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New Report Shows Keys To Maximizing Real Estate Earning Potential 

McKissock Learning has revealed a new guide of income statistics from licensed real estate professionals across the United States as a means of keeping track of trends, and highlighting the methods that are maximizing agents’ earning potential.

McKissock Learning is one of America’s top online real estate schools, and provides educational courses and professional development to hundreds of thousands of agents across the country every year. 

In November 2021, the company reached out to thousands of licensed real estate agents and brokers to gain a better understanding of the specific strategies used to increase their earning potential. 

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Last year, the number of agents that participated was about half of the 9,000 participants in this year’s report. This way, the guide can show a much more accurate picture of what real estate agents are earning and how they’re making it possible. 

Real estate income is actually on the rise, despite the many complications the industry has faced throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 75% of real estate agents reported that they earned more in 2020 than they did in 2019, with an average income of $129,996 for full-time agents. 

Another trend that’s helping the market continue to thrive is the fact that more agents are happy with the brokerage they’re a part of. Choosing the right brokerage is an essential part of being a successful agent. 

84% of the agents surveyed stated that they were satisfied with their brokerage experience. Only 6% of participants said that they plan on switching brokerages within the next couple of years. 

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Specializing in a niche has also proven to be one of the keys to maximizing your earning potential. Last year’s report showed the same results, citing that agents who showed eco-friendly properties were able to gain an average income of $263,180. 

92% of the participants reported that they feel very optimistic about their future in real estate, which is the highest percentage in the history of McKissock Learning’s reports. 

Only 12% of agents said they planned on retiring within the next five years. Real estate allows agents to create their own schedules, to an extent, so it’s easier for certain agents to reduce the number of hours they work per week to best fit their lifestyle and income goals. 

The report stated that obviously a reduction in hours could result in a reduction of income for agents, however, individuals can still earn a decent income as a part-time or semi-retired agent.

Zillow Facing Antitrust Lawsuit After Accusations Of Favoring Certain Listings 

A real estate startup company is suing Zillow within a federal court over allegations that the website is violating antitrust laws by “deceptively steering customers to home listings from a subset of agents.” 

The suit was filed in a US federal court in Seattle in which the startup Rex alleges that Zillow and its affiliate Trulia are illegally favoring certain listings by brokers who belong to the National Association of Realtors (NAR); the most prominent US real estate trade association. The startup has claimed that non-NAR real estate agents are now located in a “hidden tab” on the website. 

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Rex’s general council Mike Toth was recently interviewed to discuss the suit regarding one of the nation’s most popular real estate listing websites. “The change by Zillow and Trulia forces all non-NAR listings to have permanent low visibility. This is the real estate web returning to this old vision of data segregation rather than data democratization for consumers.”

The suit could potentially shift the way in which certain online real estate platforms operate and allow more opportunities to arise for more buyers and sellers to negotiate the type of agent they want. Zillow and Trulia account for 75% of the online home search market in America, and when they made changes to their sites in the beginning of January, listings began being segregated to hidden areas of the site. 

“Zillow and Trulia started segregating listings, giving preferential treatment to the 1.3 million real estate agents who belong to NAR. Other listings, including those posted by brokers not affiliated with NAR, foreclosures and homes listed for sale by owners without agents, are now relegated to a separate tab. We are asking the court to block Zillow and Trulia from segregating listings,” Rex claimed. 

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NAR has their own real estate listing site, Realtor.com, which is the second-most viewed site for agents throughout the nation. That platform is known for only showing listings by NAR’s agents, and understandably so considering it’s their own website. So the issue now is that the changes Zillow and Trulia made means that three out of the four most popular real estate listing sites are favored for NAR’s agents and their listings exclusively. 

Those listings in particular tend to be more expensive because they require the seller to pay a commission, often 6% of the homes sale price, which is split between the agents of the buyer and seller. Rex has now raised these antitrust concerns with the Justice Department and 35 state attorney generals. 

Viet Shelton is a spokesperson for Zillow who claims the company “made the change in January after it became a participant in the Multiple Listing Services Internet Data Exchange feeds, which are operated by NAR. Zillow’s rules for the IDX feeds require participants to segregate listings. Zillow is committed to giving consumers the most up-to-date housing information on the most amount of listings possible on a single platform. We made changes to the way some listings appear on the site in order to be compliant with MLS rules.” The suit will likely begin unfolding within the next month or so.

Passing Keys

REaaS – The Latest Trend In Real Estate

Gone are the days when residential and commercial property was just bought when required. Nowadays, the hottest trend in America is REaaS, or “real estate as a service.”

But what does this mean? Rather than the customer purely looking at the space available, real estate agents are now being required to include amenities, experiences, and anything that improves on the actual floor plan. “Dressing” a property is something that has been done for many years in the residential sector, with many realtors spending thousands to get that property looking just right for their customers.

By selling a lifestyle as well as the building, many realtors can expect to increase the sale price significantly. No longer is there an unused room in the building that leaves the buyer to use their imagination. In apartment blocks, many communal spaces, such as hallways, laundry rooms, or even gyms, are being designed to create an environment that will encourage interactions between the neighbors.

Real estate design and marketing firm S&P’s president and co-founder Sid Landolt explains, “In residential real estate, for years, we’ve had amenities where you have to go into that amenity, experience it, and go out. Those are generally cold and quiet. We’ve been reading all these articles about loneliness… and in my mind, it comes from a lack of planning and poor design.”

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Another aspect of real estate that appears to be on the rise is the option of co-housing with many families living in their own private apartment, but sharing common areas such as dining rooms, large kitchens and even recreational spaces. This allows those who may not be able to afford property a good start while also encouraging interactions between residents thanks to shared chores or group activities.

It’s not just the residential sector that is experiencing REaaS; commercial property is too. A recent report from ULI – Emerging Trends – quotes, “Beyond good gyms, more tenants and their employees are looking for features such as proximity restaurants and less tangible elements, such as a communal vibe.”

There is also a call for more flexibility on our ever-changing needs. Traditionally, companies have either purchased or signed up to long-term leases on commercial property, but this is not always what is needed in today’s society. Thanks to the development of video conferencing, more and more companies are providing their employees with the option to work from somewhere other than the office, meaning a specific base is no longer required. REaaS provides the option of renting space on an as-and-when requirement — with many spaces now offering “hot desks.”

There are also many companies providing short-term rentals, perfect for the many pop-up restaurants and shops that appear in towns and cities across the country. It’s not just America that is seeing this trend. Canadian company GWL Realty Advisors’ vice-president of research services and strategy Wendy Waters agrees with the idea:

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“We think of the people who use our office space are our guests, and we try to provide a better experience for them. I think a lot of this switch to real estate as a service is a response to what consumers and businesses want, and what they need. You think about flexibility, the rise of co-working spaces and their huge success, and it’s because they offer space on a one-year lease, a three-month lease, whatever you need. And everything’s ready to go, it’s turnkey. It offers the experience you want, it’s all right there, given to you as a service. It’s not necessarily cheaper, but it’s simpler, and may offer better value in the long term.”

With shorter leases there are reduced retail footprints. Thanks to stronger wifi connections many employees — as well as the self-employed — are able to work from home or the local coffee shop. In fact, you could work anywhere including the local soft play area when your children are playing! This has seen an increase in profits for some establishments with many workers purchasing in-house items such as drinks and snacks in return for using the company’s internet.

With short term leases on offer in the commercial sector, it seems the residential sector are following suit. With many tenants struggling to find the costs for long-term rental, temporary leases may be the future for landlords. A recent report looking into REaaS stated that “many people are focusing [more] on monthly costs than total purchase price. While affordability is a factor, the REaaS trend also goes back to changing consumer behaviors as people look for more flexibility as their lifestyles and preferences evolve.”

As the REaaS trend continues to grow, realtors are seeing a blending of property types, with many no longer able to offer one thing or another. Rather than offering a standard space to live, there are now options that were not even considered only a few short years ago.

Real Estate

When It Comes To Real Estate, Bigger Isn’t Always Better

When it comes to selling, most real estate agents will tell you that bigger…isn’t always better. Studies show that larger mansion type homes spend way more time on the market, and therefore end up selling for way less than what the seller originally asks for. Even buyers who are financially well-off, and have access to a slew of resources to fix any home the way they want it, that type of client is looking for a home that seems the most move in ready for their personal wants and needs. Just because a home is large, doesn’t mean it’s of the buyers standards. In real estate, it truly is “quality over quantity.”

“Just by adding square footage doesn’t mean that it contributes proportionally to value. For example a 30,000-square-foot mansion built in an area where the typical home is more like 10,000 square feet doesn’t mean that the value is going to be triple its neighbors. It would likely be worth more, but not proportionally,” said Jonathan Miller, a New York-based real estate appraiser to Mansion Global Magazine

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Miller went on to discuss how the largest home in any given neighborhood is often the least desirable. Maintenance of the homes is always harder, even if you have the financial means to hire an entire staff, many buyers don’t like the idea of having a bunch of different strangers in their homes every week doing different things. You don’t always know who is meant to perform what job because it often can be someone new every time, leaving homeowners to feel vulnerable in their own home. 

According to Miller the modern day buyer is looking for the details in a home that make it unique. Buyers crave their home to have something no other home has, whether that be a killer view, a specific architectural design, smart accessories, etc. all of those elements are worth more than the square footage of a home. 

Larger homes also have a major issue when it comes to selling. More often than not homes with a large amount of square footing go through multiple price cuts before actually selling, at that point though sellers will gain less from their investments. Buyers will often look at large mega mansion type homes and see it as more of an office building to maintain than the place they want to live full time. What ends up convincing them that these large properties can be their home is that large price cut. 

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Additionally, younger millionaires that are now in the market for their homes are maintaining the quality over quantity mentality, and are looking for homes that have the best functionality over size. 

“Millennials who buy houses between $2 million and $4 million want functionality. It’s very rare that you see them buying mansions where you have to take care of huge lawns and enormous houses. They want simple, they want smaller square footage and they’re thinking about how the floor plan flows. It’s going to make these megamansions obsolete,” said Alexandra Sierra of Compass Florida Realty.

However, the real estate industry is seeing a huge increase in millennials attempting to make it as an agent. One of the major reasons for this is the type of market that we’re dealing with now when it comes to selling homes. The entire marketplace is digitized, a world millennials are experts in. Additionally, this generation knows the best way to communicate amongst each other, so when agencies are faced with these younger millionares who are making their money through posts on the internet and brand deal vacations, they know the exact type of agent that can be used to speak that language.

Generally speaking, however, more real estate agents are looking to break away from working with architects who continue to work on “mega-mansion” type projects because of the decreasing relevance they bring to the market.