Written by Posted On Friday, 31 May 2019 05:39

I have been involved with real estate for over three decades.  Yet, this is the first time that I have noticed more and more real estate professionals involved with other gigs besides buying and selling real estate as Realtors.  In fact, a number of Realtors that we have known for many years are driving for Uber and Lyft (a) to supplement their income and (b) to find additional clients.

In fact, Uber first approached real estate businesses to have their App so that potentials buyers would simply request an Uber, and an Uber agent would drive their potential clients to the desired properties. Realtors wound up becoming drivers of Uber.uber driver and real estate agent

Real Estate Slowdown?

The Uber “partnership” with Realtors has evolved.   

The question that everyone is asking me is what has changed in the real estate market that many Realtors who used to solely represent buyers and/or sellers in real estate are now actually driving for Uber? Although I do not profess to know everything, the answer to this question is complex and never based just on one factor.

Disruptive Factors

I have identified a number of factors that all contribute to the slowing down of the velocity of deal flow in terms of people buying and selling real estate.

1. Oh Those Millennials. First and foremost, the number of individuals and families that are purchasing homes has declined compared to historical highs. Many demographers attribute this to the fact that millennials became of age during the housing crisis and have come to believe that purchasing a home is not necessarily their best investment.  Many millennials also face student loan debt, and also are waiting longer to start a family, both of which is effecting the housing market.  Further, if you look at the increase in values of homes over the past 20 years, arguably, in most communities, one would have been better off just investing in T-bills or certainly the S&P 500.

2.  Oh Those Banks. Banks have become exceptionally cautious in lending money and it takes an inordinate amount of time to get a loan approved. I have previously been quoted as saying that going to a proctologist is sometimes a better experience than having to endure going through the application for a mortgage loan.

Real estate agent and ubder driver

 3. Oh Those New Financial Restrictions on Cash Deals. The new restrictions that the U.S. government has created for cash transactions involving an LLC or a trust from foreign funds for better or worse has nevertheless also decreased the amount of cash transactions that are occurring in the residential real estate arena. While these restrictions have broader benefits to society, they nevertheless have also put a huge damper on deal flow.

4. Trade Wars. The trade war with China is looming heavy on the economy as many people are anticipating that the cost of goods in general will go up as will the cost of purchasing a home and maintaining the home. Obviously, if tariffs are being thrown on imports, that will create stiffer demand for domestic supplies as well as the cost of paying for such tariffs on foreign goods.

5. Political Turmoil. The political and financial turmoil in parts of Central and South America is surely also contributing to the lack of purchasers for real estate particularly, in the Sunbelt due to the fact that these economies have become hyper inflationary and the cash needed to purchase a home or close on a home where a deposit was paid a few years ago are no longer available.

6. Leasing Versus Owning. It is always the proverbial question of what it is better to rent or to own.  In many circumstances, one can get a better rental deal from an investor-owned property in areas such as downtown Miami due to the abundance of vacant units.  In addition, there is the perception that the stock market will provide quicker and faster returns than tying up vast sums investing in real estate.

7. Impact of the Recent IRS Tax Changes. The recent tax changes brought about by the Trump administration have had a perverse negative impact on home real estate because many deductions that previously were taken for granted are being eliminated or narrowed; thus effectively, removing much of the historical tax subsidy that the real estate industry has enjoyed.  By way of example, one can no longer deduct more than $10,000.00 in real estate taxes; thus, making the ownership of some real estate less attractive particularly where real property taxes exceed $10,000 per year.

Real Estate:  A Predictor of Economic Change or is Economic Change a Predictor of Real Estate?

Historically, it has always been the real estate industry, and construction, in particular, that has led our economy out of recessions.  Yet, that is certainly not the case as we came out of the Great Recession and represents a true anomaly to the economy today.  Thus, with the confluence of these various factors placing a negative drag on the real estate economy, it is telling that folks historically involved in the real estate industry have turned towards other parts of the economy that continue to grow.  For the original version on South Florida Law Blog visit : GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY: WHY REALTORS ARE DRIVING MORE FOR UBER THAN EVER BEFORE

From the trenches,

Roy Oppenheim

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Roy Oppenheim

From Wall Street to Main Street, Roy Oppenheim is a successful serial entrepreneur and attorney focusing on Florida real estate, foreclosure defense, loss mitigation and Internet ventures.

He founded Oppenheim Law in 1989 with his wife Ellen Pilelsky and uniquely positioned the Firm as one of Florida’s leading boutique law firms in Weston, Florida.

Serving national, international, and local clients, Mr. Oppenheim has the highest rating (A-V) conferred by Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, the most respected directory of lawyers and law firms in the U.S.

In 1989, Mr. Oppenheim also co-founded and served as general counsel to ShopSmart Corp., the company that originated and owned the GNC Gold Card Program, a program that continues to this day and was one of the first cross-promotional programs of its kind.

In addition, in 1994, he co-founded Weston Title & Escrow, the oldest title company in Weston, Florida, and he currently serves as its Vice President. In 1999, Mr. Oppenheim served a one-year term on the board of directors for Catalina Lighting, a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Growing up in the Bronx, Mr. Oppenheim learned to be focused on success and driven to always persevere for opportunity.

In 2009, he started the South Florida Law Blog, which was voted the best business and technology blog by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He also serves as an expert witness on title industry practices.

Mr. Oppenheim has also co-authored two law review articles, Deconstructing The Black Magic of Securitized Trusts, published in the Stetson University Law Review’s Spring 2012 Edition, and The Emperor’s New Clothes, published in the William & Mary Business Law Review Volume 6.

Today, Mr. Oppenheim is a sought-after legal expert on issues relating to the real estate crisis and beyond. In addition to his own blog, he also has been a contributor to Yahoo! Homes, and featured on HuffPost Live, FOX News, and Lifetime TV. In addition he has been quoted in prominent national publications, including USA Today, The New York Times and Huffington Post, among others. Mr. Oppenheim also understands the power of social media, and can be found on a variety of social media platforms.

Mr. Oppenheim also speaks fluent German.


  • Florida Bar, 1987; Member of the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section
  • New York Bar, 1987; United States District for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, 1993


  • Princeton University, A.B., cum laude, 1982
  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1986
    • Member of the Northwestern University Law Review
    • Member of the National Moot Court Team

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