I hear you, Realtors. You are mad at Zillow. And apparently you think that I don’t take the current situation seriously.
Leigh Brown’s Facebook Live video from Wednesday, May 24 with the caption: “My thoughts on the Zillow kerfluffel.”
But you are missing the point. Several points.
1. Zillow can and should put many Realtors out of business.
Call it what it is. Not every Realtor does a great job. If a website can work for consumers better than you can, then it is on you. Mad at me yet? Great. Take a CRS class or start attending conferences to learn how to do real estate better.
Not a single one of us knows everything and your refusal to keep learning and growing is why you aren’t sure how to define your value. Want to stay in business? Keep learning and growing.
2. One out of every 267 Americans is a Realtor.
How many people do you know? Consider that with this stat, it seems possible that everyone who has visited Zillow looking for help already knows a Realtor.
Have you called the people you know recently? You know, to provide value? Or do you just assume that they should call you, just because? (On that note, would y’all please start answering your dadgum phones? Consider that websites like Zillow provide info without having to be chased down.)
Are you vested in and involved in your community in order to add value? Y’all, if consumers felt that you were willing to be a resource and not just sell them something, they would not need a website for more than the facts.
3. You want the associations to do more to fight websites? Stop.
The associations and MLSs in various areas fight with each other over stuff they don’t understand because of territory. Want evidence? Look how hard it was to get RPR going — which is one of the best tools we have available as NAR members — because of fights over data.
So, while we have been internally fighting, a billion dollar business was created in that vacuum. Why? Because consumers want an easier, more intuitive experience. Which you fight. It is a vicious circle. Our business is supposed to be about the consumer. Admit it — we dropped the ball years ago.
By the way, those of you who use this as your argument — are you on MLS committees? Are you engaged?
4. You fed this beast. So if we are going to call Zillow a beast, why did you feed it?
I have been telling y’all for years to stop paying those exorbitant fees, but you want this hard business to be easy. Did you never believe there would be a price for your laziness? Yes, I called you lazy.
When you buy leads in an effort to find humans, there will be a price extracted. It is indeed more time consuming to get out and meet people and learn to provide enough value so that they will call you. Which is more rewarding in the long term? When my video said to “stop whining and work,” I meant it. My business was built on being in my community and visibly providing information and value every day.
What I do for consumers is more than what a website can do. What do you do for your clients?
5. There is a correction coming to our markets.
Don’t believe me? Go do the research in economic papers and look at larger data. Being busy today does not insulate you from the future. Take a look at the markets where Zillow is testing this program, and look at their trends in rising and falling markets.
Remember how many of you refused to do short sales back in the last recession? Because you didn’t like them or they were too much work or you didn’t understand that, to some consumers, it’s about time and not money? Is Zillow positioning itself to help consumers where Realtors lag?
If you read this far and are hating me, fine. I call it like I see it. Sometimes I am right and sometimes I am wrong, but I am always reading and learning — in between talking to humans and selling houses.
Sign up for a class.
Call your people.
Be more than average.
Leigh Brown is a full-time residential Realtor, speaker, coach and smartass. She works in the Charlotte, North Carolina market with Re/Max Executive Realty and can be reached @leighbrown on all networks.