I have to admit that when Sherry Chris, from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, asked me to put a quick video together about what I thought the brokerage of the future should be, I was EXTREMELY curious of what the final outcome would be. Think about it, the answer would have to depend on the vision and business approach of each particular person – a single real estate agent, a team under some sort of brokerage model, a team thinking of opening their own brokerage, an entrepreneur thinking of a business, or even an existing brokerage in peril …..
My particular perspective would have to be a bit jaded, since we left a “big brokerage” in search of a company that would be more open to our “out-of-the-box” thinking and less focused on profitability with more regards to quality and customer service. Putting this question out to the social media world is risky to say the least, most of us are realizing that we have the ability and power to be independent and no longer need the pseudo protection of Big Brother.
When I looked at the final video one particular person stood out as a sore thumb (no disrespect to Tom Wilkins) – and that was because of the mention of profitability. Think about it – we’re all here to make money, it’s a given and in my opinion needs not to be pounded, especially in a world of “no hard sales”. Whoever starts a business today and doesn’t think of profitability, should not be in business to begin with – and honestly, the problem with the brokerage of the past is that “profitability” became their main concern and placed basics on the side like education, customer service, technology, training, tools, behaviors, systems….
I will be following www.nextgenbrokerage.com in the coming weeks to see what the brokerage of the future looks like:
Although it may seem a near impossible task, with new technologies we can meet—and exceed—their expectations. It’s all a matter of understanding consumers’ needs and the current economic environment, and then making the right investments in tools and programs to transition into a new kind of brokerage—one that is sustainable and successful, grounded in new digital technologies, but has the traditional industry know-how to sell property. We have to strike a careful balance between being an established brand with Web-savvy sensibilities and a relationship-based, local shop culture.
It will be interesting to see if a happy medium can be attained- can a big brand achieve the goals of those of us immersed in this medium without losing perspective and keeping culture in mind, or will the brokerage of the future just remain a concept that’s beyond reach?