Once upon a time, when I left Century 21 for RE/MAX, I was amazed at the culture at my new company. Rather than Century 21’s push for agents to do all for the sake of the company and the brand, Dave Liniger and RE/MAX were committed to doing everything possible to make agents succeed.
Which makes yesterday’s announcement that RE/MAX is teaming up with Trulia all the more troubling.
Much of my business through the years has come through the interwebs. This is, after all, the place where 9 out of every 10 home buyers begin their home search. The ultimate goal was to make it to page one of Google for Phoenix Real Estate, the online space where giants roamed.
Well, the giants certainly are there now. In fact, the first page of results is crowded by brokerages and advertising sites using listing syndication to bolster their stock price.
An individual agent hardly stands a chance anymore. And more’s the pity.
Most of what you hear about a certain company name signifying a certain quality of agent is, in a word, bullshit. This is a business where 99 percent of brokerages measure success in quantity versus quality, collecting desk fees and figuring the sun’s got to shine on every agent’s head once in a long while.
There’s a reason why about half of the licensed agents out there complete one sale or less a year. They’re hanging around on the edges of the business, working a full-time job and holding a license only so they can help a friend or relative who doesn’t quite realize the agent has next to no experience in handling six-figure transactions.
“Trulia has the tools to help RE/MAX accelerate the success of its agents,” said Pete Flint, Trulia Co-Founder and CEO.
Not really. What RE/MAX and other brokerages can do to accelerate the success of its agents is to step aside, stay the hell out of the way and let Darwinism run its course. What this pact does is give RE/MAX brokerages an additional recruiting feather that can be used to attract agents willing to pay the office fees.
I’ve long past tried to stop arguing with agents who buy into the defeatist notion that “our clients are on these sites, so we better be there too.” It’s an argument for the weak-minded who lack the conviction and determination to pull consumer eyeballs away from the false data and back to where they belong.
To see one of the nation’s big brokerages fall for that same notion is distressing. And sad.
May market stats coming tomorrow … stay tuned.
UPDATE – 3:21 P.M. – Just received an e-mail that says my own brokerage, Realty ONE, has done the same. Lovely.