1.1 Scope and market definition
Real Estate Agencies are intermediaries which facilitate the reconcile between supply and demand. In order to enable market equilibrium within the housing industry, real estate agents oversee negotiations between sellers and buyers or owners and tenants.
Real estate agencies act for two types of clients:
- Residential customers: the majority of real estate agencies are dedicated to individuals looking to buy or rent houses, land or garages in urban and rural areas.
- Commercial customers: a minority (less than 10%) of real estate agents are focused on the search and match of commercial real estate - offices, industrial land, factories and warehouses or shops.
The activities of real estate agents have been boosted by the market for the purchase and sale of housing, which has been on the rise since 2015, although this volume of activity is expected to stagnate in 2019. On the other hand, real estate agents have to face constant competition from sales and rentals of housing between private individuals.
In a highly competitive market, the role of independent real estate agents is gradually decreasing in favor of franchises, which are better distributed and more visible. Competition from Internet tools and in particular online platforms has weighed on the search for properties, although the proportion of sales of properties between individuals has remained stable over the past ten years.
Finally, the new national regulations with the ALUR laws in 2014 and ELAN in 2018 had a direct impact on the profession's activities, without triggering growth or decline. However, there are some points to be taken into account when studying the future market.
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