I take no happiness or satisfaction from being right.
Word came to me Friday morning that two branches of Real Estate III will be
closing merging with other, existing locations. They are closing their office at Forest Lakes and consolidating into the 29 North branch and moving their corporate staff from Pepsi Place to their Rio Road location.
This isn’t surprising news – they are the 800 pound gorilla in the Charlottesville market and had the greatest expansion. Now as we face inevitable – and desperately needed – cleansing of the real estate hobbyists from the entire industry, they are among the first to recognize and react to current and projected economy.
These aren’t “layoffs” but rather efficiency moves to reduce overhead (there’s too much of it in real estate anyway) and streamline.
And I suspect that this is but the beginning; Real Estate III has so many offices that one or two (or probably even three or four) won’t matter so much in the grand scheme … but for the companies that have only one office …
This is but a sign that a paradigm shift is underway from “big-box” brokerages to smaller, nimble brokerages comprised of fewer and more experienced agents.
Update 28 October 2008:
I meant and mean nothing negative with this post. I see streamlining as positive for companies, individuals and the industry as a whole. Taking the company out of it, our industry is full of inefficiencies, and anything that can be done to remove those, and make our collective profession better is to be lauded.
The Friday timeline was put into the story to demonstrate that I didn’t run with a rumor; I vetted and sourced before I hit publish. Rumors can be damaging; that is why I prefer to trade in facts.
If this had been a prominent company closing shop, I would have waited for it to hit the papers and linked off of that. But it’s not.
As I said in my comment – if there is any part of this post that is inaccurate, needs clarification, necessitates retraction, please let me know. Nobody benefits from inaccuracies.