News Brief

Top comments of the week April 25-29

'Are we not communicating this second in the most fantastic unimaginable device?' and other zinger quotes from our readers

This week brought with it some fiery tech twists and revelations on new agent training. At the pivotal crossroads where Realtors and robots, screens and skills collide — how will the chips fall? Insights from our readers shed light on what the future holds.


Linda Springer · Commented on Agent to agent: 4 keys to working with rookie agents | Inman

One of the first things I teach as a productivity coach is to work on all the form templates for the most common transactions and get the forms ready to go for listings and offers to Purchase.

Develop scripts for listing presentations, buyer representations; polish up your personal message and your professional image.

Understand that lead generation and time-blocking every single day is a part of your real estate practice. Networking in the professional business arena is a must. Wear a nameplate, be personable and give your business cards out like a demon!

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Kenneth Jenny · Commented on Will Upstream and the Broker Public Portal steer agents away from Zillow? | Inman

The only true non-competitive force in the U. S. real estate industry is the MLS. The MLS mandates cooperation and compensation and provides no open choice for the brokers thereby leveling the playing field and literally stripping out the competitive advantage for those that actually have product to sell — namely listings.

In every other industry, having a great product to sell in itself creates a strong competitive advantage — but in real estate — the product is openly contributed to any member of the MLS.

How charitable are we? Just join the MLS, pay the MLS fees, use your competitors’ listings to generate buyer leads and then force the listing broker to give away 50 percent of the commission to a buyer’s agent without that agent contributing a single thing.

Talk about bringing nothing more than a fork to the potluck dinner! How utterly and totally absurd are we as an industry to think this makes any sense at all.

Stop complaining about the portals and their advertising practices when your local MLS openly gives each of your local competitors all of your listings to sell which creates the very foundation for their “competitive” businesses. Insanity.


Pierce Smith · Commented on 5 areas of real estate that technology will revolutionize | Inman

I’m working on the “process lineage” by developing a web/app platform to integrate the functioning silos (like lending, transaction forms, inspections, appraisal, escrow, title) to one horizontal, integrated, interactive, synchronized process system. “On-demand” customer service handles consultations answers, education, dispatch action.

Field concierges handle open houses, listing discussions, community public educational programs. Everything else is effective marketing using big data to make contacts with most likely sellers.

We do not see any role for the buyer broker since they are paid by the seller anyway and are bound by broker agreement to get the highest possible price for the seller.

We expect to lower the costs and time requirements of selling significantly. The largest time loss is with the lenders. We will be the lender and qualify buyers completely through the underwriter process. That allows buyers to enter the market with a loan ready to fund that will reduce time by seven to 10 days and allow competition with all cash buyers.

This is our plan for the future.


Creed Smith · Commented on 5 areas of real estate that technology will revolutionize | Inman [In response to Pierce Smith’s comment above]

Pierce, I personally am still struggling with which way the market will go regarding seller agents and buyer agents. Yes, sellers have “always” paid the buyer agent, but that is based on some legacy via the closed MLS means of selling home.

Buyer agents could only find homes in the MLS pre-internet, thus buyers could only find homes via their broker. That is not so today obviously. If a home sale system were built without prior knowledge of how it “has always been done” using today’s technologies and channels of distribution, how would it affect buyer agents? So I see your point.

On the other hand, much more of what listing agents do can be automated, making room for great cost savings. Whereas for the time being somebody has to be live with those buyers for two weeks to ten months until they buy a home. Much tougher to automate that part of the process.

So in the end I drink heavy, will offer every useful tech solution I can think of and let the market tell me what they want through their actions.


Teri Pacitto · Commented on The future of home showings is virtual reality | Inman

While technology has become and will continue to be a huge part of the showing process, I don’t think we are quite ready for the transfer of the entire physical showing process in 10 years.

I do think that technology is and will it continue to evolve and become a viable part of the process in presenting and showing property. The process will involve sellers hiring agents who embrace and utilize these platforms.

The techniques and training on these platforms will need to be perfected in order for this to all come together as a benefit for not only the industry but also for the consumer.

The combination of presenting and marketing the property as is negotiating are the top reasons that sellers hire agents. This new reality I do think will evolve and will separate the professionals from the others in this business and that will be a good thing.


Mark Pfeifer · Commented on The future of home showings is virtual reality | Inman

God I hope not — I truly believe that demonstrating the value of the home is having the person in the home being able to feel themselves living it in. Lifestyle, emotions, touch/feel, etc. are all critical to getting sellers the most money.

Virtual reality, 3d videos, etc. will never replace that — IMO. As a listing agent, I want to be able to get the most money and not have decisions made outside of the home which may not highlight the necessary features.

In short, I want the potential buyer in the home to showcase the value.


Daniel Beirne · Commented on The future of home showings is virtual reality | Inman

Great article. This is a well-intentioned attempt to inform professionals of what they may need to know to compete and to remind them to constantly rethink their jobs.

The consumers are not at a standstill. The marketplace is shifting. Are we not communicating this second in the most fantastic unimaginable device that would have seemed impossible 10 years ago?

My words just reached thousands of people. Why can’t a 3-D image replace a picture behind a glass screen?


Julie Nelson · Commented on Special report: How to fix new-agent onboarding | Inman

Excellent article! Especially that the industry does not prepare newly minted Realtors for the reality of succeeding in the business. It’s easy to get in, hard to stay. And a lot more work than any of them ever anticipated.

We all discuss this topic and sometimes I think we all have to remind ourselves that we all had a first year, a first client.

I have spent the last five years as the coach/trainer in the largest Keller Williams office with a primary focus on first-year agents. I have seen new agents succeed at a high level, I have seen them fall short. I have theories. Foundational is speed, clients fast. What if the success quotient was actually who found clients quickly? Help the agents find clients FAST and the office, broker, coach, mentor gets to help the agent work the client.

Clients before confidence and competence — it’s delicate. And then there is the getting-ready-to-get-ready syndrome.

It’s why some of the millennials get off to a strong start because they simply do what we tell them, what the models say they should do (because they do not know differently) … while some of the new agents with strong corporate backgrounds, they want everything perfect before they move forward or they work tirelessly on everything except talking to people.

The other foundation to the success formula has to do with being a good boss, showing up to work each day and being realistic and accountable about getting the most important things done every day.

Getting into the actions that matter, quickly … we all know that means you have to figure out, quickly, how to have a lot of effective conversations with people about real estate … and having accountability around that. A day without a substantial real estate conversation (or 10, whatever your minimum number is) is equivalent to calling in sick. Your actions must match your goals. Don’t be a lousy boss.


Maine Home Connection · Commented on Does Zillow overshadow ‘real estate?’ | Inman

As an industry, we have no one to blame for our loss of the internet to Zillow.


Jeff Kayle · Commented on Zillow may have just beat Upstream to market | Inman

As an integrator, I get to work with MLS providers all over the country. Some are deplorable, not even allowing agents the ability to integrate IDX into their websites.

Unfortunately, our industry has allowed companies like Zillow to flourish while we scratch our heads. Upstream is a great start to to taking back control of our listing data.


Heidi Mueller · Commented on Zillow may have just beat Upstream to market | Inman

We are not selling data. We are helping people finding homes where they can live lives they love.

Human nature is not changing. People are still scared, insecure, in need of advice and expertise, caring and straightforward opinions. We use technology. Let’s remember that.

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