We often hail the benefits of Atlanta’s unique real estate market. Atlanta is open, capitalistic, and NAR-free. What we don’t talk about are the pitfalls of being so open, capitalistic and NAR-free. Atlanta sees both the good and the bad of new agent trends and business models before the rest of the County. Atlanta is the perfect incubator for creating something different; like Wynd Realty for example. Given this, we dedicate our “Mayday” blog to everyone’s worst nightmare.
Put yourself in these shoes: you own a home is a wildly popular area of town with a DOM of less than 20. You are NOT a realtor. You are a technically savvy cheap bastard intent on paying as little as possible for a real estate transaction.
Doesn’t sound so far-fetched, does it? Consider this, inventory levels and DOM used to be the topics of realty nerds. Now, EVERYONE knows of the housing shortage. Homeowners at every level are asking themselves, “we couldn’t get that for this, could we”? This over-hyped marketing environment only emboldens and creates more tech savvy cheapskates.
Recently I ran into two different scenarios where an agent got involved with FSBOs. Why? Two parties agreed to a sale then realized; “now what”? Like a dog who caught the car, they didn’t what to do. They knew calling a Lawyer would cost, so they called a real estate agent. They just needed somebody to do the “paperwork”.
Can you guess what happened next? If you said the agents ended up doing considerably more than “just paperwork”, you’d be correct. In effect, they were performing a job that used to pay 3% only now doing it for considerably less. Mayday! Do I blame the agents, no. In each case the agent felt the money they got was better than nothing at all. That is sound logic. But, like deer in the road, if you see one or two, you know there are plenty more around the corner. Mayday, mayday. So, what are we to do of this new trend?
Low inventory levels will be with us for a while. Consumers are becoming much more educated and confident in their ability to navigate the system. Who says the consumer can’t cut out the agent entirely? If you own a home in a popular area, and people are lined up waiting to buy it, why the hell do you need a real estate agent?
The truth is everyone needs some level of agent support in a real estate transaction. The key part of this truth is, “some level”. Because every buyer and their transaction is different from everyone else. No one size fits all. Yet the real estate industry still operates on a universal percentage-based system? Six percent has been the one-size fits all standard for the last 50 years.
So what would you do if the standard went away? What if consumers said; “we’re calling the shots and this is what we’re paying”. Of course this attitude wouldn’t be possible in a controlled NAR market. Consumers don’t have access to the NAR-owned and controlled MLS like they do here in Atlanta. In Atlanta, a couple hundred gets a consumer’s home posted with nationwide exposure. Once listed, the consumer can go it alone. Welcome to open, capitalistic and NAR-free.
Could you survive a consumer revolt? How? What would you do?
A long standing problem within the real estate industry has been agents simply aren’t that forthcoming about what they plan to do. Makes sense, competitors don’t like to share. But the premise of our question asks agents what they would do in the event of a RADICAL change in our industry. To that end, no one has answers and no one has any experience. There is no right or wrong.
Throughout the month of May, Wynd Realty will be holding a series of online discussions with our agent community about, “surviving radical change”. What will actually be discussed has yet to be determined. But, a summary of those discussions will be the topic of our June 1st Blog. Untitled at this point as well.
If you are not a Wynd Realty agent and want your two cents heard, send me an email at; firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear from you.
Also, if you don’t think our premise is possible, (the retirement of 6%) we want to hear that as well.