Before I start, let me make this clear that my intention is not to “attack” any profession. I intend to use a specific example to make a general point, which applies to every industry: the only way to avoid becoming outdated or obsolete is to reshape your role and profile before the marketplace does it for you. In other words, you need to disrupt your own industry.
There was no Internet at the time when concept of real estate arose. Real estate agents controlled all the information. It was nearly impossible to know almost anything about a real estate property. On the top of that, there were much fewer ways to advertise properties.
Yesterday, I spent two hours looking at properties in some state. To do this, I used a number of property websites, Google’s search engine and Street View, local tax assessors’ databases, and various web sites maintained by a number of real estate brokers.
The brokers’ site had the same information everywhere, even less than information on thirdparty sites. I did not see anything “exclusive” that one website had and another did not. It must be said that this common problem is prevailing in almost every industry. So, how do you make money when everyone can easily access all the information?
On a website I found one property that caught my attention. I thought about giving my realtor a call to know more about the property. But he wouldn’t have provided me anything more than I already knew. Moreover, he would have made blatant attempts to make me throw a bid. I didn’t want things to get messy so I didn’t make a call.
In my opinion, negotiating via real estate broker is a frustrating and inefficient experience. Your best real estate experience would be the one where you negotiated directly with the seller or buyer of the property. I’m not saying you shouldn’t hire a realtor, but hire someone who’s willing to provide you something different.