Updated: September 5, 2013
Industry Intelligence from First Research, a division of Hoover's (a D&B company)
Residential Real Estate Brokerage & Management
Additional Revenue Sources - Property owners and managers can increase revenues by offering additional services, such as concierge service, laundry, and professional cleaning. Ancillary services can be labor intensive and costly, requiring property managers to invest a great deal of time in establishing and marketing the service. Such ancillary offerings become increasingly important when economic conditions push down rental rates.
Well-Timed Acquisitions - Companies operating as real estate investment trusts (REITs), or those looking to expand their businesses are able to do so by strategically building capital during periods of economic growth for use in acquisitions during economic downturns. Such acquisitions allow firms to enter new markets or buy properties below previous market values.
Technology Upgrades - Technological improvements in apartment and property management benefit companies by saving costs and improving service to customers. State of the art technology applications help property managers undertake appropriate leasing and maintenance decisions, thereby maximizing revenue. Additionally, new property management and maintenance technologies allow more efficient service call responses and more robust occupancy data for use by property managers.
Online Technology - Brokerages must invest in technology improvements in order to compete with online services and listings. While most companies have websites, they must work to make them more user friendly and attractive, according to a NAR study. Also, most companies have not capitalized on the tremendous growth of mobile traffic and only some 30 percent offer mobile applications. Companies can invest in new technology and deploy so-called e-teams that handle all online leads.
Commercial Real Estate Brokerage & Management
Internet Marketing - To reach more customers, commercial brokers use the Internet, which allows potential customers to look at a wide variety of properties. Features can include virtual tours, blueprints, and geographical data. In addition to developing their own websites, many brokers work with listing sites like LoopNet and other Internet marketing services.
Expanded Services - Many companies have expanded the services they offer to include brokerage and property management, analytical services, and access to financing sources. To counteract demand cycles, some companies have also expanded into residential property management services.
Foreign Investors - Foreigners hold large investments in US commercial real estate. Investors from China, Russia, and the Middle East are drawn by tax incentives and low interest rates. Many also consider the US a stable country in which to establish a presence. While only large real estate brokers have foreign offices, regional or local brokers use traditional marketing approaches to promote their markets and services to foreign investors.