With all the new products and services being marketed to agents these days it’s often hard to tell what the heck the seller is actually selling. Is the product designed to help me do more business? Do business faster, cheaper, more elegantly……….what?
Given that things are moving so fast in the tech world and all the talk of a “big change” in the traditional real estate business model, agents often find themselves stuck like a deer in the headlights – in most cases it’s just easier to ignore the new stuff, after all nothing is actually that threatening (at the moment) that would necessitate making a change or buying the next best “tool” on the market.
It’s true. Buyers and sellers are still hiring agents. Agents still put their listings in the MLS, commissions appear to be rather consistent. Signs still go in the ground; ads still go in the local paper…..pretty much business as usual.
So, as an agent, why would I listen to any of these pitches about some new app, map, lead gen, virtual tour video, and photo gadget or business development tool?
I still go on listing presentations the same way I did 10 years ago. The buyers I work with, while they have more information than they used to, still have me drive them around and show them houses – what’s all the fuss about needing anything new?
Here’s the problem with that thought process. It’s complacency. This is exactly how a business feels right before problems begin to surface. It may happen when we hear about something that someone is doing in another market, or a marketing tactic that is beginning to gain traction in our own market.
These “disruptions” often happen slowly over time. They quietly grow and grow until one day we realize we’ve stopped going to our travel agent, the book store or we throw away the Yellow Pages before it even gets into the house. The changes are gradual, then they’re ingrained into our routine and the old ways have been completely discarded – they’re done, dead, gone.
Of course, it’s only in hindsight that we realize just how big these changes were – as they are happening we don’t really pay that much attention – because we’re complacent.
Here’s a perfect example. Our Company sells “turn-key local marketplace platforms that give agents/brokers the ability to capture and control the buyer and seller activity within the redevelopment property niche (teardowns, rehabs and new construction)”. For markets where this activity is prevalent – it’s a no brainer: inexpensive, proven, made by agents for agents etc.
Now, anyone that has read this far knows they were just “pitched” a product. But, chances are most will opt for the feeling of complacency and see no reason to do any further investigation or due diligence into the value and benefits of this new product.
It’s human nature to want to be comfortable. No one likes disruption (except the disrupter). Routine feels good, we’re in our zone.
But then, there are those few that wake up in the morning and want to get ahead of the curve. Those go-getters that understand the need to innovate, gain competitive advantage and strive for differentiation.
It’s those thinkers (doers) that will be our customers and the customers of other companies that are offering the new tools that offer an important competitive edge for the next phase of the business cycle. These winners and survivors will have a tool box full of the best and most useful tools – most importantly, they will need them just to compete in business.
We’ve all heard the saying before; “it’s not the tools, it’s the carpenter”, to some extent that is absolutely correct. But, today, the project itself is changing, and along with it is the need for a few new shiny, impactful and viable tools.
So, are you buying new tools or are you creating them yourself? Or maybe you’re good with what’ve got now?
Complacency: “self-satisfaction accompanied by unawareness of actual danger or deficiencies”.