The Triangle

Why Virtual Brokerages Are Not Netflix

No one denies that technology has completely changed the way we live.  It wasn't terribly long ago when having a PalmPilot meant you were on the cutting edge of the latest gadgets.  Now, within minutes of breaking my coffee pot, I can have one ordered that will arrive within hours.

Every industry has been shaken and the way we do business has to evolve.  You can either fight the change or embrace it head-on.  The same is true for how brokerages serve their agents and provide them the resources they need to thrive.  

To be perceived as more progressive, some newer real estate models are hailing the doom of brick and mortar real estate brokerages as an inevitable shift that they are ahead of.  They compare themselves with Netflix while contrasting brick and mortar brokerages as the Blockbusters that won't survive the shift.  

This is a great sales pitch that plays on the natural fear that comes from industry shifts in general. There is no doubt that an industry shift is taking place. They typically do when a customer's need is met in a new way and to stay in business companies are forced to evolve.  Again, think Amazon.  It wasn't online shopping the gave them the edge, it was free shipping.  For some reason, Walmart and Target have only recently jumped on board.

So, back to the sales pitch.  Is brick and mortar real estate on the way out?  

Let me start by saying that a real estate industry shift has NOTHING to do with a company having four walls.  In fact, Netflix also has a physical location where their employees work in Los Gatos, CA.  People having space to meet doesn't equate them being a relic like Blockbuster or Circuit City.  Those chains existed to advertise a product.  Brick...

Why An Indie Firm May Be Better For Your Real Estate Career

What! 

You're going to work for who?  Never heard of them. 

Sounds really risky.  

There is no way they can offer what we do. 

We aren't perfect but we are better than the other firms.

Aren't you afraid your clients won't like working with a small brand?

These thoughts filled my mind when my Broker-In-Charge, mentor, and friend that was a rock star agent left for an indie brokerage that no one had heard of at that time.

What about you? 

Have you ever really considered a world outside of a big box firm? If not, I can understand.  That was my story for most of my career. 

You see, I began my career at a big box brokerage in Northern VA at the age of 23 sitting behind an office computer trying to help renters on Craigslist find homes. I didn't interview other firms. Why would I?  I liked being apart of the big box brand.  It felt great telling people I worked there.  

However, I was new, not producing, and overlooked.

Just before I died the new agent death I was lucky enough to connect with an indie firm, that had just partnered with a big box brand. This indie firm was new to the big box world so they still operated like a smaller shop. Culture is king for me so I was all in.

I hung around the office just to be around the team.  We were innovative, ridiculously collaborative, we had face-to-face training and not only what I call informational sessions.  We worked our butts off and only hired the right people who fit the culture.

The big box had blessed us with their exclusive tools and resources, which I never used because they always felt sub-par and I didn't love the idea of a big box owning my client's data. I went from being the rental master to a top producer in the...