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Is There D.A.N.G.E.R. In The Future Of Real Estate?

Real estate Danger ReportIt’s been well over 20 years now since then NAR president Bill Chee warned everyone of the “Lion Coming Over The Hill”. “Non-Industry competitors” and Microsoft were viewed as a clear and present danger. NAR leadership created RIN (the Realtor Information Network)  Shortly after it was decided that NAR would attack the lion with a Wolff, Stuart Wolff of Homestore, Inc. The Realtor.Com deal was consummated and the race for digital domination was on. Isn’t hindsight wonderful? Even Mister Magoo can see it with clarity. Recently NAR commissioned a report on the future of the real estate industry through their Strategic Thinking Advisory Committee. The purpose of this committee is to

..”identify and gather data that may affect the future of
the National Association of REALTORS®, and to monitor
and research threats, opportunities, key trends and issues,
particularly from the fields that may impact the industry,
our members, the Association, and the real estate
consumer.”

The committee is composed of 20 “at-large” members and “outside (non-voting) participants as needed.

They selected Stefan Swanepoel and his consultancy the T3 group to research and author the effort. that they have dubbed the D.A.N.G.E.R. report. The acronym is for the report’s title, Definitive Analysis of Negative Game Changers Emerging in Real Estate. Click here to download the report for yourself.

In speaking with Stefan regarding how it was compiled he told me that he received input from 7,899 realtors regarding the “dangers” indentified in the report. He also said that 74 CEO’s from major brokerages to industry service providers like Zillow were interviewed. He also said 5132 minutes of face-to-face meetings took place. In addition he and his team reviewed over 6,000 pages of “white papers, reports, guides, and abstracts to “make sure we uncovered all issues, risks, threats, etc”.

Stefan negotiated complete editorial control. The detail and design of the report are as good as I’ve ever seen in a document like this and the resulting back up is detailed in 20 charts at the back of the report.

What you’ll find when you open the report begins with detailed outline of the criteria used, the format and explanation of the structure of the study.

The “Dangers” are then separated into those impacting, Agents, Brokers, Associations (State and Local) and finally MLS’.

Ken Brand

Ken Brand

I think this report is significant. Significant for agents, brokers, technology providers, start-ups…anyone involved in the industry. There are certainly some things coming down the pike like Big Data that will have an impact, but that’s another post all together. I conducted an interview with my good friend Ken Brand for his input. Ken is an industry veteran that has spent many years managing, training and motivating large groups of real estate salespeople.
GeekEstate: Do you think that the list of dangers impacting agents and broker is comprehensive?
Ken: Yes.  An army of amateurs wide-opens the door for Pros to walk in, kick their ass, kick them out and slam the door.

Government regulation and the thirst for tax revenue is always threat.

GeekEstate: Which do you think are the most significant?
Ken: I’m thinking that the ocean of opportunity for disruption and displacement is the impact of DANGER A1 – MASSES OF MARGINAL AGENTS DESTROY REPUTATION.  Marginal anything in todays world is soon replaced.

GeekEstate: Least?
Ken: I’m not too concerned about a well established Consumer Brand Crashing The Party.  Sears, Merril Lynch, Prudential and others have crashed the party in past.  Financial services, blah blah.  Retail giant, good luck.

GeekEstate: Are there any dangers that you think were not identified in the report?
Ken: Perhaps a DANGER for all competitors, now, new and future, is the limited number of people with the industry expertise, insight, experience and passion to help design disruptive systems and services that would have the best probability of viability, then wild profitability.

Let’s face it, to imagine a better world and create a better world are two different things.  One easy, the other herculean.

GeekEstate: What are your thoughts on professional standards and their impact on the industry?
Ken: The mass number of marginal agents and brokers is the catalyst for all upheaval and opportunity.

GeekEstate: Do you think technology has the chance to be a “runaway train”?
Ken: No.  While technological advancement Husain Bolts forward,adoption happens mostly at the speed of a 58 year old.  About the average age of today’s NAR member.

GeekEstate: If you were tasked to create a start-up business to address one of the dangers, which would it be and why?
Ken: I chose and recommend the Pro the path. Services or tools that focus on helping Pro agents perpetually attract quality clients and deliver valuable solutions and results.  In the areas of personal marketing or service delivery.

I imagine a future where all the amateurs are gone.  You’re either a real estate commodity Pro or pawn.  Or, you’re a Local-Expert-In-The-Know Pro worth hiring.

GeekEstate: Have you shared the report with your team and if so, what are some of the take aways you’ve received?
Ken: I haven’t but plan to. Explanation and verification, Pros will prosper.

GeekEstate: What is your general summation of the report?
Ken: If you’re IN the business, it’s a motivational must read.  The future is rich with opportunity.  Long live opportunity.

Here’s how another broker, Matthew Rathbun, weighed in on LinkedIn:

“Just read the NAR “Danger Report” It was like watching Fox News. The sky is falling! The world is doomed! SMH”

So. What are your thoughts? How do you view the future of the industry and its real or perceived threats?

About Michael Price

Mike has been involved with RE Tech and marketing since 1995 and as of Feb 2017 a Promotional Trainer at FBS, creators of FlexMLS. He is the Managing Editor, handles biz-dev for GEB and is a Steely Dan fan. LinkedIn Profile

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  • “Let’s face it, to imagine a better world and create a better world are two different things. One easy, the other herculean.”

    Isn’t that the truth. I’ve realized that the last 3 years digging into the travel vertical. Imagining the end goal is easy, getting there is a whole nother ballgame.

  • Todd A. Shipman

    As past chair of The Strategic Thinking Advisory Committee – this is exactly why the report was commissioned and developed by NAR – to get people talking about the future. Thanks Drew for the blog piece!

    • Mike wrote it, not me.

    • Mike Price

      Thanks for reading the post Todd. How will the committee follow up on the report? Will they be compiling responses to it and creating a list of “best practices” for NAR membership?

  • infradoctor

    thanks mike for publishing your this report it is beneficial for human kind

  • Chad McBain

    Great Information…..thank you for sharing!

  • Carol Martin

    Good Collection, I think this is very helpful blog to me, thanks for sharing very useful information & keep posting.

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