New Business Models Taking Ground: How Can You Compete?

Commentary by Rick Haase, President of United Real Estate

Insiders and outsiders to our industry have ignited a fire under traditional brokerage models. By some accounts, more than 60% of our nation’s brokerages now operate non-traditional service delivery and agent compensation models. These marketplace “transformers” are greatly enabled by massive inflows of investment capital, enabling heavy investment in technology solutions for agents, brokerage leaders and consumers.

While third-party listing aggregators, iBuyers and the like promise to provide algorithmically-generated data, they cannot compete with high-quality, local market expertise and actionable advice provided by experienced, market-savvy brokers and agents. Training and education programs built around the interpretation of local market data and knowledge are paramount to retaining past, present and future customers. Successful brokerages need to enable their agents to provide this market knowledge in abundance and deliver it with great frequency.

Brokerages also need a powerful agent productivity platform that enables agents to transact business 100% virtually while providing a professional, efficient in-market office space when needed. Mobile workflow tools provide safer, cost-efficient communication, lead generation/management, presentation and contract functionality. Building or evolving your business around these technologies and processes allows you to compete more effectively.

Expensive legacy systems may be crippling you profitability. COVID-19 has created even more awareness around how traditional brokers spend money. Physical offices are under-utilized and less meaningful than ever before.

Never underestimate the importance of good communication. Agents must have a disciplined approach to stay in touch with clients. An important component of agent and business retention is to be fully and frequently engaged in communication that proves expertise while reinforcing the value brokers and agents bring to the transaction.

By adhering to the above practices and principles, United Real Estate’s national franchise and company-owned network doubled in size in the past 12 months. We also invested heavily in developing our proprietary technology stack over the past decade. As a result, our system’s delivery costs are much lower, and we pass those cost efficiencies to our brokers and agents.

Having operated both traditional and full-service, transaction fee-based agent compensation models, I’ve seen firsthand that profitability can be reached well in both. However, the fast-moving water of the brokerage industry is definitely the transaction fee-based model. Profitability for the brokerage and higher incomes for agents are both achieved when operated properly.

A surefire way to see if your brokerage needs retooling is to ask yourself two simple questions:

  1. In recent years, has it become harder to recruit and retain agents?
  2. Are key components of your value proposition easily obtained outside of your brokerage?

If the answer to either of those questions is “yes,” it is especially important to seek business model guidance, insulate your brokerage from the flames of competition and thrive in 2021.

To learn more about United Real Estate, brokerage succession planning, brokerage valuation and sale or franchising opportunities, call 888-960-0606.

Agents interested in learning about career opportunities with United Real Estate can visit or call 888-960-0606.

About United Real Estate

United Real Estate (United) – a division of United Real Estate Group – was founded with the purpose of offering solutions to real estate brokers and agents in the rapidly changing real estate brokerage industry. United provides the latest training, marketing and technology tools to agents and brokers under a flat-fee, transaction based commission model. By leveraging the company’s proprietary cloud-based Bullseye™ Agent & Broker Productivity Platform, United delivers a more profitable outcome for agents and brokers. United Real Estate operates in 24 states with more than 100 offices and over 10,800 agents.

About United Real Estate Group

United Real Estate Group (UREG) operates United Real Estate and United Country Real Estate, addressing the unique market needs of suburban, major metropolitan urban and rural markets. Utilizing the cloud-based Bullseye™ Agent & Broker Productivity Platform, UREG offers the latest training, marketing and technology tools producing a significant competitive advantage. The platform realizes a decade-long investment in virtual agent and brokerage technology services and is powered by a 1.8+ million listings data warehouse generating over 3 million monthly visitors and 30,000 leads per year. Together, the United Real Estate Group supports more than 600 offices and 16,000 real estate and auction professionals across four continents. Through its in-house advertising agency, UREG offers differentiating marketing support and collateral for specialized lifestyle property websites as well as access to a 650,000+ opt-in buyer database. For more information about United Real Estate or United Country Real Estate, please visit or



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