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Looking Ahead to 2018

Brokerage Industry Maintains its Value to Consumers, But Challenges Remain.

(Mountain Lakes, NJ, January 18, 2018) — While doomsayers once expected real estate agents to go the way of travel agents and full-commission stock brokers, the business of real estate brokerage has remained surprisingly unscathed.

Still, challenges remain in 2018 and experienced broker/owners warn against complacency.

In an interview with Real Estate Broker’s Insider, Lennox Scott, head of John L. Scott Real Estate in Seattle, notes a looming threat as national portals such as Zillow look to expand, and as venture capitalists and Wall Street investors back startup brokerages such as Compass and TripleMint.

Scott points to Zillow Instant Offers as one wake-up call for traditional brokers. While the offering has yet to gain traction, it reveals Zillow’s ambitions for continued expansion.

"The Instant Offer kind of woke the industry up," Scott says. "It is definitely
game on."

Brokers and agents can fight back by stressing what they’re best at — Scott calls it the "local advantage" of deep roots in the communities where they do business.

Each of your agents has dozens or hundreds of meaningful relationships with buyers and sellers. To fight off Zillow, he says, agents need to maintain relationships through regular phone calls and marketing messages.

"Our industry is not fabulous on keeping in contact," Scott says. "But the numbers are in our favor if we do this communication."

The alternative, Scott says, is to simply cede large portions of the market to Zillow and other portals.

More broker/owners share their strategies for the New Year in the January issue of Real Estate Broker’s Insider newsletter.

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