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Real Estate

How fear of new things is crushing real estate agents’ growth potential

Change is inevitable. Do you run from it or embrace it?

Unfortunately, not a day goes by without an overwhelming amount of complaining and pessimism from fellow real estate agents on social media.

The highest concentrations of whining can be found in industry Facebook groups… especially the public ones for some odd reason! 

Dustin Brohm, Columnist

Most of the complaining and bad-mouthing I see is rooted in fear and scarcity thinking. Fear of a new way of doing things. Fear of the unknown. Fear of new competition. Fear of new technology. Fear of new business models. 

From some of the most evergreen topics that agents latch on to, (Zillow, flat-fee listings, iBuyers… etc.), it would be reasonable for an outsider to assume that we’re all going to be out of business by next weekend.

While I truly do understand some of the criticisms and complaints, it’s really getting out of hand. In many cases, it’s flat out embarrassing. Embarrassing to real estate agents as a profession.

When hundreds, if not thousands, of real estate agents are seen bad-mouthing a new competitor or a business model in a public Facebook group that is completely and totally open for all to see, we look like a bunch of whiners and losers. To consumers, agents bad-mouthing Zillow is no different than Blockbuster bad-mouthing Netflix. 

It’s unfortunate because when we resort to fear when new technology or new business models emerge that create new competition, we also fail to see the new opportunities that emerge as a result.

A hot topic these days is iBuyers. So many agents freak out when a new iBuyer opens up shop in their market. Chicken Little comes out swinging, screaming from the rooftop that Opendoor is about to put us all out of business.

While at the same time, agents with open minds and a smidge of creativity find ways to partner with, and/or leverage iBuyers to complement their businesses, and end up selling even more homes. I see it often – from many agents – and I’ve even used iBuyers in my listing presentations to win even more listings.

While embracing and partnering with iBuyers is a topic for another article, it is the most glaring example of how way too many agents choose to complain, belittle or criticize, while a small minority embraces the new business models and find ways to leverage them. There are countless examples out there of agents who are now selling many more homes as a direct result of iBuyers in their markets.

I’ll end with this: We can choose to fight for the status quo, for how things have always been and what we’ve become used to.

Or we can evolve, roll with the punches, keep an open mind and look for the new opportunities that are always created as change happens. After all, we can only control is how we react to the inevitable changes (and improvements) coming at us fast and furious.

Connect with Dustin on LinkedIn

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