Glenn...The paradigm shift in real estate actually began in the late 80's and was derailed by an almost continous boom in real estate. The consumer has been screaming for change for years, but their cries have been drowned out by the force of resistance. The power of the "union" to protect what has long been held as so sacred - the almighty commission. Little did they realize back then that the consumer was simply asking for choices, not the decimation of an entire syste.
It has taken a severe recession and troubled times in the entire housing sector to help put change back on the path to realization. Does anyone remember the Help-U-Sell model? They were the fastest growing franchise in history at one point in time, mainly because of consumer demand for choices. Help-U-Sell gave them choices and the industry reacted!
Change is headed our way again, but this time my gut tells me it will sustain itself until the old contingency based system of commissions...the system that was invented by real estate brokers, for real estate brokers...is no longer valid as the "only" way to charge the consumer.
It's not suprising that many of the commentors to your post felt it was a streak of bad luck that so many veteran agents in this business are struggling. It's not luck people, it's the "New Normal!" It's also funny how many actually agreed that the system is broken and admitedly hoped that change happens, but few seemed unwilling to help create the change. Foresight, courage and good leadership will be the main elements in this charge of change. And, as the old saying goes - Lead, Follow, or Get the Hell Out Of The Way!
I'm with getting paid. I'm with change!
I bumped into a Realtor friend of mine yesterday whom I hadn’t seen for a while. Like most conversations we started off by asking those ‘catching up questions’ like ‘how have you been’ and ‘how’s business’?
I immediately got the sense that she had had a few very hard months – she was wearing it on her face. That became even clearer when I saw tears appear in her eyes.
‘I can’t seem to catch a break’ she told me. ‘I have plenty of listings. As you know I’m a hustler when it comes to getting home buyers to work with me. I work so hard to come up with innovative solutions and bend over backward as far as I can to help my clients get into these homes. The problem is that during the past 3 months I have had 4 deals that have totally collapsed right before we got to closing. Nothing I could do about any of them. Circumstances just changed for the buyers and the agreements fell apart. Frankly, I’m not sure how much long I’m going to be able to stay above water.’
This is a woman that’s I’ve known for the better part of 20 years. She’s a go-getter. She understands this business and she really is an innovative thinker who puts together some really engaging web site for her listing clients and is always there for her buying clients. She’s also a true believer. She believes that the work she does can really make a positive difference in other’s lives. But now she’s running on fumes.
What angers me the most about her situation is that this is a woman who gets up every morning and works her ass off. She’s not sitting at home eating bon-bons and catching up her ‘soaps’. She in the trenches working hard hours doing everything she can to make it all come together and she stills need to rely on luck in order to make a living. It’s sad that somebody who works that hard is eligible for food stamps!
This situation just helps to reinforce my firm belief that the current model is broken. Real estate agents deserve to be paid for the work they do when they do it. Having to keep your fingers crossed all the time is a lousy way to make a living. Hey, here’s revolutionary idea – why don’t we find new ways to give home buyers the support they need without sacrificing the livelihood of the professionals who offer that support?
Yes, my friend has had few tough months and I wish her the best. Hopefully the next few months will make up for the past few but she has no guarantee even if she does the best job she can. It would be a shame to see a person with her skills and passion decide that she would be much better offer working the drive through window at a local fast food restaurant. But at least then she would be able to get paid for the work she does when she does it.
Nucazza, Inc. Chief Evangelist Glenn Freezman has been an entrepreneur and business owner his entire career. Taking over his family’s candy company right out of college, Glenn quickly opened 4 additional locations and brought their product sales to a national audience.
In 2002, Glenn created a the title company, Family Abstract, and grew it so that it was helping 500 to 750 home buyers per month by offering unparalleled service, quality and commitment to the greater Philadelphia real estate arena.
Today Glenn still heads up that team and has been involved in over a quarter of a million real estate transactions during his tenure. He started Nucazza, Inc. and Home Buying Evolution as a way to give something back to both the Realtors® and home buyers that brought him success by offering a 1 to 1 marketplace that allows Realtors® to make a respectful living while allowing home buyers to pay for just the services they need all the while promoting full transparency and ethical business practices.