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Event Description

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice held a joint public workshop in Washington, DC on June 5, 2018, to explore competition issues in the residential real estate brokerage industry. Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial transactions most consumers make in their lives, and the residential real estate brokerage industry has seen significant change in recent years, including the emergency of new business models. The workshop focused on developments since the publication of the FTC and DOJ’s Report on Competition in the Real Estate Brokerage Industry in 2007.

Topics to be discussed at the workshop included:

  • Existing and emerging consumer-facing platforms for accessing listings information
  • Availability of listings information to consumers
  • Regulatory and competitive hurdles facing listings platforms
  • Effect of listings platforms on consumers’ use of real estate services
  • Changes in traditional real estate broker, brokerage, and Multiple Listing Service (MLS) practices
  • Emergence and growth of nontraditional fee and service models
  • Obstacles and catalysts to innovation in real estate fee structures and service models
  • Competitive impact of nontraditional real estate fee and service models
  • Effect of antitrust enforcement actions and consent decrees on competition in the residential real estate industry
  • State licensing regimes relating to residential real estate transactions

To aid our analysis of these issues, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice seek public comment from interested parties. In particular, we invite comment on the following questions:

  1. How has residential real estate brokerage competition evolved over the last ten years?  Has consumer demand for particular brokerage services or models changed with increasing reliance on Internet-enabled technologies?  How do brokers compete today with respect to fees, services, reputation for quality, and other variables?
  2. How have Internet-enabled technologies, including consumer-facing platforms for accessing listings information, changed the residential real estate brokerage industry?  What are the benefits and drawbacks of these platforms for consumers? 
  3. What are the current barriers to competition in residential real estate brokerage markets? 
  4. What have been the effects of past regulatory and antitrust enforcement actions on residential real estate brokerage markets? What actions can legislatures, regulators, and other government bodies take to maintain future competition in this industry? 

Attending the Workshop

The workshop was free and open to the public.

Questions?

If you have a question about the workshop, please email RealEstateworkshop@ftc.gov.

  • 7:45 am

    Registration

    9:00 am

    Welcome and Introduction

    Andrea Zach
    Attorney
    Bureau of Competition
    Federal Trade Commission

    Opening Remarks

    The Honorable Joseph J. Simons
    Chairman
    Federal Trade Commission

    9:15 am

    The Real Estate Innovation Road: How Far Have We Traveled?

    Brad Inman
    Chairman of the Board
    Inman, a Real Estate News Service

    9:30 am

     

    Listings Data, Emerging Technology, and the Structure of the Real Estate Market

    Moderators:
    • Jessica Drake
      Acting Deputy Assistant Director
      Mergers III Division
      Bureau of Competition
      Federal Trade Commission
    • Matthew D. Siegel
      Trial Attorney
      Media, Entertainment, and Professional Services Section
      Antitrust Division
      U.S. Department of Justice
    Panelists:
    • Art Carter
      Chief Executive Officer
      California Regional Multiple Listing Service
      Chair
      Real Estate Standards Organization
    • Luke Glass
      Executive Vice President of Industry Platforms
      Realtor.com
    • Glenn Kelman
      Chief Executive Officer
      Redfin
    • Kathleen Philips
      Chief Legal Officer
      Zillow Group

    11:00 am

    Break

    11:15 am

    Developments in Real Estate Fee and Service Models

    Moderators:
    • Karen A. Mills
      Attorney
      Anticompetitive Practices Division
      Bureau of Competition
      Federal Trade Commission
    • Erica S. Mintzer
      Senior Counsel for Competition and Technology
      Competition Policy and Advocacy Section
      Antitrust Division
      U.S. Department of Justice
    Panelists:
    • Simon Chen
      President and Chief Executive Officer
      ERA Franchise Systems LLC
      Realogy Holdings Corp.
    • Eric Eckardt
      U.S. Chief Executive Officer
      Purplebricks
    • Khalil Alexander El-Ghoul
      Principal Broker
      Glass House Real Estate
    • Joshua Hunt
      Chief Executive Officer
      TRELORA

    12:45 pm

    Lunch Break

    2:00 pm

    Regulatory and Industry Factors Affecting Residential Real Estate Competition

    Moderators:
    • Matthew C. Mandelberg
      Attorney
      Competition Policy and Advocacy Section
      Antitrust Division
      U.S. Department of Justice
    • William F. Adkinson, Jr.
      Attorney Advisor
      Office of Policy Planning
      Federal Trade Commission
    Panelists:
    • Panle Jia Barwick
      Associate Professor of Economics
      Cornell University
    • Stephen Brobeck
      Executive Director
      Consumer Federation of America
    • Katie Johnson
      General Counsel and Senior Vice President
      National Association of Realtors
    • Brian N. Larson
      Associate Professor of Law
      Texas A&M University School of Law Of Counsel
      Larson Skinner PLLC

    3:30 pm

    Closing Remarks

    Robert A. Potter
    Chief
    Competition Policy and Advocacy Section
    Antitrust Division
    U.S. Department of Justice

  • Request for Comments

    The FTC and the DOJ will accept public comments from now through July 31, 2018. If you would like your comment to be considered for workshop planning purposes, please submit it by May 18, 2018. To submit a comment, go to https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/realestateworkshop. You may also read the comments already received on the FTC website.

FTC Privacy Policy

Under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, and as a matter of discretion, we make every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments before posting them on the FTC website.

The FTC Act and other laws we administer permit the collection of your pre-registration contact information and the comments you file to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission’s comprehensive Privacy Policy.

This event is open to the public and may be photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded. By participating in this event, you are agreeing that your image — and anything you say or submit — may be posted indefinitely at ftc.gov or on one of the Commission's publicly available social media sites.