Business has dropped all across Canada; in most regions the average drop in sales has been between 25-35% and some offices have experienced a drop as high as 50%. A recovery is projected but the rebound to 2007 levels is going to be very gradual, possibly taking several years.
Current brokerage businesses have been built on a model requiring a fixed income to cover expenses and they are needy to continual growth. Can the industry survive through our now and changed reality.
I recently attended a conference to discuss current market realities. This was held in Fort Lauderdale and consisted of top Cenutry21 brokers from across Canada. The location was ideal; we were in the heart of one of the hardest hit real estate markets; and yes the sun was shining.
The market was dissected through open discussion and by professional speakers. The speakers provided facts, reseach conclusions and other realities.
A summary can be as follows: brokerages have to accept and address the current market. The traditional models are not working. Importantly, agent profiles are also changing as a new generation of 'tech indigenous' agent comes on the scene; such agents not only are bringing a different skill set to our industry, they work with different 'priorities'. Successful brokerages are adapting to the special needs and wants of the 'ideologically younger' and emerging sales force; and these brokerages are 'learning' to understand implications to their own businessses. Most significantly, the successful brokerage are tailoring their budget for the needs and realities of 2009.
I have an empirical observation based upon my attendence at this conferences: the best is yet ahead for brokers such as these Century21 leaders who met in Fort Lauderdale. Market changes were viewed as the opportunity to address some needed and long overdue reorganization. Budgets that are being revamped address the growing obsolescence of capital being locked in fixed assets and funds are being diverted to techonological opportunities and efficiencies. These brokers viewed current conditions as a challenge, shared insight into the opportunities and developed strategic paths forward...... yes the future is solid!!