I see it regularly in real estate Facebook groups.
"NAR should be doing MORE to protect us from _____________!!!!!"
Fill in the blank with the appropriate phrase du jour:
- Zillow (because they're responsible for all the ills in real estate)
- Brokerage X (the latest innovator that is doing to disrupt the real estate world and make us all obsolete, or so we're told)
Okay, maybe I'm being SLIGHTLY sarcastic (where is that special font when I need it??), but the plaintive sounds of various agents isn't an exaggeration. PROTECT ME!!!
Me personally? You're not likely to find me begging for protection. I'm not one for believing the status quo must be protected. I don't believe that a single one of us is entitled to employment as a real estate agent. Adapt or go the way of the buggy whip makers.
IMO there are at least a couple of critical factors to surviving as a real estate agent:
1. Human interaction. Have you seen a good algorithm for providing customer service? I can't say (at least at this point in time) that some Artificial Intelligence program is going to be able to destress a seller that just got bad news on a home inspection. But a good agent? Been there, done that, dozens and dozens of times, right? Some people just need to know that an experienced human is there to guide them through the process.
2. Specialized knowledge. Online portals and automated programs still lack the ability to differentiate key information the way an on the streets real estate agent can. You've watched how this street has gone from 2 lanes to 4 lanes and STILL has traffic issues at rush hour. You know builder X folded in 2009 and builder Y came in to finish the community. You know the majority of White Blossom was built with Blue Max pipes. You know that section of the street backs up to a berm and the other side to a park that hosts a Saturday morning youth soccer league. You get the drift? Know your neigbhorhoods and you'll provide the consumers what no portal or program can.
My personal recipe for avoiding being a buggy whip maker? Niche knowledge. For me, it's numerous blog posts and IDX pages about Cincinnati patio homes that makes the phone ring, then it's my job to lock things down with customer service. Answer the phone. Deliver on my promises. Prove they made the right call.
So as 2019 is knocking on our door, how are you making sure you don't become a buggy whip maker?
Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help!
Bill of Liz and Bill aka BLiz
Things change, don't they?