Well here goes. After several years of Inman conferences, StarPower conferences and many local/state real estate conferences and conventions, realtor association classes, I've become a fairly educated Realtor, through osmosis if nothing else. I'm not the best or smartest nor do I have a big fat pipeline of happy clients (yet) but there's one thing that still bothers me. Everyone talks of web 2.0, better technology, higher commissions, better residuals, better marketing and support, ad nauseum. We've heard it all; use all social media channels, trick out your website, blah, blah.... Oh yea...back to what bothers me. How is it that just about every franchise in North America is failing right now. Just today, the parent company of Coldwell Banker and C21 are reporting yet another significant loss and talking bankruptcy. Yet in my neighborhood alone I have seen several franchise boxes being built in just the last year. This may be great for the corporation (although most are losing millions right now) but it amazes me that someone whose been so much closer to the ups and downs of real estate (i assume you have to be in the biz before you can go out and buy a franchise) would dare spend money on all those bricks and sticks much less a franchise. With the right technology platform (training/transaction mgr/website/email/lead gen/listing tools/idx feeds) to allow any agent to conduct business do you need the geographical (market area/zip code) isolation, all those fees to conduct business effectively. Wouldn't this also help with being able to give back more in terms of commissions when drastically cutting back on lease note, desk fees, admin/mktg fees? Pulling together a good team of individuals who could build a decent technology platform could literally conduct business in any state they are licensed in. One good state broker in each state supporting multiple brokers/agents in any area could run off the same tech platform and manage their area is if they were a franchise but without the overhead, beauracracy and fees. The commission model would be much more robust. Im sure I'm missing a few tidbits here but my business background tells me that our industry must morph and consolidate to survive or at least scrape by. Just look around us. It happens everywhere as an industry matures; the airlines, travel agencies, computer companies, auto, on and on.... Dont get me wrong. I feel real estate will always be for the most part a local, social transactional business. However, I predict someone will soon come along with the complete business model that all makes us scratch our heads and say: "why didn't I think of that".
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.
Big Box is loosing market share as well. I think that the Boutique or so called 3 to 6 team office will survive. But if someone comes up with a way to pay a salary or draw that will work also.
Aug 12, 2009 03:05 PM
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