We caught up with Sowers and asked him three questions about his real estate philosophy. Here’s what he had to say:
1. What’s something about the real estate industry you believe that others don’t?
Entrepreneurs see the real estate industry as a giant market ripe for disruption, but most assume that that they’re working in a zero-sum game. Many new players are trying to break down the foundation of the sale — the buyer-agent relationship — for the benefit of one side.
I reject this approach and its underlying assumptions. Agents aren’t middlemen to be bypassed; they’re professionals whose dedication and experience are indispensable. Buyers aren’t all the same; they each come to the home search with unique needs and unique skills of their own.
SOLOpro simplifies and personalizes the buyer-agent relationship and creates the first pro-agent, pro-buyer platform.
2. What connection have you made — business or personal — that changed the course of your life?
I can’t point to a solitary example — outside of my wife — but I’ve got a few hundred that make my life richer, fuller and more connected.
I care about deep connections. I’ve been lucky to work with folks who have seem me lead in various contexts — military, for-profit, political nonprofit, high levels of government, academia and now entrepreneurial. They keep me on track, and because I’m not always asking for something — and vice versa — they’ve each changed the course of my life: upward.
Now working, advising and investing with me on SOLOpro, I have a fraternity buddy who runs a billion-dollar business at PayPal; a college bud venture capitalist; the former head of Young & Rubicam; a former presidential candidate; a former CIA director; three CMOs of publicly traded companies (and a longer list) who may not have been able to help in a previous iteration, but can and do so now.
They’ve all changed my course and set it on a higher level.
3. What’s on your radar for 2016 as a sleeper opportunity for agents/brokers/companies in the real estate space?
We’ve heard from dozens of agents on how getting back control of their time is their No. 1 priority. Even for the most experienced agents, right after that, do the things they love to do.
Not every agent is a skilled negotiator, just as not every agent excels at pulling the perfect listing out of a haystack. They have strengths and weaknesses like the rest of us, but the traditional model demands a bundled service offering.
New technology and engaged, experienced buyers have combined to create an opportunity for agents to take their careers into their own hands and reach a new market built to highlight their strengths.
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