5.17.2007

From SHARK to Perch in 60 Minutes


What a dud. After all the spin and after all the hype, the phones still rang this week in the office. There was hustle and bustle, people in and out, and it was business as usual. I watched the traffic in and out, listened intently for signs of blow back, and still, nothing. There were happy conversations with buyers and sellers eager about their business of buying and selling and agents facilitating. What a great week it has been. Even online there were 10 or 15 blogs on the subject of the huge dump CBS took on your living room floor and a whole lot of commenting, but honestly, it was not the doom and gloom I think some had hoped for.

It got me to thinking about some of the things I had written about earlier in the week- my main point was that NAR is not a business model as some would like to portray. It is still 1.3 million agents all around the country that all do business in thousands of ways. Some would like to think that the idea of a discount is a new thing, but alas, the reality is still true- Realtors invented the discount brokerage over 20 years ago. Some practice it, others do not, but the truth to those who want to hear it is still loud and clear- real estate as we know it will adapt day in and day out (you thought I was going to say something else) as it always has, and so will the 1.3 million agents who practice it.

When the phone was invented, did the world as we knew it stop? Did the candle business cease at the advent of electricity? Did Bell keel over when cell phones were born? Did the desktop or laptop computer get pushed out the window to the awesome technology of the PDA? No. Most even suspected the end of American Airlines when Southwest Airlines popped onto the scene, but it just did not happen. Those businesses adapted and pushed forward, and so will we.

I personally am not worried about the fin I see in the water, I have come to the conclusion that Most in the Know have come to, and that is when you throw everything in the air- the hype, spin, blame, accusations, ill comments and everything else possible you see this cloud of smoke and haze, and beneath it all, you see a client and their Realtor. It will be on the ground, face to face with our clients that the air will be cleared. All the spin in the world cannot stop the one-on-one relationship a client has with his agent. Think about it… from their desk with their dual monitors and snappy headsets, it is hard to relate to the buyer or seller the way we do. On the phone, a client can hang up if he or she gets annoyed, but the service agent has the advantage of being there. That is where Real Estate is practiced- on the ground, face to face. That is precisely our advantage- the ability to do whatever it takes to make a buyer or seller happy. You just can’t do that from a call center. In time, even at a discount, the discounters will be held up to light about their commissions due to this inadequacy. What’s next? In order to become more profitable, the online discounter ships the jobs overseas to India? “Press one for English”

By no means do I advocate ignoring the issue- you should debate it in your office, in your mirror, or even with your clients as I have this week. Sharpen yourself and your business, and keep your eye on the ball. Negativity breeds negativity and that is their game.

Turns out it’s just a perch after all.

-T.R.E.G.

2 comments:

SW said...

No doubt, do you think CBS will come by and scoop this up off of my carpet? It smells worse than dead fish...

AUSTIN REALTOR'S WIFE said...

TREG, I feel that you made excellent points that so many have missed- (1) NAR is not a "business model" (oh and that term is getting old), (2) the Redfin propaganda didn't do any harm locally (it was business as usual) and (3) the Redfin blitz is no more than hype and spin on a recycled discount concept.

Great article! No wonder RealtorGenius.com is doing so well so quickly!