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NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif., says a sizeable number of firms are expanding. “Although conditions vary around the country, 45 percent of real estate firms are actively recruiting agents, largely due to growth in their primary business,” he says. “As for challenges over the next two years, six in 10 firms cite profitability, 44 percent identified local or regional economic conditions, and 42 percent are concerned about both maintaining sufficient inventory and keeping up with technology.”

“With constantly evolving technology solutions, we have to make sure our associates know how to harness the power of those technologies for the benefit of their customers.” says Ron Croushore, Owner of Prudential Preferred Realty. “Buying or selling a home has always been one of the largest and most emotional decisions a person can make, but in this age of unlimited online data, it takes a trusted and knowledgeable agent to help them do it right.”

Eight out of 10 firms profiled specialize in residential brokerage, with commercial brokerage and residential property management the most common secondary functions, each offered by nearly four in 10 residential brokerages.

Other primary business specialties at real estate firms include residential property management, 6 percent; and commercial brokerage and residential appraisal, 5 percent each. Smaller shares of real estate firms focus on land development, commercial property management, commercial appraisal, relocation, counseling, international and auction.

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