To cross the chasm of digitization, brokers need to focus on training their agents to provide excellent service, at the same time as providing them with value.

This year will see the emergence of top brands with the strongest teams. The current winners continue to emerge as those brands focused on the consumer, like Zillow and Opendoor.

The question is which industry-leading brand of brokers will be able to weather the digitization of the industry and emerge in a strong position to offer value to agents.

Brokers are finally realizing that they are best at teaching the basics and focusing on risk reduction, that agents in today’s world need higher level training to take it past one to two sales a month.

Their brand value is not going to come from tech tools. Instead, higher level training will increase their value as the emerging elite teams continue to dominate the market, while old-school brokers continue to lose their value proposition so their big team ends up going “indie” — versus staying put and reinvigorating the brand.

Brokers need to keep their agents vested and profiting from the shared brokers’ gain and dominance.

The Real Estate 3.0 era includes the clarification that just the basic acts of performing a transaction does not satisfy the consumer need for better, expert service. Stratification is clearly emerging.

Brokerages’ survival will be based on providing value to their agents by helping them increase their sales and stay relevant — or be crushed as teams grow larger and dominate metro areas.

The challenge is to the brokers and coaches. They will they have to have the guts to admit that their current training lacks impact and does not reflect the advanced, knowledgeable consumer that agents are encountering online and at their open houses. 

Why is the current model of training failing? Why do the elites not share their secrets with their competitors? It is simple: Because there is no reciprocating benefit for the elites, but this will change in 2020.  

Zillow is out in front leading with this model.

Leads and training from their elite partners, who will share when compensated. This is the next evolution in real estate for those who want to lead! The question remains: Who will deliver and execute before Zillow crushes them all — leading all with a consumer focused approach and excellent training?

I listened, enjoyed and have participated in many leading podcasts and even host my own where proverbial secrets are shared in spades.

What I do not hear are the real secrets of the current elite producers that will transform the industry. When the elite agents and teams are compensated for these game-changing tips and tricks, they will turn a leading brokerage into an elite brand.

The industry is too focused on how to keep themselves in the center when it’s clear the industry (real estate associations, brokers and tech companies) need to be more focused on putting the consumer first, with things like end-user surveys and how well their agents are serving their customers, which I know will be a key factor in shaping leading brands this year.

Jeff Sibbach leads The Sibbach Team at Exp Realty. He is based out of Phoenix. 

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