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2011 Faculty & Staff News

Research article by Longwood professor and then-undergraduate to be published in journal

November 15, 2011

Dr. Bennie Waller
Dr. Bennie Waller

A research paper co-authored by Dr. Bennie Waller, chair of the Department of Accounting, Economics, Finance & Real Estate and associate professor of finance and real estate, and Ali Jubran, a May 2011 graduate, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Housing Research, an official publication of the American Real Estate Society.

The paper, "The Impact of Agent Experience on the Real Estate Transaction," was presented by Jubran in March at the Clute Institute's 2011 New Orleans International Conference. Jubran was the only undergraduate student who presented during his session. The paper is the result of an independent study that Jubran, a finance and real estate major, completed under Waller in fall 2010.

In October the paper was presented on campus by Waller and Jubran for "Incorporating Students into our Research: Experience in Real Estate," an event that was part of the Celebration of Scholarship lecture series for President Patrick Finnegan's inauguration. Jubran, now a specialty recruiter for Apex Systems Inc., an IT staffing firm in Richmond, received a Presidential Inauguration Medal from President Finnegan.

The study examined the productivity of real estate agents who acquire and maintain their real estate salesperson's license for two years or less ("rookies") relative to those who have been licensed agents for 10 years or more ("veterans"). The study examined more than 20,000 transactions of single-family residential properties sold, withdrawn, or expired between March 1999 and July 2009 in Central Virginia.

"The findings of this study show that properties listed by rookie agents will sell for approximately 10 percent less than those listed by more experienced agents," the study concluded. "This finding is compounded by the fact that properties listed by these agents also endure a significantly longer marketing duration than those of more experienced agents. This is in contrast to properties listed by veteran agents which sell for approximately 2 percent more than those of their less experienced counterparts and did so 32 percent faster."

"Veteran agents are more successful in completing the transaction, do so at a higher selling price and in a more expedient fashion than less experienced agents," the study says. Dr. Waller also found interesting the fact that many real estate agents who obtained their license during the housing boom of 2004-07, which saw a "huge flood of new licensees," the study said, did not renew their license after the initial two-year licensure period. Those who didn't renew during 2004-08 ranged from 16.85 percent in 2006 to 31.82 percent in 2008. "These data suggest that the onset of the housing debacle and the general overall decline in economic conditions spawned a mass exodus of newly minted real estate agents from the industry," the study says.

Waller said the industry "might need to look at licensing requirements," which the study called "minimal" and which "vary considerably" by state. "If it's so easy to get a license, the barriers to entry are possibly too low," he said.

The research was similar to other real estate studies that Waller has done with Dr. Ray Brastow, professor of economics, and others. However, Waller had never studied the role of the agent's experience on the real estate transaction.