Abracadabra. Your Web site has vanished.
Your blog: MIA.
HomeGain, Trulia, Zillow, ActiveRain … all gone. As if they never existed.
You reach for your phone but there’s no dial tone.
Your computer — no Internet activity.
No e-mail. No IM. Dead calm.
Lead generation, TMS, CRM … fond memories.
Lockboxes. Coaches. Trainers. Continuing-ed outfits. Gone.
No more "vendors" profiting inside real estate.
Through the courtesy of Fred’s two feet
It’s been water cooler talk. Now it’s taken hold in the blogosphere: The notion that real estate would be better served if vendors could be deleted from the process.
We’re not just talking about technology vendors. Conference vendors, professional services vendors, training vendors and brokers, too, should be banished — especially those who attempt to offset the cost of operations by selling things like training, education, Web sites and marketing materials
Utopia? I hardly think so.
Without vendors, real estate would be a sort of Bedrock filled with Fred Flintstones, Barneys, Wilmas and Bettys. Door-knocking. Cold-calling. Scratching out deals on paper using wood writing devices filled with lead. Driving documents across town for $5 a gallon. Praying at the altar of the paper gods — fax and copy machines, postage clerks and file cabinets.
Agents would be viewed as glorified delivery people. Gatherers. Order takers. Desk-bound. And tied to the apron strings of convention — the archaeological dig where only the fossils of the past reside.
A ‘yabba-dabba-doo’ time
Real estate without vendors. A prehistoric landscape void of critical tools. Agents would be milling wood and hand-carving stone tablets to create yard signs. Slinging paperclip darts from rubber bands to generate leads instead of paying others for Web sites, blogs or e-newsletters. Reading stars for navigation and using smoke signals for communication instead of GPS, smart phones, Twitter, live chats and other overpriced tools produced by predatory vendors.
They would be weaving local market reports with the sinew of opinion rather than fact-driven analytics ported by feeds, applications and reports assembled by vendors who provide great agents the tools to look and sound as great and modern as they are.
Without vendors, real estate today would be a page right out of history. No one would be having a "yabba-dabba-doo" time.
Let’s ride with the family down the street.
The real estate bus is big enough for everyone. Agents, disintermediators. Interlopers. Vendors. Outsiders. Vendors. Them.
No one owns this space. Or has any given rights to it. Or entitlements. Real estate, the consumer, opportunity, innovation — all of it — belongs to anyone and everyone with an idea.
Granted, not all vendors are great, fair or deliver on their promise. But everyone has a right to be here. And have their fates judged by the tribe as a whole. That’s what makes this a modern stone-age story.
Go forward. And have a gay old time.
Marc Davison is a partner at 1000watt Consulting. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor. To contact the writer, click the byline at the top of the story.