It has always intrigued me that regardless of market conditions, company profile or geographic location, the vast majority of industry professionals remain confident about the business.

That “genetic optimism” has propelled our industry through up-and-down market cycles and continues to attract hardworking entrepreneurs who see the enormous potential the housing market represents.

Increasingly, though, I am hearing from brokers and agents an undercurrent of concern about what to expect next. How will emerging technologies change the business? What will they need to do to stay relevant and well-compensated for their efforts? Will their role in the transaction be diminished, or even eliminated?

Clearly, there is no crystal ball to consult when considering these perplexing questions. But it’s safe to assume new technologies and breakthrough business practices will dramatically impact how consumers buy and sell homes in the future.

Those enlightened real estate professionals and companies who anticipate and embrace these changes will most likely endure. Those who ignore and resist, will not.

One thing is certain. In an age of disruption, decisive industry-wide leadership will be paramount. Resistance to change and protectionist thinking will be the recipe for disintermediation.

In that regard, I thought it may be worthwhile to shine a spotlight on some of the misguided thinking that needs to be eliminated in our industry. I have dubbed these avoidable transgressions “the seven deadly sins.”

Unfortunately, many of these “sins” will sound familiar. Hopefully, bringing them to the forefront on Inman will encourage a meaningful and productive industry dialogue.

1. Denial

Assuming a new, disruptive business model will be unsuccessful simply because:

  • A similar concept failed in the past
  • When the current market turns, either for better or worse, everything will go back to “normal”

2. Dismissal

Attributing the success of a new business model to geographic location and/or extraordinary market dynamics, rather than sound business principles and practices; for example, “It may work just fine in San Francisco, but it will never work in my market!”

3. Disregard

Overlooking the customer experience, while promoting the complexity and emotionality of the current process to help justify professional assistance during the transaction.

4. Disdain

Blaming the millennial generation for the current disruptive business environment and hope when they finally mature business practices will revert back to the “good old days.”

5. Delusion

Refusing to acknowledge breakthrough ideas or new ways of thinking simply because they threaten self-imposed beliefs of how and why things should be done.

6. Desperation

Surrounding yourself at every level with people who look, act and think just like you do in an attempt to preserve and perpetuate the status quo.

7. Dysfunction

Expecting team members to actively embrace company goals and objectives without first understanding why the company is in business, what the organization hopes to accomplish and how success will benefit all stakeholders and the communities they serve.

When confronted with disruption and uncertainty, it is not uncommon to take refuge in the past and disparage anything new or uncomfortable. Turtling-up under pressure and hoping for the best is not a good business strategy.

Facing the future alone, without proper support and guidance, is risky when the world is changing so fast and the resources needed to succeed are growing exponentially.

The “seven deadly sins” are not exclusive to the real estate industry. They are universal in nature. My advice is to make certain none of them influence your actions. Once committed, absolution can be very costly.

Alex Perriello is the CEO of Realogy Franchise Group. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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