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Virtual Agency in Real Estate

Goals

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 become their own boss. 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.

Early Findings

Virtual Real Estate Agencies

  • The internet and changing consumer attitudes are increasingly putting pressure on the traditional real estate brokerage business model. There is an increasing demand for a more efficient model with better response times.
  • Consumers are looking for fast response times from their agent, increased mobility, and more remote transaction processing. Agents on the other hand are struggling with technology and web marketing.
  • Technology has the ability to offer both the consumer and the agent an effective alternative to the traditional model. A virtual agency reduces the overheads of office space, while offering new technology to improve efficiency.
  • Although few agencies are opting for the virtual agency option, there are a number of agencies that are tech-orientated and looking for the support a virtual agency would offer.
  • Virtual agencies are often confused with other technologies, which has resulted in incomplete data around the virtual agency concept.
  • Virtual agencies can offer lower fees, more flexibility, and 100% commissions.
  • There are a range of different options available around virtual agencies that offer considerably different experiences and costs to the consumer.
  • Advice from online users suggests agents should consider a range of virtual agencies as not all are created equally. Competitively priced membership is often better, and in the long run cheaper, than a cheaply priced brokerage, as price is often used as a mechanism to entice agents to join.

Summary

  • There was very little information online that indicated there is a trend toward virtual agencies. However, there was a lot of information regarding virtual agencies that suggest they are becoming more popular. 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.

Proposed next steps:

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