SOME CRUCIAL TIPS TO SURVIVING DISRUPTION...

By
Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896

SOME CRUCIAL TIPS TO SURVIVING DISRUPTION...

When I wrote my featured post "THE CASE AGAINST ZESTIMATES--CASE CLOSED??" in June of 2018, I never dreamed I would be where I am now: I have written at least 5 posts since giving a rundown on how the big sites Z, T, and R are going after our livelihoods.

As real estate agents and brokers, working our "farms" or niches to bring in listings in a responsible manner and seeing to it that we are keeping our fiduciary commitments to our clients, we are now heading to the "endangered species" list.

The truth is, the national community of agents and brokers still do not understand what is about to happen to them. No one knew that "Z" bought out all our listings platforms here in the Hamptons and Manhattan UNTIL THEY BOUGHT THEM OUT! 

  • You will, in time, find yourself without the most basic tools to go out to get your own listings--the big "Z" is here to take that away! (They have closed down Google maps on all the listing platforms here--They have disconnected us from our own database of RTS--a crucial list of Town data and statistics about each property in the Hamptons--They shut that down in March of this year--nothing is available to us from that date forward)
  • Better start stockpiling all your data--your client and customer base included, since the beast now has all your contact information. Keep it in a database--secure as possible and impervious to "Z"s snooping.
  • Better begin to form a "cartel' of sorts in your real estate community--a collection of the most committed agents who know what is coming down the pike. You will need survival gear, such as Town/City data collectors, and you need tech specialists who know what "Z" is going after in order to protect new data that you have had to collect.
  • Do not be surprised when you stop getting calls on your listings; this is about to happen because Zillow is now directly contacting your clients and customers with offers to buy and mortgages to use for a property he/she will be buying from them. "Z" IS IN THE PROCESS OF DISCONNECTING ALL BROKERAGES FROM THE PUBLIC!

I have taken an oath to myself and to everyone in my real estate community here in the Hamptons: I vow to keep at it until every living, breathing human being gets the full scope of what is really going on in the world of real estate.

I talk to all who will listen; I write these posts and circulate them to social media, LinkedIn and Facebook in particular and I make sure to get them in front of those who care enough to take on some of the messaging; Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuels Accountants and Appraisers is one of the few are committed to getting the word out on his "Housing Notes" weekly newsletter.

I can see that the circumstances are so dire now, with the real estate market in freefall here and with most agents pulling  the plug on the big monthly dole out to "Z" there is about to be a big shift--perhaps a big buy-out or bankruptcy or some such thing..."Z" has purchased over 8000 houses to renovate and "flip"--they are in the midst of the slowdown and what happens to "flippers" in a sudden downturn in real estate sales??? GUESS!

Now, just to make a point as our marketplace slides into the worst housing crisis we have ever seen, I want those who did not believe me--those who spoke out vociferously about how wrong I was, to read one of the strongest voices against my position.

In a comment that you can see for yourself in the  link above, Rich Jacobson expressed his opinion, closed minded as it was in response to my efforts to inform all of you what is happening here, in the Hamptons in particular:  "Instead of expending so much time and energy complaining and bemoaning about something you'll never be able to change, use it to your advantage!" I wish I had a penny for every wishy-washy comment like that from across the nation--some agents just cannot comprehend what is happening, AS IT IS HAPPENING TO THEM! 

This was a fine comment to make to someone who has seen and heard directly from the mouths of those in charge at "Z" that it is their intention to close down all real estate brokerages across the nation, just as they had done to travel agents when they introduced Expedia to the world of travel..."Just relax and let them take your livelihood--never mind that the public is being harmed in the process--and that the reputations of agents and brokers alike have been destroyed by the 'Pay to Play' game! "DEHUMANIZATION OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS" was featured here on AR in July of 2018--Little did I realize that this would be a Bell-weather and the beginning of the Great Destruction felt here in the Hamptons... 

Agents are beginning to stop lining up to pay the biggest bucks to get the best leads --A complete ruse, by the way--there are no "best leads"!...There are no buyers! The agent who fell for the line "Just pay $3k to $6k a month to get the most leads!" are now sitting in their foreclosed homes wondering what they can do to earn money--The real estate market is dead and some agents are STILL paying the beast, hoping that the market will open up again--it is spring after all!!

Agents are in real trouble right now...Some are in worse trouble than others.

And, the worst possible thing of all??  The public is now wary of all of us in real estate; they have been harmed by the shady dealings and the misleading information offered up on "Z"s websites...all of which is pointed at the agent whose face is STILL appearing inappropriately next to a listing they know NOTHING about!!

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Rainmaker
1,427,548
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I was just thinking about how business and leads are changing the other day (and I haven't even been in the business that long, but do see some differences).

I have three active house listings at the moment. Lots of showings, but absolutely NO online buyer contacts through any of the major sites used by buyers. Which means all those buyers are contacting other agents. Why? Almost all buyers start their search online. And I truly believe the listing agent (in this case) is not getting any of the buyer requests because they clicked "send me more information" or "I'd like to see this house" and their request went to the next agent in line. That agent being the one who pays for leads.

So one take away for me is I definitely need to expand other parts of my marketing so I AM the one they call directly. 

May 17, 2019 03:56 AM #16
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Hi Kimo: Yes--This is a passion as you can well imagine--especially since it is affecting my livelihood! Many others are affected here; some are in real trouble financially and they have kids, I don't! Talk about cutting our legs out from under us! But my main concern is how the public is affected. It does not take a brain surgeon to figure out how long before this market and its appeal to the buying/renting public fades--this happens to be a second home market and between the non-deductibility of SALT taxes, the non-functioning listing platforms, rising property taxes and the misleading agent ads on Z...Well, as I said it does not take a brain surgeon to figure out that we are in real trouble here! This is a relatively small marketplace too and the local homeowners who NEED to sell their homes because of the SALT taxes (No deduction for state and local taxes), rising property taxes, and a total lack of the ability to rent their homes out, are suffering enormously. We are losing so many people from the area because they just cannot afford to live here anymore! Thanks for reading, Kimo!

May 17, 2019 04:28 AM #17
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Dear Homiez: I wish I had a name to address here, but aside from that--I appreciate your apparent understanding of what this post is about and I wish you luck in your efforts with your Beta platform. However, changing our (real estate agents) focus from serving the public honorably and turning to a focus on survival is not the way this profession improves. On the contrary; my focus is always on public success in buying and selling their homes. Now, since most members of the public are being shown the door, so to speak, by a vast, national website that has no understanding of a local market or its needs, there is a crisis of enormous proportions here. I am certain that this is not just a local problem--there are similar marketplaces in the same situation.

May 17, 2019 04:38 AM #18
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Hi Endre: I have to find the article--If you happen to have a link, can you share it here? That would be much appreciated. MY biggest hurdle to getting the word out to the rest of the real estate world has been the misunderstanding on the part of those who are paying the beast--They cannot see beyond their last surge of leads, valid or not. 

May 17, 2019 04:45 AM #19
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Kat: That is the objective!! That is how those listing platforms get the big $$!! By forsaking the idea of becoming the most informed agent by reaching out to those homeowners and buyers who want a local expert (or at least an informed agent!) "why not just sit back and let all those goodies come to me by paying big $$ for it?" That is undermining our reason for our existence. It informs the public that we are not really good people or professionals looking to serve the public for the better good! It tells them that those "creepy agents" are only interested in their commissions! Can't you see that??? Why is this so hard to understand? The whole concept of "Pay to Play" came about through the workings of a crooked way of thinking--and it is our doom. I am not trying to pick on you--but as a fairly new agent, you need to understand the reason why we are licensed--We have a duty to fairness in dealing with the public and fiduciary responsibility to our clients. It is that simple. If we are paying to play in real estate, we forgo all of the non-technical interaction with the public and we become just another "face" in a sea of unfamiliar people who are trying to "out-pay" our competition. Who would hire such a person? 

May 17, 2019 05:00 AM #20
Rainmaker
510,974
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

This is very disturbing and such a problem for you...appreciate the warning. I would be furious!!!  Keep posting about it!

May 17, 2019 09:38 AM #21
Rainer
56,822
HOMEiZ.COM Real Estate Technology
HOMEiZ.COM - Agoura Hills, CA
The Real estate social network

Dear Paula,

You may call me Jonathan. Real estate agents made who is Zillow today. You gave them your listings, your trust, and your money, so why are you blaming Zillow.Is like giving the cat to guard on the milk.Real estate agents had a choice, and they choose Zillow way. And now when Zillow stabbed a knife in their back, they cry for help.You wrote: "Z has bought out ALL of our listing platforms". The help that you need to survive will need to have a mutual effort and to take action.Real estate agents keep complaining on Z but in the same time, all of their listings, profiles are there. So, what do you expect from the consumer to think? Action speaks louder than words.Add all of your listings on HOMEiZ an agent friendly platform, and direct your clients to this platform.We are offering our platform for agents who want loyalty, and a professional approach.Help is here take advantage on it!

May 17, 2019 09:40 AM #22
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Hi Mary: I will and I am!  Thanks for reading...I actually have been posting about this for more than 10 years, since 2007. I even went through the time that Z owned AR! They seem to have all the money in the world to buy out internet platforms that they can manipulate and then move on....

May 17, 2019 09:56 AM #23
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Hi Jonathan: You are missing some crucial details about Z: They will scrape listings off brokerage websites and they did that for years without any fear of being sued by the agents who generated the listings or punished by the states (the states license all real estate agent)s. These listings, as "copied and pasted content" did not show up on Google searches, so Z had to find a way in to get the original content. They did just that by underhandedly promising a "partnership" that was not real! They do not have to follow restrictive state licensing laws as do we. We, as group brokerages have come together to create a replacement to the sites that Z bought out from under us, so we will have something to work with eventually-- it's just the public that I worry about going forward. They are being duped by the likes of Z and the Zestimates are the biggest source of public distress and harm since most people think their house is the best in the world and tend to believe the inaccurate prices that Z comes up with...Thus we have hugely overpriced properties that sit and do not sell. I hope you are taking this all in because I see that you are doing a listing platform too...and it would be considered insanity to do the same thing that Z has done--it does not work because Z is killing off the source of their huge revenue--the agents!

May 17, 2019 10:29 AM #24
Rainer
56,822
HOMEiZ.COM Real Estate Technology
HOMEiZ.COM - Agoura Hills, CA
The Real estate social network

Hi Paula,

I have heard on this issue many times before and I am wondering why NAR did not step in to stop it, if it is illegal to do that." I see that you are doing a listing platform too...and it would be considered insanity to do the same thing that Z has done--it does not work because Z is killing off the source of their huge revenue--the agents!" We DO NOT want to kill the agents! I myself a real estate agent. That is not serious at all what you said. Your impression of our platform comparing it to Zillow is mixed with bad emotions due to your bad experience with Zillow.What matters is the business model and the intention of its owners! We have no intentions to kill the agents!On the contrary, our intention is to put the consumer with the agents.Our business model is not only a real estate listing platform where agents can add a listing.It is a totally different business model than Zillow has. We will become the social network platform for real estate worldwide as we built a magnitude social network platform that even Facebook would not be ashamed of it! Anyone who got the chance to view the platform in its construction mode, was totally impressed from its magnitude size and what it has to offer to real estate professionlas and for the consumer. All those real estate professionals and the average consumer said, "There is no platform like we built for real estate"

So, please cheer up and have a great weekend (:

May 17, 2019 11:46 AM #25
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Good luck Jonathan!

May 17, 2019 11:58 AM #26
Rainmaker
885,945
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

Brokers out east have no one to blame but themselves. The Hamptons and north fork are dominated by brokerages and a culture that eschews the MLS, and now they are upset that their fiefdom is disrupted.
Respectfully, I have no sympathy Paula.

May 17, 2019 02:40 PM #27
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

OH!!--So we now have another sucker that can't stand the idea of "local"--go work for Zillow! You will thrive there since all they do is try to convince the public that they are the experts, no matter where the market is!!! You, my dear J. Phillip Faranda, have no idea what you are talking about! You-- an expert of everything!

May 17, 2019 02:47 PM #28
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Oops! I was wrong J.--You already work for Z!!! Says you are on their agent advisory board!!

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zillow-announces-agent-advisory-board-2012-06-19

 

May 17, 2019 02:56 PM #29
Rainmaker
750,070
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I depend on you, Paula, for this sort of information. You seem to be up-to-date in a way that I am not about the goings-on of Zillow. Pretty scary stuff the way you describe it. I wonder if you're feeling it more in the Hamptons than the rest of the Island.

May 17, 2019 02:58 PM #30
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Hi Jill--By the looks of it, you are right--it hasn't hit the rest of Long Island yet. Z is using this market and Manhattan as a test, I believe--as a model that they will take out there to the rest of the world at least here on the East coast. And, they will get better participation from the rest of Long Island perhaps. It is a very boutique sort of market here--and it's becoming even more precious as we speak! You can't live in Southampton Village for under $2mil anymore...and that is with the price drops over the last 6 months! We have lost the middle class here--totally. It is very sad to watch local families having to sell to move on to less rarified places...things have changed here. Thanks for reading and commenting, Jill!...

May 17, 2019 03:27 PM #31
Rainmaker
885,945
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

Paula, 

I'm fairly versed in how things work. 

I don't "work for Zillow." I've been on their agent advisory board since 2012, and that's pretty public and in my profile.

But Paula, please tell us where you list your properties when your clients hire you? What MLS do you use? and What percentage of your listings go on that MLS and what percentage don't? I ask because many of the people from around the country reading this may see you as the vanguard of fair play, but do they know the current state of MLS adoption on the east end? 
Do you list all of your properties on MLSLI? Or some other MLS? It's a simple question, shouldn't be too tough to answer. 

May 17, 2019 03:47 PM #32
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

J. Fernanda---Please read my posts--there are a dozen or more that are on this topic...there are all your answers. Don't act like you are in the right here--You are totally misinformed. BTW we are on MLS; another indication that you don't know what you are talking about.

May 17, 2019 07:35 PM #33
Rainmaker
63,991
Ricardo Mello
Manhattan Miami Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
Manhattan & Miami Real Estate Agent

Great post Paula!

May 18, 2019 03:35 AM #34
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Good morning Riccardo: Thanks for reading and commenting here!

May 18, 2019 03:59 AM #35
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Rainmaker
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Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA

...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!
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