Welcome to 2013, the year the real estate industry stopped staggering and returned to swaggering. We all knew it would take a recovery in the housing market to initiate a recovery in the overall economy and this is the year the home-buying public decided it was time to make a move.
But what about you? What’s your next move?
If you are a real estate broker – a savvy one – you have to be on the lookout for the next trend, the next twist, the next thing that will give you a competitive advantage over others. Up until the late 70s, about the most innovative thing the industry did was create the MLS. But with the advent of the franchises, the real estate business began moving at locomotive speed, with giant competitors looking for new and better ways to grow. Unfortunately, it has been a one-track itinerary for that locomotive: recruiting. The industry so overwhelmingly decided that the way to grow is to add more and more people that today we hardly question why recruiting should be a Broker’s single most important activity, why recruiting is the ‘Lifeblood’ of the real estate business.
Here is a tip about change: it will the innovators who question what everyone else holds to be true who will ride the next big wave in the real estate industry.
Let’s go back to basics. Our business is built on the idea that people who want to buy real estate and those who want to sell it need qualified, knowledgeable help. That’s what the real estate industry is about, our reason to BE. But notice: nowhere in that statement is there one word about recruiting. Yet recruiting has become the only acceptable ‘HOW,’ the only strategy for accomplishing the goal of helping consumers.
The message on the Brokers’ internal billboard glows with self-congratulatory phrases about ‘providing an environment where talented people can thrive,’ and ‘serving the community with the most knowledgeable and professional agents in the business.’ But here is the more honest, though somewhat cynical paradigm that underlies that business model:
As a Broker I know that almost anybody with a license can sell a few houses. Everyone has friends and family who would be willing to give them a shot. While I am actively seeking super agents, I know that half the people who enter the business will do 4 – 6 deals from their personal network, and quit. That’s ok: I’ll take those 4 – 6 deals. Those agents aren’t costing me much and I can almost cover my overhead on their production. I also know that 35%-40% of those coming in will stay in the business but will muck along at 6 – 8 deals a year, each personally making $25,000 – $35,000 a year but making $20,000 to $30,000 for me. 20 of those agents and I’m doing ok. 40 and I’m great! Because I know most people won’t make it, and that many who do will eventually move on to what they perceive as greener pastures, I accept the fact that I must constantly recruit to replace those who leave. My job as a real estate broker is to provide comfortable space and acceptable systems for my agents.
Is that the kind of real estate universe in which you want to live? Because that’s what’s out there whether it calls itself Keller-Williams, Re/Max, Century 21, or Local Independent Realty.
If, on the other hand, you are ready to shake things up a bit, to return to the business of actively seeking customers – not agents, then you owe it to yourself to take a look at Help-U-Sell.
Step one is to set your prejudices aside. You have been marketed a picture of Help-U-Sell that keeps you at a distance. Here are the underpinnings of that false picture:
How can they make any money? I can barely make it charging full fare and here they come charging half what I do. What a stupid idea!
They don’t do anything for their sellers, that’s why they charge so little. You get what you pay for.
Its a pure come-on. They give away the listing side to get the buyer side and then sell OUR listings for full buyer-side commission. I think we should automatically cut their buyer side commission when they sell our listings!
Help-U-Sell? They’re still around? I thought they went bankrupt.
That’s all just REALTOR-speak. Don’t let your competitors make up your mind for you. Do your own investigation. You’ll discover:
- Help-U-Sell is not just some discount real estate ‘service.’ It is a completely different way of approaching the real estate business, a different business model.
- Help-U-Sell fess are lower because the business model is more efficient.
- Help-U-Sell brokers deliver more dollars to the bottom line charging less than their ordinary competitors who charge much more . . . really!
- The Help-U-Sell bulls-eye is the consumer. That’s what we are all about. We love agents, but they are part of our business model, not the target of it.
- Help-U-Sell takes the broker out of the role of administrative support for agents and puts him or her back in a role of entrepreneurial leadership.
- Help-U-Sell is not a do-it-yourself FSBO company but rather offers full-service to consumers that looks very much like the full-service ordinary brokers offer.
If you are attenting the California Association of REALTORS EXPO this week or at the National Association of REALTORS Conference next month, stop by the Help-U-Sell booth. Talk to our people and discover why this 40 year old twist on the real estate business might be your ‘next big thing.’