I spent Thursday in Orlando at the annual conference of the Florida Realtors. Some thoughts:
100 percent companies are multiplying. The model, which promises agents a bigger share of their commission checks, has gained popularity. La Rosa Realty of Celebration, Florida Capital Realty of Miami and Only Way Realty of South Carolina are among the 100 percent brokers recruiting agents.
Barriers to entry aren’t getting steeper. RealEstateExpress.com is at the trade show marketing its $99 real estate licensing course — a fraction of the $325 to $425 charged by Gold Coast Schools. Many in the real estate industry have griped for decades that it’s too cheap and easy to earn a real estate license, but that’s not changing. Last year, a report by the National Association of Realtors concluded that the thing agents fret most about is “marginal agents” flooding the industry.
Realtors are keenly interested in Internet marketing. Chris Smith, author of The Conversion Code, drew a standing-room-only crowd. Among his insights: Consumers’ online attention spans max out at eight seconds.
The market is back to almost-normal. By my count, trade-show booths paid for by homebuilders outnumbered those bought by short-sale and foreclosure companies.