Disruption, Redistribution, or Reallocation?
If you Google “disruptions to the real estate industry,” you’re presented with anywhere from 5 to 10 million search results depending on the day.
First it was the Portals — Zillow, then Trulia, then Zillow PLUS Trulia. Then it was Realtor.com with Listhub. I am sure Facebook is up to something, as is Google. And who knows, after that?
And then there was photography — HD photography, drone photography, video, drone video, virtual tours, virtual reality, renderings, rendered fly-throughs, and virtual-rendered-drone-based-fly-throughs. All of which were supposed to change how we marketed homes.
Next it was the brokerage model — virtual brokerages, cloud-based brokerages, discount brokerages, and salaried agent brokerages are all now a part of the scene. I even saw ‘a no-service’ brokerage the other day — I am not kidding.
And have you ever heard of Coronavirus? Ring a bell?
Don’t Mistake Disruption for Improvement
You know what the net result of all this supposed disruption is?
I can now buy some mediocre leads from Zillow if I so choose, spend an extra $200 on some good photography and a virtual tour, and put my license with best the brokerage model for how I choose to run my business. I don’t see these changes as overly disruptive.
The word ‘disruption’ needs to be reserved for ideas that revolutionize and offer fundamental change, not marginally impact.
For the last decade, I have (apparently) been fighting off disruption after disruption after disruption — and to be honest, I’m getting a little sick of hearing about it. And while the web has definitely impacted our industry, I am not sure that it has disrupted it as much as everyone would like to believe.
Sorry if I’m not quaking in my boots at the thought of being rendered obsolete.
The Ultimate Amplifier
The web, in the correct hands, makes things travel faster and further for less. When you harness its power, your business will improve dramatically.
But remember, while the web is a magnificent tool to amplify, accelerate, and connect, it can’t create the messages it delivers. And while the web can also make markets more efficient and management of organizations easier, it can’t create the market or direct the organization.
I can buy the best set of tools at the Home Depot, but that doesn’t make me a master carpenter much in the same way that buying a subscription to Boomtown, SmartZip, and Zillow won’t make me a wealthier Realtor. It is the application of a tool that matters, not the tool itself.
Technology without understanding is nothing more than an expense.
Can I Let You in on a Few Secrets?
Nationwide, the percentage of ‘For Sale By Owner’ is at a historic low and commission structures are still right where they were when I started in 1993.
And in our own market, our sales volume has doubled in the past two years and is up close to six times in the last five.
Actually, now that I think about it, please disrupt me some more.