RealTrends Q32021 BrokerPulse sees brokers still optimistic about the market, wary of competition and wondering when inventory will rise.

2021 RealTrends Brokerage Compensation Report

For the study, RealTrends surveyed all the firms on the 2021 RealTrends 500 and Nation’s Best rankings, asking for annual compensation data for the 2020 calendar year.’s Sean Black on the transaction revolution

Real estate is on its third revolution, from the digital revolution of the early 2000s to the information revolution kicked off by Trulia and Zillow to today's transaction revolution.


The RealTrends BrokerSource and HousingWire OpenHouse newsletters deliver twice weekly information on trends, strategies, analysis, people, and news shaping the real estate industry.

Creating a Memorable Experience For Agents, Buyers, and Sellers

Creating a Memorable Experience for Agents, Buyers, and Sellers

Many of the best performing brokerage firms had a particular “specialness” that played a role in their success.

Retailers of goods and services are told that they need to build a shopping experience to attract and retain customers. It’s not just about the products and services that one offers; it’s what the merchant does that makes the experience memorable that matters as much as the quality of the goods or services.

How Creating an Experience Relates to Brokerage

Thinking about this facet of modern-day residential brokerage caused us to think about great brokerage companies and national realty organizations. Which of them has achieved superior success over the past 30 years? Was there a part of that success that was due to specialness? Is there something to be learned from the past that points one way forward for brokerage firms or, for that matter, individual agents or teams?

The answer is yes. Many of the best-performing brokerage firms and national realty firms had that certain distinctive quality that played a significant role in their growth and success. Here are some of the attributes that we think mattered:

  1. Leadership. There was a passionate, involved leader who communicated the purpose, mission, and values of the organization regularly and consistently.
  2. Marketing. There were specific attributes that the firm highlighted that made them different from their competitors. These may have been commission plans, but more frequently, they were business model differences, technology tools, marketing platforms, and educational offerings.
  3. Communication. The leadership also communicated not only how the above attributes benefited the participants in the organization but also how it made them different from others. That helped the participants feel they were part of a special organization.
  4. Relationships. The leadership at all levels worked diligently to build relationships among the participants and the leadership team.
  5. Storytelling. The leadership built stories about the people and achievements, and that reinforced a sense that the organization was exceptional in some way.

Organizations must have financial discipline and operational structure. The specialness won’t matter when a firm can’t manage its business well. But without a distinctive difference built on the characteristics listed above, an organization will be challenged to achieve above-average results—and average results in tough competitive markets won’t
work well.

Bright Future

We believe that brokerage has a bright future, regardless of today’s challenges. There are new local, regional, and national realty firms being born every day. Some will achieve a level of success beyond what most might think probable or possible. We believe that building specialness is what will separate those that succeed and all the others.

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