Independent Brokers can take their first steps toward the future in realizing what they are selling to their agents is a service and not a product. A service, in all practicality, that gives benefit to only those who are in sales. Let’s be honest, consumers don’t care who the Broker is. It’s not like anyone ever said; “I only deal with ReMax agents”.
The real challenge for independent brokerages today, and in the future, is in the war over agent affiliation. Industry churn rates dictate Brokers need a continual stream of new agents just to keep even. So, how does an independent Broker grow? How can a Broker leapfrog competition?
Ground zero for modern day marketing is May 13, 1931. That was the day when future Proctor and Gamble (P&G) CEO Neil McElroy submitted a three-page memo proposing a radical new idea that would later be called “brand management”. Within this ancient text, he refers to “creating a marketing organization based on competing brands managed by dedicated groups of people”.
In the consumer space, a company with a single product, however successful, will begin to hit its market share ceiling around 40%. That same company with 10 different products in the same market space, each with its own unique value proposition, can see their market share possibilities nearly double.
For a company like P&G, its Tide laundry detergent could only go so far. But, its Tide detergent in concert with its Cheer, Bold, Dash, Ariel, Gain and ERA detergents, would take them much further.
The average television viewer watches several Proctor and Gamble ads every day. In most cases, the viewer has no idea, and nor do they care, about any P&G involvement. The corporate structure behind the brand/product is irrelevant. Ever see a corporate P&G ad?
Without a franchise to lug around, independent brokers are realizing the quickest way for growth might be to incorporate the principals of classic P&G Brand Management. The consumer has a relationship with their sales agent and could care less about the Broker in much the same way as fans of Ivory soap don’t think much about P&G.
Today’s independent Brokers and P&G have a lot more in common than you think. Given that, the real estate broker of the future may very well look like a mini Proctor and Gamble.
In Atlanta, Brokers can allow their agents to self or group brand under a tradename of their choosing. An agent DBA (doing business as) creates the virtual realty company that allows agents or groups of agents to establish their own brands.
Allowing agents to create their own brand is the keystone to the future of the real estate business. Even today, agents don’t like being given their brand, and considering the brand-crazed nature of our social media world, that view isn’t likely to change much going forward.
Decades ago when faced with a marketing challenge regarding its soap market share, P&G just didn’t keep reinventing Ivory; it made a ton more soap, which in turn expanded its market potential.
How much longer can the franchises keep selling “new and improved”. How much longer will venture companies keep pouring money into perfumed-pigged business models? At some point, Brokers will need to let it go and embrace the DBA format and allow their agents to have their own brands and their own voices.
In an industry as well-tread as real estate, it’s doubtful any one Broker has the vision that thousands of agents will rally around. More realistically, agents will rally around Brokers who permit and encourage many different visions and voices.
Wynd Realty was founded, not so much as a traditional realty, but more as a service company for real estate agents. Like P&G, we have never advertised or promoted our brand to the consumer. Our goal is to create the ideal environment from which agents can grow, experiment and realize their potential.