In the future, the role of the real estate agent will be quite different from what it is today. Survival will necessitate change. Agents are developing new business models every day. Our culture is finally getting over their love affair with paying franchise overhead. And, a new sense of localism has given rise to consumers wanting to support all things local.
The secret to being a real estate agent of the future may very well rest on a single sentence. A sentence so powerful it instantly reflects confidence, creates calm and eases worry. A sentence so universal it speaks to both Buyers and Sellers alike. A sentence most of us have already said at one time or another. And, that sentence is:
“I Know a Guy”
Buyers and Sellers have a lot on their minds. In prepping a home for sale or trying to determine if a home is a viable option, there are a lot of technical questions an agent gets asked? “How much would it cost to…”?, “What would it take to…?” “How could I do …”? These topics may be electrical, plumbing, landscaping, woodworking, design or labor. In other words, they could be anything. And, an Agent’s answer to everything should always be; “I know a Guy”.
Take something off your client’s plate. Give your client’s one less thing to worry about. This of course means the real agent of the future is well connected into the world of various tradesmen. We believe this will become a requirement. And why? Because in the future, a real estate agent’s main source of revenue does NOT come from home sales. What?!
The world is moving to some sort of “flat-fee” listing rate. Additionally, most Sellers in the future won’t be paying a “buyer’s commission”. So, there will be considerably less money for an agent. And unless your name is Duffy, you won’t be able to generate the volume needed to maintain life on home sales alone.
Several blogs ago we asked; “other than the obvious, what is a real estate agent”? We used the Dentist as an example. People think they work in “teeth”, but in truth, they sell x-rays. Tons of x-rays. So, what do real estate agents do? Well, given the “secret” of the future; a real estate agent is actually a “sales channel” for all trades home related.
When real estate people talk about “value added” services, they traditionally mean services for their clients. But, thinking that way only tells half the story. Value-added to whom? Real estate agents will extend their own client service capability by being a value-added service to others. Confused?
If you are a small tradesman; electrician, plumber, mason, landscaper, it costs a fortune in advertising to get your services in front of those making decisions. Most often a tradesman’s skill is in their trade, and not in the nuisance of marketing and sales. A real estate agent knows marketing and sales. And, a real estate agent works directly with people ready to make a decision. A real estate agent is in the natural position to be a sales channel for anything a home seller or buyer may require.
Any realtors out there “buying” sales leads? You’re getting ripped off. But, what would you pay for a lead guaranteed to generate revenue in the next 30 days? That is what a realtor holds in their hands. A HOT lead. And just like a realtor, tradesmen will pay for hot leads? What is it worth?
Something. That is what a hot lead is worth. In the olden days when Sellers were paying 3% commissions, agents would pass along HOT tradesmen leads as a “favor”. A nice thing to do. Well, all things must pass and so shall this.
The “how much” idea is not to gauge anyone. Not every transaction is a home run. Stop swinging for the fences at every at bat. Settle for walks. Get on base anyway you can. How an agent works their relationships with vendors will be the secret sauce of the future.
As sales commissions get smaller, revenue replacement must come from somewhere. The most obvious source of revenue is a commission structure gleaned from the tradesmen you represent. In Part 2 of this “secret” blog we will get into the specifics of how an agent needs to position themselves for this new-aged sales environment.