The notorious sex, music and art confab dubbed Burning Man is under siege by the wealthy and luxury set with their million-dollar RVs, runway models and celebrity DJs spinning until 8 a.m in the dusty Nevada desert. An epic event contorted into a nightclub in the sand. Another iconic gathering of the artistic and free is Austin’s South by Southwest conference, which has been hijacked by monied marketing directors. The music festival Coachella has suffered a similar fate, overwhelmed by celebrities and company logos. And back in the day, the first computer show for innovators, Comdex, imploded under the weight of big-tech sponsor mayhem. All of these events were inspired by a distinct community with an offbeat vision -- but scale, economic opportunity and demand for a “good thing” took over. Indie brokerage vs. corporate franchise Protecting authenticity, welcoming rabble-rousers and accepting controversy can be a fierce undertaking. So, it was with some cons...
- A gaggle of new kids have built their brokerages from the ashes of the Great Recession.
- The result: higher agent productivity -- and better margins and profits.
- Some old-school real estate entities are paying attention (and paying cash for a piece of the action).