I always laugh when any of the latest greatest real estate systems are announced. We’ve seen this kind of thing again & again over the years, whether it’s discount brokerages, or do it yourself online systems (everything from Help U Sell to Zillow.) The missing part is the human reality of buying a home.
Reading the comments in the article posted below shows the vast ignorance of the buying/selling public. Many argue that commissions are way too high. The fact is that the real estate business is more like a way of life, or a doctor on call than a “regular” job. I would be thrilled to only work 40 hours a week. Seems like slacking when the typical work week is more like 70-90 hours.
I may know a little bit about what I speak. I’ve been in the real estate industry since 1983 as a licensee, although I was studying for years before that. I’ve handled literally thousands of transactions, created subdivisions, land projects, and a host of other experiences far above what the typical residential realtor might do.
Truth is, when I count the hours up, never mind the gas, wear and tear on vehicles etc. in some years I make less than minimum wage. During the boom times, it was wonderful income wise, but those 17 hour days got real old, real fast. We don’t get paid when the market is slow and there are few sales, but we’re still expected to answer all of the calls, emails, and client requests. The costs continue, even when sales dry up.
As agents, we’re on our own for health insurance and a myriad of expenses for Realtor dues, MLS fees, etc. The Broker will receive a part of every sale, and then the agent gets his/her portion. Let’s not forget that from every transaction, there is a charge for Errors and Omissions Insurance which is not insignificant also.
Speaking of insurance, by dealing with a licensed real estate specialist one can spread the liability between several parties. In our litigious society, this can’t be underestimated. The worst feeling after you’ve sold and moved to your new home, is the letter from an attorney. They’re never inexpensive, are they?
It’s not easy to buy and sell real estate. Besides all of the volumes of paperwork that one must wade through, the endless possibilities for saying the wrong thing, and the liability as an owner you need to be an expert on many things. Hiring a broker may be the best move that one can make & in many cases a good agent will help you realize a price that will more than compensate for the commission.
People are more comfortable dealing with a third party. Obviously, buyer and sellers are in conflicting positions. A good agent can be a helpful by eliminating that natural discomfort that can come with negotiation. Many folks are not at ease with the back and forth of these sales that we as agents deal with every day.
Today, Amazon is working with existing companies, but you can bet that Bezos would love to get it all for himself & eliminate agents. (Hint: It’s not going to happen!)
Amazon Plows into Real Estate with Realogy
Unhappy with its market share in the US real estate market, the largest online retailer in the world and global commercial monopolist, Amazon, announced a deal on Tuesday morning with the largest US residential real estate brokerage company, Realogy, in a strategy designed to boost sales for both. As CNBC reports, Realogy – whose stock soared 25% on the news – and Amazon will now offer TurnKey, a horizontally and vertically integrated program meant to streamline and optimize the home- and furniture-buying process, by taking potential homebuyers through the Amazon portal and connects them to a Realogy agent.
Once they purchase a home, they then get complimentary Amazon Home Services and products worth up to $5,000. Realogy, which is the largest real estate broker in the US and which owns such brands as Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Sotheby’s International Realty, Corcoran, ERA and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, has been facing stiff online competition from newcomers like Compass and Redfin, which rely heavily on high-tech, online platforms. As CNBC’s Diana Olick writes, “partnering with Amazon gives Realogy a platform unlike any other, not to mention access to more buyer data.”
“We’re the market leaders in this industry and we like that position, but you always have to be innovating to stay ahead, you’ve got to be willing to cannibalize yourself, you’ve got to do all the things that a big successful company needs to do to stay on the forefront,” said Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider. “In a world that is awash with low quality lead generation out there, where you can get real estate leads from millions of online websites, giving an agent and franchisees high-quality leads from a source like Amazon and Realogy together is a real differentiator that’s going to be very powerful for the group.” The group’s simple strategy for success: Always Be Closing… and then get the buyer to purchase a whole lot of additional stuff as well.
Here’s how it will work: a potential buyer will go to the TurnKey portal on Amazon and put in information on the type of home they’d like to purchase, the location and price. Amazon then matches them with a Realogy agent. Once the buyer closes on the home, Amazon connects them with services and experts in the area.
The buyer not only gets a selection of Amazon Home Services, like painting or hanging a large TV, but they also gain access to smart home products, like a Ring doorbell, to be installed by Amazon professionals. The value of the free products and services can range from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the purchase price of the home.