Do you know where real estate is evolving? Coming along?
Here is a look at the future for real estate. But, it’s not just a look from afar. It’s an actual history of how we agents operated and how companies encouraged how we practiced real estate. But, as real estate has changed, have agents (and companies) changed their approach to real estate sales? Here’s the third blog entry.
Dependent on the Company for Success—or our Own Efforts?
Stephen Covey, in his wonderful book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, relates three phases of a person’s growth: Dependent, Independent, and Interdependent. As kids, we’re certainly reliant on our parents for everything—we’re dependent. Then, as teen-agers, we get to drive, and, voila….we become (or like to think we become) independent (and we think we know it all). Finally, as we mature, we find that going it alone is tougher than teaming with others—that we actually don’t know everything—and that others’ support, love, and consideration are supremely important to human beings. The same can be said of the evolution of companies—and, in fact, real estate companies.
The Evolution to Today—and on to Tomorrow
You can imagine that the dependent type of company brand strength would be challenged—and it was. In the 80’s the ‘independent’ real estate concept turned the business upside down. Agents had learned that they actually have much more control over their own businesses than they’d thought. They didn’t feel they needed to be managed like employees. They were ready to create and drive their own businesses and spend their own money to do it. Many thrived in this environment, but some didn’t have the business skills to take over and run their businesses like businesses.
The Internet Took away the Inventory ‘Secrets’
One powerful ‘secret’ agents had over their clients is that the clients didn’t have access to listing information. The MLS sure wanted to keep it that way. But, with the Internet, all those ‘secrets’ disappeared. Agents had to ask themselves, ‘What’s my value? If my value isn’t in knowing all about those homes (and the client doesn’t), what value do I bring?” Savvy agents realized their value lay in personal service, and the knowledge and judgment honed over years of real estate practice. So, we agents had to pivot from ‘product-centric’ to ‘agent-centric’ businesses. Not all agents made the pivot.
Time warp check: Are you able to clearly articulate your value to the client in today’s work environment?
Today—and Tomorrow; Where are We Going?
In the past 20+ years, the emergence of the ‘interdependent’ real estate company has made this evolution go to the third round. Simply stated, all the systems and models of the company are set up to create a team atmosphere and to optimize each person’s potential. Easier said than done! The brand takes a back seat to each agent’s development.
In the next blog, we’ll look further into the interdependent model, and what it means to you as a practicing real estate professional.
Big lesson: No matter the model you work in, you must evolve your business to meet the needs of today’s real esta