Speak to someone who has just bought or sold their home, and in most cases, they will tell you it took longer than expected, cost more, and was frustrating and stressful. Why is this? Mainly because it continues to exist in three distinct, disconnected silos: real estate agent, lender, and closing.
I compare this to being picked up in a limo, dropped off in a rat maze, and then carried for the remainder of the journey in a wheelbarrow full of chicken manure. No slight to any of the stakeholders. The consumer’s experience may start in a rat maze and end in a limo. Still not good. My point is that instead of looking at parts of the transaction in isolation, brokerages must focus on the buyer or seller experience from beginning to end.
Collectively, we as real estate professionals take the consumer from point A to point B over five million times a year. That’s a lot of practice…yet providing a reasonably consistent, repeatable real estate experience remains frustratingly out of reach.
What the iBuyer model has proven is that consumers will pay more for convenience. Sometimes a lot more. It’s not primarily about the money. (I say this as I munch on Korean BBQ delivered by UberEats. Life is busy!) Consumers are seeking less friction.
Think of your favorite companies; Amazon, Netflix, Google. The experience = brand value.
Now reflect on the major real estate brokerages for a moment. They face a multitude of challenges. Could they map a customer journey? Not really.
It’s no surprise that Realogy, which defines “traditional brokerage”, chose someone from outside the industry as their CEO who pronounced … “We’re going to have to have an open environment, where it’s incredibly easy to plug in any of the third-party products that an agent wants to use. And that’s really kind of that standard journey from building kind of closed software to using APIs to build much more open and easily integrate-able software and things like that. That’s an example of a place where I think the industry hasn’t done as much as some other industries.”
And last year Keller Williams announced their $1 billion investment to develop new technology products and services as part of an overarching plan to transform into a technology company. “Powered by one platform to manage the entire home-buying experience.”
Now that’s what I’m talking about!
In order to continuously evolve, companies need competition. The question is: who will be Bing and Yahoo, and who will be Google? (As a side note, no one controls the entire home buying or home selling process without title and closing, no matter how much they proclaim digital end-to-end.)
What does that say about the traditional real estate agent? Nothing. Not terribly relevant. They will always have value. They are as good or as bad as the customer journey they’ve personally created and the partnerships they’ve developed. Creating it at scale is the challenge. Ask Redfin.
Where is this leading? Do you want to map your repeatable, consistent, customer journey? JetClosing is redefining the closing process. Built from the ground up with highly defined roles and business processes, we leverage technology to provide complete transparency (transaction status, data, and documents…easily integrated or available in our app), resulting in a proactive, efficient, stress-free experience. Every transaction, every time.
‘The winners and losers will be defined by their focus on the end consumer. Consistency brings loyalty, loyalty brings revenue. We’re in a referral business. It’s time to eliminate vendor risk.
JetClosing is only breaking down one silo, so the experience might still be limo, rat maze, limo, but that’s a heckuva lot better than where we started.