There is Change in the Air.

by David Stewart (other articles by David Stewart)

If you look closely there is a significant change happening in the real estate world. More and more agents are breaking away from the traditional office based model and leveraging technology to operate as individual agents.

These agents are free from Franchise rules, over zealous bosses and company hours that, more often than not, put the company’s interest above those of their clients.

It’s a subtle shift but one that is growing in popularity. We only have to look at the explosive growth of business models like One Agency to see this shift in progress. This business model allows agents to use a pre developed brand and corporate colour scheme for a low cost monthly subscription fee which then allows them to set their own hours, their own fees and their own business practices.

Beyond this there are more and more agents that have opted to just go it alone and operate without office space and truly become mobile agents. They have figured out that high cost, main shopping strip office space can be a huge impediment to a start up business and by letting go of these staples they are able to offer lower commissions and one on one personal service without being compromised by big brand rules.

What does this mean for the consumer?

Well, given I run an office and have an extensive back ground in running large franchised offices you might think that I will spend the next few paragraphs ripping this model apart to better further my own ends.

On the contrary, I think this evolution in real estate sales is a massive boost for the industry and consumer. It’s creates greater competition and allows a far more diverse range of choices for the consumer to consider when selecting the agent to sell their home. With the major advertising portals generating all the buyer enquiry there is no reason a smart, switched on real estate agent can’t work from home and deliver exactly the same, if not better level of service to the consumer and do so at a heavily reduced rate of fee.

For this reason I welcome the single operators and hope to see more and more of them. This competition puts greater pressure on the larger established brands to look at their ego driven businesses and force them to evaluate their business practices to ensure that they are more concerned with client satisfaction rather than the latest BMW or Rolex watch.

Our industry is changing and the big players are blindly moving along like nothing will ever impact on their dominance of the real estate market. I think consumers are smarter than this and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that many people in the general community have had a gutful of the self serving, big noting bragging of many agents in the business.

To the agents. Ignore this little recognised but fundamental change in the market at your own peril. To quote an often used saying,

“It's Not the Big that Eat the Small...It's the Fast that Eat the Slow”.

10th January, 2017

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