As members of our editorial team cover the annual National Association of Real Estate Editors conference, a recurring theme is the transformation of the traditional real estate brokerage. The existing model, industry disruptors say, no longer serves the individual agent.
Locally, more and more brokerages are touting their digital assets, using social media and mobile apps to make real estate transactions easier for buyers and sellers. But what about infrastructure?
“The real estate industry is not just changing, it’s changed,” says David Maez Jr., co-founder and broker at Vivo Realty Group, which launched their new subscription-based brokerage model. “We had to think, ‘What’s wrong with the way we have been doing things for over 150-plus years?’ The brokerage model has failed to innovate and deliver what agents need: Flexible pay structures, places to meet clients and work from that are easily assessable, contract, and marketing support.”
Members can pick from four different monthly membership plans that best fit their real estate business: Lite, Select, Pro, and Team. Each plan is tailored to agents at different levels in their business. Agents pay a monthly membership fee and annual dues based on their plan selection in place of a traditional commission split. For example, an experienced agent may pay their membership fees for the year (at a discount), whereas a new agent may pay them monthly.
Additionally, members get 24/7 access to all three storefront offices, which function like co-working spaces. There’s no mistaking the visual impact a storefront has for a business and its community. The offices also function as event spaces for agents.
“Other subscription-based models are already in place and working well for other industries, we said, ‘Why not real estate?’” Maez recalled. “At the end of the day, this is what every modern agent needs. We took out what was unnecessary, kept what mattered and returned those savings to the agent.”
According to Vivo, 98 percent of agents spend less than 15 hours a month in their office. In the end, it was a direction that Vivo could already see the industry taking. Instead of fighting the growth curve, they’re leaning into it.
“Our storefront offices were already morphing into coworking spaces, and everything just fit together,” Maez said. “This is how modern agents want to work.”
To further simplify the membership model, every agent is plugged into a mobile intranet with access to On-Demand training, marketing, tech and more.
“The real estate industry has evolved,” said Bernice Maez, co-founder and broker manager, “and the timing is right for a model like ours.”