The 2023 Swanepoel Trends Report analyzes the key trends that will shape real estate in 2023

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The 18th edition of the report explores the regulatory and legal scrutiny surrounding real estate compensation, the future of MLS and other industry trends in one extensive 240-page study

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T3 Sixty, a real estate management consulting and analytics firm, has published the Swanepoel Trends Report (STR), the 18th annual edition of the report that identifies and analyzes the top trends that will shape the residential real estate brokerage industry for the next one to two years.

The STR provides over 240 pages of in-depth research, analysis and strategy to help industry leaders deeply understand the forces shaping and shifting the shifting industry — and take swift, knowledgeable action in response.

The 2023 STR includes the following 10 chapters:

  • Chapter 10: Insightful Real Estate Data — Key Stats that Reflect the US’s Housing Landscape
  • Chapter 9: Analyzing the American Dream — Homeownership’s Impact on Individuals, Families + Communities
  • Chapter 8: 7 Compelling Real Estate Companies — Snapshots of Some of the Industry’s Most Interesting Players
  • Chapter 7: The 2023 Real Estate Brokerage Talent Playbook — How to Build a System to Attract – and Keep – the Best Talent
  • Chapter 6: Investigating the Increasing Presence of Single-Family Home Investors — Understanding the Structure and Numbers Behind the Activity
  • Chapter 5: Opendoor: Silicon Valley’s Big Real Estate Bet — How the Industry’s iBuying Pioneer is Evolving
  • Chapter 4: Inside the Nation’s Largest Most Profitable Brokerage Company – HomeServices of America Transforms to Achieve its Founding Vision
  • Chapter 3: How to Seize the 2023 Brokerage Technology Dream — Developing a Technology Approach that Fits Brand, Business Model + Goals
  • Chapter 2: The Future of MLS – A National Web of MLS Collaborations on the Horizon
  • Chapter 1: Evaluating Real Estate’s Compensation Structure and Its Future — How Intense Scrutiny from Regulators + Lawsuits May Affect Industry Participants

Digital and printed copies of the report can be purchased at t3trends.com, offering instant digital access and print copies that begin shipping this week.

Real Estate’s Compensation Structure
The US government and multiple courts are carefully scrutinizing a core foundation of the real estate brokerage industry: how its participants primarily get paid. The outcomes remain uncertain, but any nationwide shift in compensation structure — the engine that drives the whole industry — will significantly impact all its participants.

The traditional structure, in which sellers pay listing brokers for their services, and listing brokers remit a significant portion of that payment to other brokers who bring buyers to transactions, serves as one of the American real estate brokerage system’s foundations. Additionally, the payments resulting from this structure serve as the primary source of revenue for brokerages and their agents, collectively measuring over $100 billion each year.

The 2023 STR chapter, “Evaluating Real Estate’s Compensation Structure and Its Future,” reviews the:

  • Industry’s current compensation system.
  • Roles and relationships between NAR, MLS, brokerages, agents and consumers today.
  • Key issues and policies in question, including how buyer-broker compensation is displayed and disclosed to consumers, and how the structure may inhibit competition among agents representing buyers.
  • Evolving regulatory relationship between the industry, the DOJ and FTC.

The chapter also analyzes the possible scenarios and impacts that could arise if the structure changes due to lawsuits or possible industry regulation, including:

  • A more limited buyer pool
  • Fewer agents
  • Lower broker and agent compensation
  • Lower home prices

While it’s possible that these changes will not come into effect, it’s still critical for real estate brokerages, agents, MLSs and other organizations to understand the potential impacts, and to begin thinking through (and testing) their responses to a change in the traditional compensation structure.

The Future of MLS
While they have been critical components of the American real estate system for nearly a century, MLSs are facing some significant changes and challenges as the industry matures into an increasingly scaled, well-capitalized enterprise, with advanced technology and new data capabilities and practices.

Though the ability for MLSs to rely on their classic value propositions of a comprehensive data source and a facilitator of brokerage cooperation and compensation is eroding, they are not standing by.

A set of innovative MLSs are working to create a larger, more resilient MLS system by cooperating and leveraging:

  • Shared capital
  • Economies of scale
  • Scaled data and technology

This chapter chronicles the current setup of the MLS system, some of the challenges it faces and how it is beginning to evolve from a set of independent systems guided primarily by Realtor association volunteers to a more interconnected network of collaborating MLSs guided by business-minded boards.

Compelling Real Estate Companies
The residential real estate space is full of innovative, compelling companies who are betting on big ideas and leveraging technology and capital to serve brokers, agents and consumers in new ways. This chapter provides a brief snapshot of seven of these companies:

  • At World Properties
  • HouseCanary
  • OJO Labs
  • Orchard
  • Peerage Realty Partners
  • Place
  • Ylopo

Leader Interviews
A special edition chapter, “Views from the Front Lines: Perspectives and Thought Leadership from Industry Executives,” interviews five of the industry’s most prominent leaders about the industry changes they’re seeing and leveraging, how they’re responding to shrinking broker margins, how independent brokerages can compete with large venture-backed firms, and more.

This year’s interviewees are:

  • Bess Freedman | CEO, Brown Harris Stevens
  • M. Ryan Gorman | CEO, Anywhere Advisors and Coldwell Banker Real Estate
  • Eric Pearson | President and Co-Founder, Pearson Smith Realty
  • Pat Riley | President and CEO, Allen Tate Companies
  • Stacie Staub | Co-Founder and CEO, West + Main Homes

About T3 Sixty
T3 Sixty is a trusted advisor and management consultancy in the residential real estate brokerage industry. T3 Sixty also provides extensive data services and research to affect intelligent change and growth. For more, visit t360.com.

About the Swanepoel Trends Report
Every year since 2006, T3 Sixty has deeply analyzed the top trends shaping the residential real estate brokerage industry and published the results in the Swanepoel Trends Report. The 200+ page report has won numerous national awards, including top honors for its 2019 edition from the annual book contest from the National Association of Real Estate Editors and silver and bronze medalist awards for multiple years from the AXIOM Business Book Awards. Digital and printed copies of the report can be purchased at t3trends.com.

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Chris Reilly
T3 Sixty
949.397.2108
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