It's interesting for old timers like me to reflect on how the residential brokerage business has begun to become fractured over the recent years.
A good deal of that is the direct result of the creation and proliferation of real estate franchises.
They were significantly helped in accomplishing this growth by their investment in computer and internet programs that most traditional mom and pop firms couldn't afford.
Meanwhile, Associations of Reators have made it a point to invest in similar, and often better, programs that help members manage and boost client representation and sales.
The Metrotex Association of Realtors which serves the Dallas-Ft. Worth area is, perhaps, a good example.
The Metrotex budget committee of which I am a member, recently agreed to annually set aside a serious amount of money for the developmental growth of technical services for its members.
And it put no cap on how to determine when enough was enough or not enough.
Agents are finding less and less reason to spend time in the brokerage's office, yet they are paying their share of the office rent and administrative help.
Home computers can access anything that the office computers provide. Cell phones make it all but totally unnecessary to have someone standing by to answer inquiry calls, then forwarding them on to the appropriate agent.
These days, more deals are made in homes, coffee shops, and clients' offices than are made around a table in a conference room at the brokerage office.
In most cases, quite frankly, that's more convenient and less stressful for the parties.
In fact, in the last few years, I've only closed a couple of transactions in a title company office. I've done them myself on the premises of a nearby bank. (Texas requires closings outside of a title company to be done either in a bank or law office.)
This allows the client and me to do the closing at our convenience, and I've had no trouble finding a bank that wasn't delighted to accomodate us. They are also able to provide the notary service.
So continuing this scenario without serious modification to direct it otherwise, it appears to me that the appeal to agents of franchises will soon begin to spiral downwards.
Perhaps there will even come a time when franchise brokerage firms will be passé.
What do you think?
Keller Williams Dallas Premier
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