First off , before we get the comments about how I’m bashing the big brands. Let me start off by saying: The big brands could easily dominate every market even more than they are now. They could easily make 3x the national average. They could easily create something that would wow people with their big tech budgets and training departments. They could have a army of amazing agents never before seen that offered such great customer service that the number of people stating being a real estate agent was a prestigious job would go from just 6% to 60%. We’re not bashing anyone. In fact quite the contrary. Because with these companies changing their processes the whole industry will become better. We want the best for all real estate agents and brokerages and that involves working together.
After attending REBarCamp LA this weekend and seeing many friendly faces, I am now convinced more than ever that big brokerages need a swift kick…..
I knew they were lagging and behind the times. I knew that the individuals in charge of the brands didn’t get it. (Except for the very intelligent Sherry Chris at Better Homes and Gardens). But at the event this weekend, I had at least 15 individuals from major companies ask me how we could implement our products for them. They were practically begging for us to revamp everything they do. Their frustration levels were so intense they could almost be felt in the physical sense.
One example is ERA ….which stands for Electronic Realty Associates. This brand could be amazing. It could offer products (Like the one we are working to provide) to allow buyers to sign documents via email or on a tablet pc. They could be the tops in technology very easily. One of the most basic tech items right now: Listing Syndication. Agents owe it to their Sellers to get the listing in front of every possible Buyer. They should have marketing pieces that look like this. However, they syndicate to only about 10% of the sites that our system does.
Virtual tours for listings are no longer an option. Listings with virtual tours get viewed a staggering 300% more online than homes without them. Again with their budget, why aren’t they giving every agent a virtual tour system.
If you work for a company with electronic in the name, shouldn’t you have a Blackberry, Treo, iPhone or the like? Shouldn’t you be able to respond to your email in moments? Should not every agent have an amazing website that answers the three questions Buyers care about? “How’s the market?” “What’s my home worth?” and “What homes are currently for sale?”
Shouldn’t they use at least some form of CRM system? How about transaction / document management?
Shouldn’t they all have extreme training on the tech that’s available? Shouldn’t the brand message of Electronic be carried through from first contact through the close and even after with appropriate follow up?
Do they not realize the value of their brands are dying? Apollo Group (the private equity fund that owns Realogy) listen up! There is so much value in the brands you own! But there won’t be unless things change soon……