How Corporate B.S. Is Causing the Real Estate Revolution

Real Estate Agent with Signature Group Real Estate

After being a managing broker for three of the largest brokerages in the country I've seen and experienced a LOT of corporate bureaucracy. Red tape lines the hallways of each corporate office and the bureaucracy within the conference rooms can make me ill within minutes. HR Directors sometimes seem to be an evil mix of guidance counselor and my bitchy ex wife who just loves to point out how everything I do is wrong.

Not that I'm bitter...

Corporate policy has it's place, no question, but the dinosaurs of the industry (those who refuse to adapt to the consumer's wants) have caused enough people to rebel and gain voice that now the real estate revolution is upon us. The growing inefficiencies, lacking value propositions, and stiff-shirted bullying of "discount" models has finally pushed the consumer over the threshold of what they are willing to accept, and now, finally, something is being done about it.

And we have the dinosaurs to thank.

I was always amazed at how long it takes to "do" anything within a corporate structure. There was always so much (double) talk. Blah Blah Blah blah blah........

Change is scary for some people. And for some large brokerages, and other companies for that matter, it is simply not acceptable. Dave Liniger, founder of Re/Max, declares that the internet is "over-valued" because he started Re/Max thirty years ago and hasn't had to deal with the actual task of finding a client and then hearing that cleint tell him that they don't want to pay 6% or even 5% to sell their house and then have to decide whether to walk away from the business so you can claim that you are not a "discount" agent to your buddies at the board luncheon, or take that listing at 4% and help these people with their goals of selling their home and collect that "discount" check of only $6500 for his hours of work.

You can't blame some for trying to keep things the same- they've made tons of money charging the same amount for decades and they haven't really had any competitive models to challenge them. Help-U-Sell? Assist-2-Sell? I don't like their models at all, but that's not the point- the point is they were never a threat to big brokerages because they weren't very big- or good.

And anytime a new model did come along the big boys would, as Michael Arrington of TechCrunch stated, "Systematically tear them apart".

But now a smarter, tech-savvy, empowered consumer is leading the charge. And new models are gaining ground and establishing themselves as players within the breadth of the real estate landscape, which has been growing rapidly with the influx of agents and innovation.

There has never been a more exciting time to be in real estate. And with real estate historically being a topic of conversation anyway, there has never been a better time to be someone who likes to talk about it.


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Comments 12 New Comment

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Jacqulyn Richey
Las Vegas Real Estate
Prominent Realty Group
Big business is always the last to change and the first to resist. Why do you think we are still driving cars powered by gas? 
August 16, 2006 10:26 PM
Christopher H
Tell us how you really feel.  Oh, I think you did that already.  You do sound a little bitter. 
August 16, 2006 10:36 PM
Louann Nudi
TOVIJE Enterprises, Inc.
I liked your post quite a bit. I think many others will enjoy reading your blog as well. Very interesting perspective. Thanks for something fresh.
August 16, 2006 10:37 PM
Christopher H
I agree, you did have an interesting blog and made some great points.  Brokers that do not sell really don't know what agents are going thru now days.
August 16, 2006 11:06 PM
Eric Bouler
Listening to your Needs
Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La.
You should become an agent again. The proof is in the pudding. Being an agent is great with me and for me. Glad you can still think after 7 years. eric
August 16, 2006 11:29 PM
Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublitsky
SKBK Sothebynulls - Metro Detroit
SKBK Sotheby's International Realty
Consumers will push change.  Our industry seems slow to respond.  Change is threatening to some.
August 16, 2006 11:56 PM
Geri Sonkin
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103

I'm always amazed, when confronted with changes they cannot control, how the talons come out and a fight to the death ensues.  The theory being, if it's new it must be out to kill us.

I think the reverse is true, adapt or risk extinction.

August 17, 2006 09:21 AM
Rory Siems
Prudential California Realty
Food for thought, the corporate structure is something I got away from by coming to Real Estate.  The corporate structure of my broker only effects me if I let it now.
August 17, 2006 09:24 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
The Corcoran Group
key word "independent contractor"  When ever they bring up some corporate BS... I say OK pay me a base salary give me a pension and a 401 and medical beneifits.
August 17, 2006 12:05 PM
Teri Isner
Keller Williams Celebration
We are a business in a business.  Depending on the structure you have a choice to work within the system or not.  That is the beauty of our industry and if we don't like the structure I have met many that started their own.
August 17, 2006 06:51 PM
Greg Tracy
Professional Service, Person Touch...
Signature Group Real Estate

There is certainly a place for policy, but as some companies grow larger, the leadership grows further from the client. They forget what it means to go through the process of moving with the client and all the challenges and emotions that go with process.

I would contact another broker to settle some issue and the broker would suggest we just let the deal fall apart and that would get me going because it's not just a deal. To the client moving their family from out of town and registering their kids in their new school, and to the agent who could really use the money after spending all those hours with that client- it's not just a deal.

We were not suppose to sell when I was a broker with Coldwell, but I sold a couple a year and I wanted it to be policy that all the brokers sell a few a year because it's important to for leadership to experience and have an understanding of what is happening in the market and keep that touch with the client.

Now I am listing and selling again- we're a start-up so I'm doing anything and everything right now. It's great to be in real estate right now- it's exciting and it's interesting and it's fun!

August 17, 2006 07:43 PM
Michele Van Detti
You are correct, sir.  If we are not going to adapt to the world, and what the consumer wants, we are going to be left behind.  That's OK with me, because those of us who are constantly learning are going to lead the pack.  That's one reason I love Keller Williams.  Our company is built from the agents up and learning is the base of our business.  We are constantly adapting.  I remember being a brand new agent in my office and the Team Leader asking me how I liked the office and if I had any suggestions on how to make it better for new agents.  That's why we're one of the fastest growing companies in the country.  So let that RE/MAX agent sit at open houses by himself all day and ignore the internet.  I'm not too busy to take on some of the buyers who will find me instead of him.
August 28, 2006 09:08 PM
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Greg Tracy

Professional Service, Person Touch...
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