A lot of uproar from the real estate agent community was created on Facebook this week when Lowe’s announced that it was investing an undisclosed amount of money into a start up company named SoloPro.
Check out the full article from Tech Crunch and check out the comments a the bottom of it… You can see a ton of colorful comments from agents there. CLICK HERE to see the article on Tech Crunch.
SoloPro says it’s a service that gives homebuyers a 3% rebate when they buy a home using their service. I’m not exactly sure how and where you get this 3% when a majority of co-op payouts are 2.5%. Plus, how exactly does a buyers agent get paid?
The company is trying to rethink the how real estate agent services are offered by breaking them down and “unbundling” them into a sort of a-la-cate menu. For example, a buyer can find an agent to “only” show a home to them and provide no other services. A partner agent on SoloPro can charge anywhere between $0 to $30 to only show a home.
Other services offered include: phone consultations, pricing a home, attending a walk-through, or inspection, or closing.
Should you be Panicked?
Then why are we talking about this…..
This story actually points to a much larger story that’s happening right now within the real estate industry, it’s called Disruption and you should really know about it.
According to Zillow’s CEO, real estate agents and brokerages are spending about $13 Billion dollars a year marketing their listings online and offline. Couple this with the fact that buyers and sellers are all going online first to find homes and real estate information and bypassing the traditional brick and mortar brokerages offices and you have an industry that is at the beginnings of a complete titanic shift in how it operates.
Companies like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and yes even SoloPro are all doing one thing. They want to disrupt the industry and make an impact on it by offering something new, fresh, and innovative.
They see an opportunity because they all understand two things…
First, they understand the importance of building an Audience.
It’s the single most important thing to build if your going to be successful at any online business.
Today we’re living in an on-demand & online world. Whomever figures out how to best use technology, information, and the internet to deliver what homebuyers and homeowners want will ultimately be the winners. Zillow’s growth is based completely on this.
An Industry Holding On to the Past
Second, they see the real estate industry at a real crossroads. It’s an industry which has been very reluctant to change with the times.
The industry is keeping all of the listing data private on the MLS. This information should be publicly available via the MLS in a search friendly portal like on Zillow and Trulia. By allowing this data to be available to the public the real estate industry has closed itself off from the real world when it comes to Information.
The only reason Zillow and Trulia dominate the world of real estate searches is because they put your listings, your data online for you and gave the public what it wanted.
Think about it this way. The MLS’s are keeping the data private on the MLS, where the data is accurate and up to date. But then giving all this data to websites like Zillow and Trulia for them to put it up freely on their websites. This makes no sense and illustrates my point about the industry not keeping up.
Want more evidence the real estate industry is lagging behind?
No problemo, check out the D.A.N.G.E.R. Report released in 2015 by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). If you have not read the report yet I strongly suggest you check it out.
It outlines all of the threats the industry is currently facing and what the future could bring if it continues on the path it’s on. Most of the threats it outlines all go back to the agents, brokerages, MLS’s, associations, and NAR itself being incapable of coming up with a solution to get itself up to date with an Online and On-Demand world.
So What’s a Real Estate Agent to do?
Stay Competitive by Staying Relevant.
The fact that the industry is in a titanic shift is not the end of the world for agents. It’s actually quite the opposite. An industry unwilling to change creates opportunities for those who are forward thinking.
A real estate agent can dominate any market they serve by getting back to the basics.
Buyers and Sellers today don’t want or need to be “SOLD” on a home.
What they want to buy from agents today is Service, Trust, Confidence, and Experience.
Look at your business and how you run it. Are you providing your buyers and sellers with the absolute best service possible? Don’t compare it to the other agents in your office. Look beyond that.
Are you actually raising the bar?
Is your marketing just helping buyers and sellers? If it’s not then you’re running interruptive marketing and it’s not what works in an online and on-demand world.
After you have analyzed how you run your business, now look at how you can use that in your marketing to get more business. My latest eBook can help you get there.
Learn How to Become a Marketer in your Business
If you want to learn how to get more business out of your marketing, then you need to create marketing which actually offers something of value to the people you’re trying to do business with. Plus, you’ll need a plan to put it all together.
You can download my latest eBook. No email signatures, names, or phone numbers are required. Simply CLICK HERE and download it. It’s everything you need to get started with putting together a marketing plan and building an online presence.
A Funny Video
In this video you’ll see some pretty funny real estate agent satire. It’s funny because all good comedy has an element of truth to it. I put this here to show one thing.
Don’t be this guy….