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Over the past seven months, we have built an immense amount of data on the future of the REALTOR® and how BCREA might contribute to a thriving and sustainable real estate profession over the next five years. We have summarized nine JOD Reports into five pages, including a one-pager of key findings. This research report is a part of the British Columbia Real Estate Association's Journey of Discovery. BCREA launched the Journey of Discovery (JOD) to help our organization and BC’s eleven member boards strategically plan for the next five years. This project seeks to understand where the greatest contributions of products and services could be for increasing the innovation of REALTORS® in service of their consumers. If organized real estate is to effectively adapt to and proactively initiate change, which we believe is necessary now more than ever, the first stage is to gain a solid understanding of the current and future states of the industry. For access to the slides with links and our other reports, please visit This presentation was prepared by CE Holmes Consulting, Solvable & Monique Morden Consulting


  • JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY Research Summary Report AN OVERVIEW OF OUR SEVEN-MONTH RESEARCH INITIATVE & THE FINDINGS With funding support from Version 6 1 August 2014 Prepared by: CE Holmes Consulting, Solvable, Monique Morden Consulting
  • BCREA Journey of Discovery: Research Summary Report Key Findings The Journey of Discovery (JOD) research process re- vealed rapid change occurring in the industry which is expected to accelerate in the coming years, leav- ing BC ORE with a relatively short window in which to devise strategies for the future. As the JOD is fo- cused on industry change over the next five years, the research uncovered significant trends that can guide strategy development in planning for the future suc- cess of REALTORS, Brokers, and ORE. Technology: Technology is transforming the real es- tate industry, having affected many, if not all, aspects of the transaction process for both consumers and REALTORS. The industry has an opportunity to embrace technology and to guide its effect on lead generation, referrals, search/evaluation, property val- uation, marketing, listing, and closing. Consumer Behaviour: Consumers behaviour has changed for many reasons, which presents new opportunities for ORE. The industry has not adapted to this new reality. The consumer is not waiting for ORE before charging forward with new ways of consuming goods and services. If ORE continues with the status quo, we open the door wider for external organizations to further meet consumer demand in ways we are not. Added Value: The current REALTOR value propo- sition lacks perceived value by the consumer at a time when REALTORS are challenged to articulate their value. ORE must support REALTORS in de- termining where and how they provide value through transparency, increased quality of service, higher levels of professionalism and demonstrable exper- tise. If clarity on REALTOR value remains murky, disintermediation (getting cut out the process) will follow and/or fees will fall. Data-Driven Action: The information collected through the JOD process has contributed to a fact- based understanding of the many critical issues fac- ing ORE. However, it has also pointed toward the need for a comprehensive strategy for the ongoing collection of consumer and market data to enable more sophisticated analysis. Instead of flying blindly, BC ORE has the ability to provide 20/20 vision on the future. Unified Vision: Armed with information, ORE will require leadership and collaboration to successfully shepherd its stakeholders in the future. Jointly devel- oping more relevant approaches and tools to ana- lyze the industry will benefit all levels of ORE, as well as Consumers. While the JOD brought much clarity to understand- ing the complexity of the ConsumerREALTOR re- lationship and the many trends affecting the industry, it is only the tip of the iceberg. There is much more to learn as the profession steers towards the right strategy for facing the fast moving target called the future. This process has surfaced innumerable oppor- tunities for the profession, but it will need to choose wisely and act quickly. JOD was designed to provide a collective understanding of the issues and promote collaboration in developing a coordinated strategy for the future health of the profession. The call to action is to unite forces behind a coordinated strategy that supports a more sustainable and thriving industry for BC REALTORS, Brokers and organized real estate or risk being left so far behind that it is impossible to catch up. 02
  • BCREA Journey of Discovery: Research Summary Report Overview Both the rate of industry change since our last stra- tegic plan, as well as anticipated change in the near future demand that we re-identify who, what, and how we serve customers. The Journey of Discovery be- gan with no preconceived outcomes on the future of BCREA, but rather with a desire to arm the associa- tion with information for directing long-term strategic planning activities occurring this fall. Independent external consultants led an objective re- search process to surface fact-based insights. Con- sultation with BC ORE leadership and the JOD Task Force, composed mostly of leaders who understand but are from outside of real estate, provided valu- able direction throughout the project. This resulted in a flexible approach that addressed the needs of all stakeholders by adapting how we gathered informa- tion and reported insights. This report summarizes the primary and secondary research activities undertaken from January to July of 2014 as part of BCREAs Journey of Discovery (JOD). The goal is to provide REALTORS, Brokers and member Boards with an overview of our research findings that informs and provokes discussion lead- ing up to BCREAs strategic planning process. To view and download the many different JOD Reports, please click here. JOD Research Questions JOD began with an overarching question focused on the REALTOR: What will the practice of the REALTOR look like in five years? Over the course of the project, with input from BC ORE leadership, the question evolved to center on BCREAs strategic role in the future: What can BCREA do to advance a more sustainable and thriv- ing profession for BC REALTORS, Brokers and organized real estate? JOD Research Activities The JOD was a data-driven research process where we both analyzed existing data and gathered new data to better understand how BCREA could support the profession. The following is an overview of the re- search activities conducted: Secondary Research Synthesis: This was an amalgamation of twenty-three different research studies conducted by member Boards and Asso- ciations across Canada and the U.S. Our analysis summarized existing knowledge and identified knowledge gaps that would form the basis of the JOD research plan. Expert Interviews: Eight in-depth interviews were conducted with Canadian and U.S. experts within and outside of the real estate profession to further explore emerging trends, their root cause, and pos- sible future impact. Transaction View: A multipronged approach was taken to gather in-depth information on the ConsumerREALTOR relationship at each stage of the real estate transaction process. Drawing par- ticipants from around the province, we conducted week-long video diaries with consumers in the pro- cess of buying or selling a home, in-depth interviews with couples who had recently bought or sold a home, video diaries with active REALTORS, and short interviews with REALTORS at a variety of member Board events (REALTOR Corner). Forces of Industry Change: Based on feedback from BC ORE leadership, the JOD pivoted to provide more in-depth knowledge of industry trends impacting the future of BC ORE. Eight themes were identified, five of which were selected. Research came through the acquisition of additional second- ary research sources, industry case studies, emerg- ing practices within and outside of the real estate 03
  • BCREA Journey of Discovery: Research Summary Report profession, and additional primary research studies. REALTOR Match Survey: A quantitative online survey was conducted to examine the process for finding and evaluating a REALTOR among Millen- nials, specifically analyzing their use of technology. The research centred on Millennials due to their uniqueness as a demographic segment, as well as the importance of their role in real estate transac- tions over the next five to ten years. Rural & Urban Analysis: The standard way we view the province to date has been geographically based, which often results in a focus on differences rather than commonalities. Market based data (BCREA, Statistics Canada, BC Stats, MLS, BC Assess- ment and member Boards) was analyzed to examine trends that emerged during JOD research, focusing within the specific context of BC. Disruptive Change Report: Five industry experts were asked to provide their Top Five lists of past and future disruptors to the industry. Four provided them in standard format while one, Garth Turner, let his online followers address the task. JOD Research Findings (By Report) To follow is a summary of the findings and implica- tions that emerged from the different reports based on both secondary data sources and our own primary data collection activities. Secondary Research Synthesis Report Piecing together information from the various re- search studies identified emerging themes related to the future of the REALTOR, while also highlight- ing the lack of research on the magnitude, direction, and velocity of these trends in BC, particularly from Consumers. The data pointed to shifting transac- tions models, downward pressure on commissions, increased consumer autonomy, growing influence of different demographic groups, declines in traditional word-of-mouth referrals, and increasing reliance on technology. Beyond a lack of BC specific information, other significant knowledge gaps were identified to inform the initial JOD research plan. Link: Report Industry 360: Expert Interview Report Based on eight interviews with industry experts, changes driven by technology, demographics, con- sumer behavior, and urban planning are poised to impact the future practice of the REALTOR. These factors are driving alternate business models and specialization as Brokers and REALTORS adapt to increasingly specific consumer needs. Some experts fear for the long-term health of the market without more affordable and diverse property and ownership models. Lastly, an interview with the industry regula- tory, The Real Estate Council of British Columbia, in- dicated ORE should not anticipate any major changes in how the Council currently regulates. Link: Report Real Estate Transaction View


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