Recently, the President of a national franchise sat down for a “deep dive” interview with the industry’s pro-franchise publishing arm. Their discussion yielded some amazing point of view perspectives. While I have written hundreds of articles contrasting franchise sale environments against more common-sense approaches, nothing I have done touches this interview for what it brings in terms of demonstrating, “contrast”.
Below you will find actual quotes from this interview expressing the franchise, “point of view”. Following these quotes will be a Wynd Realty, “point of view”.
“The real estate agent is the center of the transaction. They’re the fiduciary and everything else is an enhancement to that agent. Our strategy is to protect the consumer by protecting the agent. We’re re attempting to protect that fiduciary relationship”.
None of this makes sense. It “sounds” good. They love the word “fiduciary”. But the takeaway is the concept of an agent being the “center” of the transaction. Truth is, they aren’t. They’re tradesmen. Professional middlemen. And dozens of industries utilize unpaid, commission only salespeople. Ask any successful Insurance or Annuity salesperson if they are the “centers” of their transactions? Chances are they will say something to the effect the customer is always at the center.
But from the franchise point of view, needing to constantly recruit new agents, their vision is best served by creating a false sense of importance. They’re fiduciaries for Christ’s sake!
“Your home purchase is more complex and more financially involved than almost anything else that we do. The complexity of a real estate transaction I think protects the idea of the agent as a fiduciary”.
Again, what’s with the fiduciary? But this type of thinking is an old chestnut from yesteryear. Yes, the numbers associated with a home purchase can be daunting. But the process has been so refined I would hardly call it complex.
Additionally, the franchise point of view never considers the longevity of it’s customer base. Sure, fear of the unknown is kind of scary on your first home. But, over their lifetimes, Americans will close on average 7 homes. As with everything in life, the more you do something, the less help you need doing it. The process of buying your 6th home is much different than it was on your first. But know this, franchises in 2021 still selling the fear and complexity of technology come off dated at best. So why do they still do it?
“Everything is about helping our agents create a world-class experience for the consumer”
Have you ever thought not everything in life warrants a “world-class experience”? Would you pay $495 for an oil change, if it were made into a world class experience? World-class experiences are usually things people want to do over and over again. Has anyone ever left a Closing saying; “Wow, I can’t wait to do that again”!
The language of a, “world-class experience” comes from the marketing brochures of vacation and spa facilities. It’s an odd choice of words to be used here as it invokes images of agents giving pedicures. But the Wynd Realty point of view isn’t to achieve something silly, our objectives are much more mundane as promoting closings with as few hassles as humanly possible. In other words, our agents do their best and put away their hot stones.
Deep Dives in Shallow Pools
Perhaps the most jarring example of contrast is not found between sales approaches but found in an alarming disconnection with reality. Imagine if you can a Listing Presentation to Mr/Mrs Everyman selling their fifth home. Talk of providing a world-class experience while never failing to mention you’re a Fiduciary, comes off more like a comedy sketch rather than something that would actually happen.
It’s hard to believe anyone thinks this pitch is real? If you are doing a “deep dive”, and the interviewee doesn’t believe what they’re saying, the editor isn’t believing what’s being written and the reader isn’t buying any of it; what was the point?
For fans of English. (From Websters Dictionary)
Fiduciary relationships often concern money, but the word fiduciary does not. Rather, fiduciary applies to any situation in which one person justifiably places confidence and trust in someone else and seeks that person’s help or advice in some matter.
By definition, ALL tradespeople are Fiduciaries; electricians, plumbers, landscapers, etc. Other than being a “cool” word to say, Fiduciary has no special attachment to real estate.