Do you remember the days when you wanted to watch a video, you went to BlockBuster and looked through their shelves for just the right video?
It could take some time because you had to look at several. You could even take more than one. When you found the "right" ones, you went to the counter and checked them out for a fee. They gave you a deadline to return them or a late fee would be charged.
I heard people proclaiming that this was one of the most wonderful things to happen to improve our lives.
They opened stores all over the country and no one could touch their business model.
But along came Netflix, in the early 1990s.They were worried that they could not compete with BlockBuster. They had a different model, they would mail DVDs to your home. That cost money and they feared they would fail.
Netflix tried to convince BlockBuster to find a way to partner with them. But BlockBuster did not understand that there was a disruption force standing in front of them and they declined.
A Fatal Mistake
BlockBuster believed they were too big and successful to be disrupted and did not need to make any change in their business model.
Within 2 years Netflix surpassed BlockBuster and BlockBuster was not prepared to compete.
People wanted convenience and Netflix provided that for them. Netflix further developed and modified their process by doing away with DVDs and went to online downloading of videos.
Netflix really came up with a fairly simple way of meeting peoples needs. If BlockBuster had visionary leadership they would have taken the opportunity to buy out Netflix. They had the financial resources to do so, they just lacked forward thinking people at the helm.
They result is that BlockBuster died. The giant had been taken down.
I see some parallels to Real Estate
I see agents today that have a really great business going, but they operate under the Ostrich Effect.
This effect comes because people do not like to hear bad news and they do what they can to avoid it.
Many are like BlockBuster, I am doing great and I will continue and I really don't care about the Disruptor's.
It takes Vision, and Awareness of what is going on to make adjustments that are needed to continue being great.
Some people think that it was the late fees that BlockBuster charged for not returning the videos on time that took their customers away.
I don't think that was what sunk the ship. I think the leadership failed to see the coming changes because of Pride.
We have a great business plan and it is working well and we take pride in our achievements. And we should. But to let that pride keep us from keeping up with the trends and the disruptors could be a fatal blow.
Let me be clear: I do not think we have to change to become everything the disruptors do. Many of the real estate disruptors have a model that I do not see how I could be part of.
But, it does call us to think of the opportunities we can take advantage of. Change is coming, change is here.
Instead of complaining or hiding, we need to look at what we can do to tap into the needs of the consumer in ways that are not being done.
We have a choice: Operate like a BlockBuster or become creative like Netflix.
This is really a time of great opportunity if we open our eyes and put aside our fear of change.
What opportunities do you see for the real estate business?