RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JUL 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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98 July 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE {Trending} Competition and the Consumer: Industry Presents Sides at Workshop DOJ/F TC Exchange Explores Compensation, Data, the MLS, and More by Liz Dominguez Technology, commission rates, real estate portals and overall brokerage competition—these were just a few of the themes discussed last month at a joint public workshop held by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, D.C. At the heart of the "What's New in Residential Real Estate Brokerage Competition" workshop? The consumer. "We have the same end goal: the best experience for the consumer," Katie Johnson, general counsel and senior vice president, Na- tional Association of REALTORS®, summed up in her closing thoughts during one of the panels, "Regula- tory and Industry Factors Affecting Residential Real Estate Competi- tion." "That's what we want to do, and what the current market en- vironment supports—to raise the level of professionalism so that consumers are confident in their transactions." Other panels—"Listings Data, Emerging Technology, and the Struc- ture of the Real Estate Market" and "Developments in Real Estate Fee and Service Models"—touched on varying subjects; however, the transformation of technology and its effect on the industry, particu- larly the consumer, raised heated questions all centering around how to create the most efficient and fair real estate industry, all while maintaining a level of competition beneficial to the marketplace and tackling freedom of information without removing the real estate agent from the transaction. "We believe an inflec- tion point that the industry is being driven by is the change in con- sumer behavior fueled by ac- cess to data—a lot of informa- tion that histori- cally you needed an intermediary to gain access to—that's empowering consumers to take on a lot of the traditional work that agents [do]," said the U.S. CEO of Purplebricks, Eric Eckardt. "We are providing a lot of data to consumers and they still use agents," said Johnson. "These are infrequent transactions, so both buyers and sellers want to be rep- resented by professional real es- tate agents, but they are now doing a lot more work beforehand them- selves. By the time they engage with an agent, they've developed a pretty clear picture of what they're looking for and what's available in the marketplace." Where does the information come from? Largely, through MLSs and real estate portals such as Zil- low and realtor.com®— companies that were represented at the event. "We inject listings from thou- sands of sources," said Kathleen Philips, chief financial officer and chief legal officer at Zillow Group. "We are excited about the pro- cess of standard- izing and trying to aggregate the most data possible in an extremely com- plete and fresh way. The consumer mission is central to what we do in terms of the democ- ratization of data." "As for data democratization and

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