Whither Realtors

 

 

 

Agent

 

The picture above sort of states the point of view of the marketing people at the home office at companies like Coldwell Banker…or Sothebys for that matter. A male realtor in a suit? I don’t think I’ve worn a suit in at least 15 years…and I think it was to a wedding or something back east. I’m actually a little worried about whether or not the suit would fit me!

Not too much after I started in Real Estate 26 years ago I began hearing people tell me that realtors as a profession were about to be obsoleted by technology. That the Internet was going to eliminate the need for my job and that people would soon be buying houses like they buy books at Amazon. Realtors were going to go the way of Travel Agents and the implication was that buyers were smart enough to do this on their own and certainly why would anybody pay such an outrageous fee for an obviously antiquated profession.

Well…it hasn’t really turned out that way. For sure, the Internet has radically changed the way this business is done. Discount online brokers have risen, and in many cases fallen, with a model that’s by and large “do it on your own”.  I actually think this model was there before and it merely morphed as the result of technology. What’s become more and more clear to me, especially in the last few years is that experience and relationships are more important than EVER to buyers and sellers. I really think there’s MORE demand for someone like me than ever.

I really hate patting myself on the back, and truthfully I’m not alone in this…but I easily had my best year in 2015. My business was up an incredible 45% over 2014 and 25% over my all time best year, which was in 2006. Incredibly, this also represents a number of experienced agents that I know. Interestingly, every single transaction I did came from a referral. What I think is, that while discounts sound good, buyers and sellers clearly recognize that a real estate transaction is a minefield and they need an experienced guide. It’s also enormously true that winning in a multiple offer sweepstakes is quite often about the relationship the buyer’s agent has with the seller’s agent. You may not like that…but it’s completely true.

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