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Measuring the Efficiency of Residential Real Estate Brokerage Firms

This article measures overall, allocative, technical, pure technical and scale efficiency levels for a sample of residential real estate brokerage firms using data envelopment analysis, a linear-programming technique. The results suggest that real estate brokerage firms operate inefficiently. Inefficiencies are primarily a function of sub-optimal input allocations and the failure to operate at constant returns to scale rather than from poor input utilization. Regression analysis is employed to determine which firm and/or market characteristics affect efficiency levels. The results show that increasing firm size increases efficiency while choosing to franchise, adding an additional multiple listing service and increasing operating leverage decreases firm performance.

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Article provided by American Real Estate Society in its journal Journal of Real Estate Research.

Volume (Year): 16 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 139-158

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Handle: RePEc:jre:issued:v:16:n:2:1998:p:139-158
Contact details of provider: Postal: American Real Estate Society Clemson University School of Business & Behavioral Science Department of Finance 401 Sirrine Hall Clemson, SC 29634-1323
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Order Information: Postal: Diane Quarles American Real Estate Society Manager of Member Services Clemson University Box 341323 Clemson, SC 29634-1323
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  1. Linda L. Johnson & Christine Loucks, 1986. "The Effect of State Licensing Regulations on the Real Estate Brokerage Industry," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 14(4), pages 567-582.
  2. Zumpano, Leonard V & Elder, Harold W & Crellin, Glenn E, 1993. "The Market for Residential Real Estate Brokerage Services: Costs of Production and Economies of Scale," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 237-50, May.
  3. Yinger, John, 1981. "A Search Model of Real Estate Broker Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 591-605, September.
  4. Carroll, Wayne, 1989. "Fixed-Percentage Commissions and Moral Hazard in Residential Real Estate Brokerage," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 349-65, December.
  5. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  6. Schroeter, John R., 1987. "Competition and Value-Of-Service Pricing in the Residential Real Estate Brokerage Market," Staff General Research Papers 11116, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. John H. Crockett, 1982. "Competition and Efficiency in Transacting: The Case of Residential Real Estate Brokerage," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 10(2), pages 209-227.
  8. Leonard V. Zumpano & Harold W. Elder, 1994. "Economies of Scope and Density in the Market for Real Estate Brokerage Services," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(3), pages 497-513.
  9. Maurizi, Alex, 1974. "Occupational Licensing and the Public Interest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 399-413, Part I, M.
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