Brokerage firms not rushing to eliminate titles

A new opinion letter from the New York Department of State about the misuse of corporate titles by real estate agents has drawn a muted response from the city’s brokerages.

Peters

The one-and-half-page letter said the use of titles such as “vice president” was dishonest and misleading, amounting to prohibited false advertising unless the holders of real estate licenses actually were corporate officers.

“We’ll wait and see what unfolds,” Continue reading

Rarely is real estate sales chosen as a first career

Heaven knows that real estate sales lacks the glamor of, say, school crossing guard, exterminator, barista or subway conductor.

Of course, there exist those brokers and agents whose social credentials rival Britain’s royal family and whose transactions involve properties in the double-digit millions from the outset of careers that have been their first choice.  But the rest of us have tended to select real estate for a second, third or fourth career when the economy or age has left us with few options.

Although many starting out in the industry may feel like second-class members of the community, Continue reading

The High Road: Yes, it’s okay to talk about commissions

 

The Times loves to skewer sacred cows (get it?), and regular readers know that I have a healthy appetite for doing so as well. (Flickr photo by turbotoddi)

The New York Times has forced my hand.  The newspaper’s lead story in Sunday’s Real Estate section–which quotes Charles Rutenberg co-founder Kathy Braddock, among others–maintains that sellers can negotiate broker commissions successfully.

Ironically, I had been musing about commissions since a lively discussion that several members of the REwrite group of real estate bloggers enjoyed at a meet-up that I organized last Thursday night.  More about that in a bit.

As the Times noted, Continue reading

Is it a losing battle for brand-name brokerages?

Are new business models winning a fight with older brokerages? (Flickr photo by red betty black.)

The new June issue of the Real Deal has a piece about an unsurprising development among brokers.  In the article, which correctly quotes me, writer Candace Taylor notices that many brokers are questioning the value of their affiliation with name-brand firms in New York City.

Referring not only to commission splits but also to annual fees up to $5,000 that brokers must pay their firms, plus errors and omissions insurance, Taylor notes: Continue reading

Wall Street bonus impact leaves many guessing

Photo by epicharmus.

It is hardly surprising that there has been a flurry of stories in the last few days about the impact that heady bonuses will have on Wall Street.  Will they goose real estate sales, especially at the higher end? Continue reading