Expanding All Realtors

The real estate industry is in turmoil.  The NAR era is over–yeah!  The National Association of Realtors (NAR) had such total control over our industry they’d crush any alternative way of thinking that wasn’t their own.   For most of the United States, it’s been NAR all day, every day. 

Thankfully, Atlanta real estate agents have had a head start in the new world.  The Atlanta market has always been “NAR-optional” and highlights many Broker business models, like Wynd Realty, not found anywhere else in the United States.

Still, every Broker and Sales Agent is trying to figure out how to make do with less.  Whatever the future, we are all faced with the fact it will include a diminishing pool of commission money.   If the lawsuits have taught us anything, it’s that the public hates the 6% listing.  At this point it’s pretty much a given, agents will be making less money selling houses. 

Most agents will view this situation negatively.  A small minority of agents will view this time in our industry for what it is, an opportunity.   Change is good.   Remember, NARs strategy was to always control the situation.   One way they did this was to pigeonhole the role of a Realtor into the very narrow band of home sales.  That’s all a Realtor is good for, home sales.  When the public hears “Realtor”, they hear home sales, nothing else. 

If you think home sales is the only thing a realtor can do, stop reading now. 

We have a once-in-a-lifetime event to re-shape and re-define what a realtor could be.  These opportunities are rare and often generational.  So go big!  Why not?  Ask yourself, what could a realtor be? 

Before we identify potential directions, we need to set a reality.   With little variation, the real estate industry pretty much follows the “80/20 rule”.   Twenty percent of our homes are sold by 80% of the agents who identify as part-time or occasional.  Leaving 80% of our homes sold by the 20% of agents who identify real estate sales as their full-time profession. 

In the next two years, 80% or our agent community will not experience any change whatsoever, other than less money.  Less will become a new norm and it won’t change any agent behavior for the vast majority.   Real estate is still the greatest part-time gig on the planet. 

But for the full-time real estate sales professional, the industry remains at a crossroad.  Maintaining an industry status quo means significantly less money for the agent.  The stagnate agent opting for no change is only hurting themselves.  At this point, if you are an Agent looking to grow for a future in real estate you MUST change.   But change to what?

Change is multi-directional.  It can come from anywhere.  But regardless of its direction, many would argue the “role” of realtor must expand beyond what it is today.  If home sales revenue is shrinking, then you must expand the role to accept other sources of revenue.

Look at the skill set successful realtors employ.  Historical perspectives on markets and neighborhoods.    Extensive research, negotiation arts and project management.  Interior design, contractor management, renovation return on investment.   In short, under the umbrella of “realtor” there are many functions consumers love.    

Can we monopolize what consumers like about realtors?    

Can we create a reason for the consumer to call a realtor NOT associated with home sales?  In order for this to happen we need to expand the role of the realtor. 

Stay tuned, over the next several blogs we will explore roles or “niches” for agents to explore.    Forget homes sales, for a second, and consider an agent’s strength and knowledge in all things of the home. 

Try to imagine a question where the answer is: “You should call a realtor for that”!

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