Brokers surveyed for the RealTrends Q3 BrokerPulse are putting a renewed effort on increasing per-agent productivity and recruiting to gain market share during a market that is enduring a recession, higher interest rates and slower-moving listings.
RealTrends BrokerPulse is a forward-looking, quarterly survey.
“We started 18 months ago investing heavily in our agents’ education and activity,” said a broker with an Arizona-based independent firm. “The market may go down, but our agency will continue because we devoted a dramatic amount of time, money and energy into ensuring our agents are better than their competitors,” he commented.
This type of education and focus on productivity is especially important given that most brokers surveyed noted that between 25% to 75% of their agents have never been through a down market.
One Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices broker, who guessed that about 50% of his agents have never seen a market like today, notes that he is challenged with keeping agents motivated. “So many were facing burnout from such a busy and challenging market starting in June 2020 through March 2022, only to have the market turn so fast.”
Brokers predict flat home sales
Sentiment about the housing market is shifting from predicting sales will rising to more of a flat market, according to broker surveyed. Only 17% of those brokerage leaders surveyed expect sales to be up 5% or more, compared to 32% in the Q2 2022 survey. Some 41% of those surveyed expect home sales to be down in the next three months. But, 46% noted that they felt home sales would be flat.
Despite that, 47% of those surveyed are still optimistic about the market overall, although that was down from 53% last quarter. Home prices were predicted to be flat by 47% of those surveyed Some 25% expected prices to climb more than 5% in the next quarter, compared to 62% who were optimistic about price increases last quarter.
RealTrends BrokerPulse requests surveys from some 19,000+ real estate brokerage leaders around the nation on market trends and brokerage opportunities and challenges. Of the 177 completed surveys, 25% were from the Southeast, 23% from the Southwest, 22% from the Midwest, 19% form the Northeast and 11% from the Northwest.
Boosting agent productivity
When it comes to challenges, this survey reveals that increasing per-agent productivity is the biggest challenge brokers have over the next three months, with 33% saying it’s their No. 1 challenge.
Other challenges include:
- Increased regulation, interest rates and Inflation: 28%
- Pressure on net/gross margins: 13%
- Difficulty recruiting: 10%
- Retaining agents amid increased competition: 8%
- Reducing operational expenses: 6%
- Restructuring office space: 5%
- Increasing capture rates on ancillary services: 4%
- Cybersecurity: 4%
- Competing with new business models: 3%
RealTrends recently added an AgentPulse survey which will help brokerage leaders gauge what agents understand about the services brokerage’s offer and offer agents a temperature of the market. Results from the recent survey are here.
One interesting thing to note is that agents overwhelmingly noted that they use their brokerage’s technology platform, or at least a portion of it. They note their biggest challenge is rising interest rates and inflation, with low inventory being a close second, followed by getting listings. Interestingly, mindset was mentioned as a top 5 challenge, giving brokerage leaders the opportunity to focus more on helping agents find inspiration and motivation.
If you have questions about BrokerPulse, email RealTrends Editorial Director Tracey Velt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, be sure to sign up for the new RealTrends Daily, a roundup of news, tips and strategies for success. Each Tuesday, we release a brokerage-focused issue.