One of our favorite events of the year is always Inman Connect. And this year’s Spring conference was no different.
We spent three busy days in New York with industry peers, leaders and visionaries collaborating on what’s ahead and how to prepare for it all. With so much change in residential real estate, there was a lot to talk about. There was also a lot to remember and reflect upon as we celebrated the 25th anniversary of Inman Connect.
While perspectives and opinions varied across topics (like they always do), we feel confident that attendees would agree that the conference was buzzing with two key take-away messages: Prioritize Innovation and Embrace Change.
We applaud our peers for ensuring that these two messages were woven into almost every brainstorming and workshop session. As leaders, we need to unite and focus. The real estate industry has and will continue to innovate and evolve. The question is: how can we protect brokers and ensure that new models benefit agent teams. As an industry, we cannot afford to take our focus off of either for brokerages.
Here’s how we see it:
Technology Heats up the Competitive Landscape
We all see (and feel) the technological advancements that have ignited new and fierce competition for brokers and agents. Online portals powered by big data, AI, AR and block chain technologies are quickly (and in some cases, already have) becoming the new marketplace. This gives consumers access to much of the information they want, when they want it, which negatively impacts brokers and agents.
While tech along won’t transform real estate, we can’t deny that online platforms are truly competitors. Big tech is taking commissions away from our brokers and agents. It’s happening at a rapid and accelerated pace. We need to reverse this trend immediately and put the focus on the human connection that has taken a back seat to self-service, end-to-end automation models.
Data is King
We have not yet reached the technology peak; more is yet to come. All the innovation and change we’ve seen over the past two years has not all been good change. It’s been challenging for brokers and will continue to be a challenge unless MLSs change, too.
Here’s the irony. As MLSs, we own the data – the most valuable component that kick starts the home selling and buying process. Without it, big tech cannot compete. Yet, we continue to find ourselves loosing leverage against them. We are letting it happen to ourselves and why? It is our data.
MLSs MUST Cooperate and be More Aggressive
The value of the MLS is real.
The time is now for us as MLSs to harness the power of what we do and the data we have to come together and unite for the good of the industry in new, different and meaningful ways. Gone are the days of decentralization, silos and barriers that prevent cooperation and shared value.
There’s So Much Work to Do
As we head into the back half of second quarter, there is so much to do.
As real estate visionaries and thought leaders, we are dedicated to putting the power back into the hands of brokers by creating valuable staying power for MLSs. We invite you to explore our value and let’s connect.