Thought Leader Survey


An unprecedented 73% of top real estate executives say the U.S. economy will improve or improve significantly. That’s the highest level of confidence real estate leaders have expressed since Imprev started its annual Thought Leader Economy & Housing Outlook Study in 2012. These numbers are simply stunning. Top real estate executives’ confidence in America’s economy has more than doubled since October 2016. Then just 32% said the U.S. economy would improve or improve significantly. The 2016 survey was conducted immediately prior to the U.S. presidential election. The highest confidence level prior to the current study was 54% in 2012. The biggest surprise in the survey data: for the first time, it broke the “closer to home” trend. Every year, the Imprev Thought Leader Survey asked top real estate leaders about their confidence in the economy, the broke it down: local economy, state economy, U.S. economy and World economy. And every single year, the same results: real estate leaders expressed the most confidence in the local economy, second most confidence in the state economy, third most confidence in the U.S. economy, and the least confidence in the World economy. It made sense: one has more influence and knowledge about one’s local economy, so naturally, the closer to home  the economy, the greater the confidence. Except when it’s not: As in 2018. That’s right. This year, for the first time, real estate leaders expressed the most confidence in the U.S. economy. That has never happened before. To give you an idea of the typical contrast, Renwick Congdon, CEO of Imprev and father of the Thought Leader Survey, says, “Take 2013 for example: 46% of real estate leaders were more confident in their local economy, 39% were more confident in their state economy and 21% were confident in the U.S. economy.” This year’s confidence levels, says Congdon, “Leaders were more confident in the U.S. economy (56%) than either their own local economy (49%) or their own state’s economy (40%).” Call me stunned. Real estate leaders confidence in Housing was equally bullish and at record levels as well. Overall, half of real estate executives said that the housing market will improve or improve significantly this year—a large jump from last year’s 38%. Housing confidence levels for the coming year had steadily dropped from 2012 to 2016. Broker challenges Wisely, Imprev also asks real estate leaders heading into the New Year to reflect on their […]


Real estate leaders share 2015 outlook on housing, economy

by Kevin Hawkins on November 6, 2014

Imprev arguably has come to own the real estate “Thought Leader” space with its bi-annual survey now in its third year, largely because it’s not a self-serving exercise. What we get from their latest Thought Leader Survey is a refreshing, unfiltered view from a broad cross-section of the leadership of America’s real estate brokerage and franchise operations, large and small. Collectively, the real estate execs surveyed represent firms and brands that generate about half of all real estate transactions each year. Individually, there’s solid representation among small and large firms: 15% of the respondents have 50 agents or fewer, 18% have 51-100 agents, 35% have 101-500 agents; 14% have 501-1,000 agents and 18% have more than 1,000 agents. Among the most interesting findings: Housing market enthusiasm is cooling, almost tepid, among real estate leaders. Two years ago, 70 percent of top real estate execs saw the market improving over the next 12 months. Last year that number dropped to 58 percent. Today it is 52 percent. No more exuberance: It’s now a glass half-full, half-empty scenario among a group that is often characterized as eternal optimists, which means this new data may alarm some. The bigger you are, the more bullish you are. Leaders of larger brokerage firms are typically far more confident about the outlook for the U.S. economy than leaders of smaller brokerage firms. Nearly two-thirds of top execs with firms of 1,000 or more agents say the U.S. economy will “improve,” compared to 34 percent of leaders of brokerage firms with 51 to 100 agents. The smaller you are, the better your outlook on profitability. Leaders of smaller brokerage firm are far more confident in their ability to be more profitable than larger brokerage firms over the next year. More than half of the leaders of the smallest brokerage firms are “very confident” in profitability over the next 12 months compared to 32 percent of the leaders of the largest brokerages. World economy outlook has tanked. This is significant and the biggest change year-to-year among all of the data Imprev released. More than half of real estate leaders surveyed this year – 55 percent – have become less confident in the world economy over the last 12 months. That’s more than double the percentage last year, which was 24%. Expect more news headlines in the future on the struggles of the world economy. Real estate leaders still […]