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地产经纪人满为患
Realtors face changing landscape



莉莎去年购房时聘请了一位地产经纪,她本想抱着试试看的态度向对方要一些佣金回扣,以帮助其支付首付,但出乎她意料的是,她还没有开口对方就主动提出给
$2000元回佣。

When Lisa hired a realtor to buy a home last year, she wanted to ask if she could get part of the commission to help her make down payments for the home. To her surprise, the agent voluntarily offered $2000 rebate before she started to talk.

目前,地产经纪向客户提供回扣或回佣已经成为越来越普遍的现象。一些经纪甚至堂而皇之地打广告称自己可以给回佣。还有些经纪提供的回佣高达60%,这意味着一套售价$60万元的房屋回佣可达约$1.8万元。由于地产经纪收取佣金弹性很大,因此许多人都竞相压价争夺客户。

It has become increasingly common that realtors offer kickbacks or commission rebate to clients.  Some agents even advertise that they offer commission rebate. Some rebates offers reach 60% -- which is about $18,000 for a $600,000 dollar home. The agents’ commissions are so flexible that they are willing to drop the prices to any level to win the clients’ business.

或许你会以为利用回扣和回佣吸引客户的地产经纪通常都是那些很难生存下去的经纪,但实际上有许多经验丰富的资深经纪也愿意放低身段迎合客户。据CBC报道,最近推出的一个便于客户和地产经纪进行费用谈判的网络平台刚上线不久就已经吸引了众多的主流经纪。

You may assume that agents who offer commission rebates and kick backs to buyers are usually those who are struggling to get by. But many experienced, long-term realtors are also willing to drop the pen. According to CBC, a newly launched fee-negotiating cyber platform – where clients can negotiate a deal with realtors without leaving the house – has attracted many mainstream players since its inception.

行业格局改变
Changing landscape

目前,由于行业门槛非常低,地产经纪行业已经变得越来越人满为患。如果你想当地产经纪,只需大约六个月就可以拿到牌照,你无需任何大学或大专学历,也不需要经验,你只要付钱、上课然后参加考试就行。

The fact is that the realtors’ landscape is getting increasingly crowded. The barriers to entry are pretty low in this industry. You can get your license in about 6 months; university or college degree is not required; neither is experience. You just need to pay the fee, take the courses, and write an exam.

自从地产经纪的考试题型改为选择题后,这一行业的门槛变得更低,这种考试形式尤其对那些擅长考试蒙的华裔申请人有利。

The bar has been set even lower since the format of the realtor exam was changed to multiple-choice. It is particularly in favor of Chinese applicants who have commanded all the tricks and tips of passing the exam.

随着大量新经纪涌入市场,竞争变得越来越激烈。统计数据显示,2007年多伦多地产局注册经纪只有2.7万人,但在2014年就飙升至4万人,增幅高达48%。而与此同时,房屋销售量只增长了4%

As new realtors have flooded the market, the market has become increasingly competitive.  In 2007, there were only 27,000 realtor members in TREB, but in 2014, the number has jumped to 40,000, an increase of 48%.  Meanwhile, home sales have grown by only 4%.

2011年拿到地产经纪牌照的Ray Chan称:“做地产经纪的人似乎随处可见,我想这可能是因为大家都误以为做这行很容易赚大钱吧!”

“It’s almost like everybody knows somebody who’s a realtor,” says Ray Chan, a realtor who got his license in 2011. “I think there’s a misnomer that people think it’s an easy way to make a lot of money.”

摆脱地产经纪
Breaking up TREB control

随着信息技术日益主宰人类的日常生活,依赖地产经纪售房的客户越来越少。多年来,加拿大竞争局一直想要创建一个更加有利于自由竞争的市场,并因此和多伦多地产局对簿公堂,以期打破地产局对多重放盘系统(MLS)的全面控制。此前的法院判决已经允许出售私人房屋的卖家将其物业在MLS上挂牌,从而可以为他们节省下卖方经纪佣金。而未来的法院裁决可能将会赋予自主卖家更多权力。

As technology has increasingly dominated our daily life, clients have become increasingly less reliant on realtors to sell their homes. For years, the competition bureau has intended to create a market that is more open to competition. It has been running a battle with TREB, trying to break up TREB’s control over MLS for consumers to sell or buy a home. Resulting from an earlier court ruling, consumers have been allowed to private home sellers to list their properties on MLS – effectively saving the commissions paid to a selling agent. But future court rulings may make consumers even more powerful when they sell a home on their own.

CBC称,如果竞争局能再打赢场一场官司(今年5月裁决),消费者将可以获得更多关键数据,如此前的房屋上市量和售价,可比较物业状况以及房屋待售时间等,目前他们只能透过地产经纪才能获取这些数据。很显然,如果消费者能够掌握这些销售数据,那将会有越来越多的人选择自主售房。

According to CBC, if the competition bureau wins a future court ruling (coming out in May), it will allow consumers to obtain more crucial data that can only be obtained currently through an agent – such as previous home listings and sale prices, comparable properties and length of time on the market. Apparently, if more sales data becomes available, a growing number of people will sell a home by themselves.

随着市场竞争越来越激烈,地产经纪面临的风险也越来越大。但由于目前房价仍处于相对较高的水平,许多经纪仍可以靠低佣金在激烈的竞争环境中生存。但是一旦按揭利率上调导致房价下跌,许多经纪将无力再负担回扣或低佣金,届时地产经纪行业会变得更加雪上加霜。

Realtors face high risks in this highly competitive market. But despite the intense competition, many of them can sustain the business by taking less commission as the home prices stay at a relatively high level.  However, if the home price drops as mortgage rates go up, many realtors cannot afford to offer rebate or to take low commission, making a bad situation all the worse.

编注:本文曾在2015年1月《大中报》上发表。
Note: The story was published in Chinese News in January, 2015.



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