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Posted by on Sep 22, 2017 in About the author, Jim's Take on the Market, The Future | 9 comments | Print Print

The End

Oh boy, now I did it.

It feels like change is in the air – just ask any agent who is paying attention.  But most want to shrug it off, and pray they make enough money before the SHTF.

I applaud Notorious Rob for furthering the discussion – my comments are towards the end of his post:

http://www.notorious-rob.com/2017/09/please-stop-fighting-the-last-war/

The gist of it is this – some day a game changer will come along that has the potential to commoditize the industry where we won’t need 1.2 million realtors to conduct the business.  The business will be dumbed down to just order-taking, and no realtors will be left to provide the expertise to make sure you don’t make a mistake.

It’s not that big of a deal in the travel industry.  If you make a mistake with your vacation, you learn a lesson and do better next time.  In the real estate business, one mistake can cost you big money, and/or stick you with the wrong house – or cost you the right one.

These days, I feel more like Captain Willard than Hunter S. Thompson:

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9 Comments

  1. Jim, I see you more as Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now. You just get the job done and have fun while you’re doing it.

  2. I’ve always been partial to the Do Lung bridge scene, especially when it’s clear no one is in command and no one has any idea what they are doing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f96p-IhcZhQ

    I go to a ton of open houses and have met so many bad (clueless) agents – I suspect a computer or commodity product might actually be better than agents. It wouldn’t serve the smart customer better but if an agents allows their customer to insist on listing the house $250k too high so it never sells are you really doing a “better job”?

    Anyway every industry faces game changers, especially ones that don’t actually provide top-quality value and service.

  3. Anyway every industry faces game changers, especially ones that don’t actually provide top-quality value and service.

    The industry deserves to be changed after allowing so many marginal agents to exist for so long. What is surprising is that the industry bosses are standing by idly while our business gets picked apart by outsiders. Why?? Because they make more money on the marginal agents, but it will ultimately lead to their demise.

    Number of agents worldwide:

    Keller Williams: 164,000
    Century 21: 115,000
    ReMax: 100,000
    Coldwell Banker: 90,000
    Berkshire Hathaway: 43,500
    ERA: 37,000
    Sotheby’s: 21,000
    HomeSmart: 14,000 (growing to 100,000 by 2021)
    Realty One: 9,000

    You’d think the bosses of such big operations would be more vocal about charting our future. But who do you hear in the media? Zillow, Trulia, and Glenn, with occasional NAR drivel.

  4. Jim, I see you more as Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now

    You’re right…..but someone needs to go up the river.

  5. When the world is running down, you make the best of what’s still around.
    Just be prepared, so you can have fun when everyone else is complaining.

    I’m getting the Kim Jong-un model!! It can conquer any capitalist obstacle!!

  6. Core real estate companies within specific communities. Redfin continues to lose money and is more a portal than a brokerage. We all know the Redfin agent horror stories. Consumers want high quality knowledgeable people to handle their largest transaction they will ever make.

  7. Plus the states need to be onboard with simplifying the process as far as technology is concerned, and they love their licensing and now transaction fees. It’s too much money for them to give up, California of course.

  8. Change or die, that is the issue…Knowing and doing are two different things..people always say it is the end….however, good agents like Jim are few in number, they will survive by NOT letting their buyers overpay and sellers undersell. A tough tight rope, and it take a special person with dedication to make it. That being said the 20,000 part time agents ..who are really not full time agents are go first, no big loss, and the marginal and old time agents are gone anyway they just do not know it yet….my crystal ball says this about the future….

    Consolidation of the major firms into 3 super brokerage houses..each co-owned by Zillow, Realtor, and Redfin, purchases of the other firms by start-up and coming internet firms creating second tier level. The destruction of the MLS and the hoarding of the big listings by the top 3 firms, Zillow, and the other boys. A flat “industry ” fee for both buying and selling…remember..its widgets not the customer..I get your point Jim, there selling point its the best thing for the consumer. More electronic computer program valuations both by lenders and the Big 3….

    so, impersonal trade off for less than 6%…the money wins every time…But while its not here yet, I give my hat off to Jim and the real “people” who give a darn…about the customer in the long run…

    Thanks for a great blog…

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