The Second Economic Wave of the real estate industry is known as the agent-centric era and it begins in approximately 1970 with the explosion of real estate franchising as a means for expanding a Broker/Owner’s market reach.
This era was the beginning of the distribution of property information on a world-wide scale as the local MLS systems became increasingly digitized allowing agents to access properties on their personal computers.
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The emergence of the new real estate economy has been fueled by the agent-centric cultures created by brokerage firms during the past two decades. In the past the "Broker" provided all of the fundamental tools necessary for an independent contractor to operate his/her business in the local market. The power of the broker/owner enabled a favorable economic relationship that would ensure profitability.
Four events changed this economic model, turning it on its proverbial ear. What was not so predictable was the replacement of the Broker as the controller of the real estate transaction with the modern, tech-savvy, home-officing agent.
The first trend was a real estate information distribution shift and it entailed the move away from the distribution of property information via a printed model (the MLS book) toward the automation of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) through server-based technology.
This event launched a new era in real estate, one where the Broker would no longer be able to control what real estate property information. The new server-based technology loosened the Broker’s grip on the central controlling factor that empowered them, property information control.
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