To begin, I would like to quote a small portion of “Productive Workplaces Revisited” noted in the second link above. “He put into…context, the age old struggle between authority and dependency”…In so doing he found an audience hungry to find alternatives to bureaucracy, authoritarianism, alienation…not simple ideology…an expression of life’s purpose – affirming diginity in every person, finding meaning in valued work, achieving community through mutual support and accomplishment.”
The above is from a book titled “PRODUCTIVE WORKPLACES REVISITED” – Dignity, Meaning and Community in the 21st Century” by Marvin Weisbord in 1987. That link provides information regarding Mr. Weisbord’s many books. For the purpose of this blog post, I am simply borrowing the above excerpt which I have modified to fit most any Real Estate Office in the Country, and a movement that is afoot.
The Paradigm Shift is also referred to as “A Mental Revolution” elsewhere in that publication, (use the search feature and put in paradigm shift for more info on that.)
The problem as I see it, in the structure of the Real Estate Industry, may simply be the old “Too many chiefs and not enough Indians”. What the Real Estate Industry, and every Real Estate Company in the Industry, and every Real Estate Office in every Real Estate Company, has not answered correctly is quite simply this:
WHO IS THE CUSTOMER?
In most realities, the customer of the Brokerage is the Agent. That is something that most buyers and sellers of real estate do not get to see. The inside of a real estate office is about the customer…the customer being the Agent. The Agent is paying the Broker. The Broker cannot survive unless it adequately serves its customers…the agents, not the buyers and sellers of homes.
Take a look at the photo below:
If the people gathered around that table were Doctors, you might hear talk such as: “I have a patient…I have tried this and that…has anyone had a similar… Yes, I have found X to work for many of my patients, here is a study on X I found the other day…” The talk around that table, would be about better treatment for the patient.
If the people gathered around that table were lawyers and paralegals, you might hear talk such as “I have a case where the defendent is…I haven’t found adequate support for this client’s…. Try X vs. X, I’ll go get it for you. Is there any other way we might tackle this in Court to show that our client…” The talk around that table, would be about helping this client win this case.”
Rarely, if ever, do you find a room full of real estate agents discussing ways to find a better answer for a particular buyer or seller.
The reality is that most times a Broker will set up meetings that help agents sell more houses. Rarely is the discussion about the buyers and sellers of homes. If an agent has a problem selling a home, then agents will filter ideas that ultimately do help the seller. But when the client/customer is a buyer, the conversation all too often revolves around helping the agent “sell a house TO” that buyer.
There are many discussions with regard to “Real Estate ProfessIonals“. Some of us equate ourselves to doctors and lawyers. Many more view themselves as (merely) salespeople, and then complain when “real estate agent” comes up on a list next to “used car salesman” on consumer confidence and trust lists.
The Tipping Point that will create the needed Paradigm Shift is A Mental Revolution with this Call to Arms:
1) TAKE DOWN ALL OF THE “SALES” BOARDS AND STOP HAVING SALES CONTESTS.
2) STOP TALKING ABOUT “MORE LEADS” AND INSTEAD ASK YOUR AGENTS IF THEY NEED ANY HELP MEETING THE NEEDS OF THEIR EXISTING CLIENTS.
3) HAVE AT LEAST ONE MEETING A WEEK WHERE THE AGENTS MEET TO DISCUSS THE NEEDS OF THEIR BUYER AND SELLER CLIENTS, AND NEVER TALK ABOUT THEIR NEED TO “CLOSE” A PERSON IN THAT MEETING. CONSUMER-CENTRIC VS. AGENT-CENTRIC MEETING.
1) TRY NOT USING THE WORD “I” FOR 21 DAYS.
2) WHEN YOU APPROACH SOMEONE FOR ASSISTANCE, MAKE SURE THAT ASSISTANCE IS FOR YOUR CLIENT AND NOT YOURSELF
3) FIGHT FOR ANYTHING YOU “NEED” TO HELP “THEM” AND NOT YOU.
TO THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON (& possibly other States, as well)
RECOGNIZE THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN YOUR AGENCY LAW THAT HOLDS REAL ESTATE LICENSEES TO THE STANDARD OF “REPRESENTATION OF PEOPLE”…AND THEN GIVES THEM A “SALESPERSON” LICENSE.
There are many, many real estate agents who aspire to assist their clients well. There are many, many real estate agents who “hung(er for) alternatives to bureaucracy, authoritarianism, alienation…not simple ideology…an expression of life’s purpose – affirming diginity in every person, finding meaning in valued work, achieving community through mutual support and accomplishment.