I hope you are doing well. I thought this would good information for you to know. As the tech boom continues, we are going to feel continued pressure on our industry. With the spot light on our industry from Zillow, Airbnb, VRBO and now Amazon. Tech companies have started to jump into the Real Estate industry in huge numbers. Companies in San Francisco, Salt Lake, Spokane, Denver, Seattle, Etc. These tech companies are working on all kind of solutions for our industry, even solutions that may take some of the potential sales out of the market and will put those sales in the tech market. Here a few services they are starting to offer and are looking into: Internet housing sales, List your home for a small fee, Find a realtor, Find a Photographer, Find a property manager, Sell your home yourself, Rent your home, Manage investment properties, Signs, AI predictive selling, Drone work, Etc. The list goes on and on.
I believe that a vast majority of these companies are focused on Realtors as a profit center. Don’t take this wrong, there are some that are wanting to take the sale from us, but most want to bring the sales to us for a cost. I believe the true business plan is to become a standard for all Realtor and Real Estate sale people to use. They are doing this by offering programs that attached our clients and that helps them to act. Let’s just think about it. We know with Zillow’s instant offer that the offer from the investor is going to below market value and may not be a realistic offer for many sellers. Who is going to sell their home for under market value? Sellers that are in need of funds today or are behind on their payments and want to avoid foreclosure. The rest of world would most likely want to get top dollar for their home. Considering the current market, they would have to be very desperate. But the marketing is so well done that it attracted people to put in their information and find out what they could get. At this point Zillow takes that information and sells it to the highest bidder, us Realtors. Zillow knows that they will not convert a large number of sellers to accept an offer from the instant offer program. Just an FYI 70% of Zillow’s income comes from us Realtors. So bottom line these companies are after big data, and once acquired they package and sell it off for a profit.
How do we combat the tech companies that have the big data and strong foot hold in our industry? We do what they are doing, get big data. Here what I mean. Be intentional about your business, take a vested interest and work your system, whatever that may be. I see that working a system that allows you to build and deepen relationships is our big data and the best way to combat the tech companies. They key is to build the relationship! How do we build these relationships? By taking a true interest in people and their lives. Get to know them for who they are and not as a client and referral source. I believe the fastest way to build a relationship is to find a way to help them. Take the time to actually listen to them and hear their story. Stop thinking about what you are going to say. Listen for a way help to them, by truly listen to what they are saying. For example: Someone says that they are busy with kids sports and school activities, and never have any time left over. My question is what is the underlining message they are telling us? Is it that they love their kid so much they are willing to sacrifice their time for their kids? Or are they saying they are tired and need a break? I think we need more information. If we are intentional about listening we may ask them to tell us about their kids activities or how it feels to be so busy. Listen for ways you can help! Maybe it’s, going to supporting their kids by watching one of their games? It could be a book you read about helping kids in school who are very active in sports? Or it maybe you invite the family over for dinner? You can draw a lot of conclusion from these statements, it is up to you to be the one that translates the big data you are getting into a way you can help people. This is exactly what the tech companies are doing! I recommend giving, giving and giving more, without the expectation for anything to be returned. I also recommend you take notes about your conversations in your CRM. This allows you to remember your conversations and keeps you grounded to your focus. Do you know your favorite client’s kids names, birthday, sporting activities? If not why not? If you are talking to your clients, I know they are sharing this information with you. The questions is why are you not capturing it? The tech companies are! If you were pursuing a significate other, you would take notice of all this things. Why not with our clients? My guess is you have not made it a point to take a true interest in our clients and their lives. If you have already taken a vested interest in helping others, then the key is to work on getting better. In the past we could become a little lazy and still be successful, in the future I do not see that being the case. There are many systems in our market place to help you work and grow your business by relationships (referral). I highly recommend you look in to Buffini and company, or research others that fit your style and life. Or you can grab on to the big data companies and pay for your leads, leads that have be received due to the new shinny thing that really has no value and loyalty build it to it. I hope this helps.