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"Outlook for Industry Dominance"

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Tom Dooley Photo
10/24/97 Interview with Tom Dooley

TWD & Associates
431 South Patton Avenue
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

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Major Historical Real Estate Trends

  1. The evolution of Real Estate into cyberspace is the top industry trend of all time; it continues to grow and solidify.
  2. Key RE developments in the last few decades include the advent of cooperative listings (which led to multiple listing services), the end of segregation in housing and RE board memberships; the growth of branch offices and their expansion into mega-brokerages; the onset of franchising in the RE field and initiation of the 100% concept.
  3. Most of these events have been specific to industry segments, but technology and cyberspace are all-embracing - even to the level of impacting consumers, and Real Estate is a consumer-oriented business.
Outlook for Industry Dominance

  1. Who will dominate by the year 2005 is hard to answer because of the pace of change.
  2. Hospitality Franchise Services is a strong example of rapid change; unknown in RE circles in August 1995, a year later, HFS, Inc. controlled 25%-27%of the residential resale market plus leading spots in the relocation, timeshare and direct marketing fields.
  3. HFS, Inc. and other national groups such as Prudential, Better Homes & Gardens and REMAX are likely to still be major players in eight years; mega-brokers will also remain major players as a whole, though the leader in a given region may change.
  4. The possibility is always open for a currently unidentified company to change the parameters, for example to replace Realtors with virtual reality and to make technologically based communications companies central to the RE business.
  5. Lenders may push to reverse the traditional order of business to start the transaction with the loan and refer out to the brokerage entity.
  6. Consolidations should be the order of the day in the commercial and investment side of the industry; expect five or six major national players along with niche players within each individual marketplace.
  7. A "lion may still be coming over the hill;" someone from outside direct brokerage may come into the RE industry in a big way, but outside investors may not be interested unless high volume and ancillary businesses can boost lean RE profit margins.
  8. An advantage of Real Estate is that it is not necessary to buy assets of any substance to enter the business; sales people don't cost anything when buying a company - but they can disappear overnight.
Lessons from the RIN Debacle

  1. When you put up money, watch how it is used and don't delegate that task; time showed that the alleged experts assigned to launch the NAR into cyberspace lacked a feel for the Real Estate facet.
  2. Don't allow enthusiastic marketing to outpace the ability to produce and perform; ultimate delivery is important.
  3. Avoid being hardheaded about adjusting to innovation; be open to changing directions if needed.
  4. Don't use members' money to compete with the members; those who have worked hard to get ahead resent having the playing field re-leveled.
  5. Be careful to look before you leap; don't act precipitously without taking time to examine the situation.
Tools to Leverage a Realtor's Effectiveness

  1. Even the least sophisticated Realtors should be capitalizing on email; email is essential to doing business today.
  2. Utilize cyberspace opportunities for publicity and promotion through an attractive, informative, frequently updated and easily accessible Web site; establish many links with other pages.
  3. Utilize the Internet for information; avoid wasting time and getting lost when using the Web browser - the Society BlackBook can lead you directly to relevant sites.
  4. Consider the Internet a highway that should be negotiated with a sense of destination; become acquainted with the tools that can get you where you want to go.
Dooley's Favorite Places on the Web

  1. connects with newspapers worldwide, with encyclopedic information, and with weather and geographic information.
  2. Good RE sites include the NAR's, Brad Inman's and
  3. For information about what is going on in the computer world, the Computer Network's is interesting.
  4. For ancillaries, consider the Mortgage Bankers' home page and the Home Builders page
  5. To keep up with what is going on in the Real Estate trenches, utilize American City Journals, which produces about 25 weekly business papers from major metropolitan areas.
Print vs. Electronic Media

  1. Rather than a "shoot-out," expect a collaborative effort; many of the major newspapers and publishing chains are using the Internet to expand coverage and hedge their bets.
  2. A lesson has been learned from the railroads, which did not become part of the transportation business; the kingpins of the newspaper industry recognize the need to be in the communications business.
  3. The advantage for the consumer - for example, the Realtor - is the opportunity to select a favorite method of communication or to use more than one for various purposes.
The Future for Realtors

  1. Because of the many niche markets in the industry, Realtors may be able to survive without cyberspace tools, but they will not be able to prosper.
  2. The successful agent of the future, as in the past, will recognize that tools are there to be used; cyberspace is a great tool, but requires effective application by a craftsman.
  3. Unlike middlemen in corporate America, Real Estate managers are not likely to be squeezed out; the position of RE manager will become more important because of the need for training and orchestration.
  4. Middlemen suppliers - of mortgages, insurance, inspections, warranties, title searches, etc. for the Real Estate transaction - could diminish or vanish if true "one-stop-shopping" develops through cyberspace opportunities.
  5. The Real Estate Agent, however, should remain important to the transaction because Real Estate is a people business; "high-touch" will complement "high-tech;" one-to-one marketing will get increasing emphasis.
  6. Change is accelerating, but youth are accustomed to that and will handle it as commonplace; the world and the industry will be exciting and challenging - those who embrace the advancements will lead a more fulfilling and more profitable life.
Contact Information for Tom Dooley:

(v) 847-398-6410
(f) 847-255-5095

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

My Virtual Reference Desk
Inman's News Service
National Association of Home Builders
RE news in American City Journals