Things have changed—and not changed—since that first edition, which covered the formation of a new network of independent brokerage firms called AmeriNet. That network ultimately morphed through multiple ownership changes into a part of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. It’s funny to think how the world has stayed remarkably similar over the past 30 years. Independent brokers sought their own network and made it come true.
In 1987, there were over 800,000 Realtors® in the United States and that year, the industry would close 4.1 million new and existing home sales. Essentially, when you look at the numbers, the total number of Realtors has increased about 50 percent in that time, as has the number of closed housing sales. We don’t know whether there is something useful in this small piece of data, but we found it curious.
In that same issue, it was announced that Amway was entering the real estate industry. So, crazy new threats were happening even then. The Sales and Marketing Management Institute said that online shopping for homes through television was the hot, new trend. Prudential announced its entry into residential brokerage. The ten least affordable markets in the country included New York and Boston (average prices were $163,900 and $163,600 respectively), but the most expensive market, with an average price of $169,800, was—you guessed it—Salt Lake City, Utah. Amazing.
NAR had commissioned the Arthur D. Little Consulting firm to do a long-term study of the residential brokerage market. Here are a few of their conclusions:
“As much as 80 percent of the volume of residential brokerage business in major metropolitan areas will be controlled by national, regional or local cooperative organizations, including relocation cooperatives, whose names are advertised on the signage of affiliated firms, or national and regional franchise firms or large publicly held real estate firms.”
Well, that one didn’t quite pan out!
“Electronic advertising almost certainly will be tried and very likely will be economically viable.”
They got that one right, although some would argue as to whether they are economically viable. Even in the late 1980s, someone saw the Internet or something like it coming.
It’s fun and interesting to take a look back once in a while. Over the next year, our 30th, we will examine some of the hot trends of years’ past to see just how much actually came true.