"CEA also recognises that the real estate agency industry landscape is evolving," he added.
As he's done so, Silk has charted fundamental changes in the advertising business—some of them well known, others that address long-standing puzzles or that challenge conventional wisdom.
In a trio of papers, Silk has laid out his research on three key developments that have shaped the industry in recent years: unbundling of agency services, the problem of competing clients sharing a common agency, and concern over consolidation with the growth of holding companies.
Unless, of course, Expedia buys Priceline next month (or vice versa).
Travel industry executives, analysts and regulators debate whether such consolidation inspires healthy competition.
Following the latest licence renewal exercise, the number of licensed property agencies fell to 1,286 as at Jan 1, 2017, a 6.1 per cent drop from 1,369 a year ago, and the number of registered agents fell by about 3 per cent to 28,397 from 29,262, according to the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA).
"The reduction in the number of registered agents could point to a slight consolidation of the industry given the current property market sentiments," said CEA director for policy and licensing Heng Whoo Kiat.
Silk, the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School.
"Hence the famous saying attributed in US advertising circles to legendary retailer John Wanamaker: 'Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.' " For the past several decades Silk has devoted himself to prying open the black box, understanding the economics underlying the work advertising agencies do: the development and production of advertising campaigns.
In a series of features reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to what we can expect in 2017, Exchange Wire invite over 100 thought leaders from across the industry to share their views.