How real estate agencies operate is undergoing a fundamental shift. What began decades ago with neighborhood-centric mom-and-pop agencies were aggregated into city-wide, all-service agencies. Local brokerages, have, in some cases, grown over time into large national and global brands. The internet age has further changed things, adding largely online-based agencies to the mix.
In many walks of life, large conglomerate operations have begun breaking down. Agribusiness is being chipped away by the organic movement that’s given rise to artisanal “this” and heirloom “that.” In part, it’s being driven by a generation dissatisfied with one-size-fits-all products and services.
More darkly, we are witnessing the effects of a fearful society. Alliances and protections put in place after WWII — everything from trade to vaccinations — are fraying. Too dark?
Anyhoo, over the past 18 months I’ve noticed a shift away from larger brokerages and towards boutique real estate operations focusing on very specific niche markets. Some are agencies-within-agencies (within agencies again at times like a matryoshka doll). I’m concerned that at some point the niche becomes so small that it’s impossible to be successful. But I suppose that’s for time to tell.