How Realtors Can Reinvent & Lessons You Can Use For Your Own ReInvention!

My last article asked the question: Are you as irrelevant as realtors are about to become?  

If you missed it, here's the link

As an exercise in self improvement, look at your own industry for parallels.  Technology will quickly supplant traditional real estate agents as home transactions move online.  Will your industry be next?  What steps can you proactively take to remain relevant in a constantly evolving marketplace? 

I’ll reiterate that this is in no way a personal attack on real estate agents.  It’s a business lesson. 

I want you to succeed!  I write books and deliver speeches providing ideas and concepts so you CAN succeed.  

Here then are four recommendations realtors can implement to reposition themselves.  As you read this, think of your own business.  The objective is to provide you with ideas you can apply to your own repositioning.  

How Realtors Can RePosition for Success

Be An (Amazing) Expert:  Know stuff that Zillow doesn’t.  Your clients have Google Maps, they don’t need you to tell them this house is close to the freeway.  Know everything about schools, nearby service providers, and neighborhood history.  

Do It All:  Take your service to the next level.  Make everything turn key.  Not just a phone number of the moving company you recommend.  Turn Key!  Meaning you manage and oversee it all.  Moving is stressful.  When you remove the stress of transferring utilities, coordinating the packers, lining up the cleaners, and the other 4 dozen moving hassles, you will be compensated.  

Consider yourself a real estate concierge.  People pay for stress reduction!  

Renovation:  Most homes require work.  Do it.  Vertically integrate your business and boost your revenue by alleviating the headache of remodeling.  Most Realtors sell a house and say, “it just needs a little TLC,” then hand you the keys and a magnet ad for your fridge.  There the client sits with a home in need of renovation, and no clue how to make it happen.  

The majority of home shoppers can’t envision a wall being removed or shutters being replaced.  You’re a real estate expert.  Prove it.  Improve your client’s asset value.  When you make your clients money, you make money!  

Money:  The internet makes everything cheaper and transparent.  Remember how daunting it used to be to book a trip?  Pretty simple now, isn’t it?  That’s why there are less than half the number of travel agents that there were in the year 2000. Online home sites will have a similar effect on real estate agents.  

My wife and I sold a property last month through a service called FSBO Tech.  FSBO Tech provided all necessary legal documents, discounted title work, professional photography, and access to the multi listing service.  

The upfront fee was $159 and an additional $400 at closing.  Do the math.  $559 versus 6% commission?  Realtors can remain viable by eliminating commissions and marketing themselves as home advisors charging a flat fee.  

Bringing It Home

Home buyers will always require a personal visit before laying down earnest money.  As one Realtor friend likes to say, “You can’t smell the cat urine in the carpet over the internet.”  True.  But tomorrow’s consumer won’t pay 6% for a home tour to smell the carpet.    

There is no conspiracy against Realtors or travel agents or your profession.  As business people, our daily challenge is making sure we matter to a paying customer base.  The marketplace keeps changing.  Are you changing with it?  

Damian Mason is a businessman, speaker, writer, and real estate dabbler. 

Angie Carel