This three part blog series is in response to Bill Leider's Post: http://activerain.com/blogsview/39377/Relationships-New-Definitions-For
Fascinating post! I have to agree with you [Bill Leider] whole heartedly, because it's changing right under our noses!
My experience in non-traditional mediums of real estate
As a younger realtor, from the moment I entered the field and hit the ground running, I worked almost exclusively with internet-generated buyers (not by choice, but by necessity). I started as a loan officer at age 20 and as an agent at age 23. None of my friends were in the market to buy, and I had few connections. I was consistent and followed through with my internet clients. If I told a client I would do something (send out a list of homes, find out a particular detail about a particular home) I did it, and always energetically and willing to serve. I started developing patterns for how to bring clients from one stage to the next, and soon figured out how to qualify clients at different stages of the buying process, and not waste time on them if they were not ready or eager to buy within the next 30-60 days.
Simple things I'd learn from my clients would shock me. Over the phone, on my first call to them in response to their inquiry, they might mention that they had specifically asked another realtor they had spoken with for info on one-story properties, but the agent hadn't listened and emailed them gobs of two-stories as well as mobile homes. I was horrified at first. I thought, "What sorts of things do I do that they never tell me about?" and later, "How could the agent not listen?"
I believe that for a good handful of agents, they don't operate their business the same way they require their doctor or dentist to do. The inconsistency, lack of follow-through, and poor ethics is not their strongest testimony.
What you write, Bill, at first glance seems very scary. No one wants to believe they will be squeezed out of the market, that the market will change so much, their expert services will no longer be needed. And, if I hear you right, that is not what you are saying. In fact, you are saying the market will change (undeniable), and that many agents will leave the field. Even in California, this is not so hard to believe. Based on which ever stats you choose to use, 20% of agents do 80% of the business... perhaps now this number is even further skewed, but not by the market changes in real estate, but by the recent boom that is now fading away, which made real estate appear like a profession where money fell out of the sky. Thousands more jumped into the field, dreaming of easy money. Is it something like 1 in 4 adults in CA have their license? (Could that be right?)
In fact, the majority of agents close a few deals a year, aren't at the top of their game, and maybe don't care to be. They want easy money. Do you have a friend who claims he or she is an agent, but you don't see numbers from them? What is it they do, if they have no clients, with their days? Do they wait around, or go get the business?
I started out as a stuttering and awkward-around houses young adult, who was even more awkward and uncertain-of-herself in-person, working with many clients twice my age. As far as I could see, I had the odds stacked against me. I didn't listen to the odds. I emailed, called, and befriended internet leads. I put in the hours it took and was willing to fall flat on my face learning how to make it work. Everyone else in the industry was touting marketing to your social group, farming, etc. I have never farmed, and only two properties I sold were to clients I knew on any level before they became my clients. In my first 16 months I closed 30 transactions, 28 which I cultivated through internet leads.