For nearly a decade we have advocated for change within the real estate industry. During this time things have changed, but not nearly at the level we would have expected.
Historically, Wynd Realty shied away from the new agent market as our brokerage business model wasn’t set-up as a training brokerage. Our lean, bare-bones approach doesn’t allow the luxury of a hands-on, face-to-face interaction. Because of this, we always felt we weren’t in the position to properly support the new agent. But, over the years, too many agents have come to us saying they really weren’t interested in becoming what would be considered a traditional Realtor.
For too many, franchise affiliation comes with baggage. Sure, higher fees. But, more importantly, in most cases, it comes with a lifestyle. Meetings, programs, emails and other time commitments are all part of the deal. And, some agents honestly do love the collegiate, office team building kind of environment. As Independent Contractors, these types of social activities often replace the experience of a traditional office. Still, a growing number of newer agents would rather have root canal than sit around with other agents talking about recipe card mailing ideas.
Wynd Realty has been looking at change within the real estate industry from the wrong end. The long time franchise Kool-Aid drinker isn’t likely to ever change. NAR talking points have seemingly taken root within their DNA. As a company, we have spent too much time trying to convert the unconvertable. So instead of running away from the new agent market, we want to actively run toward it.
And no, we aren’t becoming a teaching Brokerage. At least not in the traditional sense. But, do we really need to be? Many Brokerages claim to have real estate training for the agents. But, most of the time, that simply isn’t true. It’s training yes, but more often than not, it has nothing to do with real estate. The basics of Independent Sales 101 cuts across any number of industries and is readily available online. The goal is universal: trust me to be your, realtor, taxman, insurance man, estate planner, lawyer, and accountant or personal mentor. Hassle your friends and family to get started. Use that low-hanging fruit to fund the beginnings of a sales funnel. It’s been the same basic sales concept since the Great Depression. (And we don’t mean 2006)
But things are changing. Used to be, all realtors had to identify with a yellow jacket, a handful of balloons or some other prestigious sounding brand in order to be considered legit. “Who are you with” was akin to “where do summer”? Snob-appeal reigned supreme. And yes, we’re looking at you Berkshire Hathaway.
In the olden days, a realtor couldn’t simply be alone, or on their own. Realtors had to belong to a herd. The lone agent was an oddball and the franchise agents would use that against them in the scrum for listings. But today, outside of charitable or political causes, the herd mentality isn’t that welcome.
Where the industry goes from here is unknown. The traditional franchise movement will experience massive turnover in coming years as the agents who cut their teeth 80s, 90s and 00s retire. The average age of an agent will fall two decades in the coming years. Venture money is flooding into the industry. Universal technology as an industry building block, will replace the antiquated hodge-podge consortium of independent non-profit MLSs we still have today. Clearly there is a new feeling of; hop on board or get out of the way.
A new era of agent is upon us. And, because Wynd Realty is an agent enabler, we can’t wait to see where the era takes us.
Gary Keller, of Keller Williams Realty, recently said of his 173,000 sales agents; “Real estate agents are data rich, but insight poor”. Well, that certainly may be the case with his agents, but we really don’t see that here. Actually, our agents are very insightful. Again, another signpost for change is when leadership speaks ill of those who “made” them.
Be apart of the change and not a part of the past.