Adapt or die. It’s the fundamental principle of both evolution and the reality of modern-day businesses. For real estate brokers, that phrase has hit home in the last two decades. The internet in the last fifteen years has dramatically changed the home buying process landscape. To get ahead, it’s important to realize not only how the market has shifted, but also how to position yourself to succeed within it.
Knowledge – Brokers used to be the ultimate repositories of information about buying and selling houses for their clients. Now, all a determined customer has to do is use the internet to investigate for themselves how to pull off a sale. While brokers still have an edge concerning experience and intuitive knowledge when it comes to real estate, the knowledge that used to set them apart is now public information.
Changing Business Models – The startup culture of open office space, remote workers, and smaller offices has affected the real estate market as well. No longer do companies want entire floors or buildings to house their employees; they are much more interested in sharing spaces, renting, or hiring contract workers.
Marketing – The brand a broker represents is still critical to making connections with the consumer, but information sharing has made consumers much more selective. Your brand means little if the first thing a potential customer sees on Yelp or Zillow is a negative review. Traditional brand building methods are slowly becoming irrelevant, and new ones are taking their place.
Resources – The model of the past called for more resource sharing between agents and brokers. It used to be standard practice to share leads with your agent and vice versa – even if you were in competition. With an influx of tech companies focused on providing leads at a cost, that sharing mindset is no longer needed. Simply put, agents no longer need brokers to drive clients towards them; they can do it on their own.
How Can Brokers Adapt?
The first step is to be aware of the changes in the marketplace. Once you’ve got that down, you’re on the right track. Utilizing the new areas of technology available to you as a broker will be key to carrying your business through this evolving market. Agents used to be the ones feeding support and talent to brokers. Now, it may very well be the other way around. By broadening your brokerage services to be accessible via World Wide Web, building a community, sharing your information, and being a mentor, you can continue to succeed in 2015 and beyond.
For years, Lakeside Title has been working in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC area to supply realtors and their clients with excellent title insurance. We provide title searches and 1031 exchanges as well. For more information on how Lakeside Title helps realtors stay competitive and up to date, visit our homepage.