I just returned from Inman Connect in New York after 3 days of listening to some of the top “movers and shakers” in the real estate industry. As the broker-owner of Energy Realty, I wanted to hear what top brokerages are doing to keep up with the fast changes occurring in the industry and how we can not only stay on top of those changes, but offer a better experience for our clients.

The top three changes occurring in the industry are: 1) Large brokerages buying up small ones; 2) I-buyer programs are growing but only take up under 10% of the market; 3) technology is streamlining the real estate transaction.

So, the question is, in a market where large brokerages and I-Buyer companies are slowly taking over the industry, how does a small boutique brokerage like Energy Realty compete? My answer is that although the large brokerages offer the name brands nationwide, home buyers and sellers are looking for Realtors that are specialists in one area, not the entire world.

A local specialist like Energy Realty has a pulse on the local market and can offer professional guidance for selling and buying a home in a specific market. I pride myself in hiring top-notch agents and personally training them to offer personal, hands on professional service for all of our clients. In addition, we are keeping pace with alternative marketing and transaction solutions to create a stress-free experience.

While companies like Zillow and Realtor.com have made the home search easily accessible to the public, most people forget that HAR (Houston Association of Realtors) has been doing that for years in Houston. Buyers in Houston have been searching for homes on their own for a long time, but they have continued to seek the professional guidance of experienced Realtors in the buying and selling process.

As we head into an age of new and better technology, professional agents will wear many hats to help clients decipher all the information on the internet and will continue to offer the knowledge and guidance needed when purchasing or selling a home. Our industry cannot be compared to the large retailer purchasing the independent retailer because we don’t have to compete with buying power- we offer a service, and the boutique brokerage can always compete when it comes to quality service.

Energy Realty has survived the downturn of the oil industry and Hurricane Harvey, and we plan to stand strong among st the giant brokerages for years to come.

Writer: Sherry Campbell

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