Got your attention? Good. You do realize that a 27 year old just bought out a 28 year old for a billion dollars last week? This is just the most recent W in the “win column” for the young guns of the world and there are dozens of examples of how young guns are changing industries and even changing the world for the better. Why is this phenomenon almost non-existent in the real estate industry and what will it cost us if we continue to let “The Guard” put the rest of us to shame?
Sure, NAR highlights the 30 under 30 every year and there are definitely some other “young guns” making making noise in the real estate spaces. However, I feel like we have yet to see something really big come from this group. Right now “The Guard” dominates the innovation in real estate technology, marketing, and industry advancement.
These 3 gentleman (yes there are ladies in this group too, these are just the 3 people I’ve been following lately) have multiple real estate successes under their belts and continue to push the envelope of what it means to be progressive in the industry.
Founder of Thompson’s Realty and The Phoenix Real Estate Guy, and now Director of Industry Outreach and Social Media at Zillow. He had 1 million visitors to his blog in 2011. Jay came to real estate a few years ago and started blogging his heart out; relentlessly addressing every facet of the real estate business and the local Phoenix market. Jay’s family owns an independent real estate brokerage and he will undoubtedly make a huge impact at Zillow. Still wondering if content and engagement matters? Jay built his brokerage business and was offered his new position at Zillow because of his excellent use of content and effective use of social media. Jay’s proven that diligence pays off. Why are you still waiting to post relevant content on your real estate website? It works! It’s not a mystery. Learn how to communicate with your audience. Jay walked in the door a few years ago and started doing this better than people who have been in the business for 25 years! Cool fact – Jay deleted all of his posts from Active Rain when the network made a change to their subscription model that he disagreed with. This is the type of integrity that moves mountains.
CEO of Verified Agent, partner at The Frugyl Club, Real Estate franchiser at Professional One. Michael’s company, Verified Agent is an interesting service in which “Only experienced, full time real estate professionals with clean records of ethical conduct and proven track records of client satisfaction qualify to be VPA”. In short, validation requires 24 sales in a 3 year period, 10 client references, and 3 outside agent/broker references. Read this recent blog post on VPA that inspired my post. What is amazing to me is that Michael has built a great brand that is specifically tailored for his demographic. Verified Agent is all about having time and experience in the industry (and a few grey hairs don’t hurt either). This is such an innovative move by him. He is adding value to an older generation of agents. He is also “raising the bar” for the industry. I love it. Also, his participation in real estate Facebook groups is unmatched. I’m sure he enjoys the engagement involved with social media – but look folks, this is how you learn about your audience and do market research. I admire this guy.
Founder of 1000watt Consulting, co-creator of “Nudge”, regular Inman News columnist, and sought out speaker. Is there even enough room in this column to write about him? Marc is a Princeton graduate, a talented musician with a background in media who found his way into real estate in 1998 when working with his client, Inman News. 1000watt Consulting is a force to be reckoned with. Their business model is to empower real estate brokers, brands, media, and technology companies through interactive marketing and networking. Their entire existence is about making their clients better at what they do – and their passion about this job is infectious. Take note real estate agents, you should be treating your real estate clients with the same level of passion that these guys offer to their clients. 1000watt just realesed an app, Nudge, which in Marc’s own words is “a simple, quick, efficient way to share a snapshop of what you know in a proven digital format”. Forget about ridiculous excel graphs and hard to interpret data – Nudge does the job very well, in a way that real estate agents and consumers have been wanting for a long time. You should check it out. Though they push the envelope in marketing and technology, I find their blog more fascinating than anything. The discussions that ensue from their posts is mind opening.
These 3 gentleman have set the bar very high for the next group of innovators in the real estate industry.
The Young Guns of Real Estate
Who will lead the way for the young guns in the real estate industry? I am not curious about who will have the highest sales volume or who who will create the most lucrative product to sell. I’d love for a young gun to bring a disruptive radical change forward. Marketing on Twitter is not what I mean by radical (and besides, “The Guard” is doing this better anyway).
Changing the way consumers find real estate and the way compensation is determined for our services could be a radical change to consider. These ideas are being tackled as I write this. Can a young gun beat the big boys to the punch? What if someone redefined what it means to be a real estate company? Is it just about buying and selling houses or is it about more than that? What other considerations could bring real change to an industry that although dynamic – is a little stale?
I’m challenging the young guns to make a radically swift push to revolutionize the real estate industry. “The Guard” continues to dominate, capitalize, and expand their reach. The “big boys” slowly inch closer towards massive market penetration with products and services for the masses. But young guns are changing the world in hundreds of other industries on a daily basis. Why shouldn’t they do it in the real estate industry too? I think the time has come. And what’s best – I think “The Guard” would welcome them with open arms…