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The Real Estate Brokerage: Commissioned Sales and Market Values

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Abstract

This paper develops a valuation model of the real estate brokerage firm. A brokerage has a positive market valuation, while having a negligible book value. Options theory is used to value the firm. The firm writes an option by taking a contingent claim on income generated, through the commission split. The firm holds other options, including the right to modify the commission split. A valuation model for the firm permits a hiring strategy to be developed. Brokers vary by characteristics such as experience. Whether it is better to hire an experienced licensee over a rookie depends on the expected future career with the firm, commissions generated, and the achievement of sales targets. The value of a superstar to the firm is determined, to permit incentive structures on the commission to be generated.

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