Business is moving at the speed of thought and just doing what everybody else is doing – even if its with a few added gimmicks or at a lower cost – is no longer going to be sufficient if you want to remain relevant, let alone succeed in this new business reality.
The Truth is that today, either you are a disrupter, or you are being disrupted – and being disrupted means being made irrelevant, ergo you’ll be out of business before too long.
With respect to the business I am leading – Realty Partners – I decided to focus on not the consumer facing side of the real estate industry, but rather the agent centric side, and to disrupt it in a major way by creating an entirely new paradigm: A business model where the agents are actually the actual owners, as opposed to just hanging their license with some big box, never really owning anything, with no viable exit strategy in sight.
There are many ‘innovative’ business models in our industry right now that ultimately only amount on one thing: saving the agent a few bucks, but the reality of the industry’s (and agent’s role’s) structure does not change: The real estate professional is an independent contractor, commission-only sales person that owns absolutely nothing that would represent any business value – until now.
But, this article is not about me or our company.
Rather I want to drive home the point that you, as a real estate professional (or in any other profession for that matter) have to look for ways to be a disrupter, or risk being disrupted and made irrelevant yourself. Just doing what everyone else is doing, with maybe a little bit ‘extra’ thrown in, or at a lower cost, does not make you a disrupter.
So how can you disrupt your local market place?
It all begins with the end in mind: Who is your customer and what is most important (and most valuable) to them in achieving the outcome they may select you for?
Then, critically examine how that service or outcome is being delivered in your market place today. You will find that pretty much everybody is doing exactly the same thing with minor variations.
Then, future-pace: Anticipate the changes that will be coming to your industry and ask yourself how you can put yourself ahead of this curve . What are the trends that will be most impactful? Keeping a constant eye on ‘what’s at the horizon’ is critical and for those in the real estate industry, a subscription to Inman Select is an absolute “must”! (If you had learned about and been one of the very first adapters of the Matterport 3D technology 4 years ago, you would have been able to complete obliterate the competition when going on listing appointments, simply because no-one else had anything even close to it for years to come. What’s out on the horizon today that would give you that kind of edge?
So what would be a way to disrupt the status quo? About 15 years ago ‘guaranteed sales’ programs (Your home sold in x days or I’ll buy it) became the disrupting USP (Unique Selling Preposition) but today that has been replaced with the outright purchase offer pioneered by Open Door, followed by Zillow Instant Offers, and now Realogy (Coldwell Banker) just announced a cash offer program and other large firms are rolling out this as part of their service offerings. So to offer to buy a home if it does not sell in x days is about as ‘special’ as offering a Matterport 3D virtual tour at this day and age.
Timing of course is critical, something can be disrupter today (OpenDoor when they first rolled out) and then a year later be just standard business practice.
So again, what would be a way to totally turn your local market place upside down with respect to the services you are providing, creating a value preposition that is so un-heard of that someone would have to be completely insane not to do business with you, and most importantly something that your competitors in the market place will not be able to easily emulate and duplicate?
The quality of your questions will determine the quality of your business and your life.
I predict that the number of real estate professionals will plummet by 75% over the next 5-10 years due to new consumer centric business model and disrupters. And more likely this will happen over the next 5 years, due to the exponential nature of change and innovation.
So by asking yourself great questions like the one above – and being a disrupter – you can ensure that you will thrive and be part of the 25% that matters. Ignore it and just continue to go about your business as usual and you will surely perish.
So ask a great question over and over and over again and brainstorm as many answers as you can come up with. Then go with the most outrageous and most ridiculous ideas you came up with. Odds are they will have the most potential at being disruptive.
“Reasonable” and “realistic” has never turned the world (or anything else for that matter) upside down.
To Your Success!
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