• Zillow’s proactive strategies are what’s keeping the industry on edge and causing change.
  • The questions you should be considering so that you are the game changer in your market.
  • The negative feedback about change makes us sound weak and scared as an industry.

By now you’ve heard all the commentary about Zillow’s acquisition of dotloop. Good for Zillow — its proactive strategies are what’s keeping the industry on edge and why it’s clearly operating from a position of strength.

We’ve been working and consulting with brokerages for a long, long time and constantly hear things like:

  • “My agents won’t like this.”
  • “My managers don’t think this will work.”
  • “My competition will take advantage of that move.”
  • “I don’t want to be the first company in town to adopt this new technology.”

Change is good. Zillow has been forcing change for years. This acquisition is just another potential change. Could it be positioning for something bigger?

Maybe, maybe not. A better question you should be asking yourself is, “Does it matter what Zillow does? Am I the driver of change in my market?”

If you can’t answer those questions, you’ll continue operating your business reactively and act out of fear rather than from a position of strength.

I also frequently hear talk about “our commissions” and “our data.”

Sure it is. So what are you doing to protect it rather than talk about the potentially nefarious intentions of big, bad Zillow?

Back in the day, when I was a senior executive at Realogy, people would tell me how bad Zillow is for the industry, but as a result of its aggressive entry into this space, plenty of good has come for those who decided that they would protect themselves proactively.

In today’s environment, there are many options for independent brokerages, franchising being one of them. To its credit, Realogy acted proactively this past year with the acquisition of ZipRealty among other things.

If you want to be proactive and position yourself as a leader, you should be considering the following:

  • How am I protecting my data? What is my plan?
  • How am I making the consumer need me?
  • What am I doing to make myself indispensable so my commissions aren’t at risk and can be highly justified?
  • What am I doing to make it easier for agents outside my company — and consumers in general — to access and share information about my listings?
  • How am I addressing multicultural and language issues as ways that will differentiate me from the competition?
  • How am I addressing the burgeoning international market for U.S. real estate?

Every time I hear about an industry leader doing something proactive, I applaud. Unfortunately, all too often the feedback from our industry makes us sound weak and scared. That part I don’t like, and it drives a lot of what I write about.

It’s time to step up and change the fundamental ways brokerages market real estate, address consumers and embrace technology — proactively.

Jose Perez is the founder of PCMS Consulting.

Email Jose Perez.

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