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I think the sad thing about those who are trying to raise the bar, is that those under the bar are still making great incomes. Short lived, perhaps, but I see it every day. Those that don't answer their phone, don't turn in proper paperwork, use ridiculous photos, don't know how to open an email let alone answer one...laughs at those of us in the geek world using all of the latest and greatest tools....Some of them are the most successful in my area. The thing I said in one of my local forums was that the public isn't impressed with those of us who can list a house, send a contract and close a deal all from an iPad - it's just that they expect it but if it doesn't happen all they are focused on is getting something closed.... So - with that in mind - what then?
Jeff Nieto - speaking of how long agents/brokers will be around - I believe that alot of our future depends on how we train CUSTOMERS. So far, we have managed to train them to need us only for opening doors by - wait for it - opening doors. As an industry standard we still haven't moved past the 'jump and run' philosophy of doing business. We don't, as an industry, have a standard that calls for EVERY customer to meet us at an office or at the very least, a central meeting point other than a house...to conduct a consultation. Sometimes we don't even insist on a consultation. So, what has the customer done? They've figured out how to do it themselves. And they will continue to do so. We have 'limited service' models which enable the customer to take charge and take over. Disclosure - of course all business models have a right to exist - but all business models need a standard with which to live by. We, as an industry, have established a rather casual attitude to what we do because of the three most dangerous words "You Never Know"...jump and run, you never know that person may just buy something! Let's have a discussion about pure basics and how we can change the industry by establishing a more structured environment for customer engagement.
goes back to a discussion I had with someone today - Just because your name is next to a property that isn't your listing, doesn't mean that someone is going to work with you to buy or sell a home. It used to be, but it no longer the case. Maybe the sooner we realize this, the sooner that Z, T and R.com will go away as a 'lead' source that we throw money at.
Our MLS board has guaranteed seats for two biggest companies. The #3 and #4 companies don't even realize they should be complaining about that. I think I'm the only broker in town that has served on both local boards, managed a 65-agent office and run an independent. So I know where the bodies are buried. (just a saying) Any other broker that may have done it is in retirement mode or still working for the Death Star. I was lucky to escape.
Jeff Nieto not only do I think we can revert from our syndication habits, I think it's mandatory. The consumer is always going to be fine if their immediate real estate needs are met. Real buyers and sellers, not tire kickers. Those needs are met by hand to hand service provided by a real estate professional with the help of their local MLS. The consumer is what we're all afraid of, God forbid how much more data do they need and let's give it to them!! ~ but over in the corner Rome is burning. My local association, which is one of the largest in the country, is always trying to be more and more relevant to gain membership. I told the CEO in a meeting recently, "Start a new MLS that exclusively does not syndicate. You'll have agents lined up and you'll have memberships for life." He said, "That takes hundreds of thousands of dollars." My response: And? Go find the money. That alone will save the impending dark nights coming our way while we're busy wringing our hands about the consumer's thirst for Z/R/T.
A broker/agent websites without active listings is pretty much useless to visitors, IMO. Your opportunity with IDX is to give visitors really specific and *targeted* information they want -- like homes by neighborhood, condo building, next to parks, commuter locattions, waterfront, schools, etc. You can compete at this level. With competition from ZTR and other brokers and agents, investing in generic location/city based sites (IDX or otherwise) becomes less and less effective every day.