By Mark Sacco
As we start the new year, home sellers and buyers have more options for service than an any time in history – thanks in part to innovation, technology, and venture-backed real estate startups who are leading the charge to change the industry.
All of these changes to the real estate marketplace have taken root because consumers are demanding more from their real estate service providers. They want more transparent and accurate information from their agents; they want to leverage their agent’s knowledge, experience, and tools – and they want to the ability to choose what level of service they need and how much they pay.
The days of one-size-fits-all are over!
Now, some of the new guys are servicing only the top 1 percent of the market. They are committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience, and they expect to be paid for that level of service. Funny that they only work with the top 1 percent.
Others are providing a “minimal” level of service for those consumers who believe they have both the time and the experience to manage part of the sale process. Given they are participating in the process, they expect to pay less and these -oh, let’s call them “discount” brokers – are happy to help.
All of this commotion is upending long-established real estate firms. Those firms (and you know them, and so do your parents, and in some cases, your grandparents!) have started to innovate, have acquired smaller companies who are more aligned with today’s consumers, and have started looking for agents who are more in tune with today’s sellers and buyers. (“Started” is the key word here.)
Now, large scale change takes time – and that is what today’s consumer doesn’t have – so, what can we, as professional agents, do right now, today, to make sure we’re meeting both existing clients needs and the needs of brand new buyers and sellers.
Well, we can, and should, be leading by example. We should be working hard to understand the new business models being that are being introduced to the marketplace; we should understand and use new technology to help with streamlined communications, deep analytics, and more; we can and should offer consumers different ways to “engage” us, different ways to “hire” us – with clear definitions of what services they will receive.
Most importantly, we can, and should, be offering value before, during and after the sale. (This is and will continue to be the business model that “wins.”)
Are you an agent? If so, where are YOU on the spectrum? Have you studied the new business models that are out there? Do you understand how they are bringing value to the consumer? Have you changed the way you do business to meet that need, to compete? No??? (You need to jump on that bus, and fast!)
Are you a buyer or seller? Before you do, partner with an agent make sure you understand how they are brining value to the table. Don’t hesitate to ask that question directly. Beyond that, does your agent offer you different ways to engage her or him? Do they offer different service levels, based on what your specific needs are?
2019 is going to be a year of change for the real estate industry. That change is going to make the consumer the “center” of the universe, and it’s high time that happens. As a consumer, make sure your agent is bringing value to the table, at every turn. As an agent, make sure your leadership team is doing the same. Questions? Interested in learning more? Feel free to reach out!