No one Needs REALTORs!

With the rise of Search Engines, Social Networks, and Online marketing Who needs a REALTOR™ anymore?

This had been in the back of my mind for quite some time, it wasn’t until I read What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis when I realized that Agents were in big trouble if the only thing they brought to the table was the MLS.

In the past two weeks I’ve had two separate conversations with smart people who think Real Estate Agents are in trouble if they don’t shift with the times. The once prized MLS is just a commodity that can be found on tons of sites everywhere, so the question is…

What do you bring to the table if it’s not the MLS?

I suggest you make a list of the things that you uniquely bring to the table. When you’re making that list be sure to only include things that only you bring to the transaction (a title company or attorney can help with contracts, an inspector can help with repair ideas.) What is it that ONLY you can bring?

Once you’ve figured out the answer, create your internet presence around it.

People aren’t looking for houses – after all, a house is just a box. They’re looking for lifestyle, they’re looking for status, they’re looking for good schools – so build your presence around those things and you can’t go wrong – because when they’re looking they’ll find you.

  • Ross Therrien

    Sorry, brain warp…”I’d like to see him do it because it will prove that No One Needs REALTORs™ that don’t get it. But of course, that isn’t you – because if it were you wouldn’t be reading this post.” Huh? I think all the negative contractions confused me.

  • You’re right Ross – that was little twisted, so I went back and fixed it. I usually just try to get a post out as quick as I can – then I usually edit as I read it more and get good suggestions – thanks!

  • Agi

    I hear me in this post, I am flattered!! Great job, it’s really all about the life!

  • KJerzak

    After some thought, I can see where one might think this when you hang with the tech savvy crowd but the normal person isn’t so techie. The expertise an agent brings is priceless.

  • Don’t get me wrong Kathy, I know agents bring more value to the table – but every time I talk to one about internet marketing and websites they alway ask – “Can I put IDX on it?”

    If all you want to do with your website is put IDX on it- then you don’t really need a website. (Just my thoughts on the subject)

  • People don’t buy houses, a house is just a box. —-> Yep, I had to borrow that from you.

  • Kevin

    What a competent Realtor brings to the table that the internet does not is local knowledge, and negotiating skills. I can close the most challenging deals and deliver competency in all aspects of the negotiation. Some Realtors are order takers and frankly do not bring much value to their clients. If you are one of those people please hone your skills, or consider another line of work. Dont het me wrong most Realtors I know are skilled conciensious providers of excellent and valueable service, but at least once a week I encounter Realtors that just dont get it.

  • I think the latest challenge is how to demonstrate those skills online – people no longer believe what you say, they rely on the info they find when they Google you.

  • Ian

    The deadline was Jan 20th at noon – did the house sell?

  • As far as i know Ian – it had a lot of showings and interest, but no buyer. I’ll keep you posted.

  • Bob in Dallas

    Wow…I really think you over simplified the role of a REALTOR with your really splashy headline. I think what isn’t needed in the industry is misleading information. One person selling a multimillion dollar home with no REALTOR does not prove a process. Skilled Real Estate professionals are invaluable and I prove that to my clients every week. Real estate bloggers appear however to be a dime a dozen.

  • Juan P.

    Well; you buddy could sold that property if 50 hours because he is a tech savvy and social media addict. Most buyers/sellers are not that tech savvy nor social media addicts. If he can sell this other house in 168 hours; good for him. But probably the buyer will have a realtor representing. It’s not only the sale process; real estate transactions need more than that.

  • Tim Moore is a Social Media Guru. His experience does not represent the norm. George Burns didn’t die of lung cancer even though conventional wisdom says he should have nor am I eager to go out and smoke cigar just because Burns defied science. I wish selling a house was as easy as having a social media presence or know how. I’d be rich.

  • Did you just trademark a trademark? “No on needs REALTORs”

    I should think that word Realtor is a dirty word for you. You are definitely a great conversation starter and that makes you a great marketer.

  • Rani Calderon

    I have told my clients for years that the finding the house part of Real Estate is not the hardest part. Any one can find the house. It’s the getting the right house for the right price and THEN my job starts. Getting a transaction closed and making sure that everyone is doing thier job as well as staying on top of the trends so that I can give them the proper advice is a full time job. Your friend could have gotten his house in contract in 50 hours, but if he has no experience in the market, he’s in for a rocky road should anything not go according to plans. My years of experience keeps the transaction going smoothly or gets my clients out quickly so they can move on. I am actually worth more than 3%, but I love what I do, so I’ll take it!

  • Angelique

    Wow that’s pretty sad to see, so if no one needs a Realtor, why are we so much much necessary for the sale of properties? Would you defend yourself in court to save some change? Would you do your own surgery? I didn’t think so either. When is the last time you brought or sold a home? Have you lately notice the mass of paperwork REQUIRED BY LAW? That’s right people, you may be able to sell the house but if anything happen, good luck buddy you’re on your own because as agent we are required to KNOW the Real estate LAWS, carry a LICENSE DELIVERED BY THE STATE, PAY DUES and we have to PAY AN EXPENSIVE errors and omissions insurance (E&O insurance), so now what are you going to do about this Mr. Social media wiz?
    By the way, the Florida association of Realtor came up with 185 points why you need an agent. And yes I am an agent and yes I am also an investor and I was born in a real estate family and yes my family has always used realtors to cover their assets. It’s not about the commission, it’s about peace of mind.
    By the way, the most important skill we get paid for and reason why we get the homes sold is our NEGOTIATION SKILLS.
    Everyone is free to do it all it’s a free country, have fun and watch your back for future lawsuits due to the lack of paperwork….;)

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  • You’re right – finding the house IS only the start. There’s contracts, inspections, negotiations – I think the average consumer doesn’t realize how much work agents do.

    This post was intended to get us thinking about those things and figure out how to demonstrate them online.

  • It goes back to one simple idea Angelique – How do you, as an agent, demonstrate your value online before people meet you?

  • David Rigney

    Your kidding, Right! Social Media and website are for exposing the property not the steps in purchasing or sell a property.

  • Well,

    The middleman will be eliminated by the internet. There is
    no way around it; Travel agents, stock brokers, car dealers, large electronic
    stores, and many others. Most agents still feed of a generation that did not
    grow up with computers. They have five more years until they will be out of
    business. The only way to survive is to deal with international buyers. You
    have to speak their language and you have to understand the mentality of their mentality.

    If you have nothing to offer but access to the MLS and some
    local knowledge – forget it. The MLS is available through so many websites and
    most barkeepers know more about the area than any agents.

    By the way, I am an agent.