The Beginning Of The Real Estate Rebate: Society as a whole has been significantly impacted by the emergence of the Internet. It has made the world a smaller place and has intern changed the way we communicate and conduct business. It has helped companies target their clients through avenues such as Google & Yahoo, and has subsequently put the products and information that consumers looking for, at their finger tips. Social Networks such as Myspace and Facebook have made it possible to stay in contact with friends and family around the world via the Internet. As time passes these changes and effects will become more wide spread and alarmingly self evident. One such industry that stands to be dramatically affected is Real Estate.
For decades, the real estate industry has been defined by traditional representation in which an agent charges the seller a commission to market and sell their home or represents buyers through the entire home buying process. In the past, the traditional model was the staple of the real estate profession and it faced little to no opposition. This has begun to change. With the dependency that society and has developed on Internet, creative minds have begun to develop new models that cater to every type of consumer. As a result, consumers no longer have to settle for the “One Size Fits All” traditional model, but have a choice in choosing the type of service that fits their real estate needs.
New Models: Consumers may now choose between a variety of real estate products and services. These services are characterized by enabling buyers or sellers to seek specific real estate assistance as opposed to the whole package. In the case of sellers, real estate agents will charge a fee only for the services they provide. For example, a seller may only want to list their home on MLS (Multiple Listing Service Used By Real Estate Professionals around the Country) for the added exposure, and require some assistance drafting a purchase and sale agreement. Listing a home and receiving assistance with a P&S will cost you hundreds of dollars as opposed to paying a 5%-6% commission that would cost thousands of dollars. Buyers who are interested in finding a home on their own or willing to participate in the initial house hunting work, can receive a rebate at closing. This model gives buyers the professional assistance of a realtor and rewards them for their efforts with a portion of the commission at closing. One company that gives buyers a rebate is SharpBuyers. They are a national real estate rebate company based out of Boston Massachusetts. They have agents all throughout the country that will help buyers find a home and give them a rebate at closing. Another emerging model is real estate consultants. These are licensed real estate professionals that exclusively charge flat fee’s for specific services.
The brokerages that offer these innovative real estate services are referred to as Discount Brokers, Rebate Agents, and Real Estate Consultants. It can clearly be seen, that all of these new models engage the buyers and sellers in the home buying or selling process. Subsequently, these models are ideal for the home buyers of tomorrow, generation X and Y. These are tech-savvy home buyers and they are not afraid to delve into the process if it means they will save thousands of dollars. Ten years from now, generation X will collectively be in their early and mid 30’s. Many will use the traditional method to buy their first home, while others will seek out innovative brokers. How will the market share shake out in 2017? Only time will tell. It is anticipated that many traditional brokerages will be forced to adapt to a mixed service model, meaning they will offer both traditional and discount services to buyers, rather than one or the other. This may prove to be a necessary strategy if traditional brokerages would like to remain competitive after 2020. The new real estate business models enable consumers to have the best of both worlds, professional assistance and more money in their pockets.
Real Estate and The Internet Today: In today’s world, the effect that the Internet has had on the real estate profession is extremely apparent. As the popularity of the Internet initially grew, many agents were concerned that consumers would cut them right out of the deal. To date, this has not been the case. The real estate industry has come to embrace the Internet and all of the great marketing tools that it has given birth to. It has also helped real estate professionals have better access to listing information, recent sales history and various statistical data reports. Leonard Nomura of Bentley Real Estate Group says he could not imagine life as a broker without the Internet. The numbers are astounding. According to the National Association of Realtors, 77% of home buyers used the Internet to find their homes in 2005. This has steadily grown from 2% of buyers using the Internet to find their homes in 1995 and is speculated to be over 85% today. According to clickz.com, 50% of all consumers who surf the web, do so with the intent to purchase consumer goods and services. This includes Real Estate, automobiles, clothing, music and anything else imaginable.
As a result of the emerging mixed service models, consumers can now choose from a range of real estate services that did not previously exist. It is believed that many real estate professionals see these new models as a threat because of their ability to significantly impact the traditional real estate brokerage’s market share. According to Real Trends an industry newsletter, alternative Real Estate Models currently make up 2% of the market, but could grow to 12% by 2010. The transformation of the real estate industry has only just begun. Time will tell the true story of how the market will shake out, but the bottom line is this; alternative real estate models are putting money back into consumer’s pockets and you will always put a smile on someone’s face when you show them how to save thousands of dollars.