The Changing Tide in the Real Estate Market

The real estate industry is undergoing a sea change. Consumers have demanded it—and new companies like Purple Bricks are delivering it in spades. It’s a revolt against the status quo—and demand by consumers for an industry that utilizes the latest technology to provide superior service.

Internet marketplaces like Purple Bricks have ditched commissions in favor of a flat fee. For this fee, sellers receive a given list of services:

  • A free valuation
  • The ability to put their home on the market with a single click
  • 24/7 booking for showings
  • 24/7 real-time offers
  • A local full-service real estate expert to negotiate with buyers
  • A designated platform for communication on which all conversations are recorded, reducing the chance of misunderstandings
  • Potential buyers receive instant notification the moment a property comes on the market
  • A user-friendly search tool packed with information and the ability to create tour lists and book showings
  • Professional photography
  • 3-D virtual tours
  • Staging assistance
  • Home tours
  • MLS and major online platform listings

Service and Tech Savvy Emerge as the Defining Factors in Real Estate

Distill that list down, and you’ll see that it all hinges on two things: stellar service and cutting-edge technology. Sellers can save thousands of dollars on commissions, and buyers only must pay a buyer fee. For buyers, Purple Bricks will even pay $1,000 toward closing costs. Agents, too, don’t have to compete with other agents in the area.

Agents, too, have an incentive to sign on with Purple Bricks–an exclusive territory. They will own all the sales within that territory listed on the Purple Bricks platform.

Were it not for sites like Zillow; however, consumers and sellers would still be at the mercy of the traditional real estate market, as Jeff Mindham, writing in, points out.

Brick-And-Mortar Big Agencies Struggle to Compete

Traditional brick-and-mortar agencies are scrambling to keep up with these developments. Third-party companies have sprung up, offering services such as photography, slick brochures with professionally written copy, and 3D walkaround tours. Some real estate agents have even chipped in to pay for home staging—just to stay ahead of the game.

Real estate agencies take advantage of every online platform they can list their homes on—even though they complain about the information’s accuracy. They have to—lest they lose a sale to Purple Bricks—or even OpenDoor—who offers sellers a chance to sell their home at market prices sight unseen, for only a little more than the traditional commission. No showings, no hassle, just cash in the bank. No wonder traditional agencies have bumped up the service quotient to compete.

How, then, can a smaller agency compete? Not only with the national chains’ local franchises, but with these Internet giant-killers?

White Glove Service: The Only Way to Thrive in Today’s Real Estate Market

The answer, of course, is white-glove service and savvy—not only on the tech side but in old-school expertise in the local market and the characteristics of its neighborhoods. Utilizing the power of the Internet, a small, boutique agency can have all the visibility of these major players and something more important—personalized service.

Smaller agencies can take more time with each client, making sure that each of her or his concerns is met. Whether in home staging advice that will attract area buyers or where to find a school with ADHD-friendly teachers, this kind of local expertise is golden. Boutique agencies can go out of their way to track down just the right buyer for that time capsule Mid-Century home, for example, just because they took the time to network with people with a passion for historical home restorations.

Those kinds of personalized services, combined with cutting-edge technology, will be what sells homes in the coming years. If you own a smaller agency and are struggling to compete—just opt out of the rat race and start giving your customers over-the-top service. You’ll discover the magic of building trust. As your reputation grows, so will your referrals—and your bottom line.