Eksperter: "Køb bolig nu": En undersøgelse af ejendomsmægleres ekspertrolle og konstruktion af et særligt billede af boligmarkedet i medierne 2009

Karen Kirstine Lindegaard Jensen & Mathilde Kragh Thuesen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis investigates how real estate agents construct a certain view of the housing market in the media. Real estate agents are very present in the media, recommending or opposing many different subjects such as the interest rate, loans, holiday cottages and why to buy a house. The hypotheses of the thesis are that real estate agents, by means of their statements in the media, take on an expert role with the purpose of increasing their media exposure and keeping the housing market going. Based on this perspective, the focus of the thesis is to identify the real estate agencies’ strategies, motivations, and ways of constructing a certain view of the housing market in the media in order to confirm or deny our hypotheses. The hypotheses find their origin in a wider development in society. Over the last several decades, an increasing number of experts have appeared in the media, including commercial experts from the business community. This is partly due to the fact that the media needs experts to validate their statements and partly due to the fact that society increasingly demands specialized knowledge which legitimizes expert opinions. The thesis adopts a social constructivist approach and is designed as a casestudy of the four leading Danish real estate agencies; Nybolig, EDC, home, and Danbolig, which cover the main part of the Danish housing market. The study encompasses both quantitative and qualitative research, including a quantitative measure of the four agencies’ media exposure, qualitatively collected articles from the year 2009, and interviews with the directors of corporate communication of the four agencies. However, the main focus of the study is the qualitative approach, which is in accordance with the social constructivist way of thinking. The theoretical framework in which the thesis investigates the problem statement and hypothesis consists of two parts. Firstly, the sociological theories of Bourdieu and Luhmann on habitus, fields and social systems of society are applied to achieve an understanding of real estate agents’ actions and relations to the surrounding world. Secondly, rhetorical theories and framing are employed to gain insight into how the real estate agents, by means of their statements in the media, rhetorically stage themselves and the housing market in the media. Based on our methodological and theoretical perspectives, the analysis is broken into three different stages. The first stage uncovers the general characteristics of the four real estate agencies’ media exposure, the second stage reveals the real estate agencies’ proactive media strategies employed to obtain media exposure by means of the sociological framework, and the third stage is a linguistic analysis of the real estate agents’ statements in the media articles in order to examine how the agencies linguistically construct a certain view of the housing market in the media. On the basis of the findings of the analysis, we discuss the expert role of the real estate agencies in the media along with the role of the media in the construction of real estate agencies as experts. The discussion argues that the media plays a central role in this process and helps the estate agents obtain media exposure and construe themselves as experts. Based on these findings, the thesis concludes that the real estate agencies function as experts in the media, that this perceived expertise ensures their media exposure, and that the estate agencies use this media exposure to keep the market going. Furthermore, the estate agents rhetorically construct a positive and optimistic framework of the housing market. Accordingly, these findings confirm the hypotheses of the thesis.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2010
Number of pages286