It was billed as, the “real estate event of the year”. It promised to reveal the, critical “money making skills” needed to build a profitable real estate business. If “this” was the event of the year, maybe “events” aren’t their thing. That, and it appears money making skills are little more than buying postcards.
It’s hard to appreciate an idea, when after reading its website, you can’t determine what it is. But, that is Mastermind 2017. The website refers to the sharing of ideas with peers, and coupled with its name, Mastermind, one could assume it may be some sort of mentoring or group accountability program. It isn’t.
Mastermind is heavily promoting a, too-fun-to-believe tradeshow in Las Vegas with guest speaker Magic Johnson. A $999 value. The previous speakers were Tony Robbins and George W. Bush. It is not entirely clear what happens at this event. There was no detail provided, but then again, this fabulous Vegas event is a customer’s only event and the folks seated here in the Congress Center have yet to be converted.
What is being sold at Mastermind is old-school real estate. For sale, is a program to hopefully introduce sales agents to potential new clients. These “introductions” could lead to agents making money. iAppraisal.com appears to be the principal product begin sold through Mastermind. iAppraisal is software that interfaces with local MLS’s to push out local sales information specific to the postal map. Meaning, in any zip code, they can send out a monthly postcards with sales information specific to every address. Realtors then “buy” the zip code which means their picture and contact information is included on every postcard.
The postcards are very cool. The software is impressive. Repetitive mailings over a large enough target area has proven to be effective for customer acquisition. But, realize the volume of this program and understand it’s not cheap. Zip codes costs thousands of dollars a month. Which makes the tradeshow in Vegas much more understandable.
There is no doubt, agents will line up and gladly throw money at iAppraisal for any perceived leg up in a popular zip code. That’s old school. And, it will work until the fad wears thin or the next big thing comes along, or until organizations like www.41pounds.org help shut down postal junk.
But, is this really the future of real estate? Real estate agents spend $14 billion dollars a year on marketing to attract customers. Of that, $11 billion dollars a year is spent on printed direct mail. Is this the future of real estate or a life-raft for the postal industry? Two dated giants holding each other up like heavyweights in the 12th round.
Who gives realtors the $11 billion dollars they need every year to spend on direct mail? The homeowners paying the 6% commissions are actually footing the bill. It is VERY difficult and expensive for real estate agents to call attention to, and separate themselves from, the tens of thousands of other agents doing exactly the same thing. The real estate industry has a customer acquisition problem. Realtors charge 6% to list a home because it’s so damn expensive for them to get new clients at a pace they need.
It is a shame those shopping carts ads cost so much, but that isn’t the homeowner’s problem. Would an agent charge Sellers any less if they weren’t forced to pay for their billboard advertising? Homeowners simply want to pay for the service they receive. Until the real estate industry comes to terms with its pricing model, every new idea is simply a retread of the past, which will continue to feed this billion dollar a year marketing beast. And, the homeowners will continue to pay for it.
But again, is this really the future of real estate? It can’t be!
On this day in Atlanta, GA, in a room of 150 or so realtors, one would be hard pressed to identify a single person under 40 years of age. Most would agree, the future is probably NOT with the middle-aged mailing in a dated medium. But where does that leave us?
The old guard isn’t going to change. The consumer is demanding change. Therefore, we need a, “new guard”. The industry is looking for agents with different ideas and approaches. Agents are coming out of the franchise and realizing they can build their own brands and control their own messaging.
We are at the cusp of significant change within the real estate industry. And, the only thing we know for certain is the future will be different than today. And, today, they were selling the past.