Saturday, June 2, 2012

What does the DOJ Think About Competition Among Real Estate Brokers?

I recently had a 3 hour phone conversation with the NYS Attorney General's Office after they contacted me with questions about the NYC real estate market. It was a little unnerving at first but I quickly realized that they were concerned with possible anti-trust activity and curious about how my firm was being treated by competing firms. I told them that I was happy to report that for the most part it was smooth sailing. The attorney gave me his number and asked that I call him if I encounter any difficulty. I hope I never have to use it! Competition is good for markets and ultimately good for the consumer, though change is hard and some will be threatened by it, we have to embrace it or shrivel up and die.

In real estate we have more or less had one business model for as long as there have been agents and brokers selling homes. That is starting to change as consumers have access to  information that was once solely in the hands of the real estate companies and their various agents. Unlike some people, I truly believe that with alternative models available to both buyers and sellers, the industry as a whole will grow stronger. But unless we all embrace change and figure out how best to adapt, there is a risk of ending up like the record companies that fought against digital music. Instead of embracing it as the future and developing models that would benefit their interests, along with the musicians and consumers, they tried to squash it with their power and money.
How did that work out?

DOJ Competition Among Real Estate Brokers

Click on the above for a full report directly from the Department Of Justice.

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