Trend 8: Blockchain + Real Estate

Redesigning the Brokerage Relationships with Agents and Consumers

This is the third blog post in a series of ten that covers the trends that will shape the residential real estate industry in 2019 and beyond according to the publication, Swanepoel Trends Report 2019.  The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this post belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer or the publication cited.


If you’re like me, your eyes glaze over when someone tries to explain what Blockchain is. Most people that write about the topic are techno-geeks who are trying to impress you with their level of knowledge on the topic. Unfortunately, the average person gets lost in the Blockchain jargon about the second sentence into an article and they stop reading.

The average person’s understanding of Blockchain is illustrated perfectly in this comic:

‘Dilbert’ comic courtesy of Scott Adams

Well here’s one of the reasons why you should want to pay attention and try to understand this concept and how it could effect the real estate business: forty of the top financial services companies have already invested over $1 Billion (yes – with a ‘B’) in Blockchain company infrastructure in the hopes of reducing costs in the future.

Let me try to explain Blockchain in simple terms to that you can understand it.

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Trend 9: The Evolving Real Estate Value Proposition

Redesigning the Brokerage Relationships with Agents and Consumers

This is the second blog post in a series of ten that covers the trends that will shape the residential real estate industry in 2019 and beyond according to the publication, Swanepoel Trends Report 2019.  The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this post belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer or the publication cited.


Running a real estate brokerage “ain’t what it used to be.”  That is pretty much an understatement.  Today, brokers walk a tight rope between serving their agents and the consumer.  Tilt to one side too far and a brokerage risks plummeting to irrelevance.

The Swanepoel Trends Report examines the changing relationships between the broker/agent and the broker/consumer and suggests ways in which all sides can win if they embrace certain strategies.

The Broker/Agent Relationship

Brokerages’ compensation models have evolved over time.  From the early days of 50-50 splits to 100% desk fee models to hybrids somewhere in between, the permutations are endless.

Agent’s are now more independent than they have ever been before.  They only want to pay for what they feel they need from their broker and many agents are now accustomed to paying for services from private vendors apart from their brokerage.  As a result, the agent relationship with the broker has eroded.

Other market changes have led to a further deterioration in this relationship.  They include:

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