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Comment No.: REW-0141
Received: 10/22/2005
Organization: Realty Central, Inc.
Commenter: Barry, Jolita
State: FL
Attachments: None


Comments:

From: barr921@bellsouth.net [mailto:barr921@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Saturday, October 22, 2005 10:12 AM
To: ATR-Real Estate Workshop
Cc: FTCDOJworkshop@realtors.org
Subject: Competition and the Real Estate Workshop -- Comment, Project
No. V050015

This message is for Lee Quinn with regard to the subject and my thoughts and experience in this matter.

Please read my attached letter and support my Association in its endeavor to retain our competitiveness in the Real Estate Market.

Sincerely,

Jolita A. Barry

REALTORR


Jolita and Kevin Barry, REALTORS®
REALTY CENTRAL, INC
256 Palm Coast Parkway NE
Palm Coast, FL 32137
(386) 793-1283/(386)793-1284/Fax: (386)445-8685
Email: barr921@bellsouth.net/turtlekevin@bellsouth.net
Web: www.jolitabarry.com or www.PalmCoastFLRE.com

October 22, 2005

Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Liberty Place, Suite 300
Attention: Lee Quinn
325 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530

RE: "Competition and the Real Estate Workshop" -- Comment, Project No. V050015

Dear Lee:

I am writing as a member of the National Association of Realtors with regard to the "Competition Policy and the Real Estate Industry." ("Competition and the Real Estate Workshop" -- Comment, Project No. V050015). My purpose today is to explain my experience in this highly competitive market.

Although I'm a relatively new member to the Flagler County Board of Realtors, I had worked to support several Real Estate businesses before I joined over 20,000 other realtors after I passed the Florida Real Estate Exam. I must admit that this business requires a dedication that demands my attention from the time I awaken to when I determine it's time to go to bed.

The real estate industry is THE model of competition that works. In our United States economy where large corporations -- such as Wal-Mart and Microsoft, and several other major companies -- dominate the marketplace, real estate is a totally different animal. This is an industry made up almost entirely of independent contractors. In the Flagler County Florida marketplace, this is the only business wherein those who work can make a living over the minimum wage, which is all that is offered in our area for many who hold undergraduate and graduate degrees. This explains the fierce competition.

Not everyone makes it in this business. I understand that out of the 20 plus thousand who have passed the exam, only ten percent really can make a living selling real estate. In a county that supports a population of 65,000 residents - that's still pretty competitive.

Each active member of our board serves a localized market wherein we compete for business every day. Fierce competition is fueled largely by the uniquely intense and personalized nature of the services we provide to our clients. These services determine our future success through referrals and return business. In Flagler County alone, our customers have a choice of over 280 brokerage firms and more than 1500 active REALTORS®, many of these firms also offer different business models with which to choose, from local singular companies to offices which are independently owned and operated under a much larger National Brand.

Barriers to entry in this business are low. If one is willing to take the time to learn the local market, pass the state license examination and adhere to the REALTOR® code of ethics, there is nothing to stand in the way of success in this industry. I had to learn the business and pass the state licensing examination, but it is my own work ethic, commitment to professional standards and dedication to client satisfaction that will determine my success.

Understand that the World Wide Web has increased the competition by a wide margin. We now compete throughout the state of Florida as we can represent our clients anywhere in the state. Some of us choose to carry that competition to other states as well and are licensed to compete in that manner as well. . . Choice is what makes our business work and what determines success or failure in the market!

Real Estate offers many opportunities to those who choose to compete. It remains a competitive industry yet offers opportunities for useful cooperation among those who choose to work together. What better opportunity is there for independent contractors to earn whatever they choose to earn in our society and in the customer service marketplace?

Sincerely,
Jolita Barry
Member
National Association of Realtors
Florida Association of Realtors
Flagler County Association of Realtors
Women's Council of Realtors