Affiliated Business Model Offers Information Real Estate Consumers Crave, Says RESPRO Panel
With many potential home buyers sitting on the sidelines as they try to make sense of today's real estate market, the integrated sales process offered by diversified companies using the Affiliated Business model helps keep buyers accurately informed and eases their uncertainty.
That was the consensus of a group of real estate experts addressing the Real Estate Services Providers Council, Inc. (RESPRO) Fall Seminar in New Orleans. A four member panel, addressing leaders of diversified real estate services companies from across the country, agreed that educating consumers and streamlining the selling process is key to addressing their fears and restoring activity in the marketplace
'Consumers are craving information and the tools to interpret it,' said panelist Patrick F. Smith, President of Alabama-based TitleSouth and General Counsel of Realty South. 'There are a lot of questions on the mind of consumers today. They want the assurance and knowledge that buying a home today is not a decision they will regret tomorrow.'
Dan Jaqua, president of Jaqua Realtors in southwest Michigan, said 'Many potential buyers have been so stricken with uncertainty regarding the availability of financing that they are choosing to do nothing. Trying to allay those fears and establish consumer confidence, at least as it relates to real estate, is our biggest challenge.'
Gerard Griesser, President of the Trident Group/Prudential Fox and Roach, agreed. 'Two months ago customers were afraid that buying a house might not be a good decision,' he said. 'Now, that fear has shifted to a fear that financing will be unavailable.
'It is becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy,' continued Griesser, moderator of the panel discussing how to 'Grow Your Real Estate Affiliated Business in Today's Market.' Griesser, noting that 'consumers are frozen with fear,' said 'people are becoming convinced financing is not available, so they don't even go to a lender to apply. If they don't apply, they certainly can't get a loan.'
'Fear of being unable to finance a home is a dominant factor in the market today,' said Mark McGoldrick, East Division President of HomeServices Lending Inc. While noting that credit policy restrictions have created specific lending challenges in Florida and southern California, McGoldrick said that most of the country does not face the same difficulties. 'We need to do a better job of communicating to potential customers that we have money to lend,' said McGoldrick. 'Standards are certainly tighter than they were two years ago. But for people with good credit and cash for a down payment, financing is definitely available.'
Smith said that the 'Affiliated Business' real estate model, with one provider offering brokerage, lending, and title services, helps make certain the information consumers get is accurate and consistent because the affiliated business model by its nature pulls all information together in one place.
'The affiliated business model lets us build a database of all information related to a transaction in a centralized location,' said Smith. 'This helps assure that the customer gets information that is timely and accurate. It eliminates multiple points of contact for the consumer and at the same time eliminates multiple opportunities for confusion and misinformation.'
Jaqua agreed that the affiliated business model, which is becoming increasingly popular, provides significant benefits to the customer as well as the service provider. 'We can't just provide information to the consumer, we need to help them interpret it,' he said. 'Having affiliated businesses handling all aspects of the transaction helps provide better information to the consumer and creates an easier process for purchasing a home.'
Smith noted that concerns some may have about a group of affiliated companies putting the consumer second are unfounded.
'When affiliated businesses work together as one through the selling process, that isn't a conflict of interest,' said Smith. 'It's a convergence of interests. Our interests include making a smoother and more understandable transaction for the consumer.'
The Real Estate Services Providers Council, Inc. (RESPRO) is a national, non-profit trade association of real estate broker-owners, real estate franchisers, mortgage lenders, title insurers and agencies, home builders, technology companies, home service and settlement service providers united to deliver convenient, innovative and cost-effective services to consumers through strategic alliances across the home buying industry. For more information about RESPRO, see www.respro.org.
CONTACT: Sue Johnson at 202-862-2051, Ext. 210; email@example.com
Source: Real Estate Services Provider Council
CONTACT: Sue Johnson of RESPRO, +1-202-862-2051, Ext. 210,
Web Site: http://www.respro.org/