Despite six years of a depressed housing economy that reduced Realtor ranks by one-third, real estate brokerages are closer than ever to achieving the long-sought dream of becoming one-stop shops providing their customers all the services they need to buy or sell a house.
A new survey Imprev, Inc. found that 75 percent of top real estate executives responding said their brokerage firms offer at least one major ancillary service and mortgages are the No. 1 additional offering. Some 89 percent of the real estate firms that offer at least one ancillary service offer home loans.
Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) offer title services and nearly half (49 percent) offer home-warranty services.
“For decades, the National Association of REALTORS® has tracked growing consumer interest in a one-stop shop through its surveys,” said Renwick Congdon, chief executive officer of Imprev, a real estate marketing software firm that works with 150,000 agents and brokers nationwide.
“Clearly, the industry’s thought leaders are making it happen in their firms,” he added.
According to a 2011 NAR and Harris Interactive study, the number of consumers interested in using a service provider affiliated with a brokerage firm increased 34 percent from the first survey completed in 2008.
In the NAR/Harris study, 78 percent of homebuyers said that one-stop shopping would save them money; 75 percent said it would make the process more manageable and efficient; and 73 percent said that a one-stop real estate shop would prevent the details relevant to their transactions from “falling through the cracks” — as well as make the entire process “more convenient.”
When real estate executives were asked to select the top benefits from offering ancillary services, 79 percent said “higher profits”; 70 percent said “one-stop marketing opportunities”; 62 percent said “increased customer satisfaction”; and 60 percent said “better quality control.”
The survey was conducted in late May. Poll respondents included top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms responsible for more than one-third of all U.S. residential real estate transactions last year.