industry Look Like in 2030?” During the conversation, Neda Navab — president of the U.S. region at Compass — argued that as time goes on brokerages that simply exist to “extract” value from the real estate experience and fail to invest in research and development won’t be able to compete as software becomes more advanced. And she said that “the brokerages that delivers the most value will be the only ones that exist in 2030.”

“Traditional brokerages will get disintermediated,” she argued, meaning such companies could see themselves displaced.

Other panelists agreed that change is coming. For example Sherry Chris, CEO of Realogy Expansion Brands, noted that she recently bought a house and the experience reminded her of what might have happened in the 1990s. That needs to, and will, change according to Chris, though so far the industry has fallen short.

“We’ve been talking for so many years about end to end service but we’ve never been able to truly master it,” she noted, adding that “for that to happen there has to be a major shake up.”

Chris Suarez, co-founder of real estate tech company Place Inc., made a similar point, arguing that the real estate industry has been talking about an “end to end solution for way to long and if we don’t have that solved by 2030 we’ve missed an amazing opportunity.”

The takeaway from these comments is there was more or less a consensus among the panelists that the future would bring change, and that the brokerages that survive will be the ones that innovate and adapt. Significantly, this is similar to the advice that agents themselves have been received about the need to adapt or die — only this time it was directed at the brokerage level. In other words, success in the coming years won’t just hinge on agents’ ability to embrace change, but on the larger businesses adapting their infrastructure and core philosophies as well.

That said, the panelists did not predict a future real estate industry in which there are only a small handful of companies. Thad Wong, co-founder and co-CEO of Chicago-base brokerage and franchisor @properties, noted during the panel that in recent years “local, independent brokerages have been crush.” The comment alludes to a period of significant consolidation in the industry that has seen the rise of massive companies such as Compass, some of which have grown by gobbling up smaller firms.

However, despite that consolidation, Wong noted that some local companies have survived and likely will continue to do so. And he predicted that the winners will ultimately be the brokerages that are “focused on the agent distributing value for the consumer.”

“I do think the consumer is going to have a much better experience,” Wong added. “I think the brokerages at the end of the day need to be more innovative.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription