RealTrending ep. 105: Investors shift how they value brokerage firms

In this edition of RealTrending, Steve Murray, senior advisor to RealTrends, shares his thoughts on the shifting market, the only real key to real estate success and the shift in how investors are analyzing and valuing brokerage firms.

Here is a small preview of today’s RealTrending interview. The transcript below has been lightly edited for length and clarity:

Market shift: Based on talks with brokers around the country, they’re seeing buyers reluctant to get into bidding wars on listings and to bid over listing price. We’re starting to see the number of showings and people submitting offers slightly decline. It wouldn’t mean much if it were one or two markets, but it’s across almost all markets according to input from leading brokers over the past week. So what does this mean for broker owners?

Success secrets: We’ve reported earlier this year on the outstanding performance of the RealTrends 500. Brokers on the rankings gained ten times the market share in 2020— more than they ever gained before in any single year, going back 26 years. The major change was the amount of time that leaders spent with their agents and staff through Zoom or Google Meet or other means. How does that translate going forward?

Fundamental shift in how investors are looking at brokerage firms: For the first time in over 20 years, we have seen a fundamental investor shift in the way purchasers or investors are looking at brokerage companies. Due to the explosion in results in 2020 for many brokers, the best year in their histories in terms of profit or EBITDA, purchasers are pulling back from just applying the same multiples to 2020 results, or even trailing 12 month results through say, April, May or June of 2021. Let’s talk about the investor shift and what they’re looking at.