Virtual Agency in Real Estate
To identify the trends in real estate that suggest that virtual agency is the way of the future and to identify the challenges traditional agents face when making the switch to virtual real estate agencies. This will be used by Radius Agent to inform the introduction of a brokerage service that will allow real estate agents to be 100% independent. The service would include technology, services, and training in the community similar to that of a traditional agency.
- A virtual agency in real estate is one without a physical office or presence. The agency can offer the same services and support as a brick and mortar broker.
- One of the advantages of a virtual agency is that they offer lower fees, more flexibility, and 100% commissions.
- A report published on Tyler Smith provided insights into the virtual broker market. The report noted that the advantage of "working away from a brick and mortar" office is one of the advantages that is increasing the number of virtual agents in the real estate market.
- A survey carried out by Qobrix found out that 44% of real estate firms feel that the best competition will come from virtual real estate firms in 2020.
- The survey also stated that the "new generation of young American home buyers" who are internet savvy is a leading factor for the growth of virtual real estate firms in the US.
- A report published by the Real Estate Hacks identified innovative virtual real estate firms as one of the factors that will reshape the real estate industry.
- A review of The Virtual Realty Group business model provided us with insights on offers the company makes to attract virtual agents.
- Some of the benefits include 100% commission plans, free website, free business cards, free new agent training and coaching, state of the art online agent virtual back office, among others.
- Our preliminary search found out that there is very little information online that indicated a trend or shift towards virtual agencies. However, a few reports show that virtual real estate agencies are becoming more popular in the US. Given this, and with the research goal and purpose in mind, a slight change of direction may be more successful in providing information that is compelling regarding the benefits of joining a virtual agency and how to market these companies to agents.
Proposed next steps:
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We suggest research to identify 2-3 marketing strategies on how virtual real estate agencies are marketing themselves to agents. Specifically, for each strategy, we will define the marketing strategy, explain how the strategy is relevant in the current virtual real estate market, and provide 1-2 examples of agencies using the strategy.
We also recommend providing 2-3 pros and 2-3 cons for agents who wish to switch to a virtual real estate agency. For each, we will explain what the pro/con is, and 2-3 statistics that support the statement.