How are you Preparing for the Coming Paradigm Shift in Real Estate? (Part Two)
In our previous article, we discussed the paradigm shift that’s coming for the real estate industry and how this shift will require an evolution of services for what we call, the New Real Estate Professional. In our follow-up article, we discuss the role of this New Real Estate Professional and how a “Menu of Services” can help agents define that new role.
Asking the Right Questions
Now that we’ve established fundamental changes are coming to the real estate industry, the next logical question is, what is the role of the New Real Estate Professional in this environment? Other questions that are critical to examine here include:
- What services do you provide to the buyers and sellers of real property currently in your real estate practice?
- Of these services, which are being replaced or will be replaced in the next five years?
- At what price will these services be offered and how will they be packaged to the new internet empowered consumer?
- How will you, the real estate professional, answer the question: “Why would YOU hire you to sell your real estate?”
Your Menu of Services
To begin to answer these questions, you must create a detailed list of your current services, a job description or a menu of the services you provide to consumers. If you have never done this before, it is a valuable exercise.
Consider five functions typically provided to consumers by real estate brokers and agents in a transaction:
- Educate – Property availability, neighborhood information, financial information, process, etc.
- Locate/Market – Find properties if working with buyers. Market the property if working for a seller.
- Negotiate – Contract writing, offer presentation, counter offer, etc.
- Administrate – Babysit the closing process (escrow), and all that it entails.
- Communicate – Before, during and after the transaction.
To build your “Menu of Services,” list each of the above on a separate sheet of paper. Now go through your last six (or more) transactions where you represented the seller and list everything you can think of that you did in the transaction.
Leave nothing out, no matter how small or insignificant you may think it is.
From putting the sign and lockbox on the property to advertising to having a carpet shampooed at the last minute to satisfy a buyer whose expectations were that the property would be in better condition than the condition it was left in by the seller.
Do the same for the last six transactions in which you represented the buyer.
You now have a “Menu of Services” for both buyers and sellers. Determining the value of each of these tasks and services will depend upon the time, skill and training level required to accomplish each. A task that requires a real estate license may be of more value than one that doesn’t require a license.
Most real estate companies today offer their “Menu of Services” bundled in a one size fits all pricing model. Some brokers and agents today offer services a la carte. Some bundle services together. We cannot be sure of the future. One thing we do know is that the future holds more choices for the consumer.
How will you determine what services you will offer to the new internet empowered consumer? How much will you charge for those services? That is probably yet to be determined, but it all starts with defining the services and the value the “agent” brings to the future transaction.