To celebrate REAL Trends’ 30th anniversary year, we will bring back old articles from our early years to see how much (or little) has changed about the industry.

by Steve Murray, publisher

Unreal, but our main story in the April 1988 edition of the REAL Trends newsletter had to do with a “looming price war” due to the number of businesses and organizations starting to charge referral fees. Thirty years ago, we mentioned relocation management firms, corporate networks, independent relocation centers brokerage’s own Limited Function Referral Organization (LFRO)
as some of the most evident players.

Today, we still have the relocation management firms as key sources of business, which charge referral fees for the referral of clients and customers. But, we’ve also seen the development of affinity group business (such as USAA), mortgage firms (Quicken Loan’s In-house Realty) and independent referring organizations (The Referral Exchange) to mention a few. Another development to watch in 1988 was agent teams who charge referral fees to areas where they don’t employ their own agents. Some things never change in our world!