More Brokers Offering More Services

by Victor Lund on August 26, 2013

Home Shopping CartWAV Group consults primarily with enterprise brokerages who offer full services. We frequently refer to full services as home services, not to be confused with the Berkshire Hathaway company of the same name. Home services refers to the variety of needs that a customer has during a real estate transaction and beyond. In residential real estate, this may take the form of Mortgage Services, Homeowners Insurance, Title Insurance, Home Warranty. Some residential companies even offer contractor services, maintenance services, landscaping services. Resort areas have brokers who offer concierge services where they will clean you home before and after your visit, even do some grocery shopping before you arrive.

Beyond residential real estate, there are a plethora of other product lines offered by brokerages. They include relocation services, commercial sale and leasing services, property management services, etc. All of these full service companies often operate as separate corporations or joint ventures, principally to adhere to RESPA laws. Perhaps the best way to connect these operations together is through data sharing. The more information that you can share with a partner about the needs of a common client, the better level of service that consumer will get.

“An interesting caveat to this trend is that many of the MLSs in the United States and Canada have not expanded their data services to support the broker’s need to handle property management data or commercial real estate lease and sales,” notes WAV Group partner Marilyn Wilson. There are some who have, but most MLSs buckle under the challenges of supporting business models that are different from the residential format for offers of compensation. WAV Group firmly believes that MLSs should step up and follow paths that other MLSs have made toward offerings for residential and commercial business lines that brokers have today. It is a great way for MLSs to grow in support of their clients.

Marketing Technology provider, Imprev released an interesting study today that confirms that more brokerages are focusing on full service, which they refer to as “one stop shopping.” In a press release issued today, they note the following:

From Imprev:

According to a recent survey of top real estate executives by Imprev Inc. the “one-stop shop” is becoming the norm:

  • A remarkable 75 percent of top real estate executives responding said their brokerage firms offer at least one major ancillary service;
  • Mortgages are the No. 1 additional offering: 89 percent of the real estate firms that offer at least one ancillary service offer home loans;
  • Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) offer title services; (WAV Group Note: This number seems high from our experience)
  • Nearly half (49 percent) offer home-warranty services.

“For decades, the National Association of REALTORS® has tracked growing consumer interest in a one-stop shop through its surveys,” said Renwick Congdon, chief executive officer of Imprev, the real estate marketing software firm that works with 150,000 agents and brokers nationwide.

“Clearly, the industry’s thought leaders are making it happen in their firms,” he added.

According to a 2011 NAR and Harris Interactive study, the number of consumers interested in using a service provider affiliated with a brokerage firm increased 34 percent from the first survey completed in 2008.

In the NAR/Harris study, 78 percent of homebuyers said that one-stop shopping would save them money; 75 percent said it would make the process more manageable and efficient; and 73 percent said that a one-stop real estate shop would prevent the details relevant to their transactions from “falling through the cracks” — as well as make the entire process “more convenient.”

What advantages are real estate brokerage firms reaping from moving to a one-stop shop?

The Imprev Thought Leader Survey says the No. 1 benefit to providing ancillary services: Profits.

When real estate executives were asked to select the top benefits from offering ancillary services, 79 percent said “higher profits”; 70 percent said “one-stop marketing opportunities”; 62 percent said “increased customer satisfaction”; and 60 percent said “better quality control.”

These were among the findings from the 2013 Imprev Thought Leader Survey conducted in late May. Poll respondents included top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms responsible for more than one-third of all U.S. residential real estate transactions last year.

Imprev inaugurated the Thought Leader Survey in 2012 to provide information executives could share.

“This is a way for us to better understand our clients and help them learn from each other,” said Congdon.  The Imprev Thought Leader Survey is conducted in May and October of each year.

About Imprev

Imprev, Inc. enables real estate companies to build Marketing Centers and web applications on the industry’s most advanced marketing platform. The Imprev platform serves more than 150,000 real estate agents worldwide. Imprev provides the industry’s only mobile-ready Marketing Centers that fully work on desktop, laptop, iPad or Android tablet. Imprev offers a broad set of custom and “better than white-label” solutions for brands, brokers, agents and teams. Established in 2000, Imprev is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., and is online at www.imprev.com.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin Hawkins August 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm

The number of firms offering Title Services indeed seems high, but two thoughts:

1. There may be a self-select sampling bias in that Imprev does work with many of the largest brands in real estate and they might have a great propensity to respond as they know the Imprev name well. I should note the survey included many more general questions, data we released in July and many smaller brokerage firms were polled, not just Imprev customers.

2. The 71% is based on the 75% of thought leaders who said their firms offer at least one ancillary service, so the total percentage of the entire sample would of course be lower.

Bottom line is that it appears consumer interests and broker interests are now very much aligned when it comes to the ‘one-stop real estate shop.’

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Victor Lund August 26, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Great clarifications Kevin. Thanks for sharing this research. We look forward to seeing you at CMLS and NAR Annual.

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