The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Is the traditional real estate agent/brokerage dead?

traditional – pertaining to time-honored Orthodox doctrines;

orthodox – adhering to what is commonly accepted; “an orthodox view of the world”

I ask this question not to be argumentative but to spark a debate

It seems to me that while the business world has changed,

  • Google
  • Blackberry
  • iPhone
  • Zillow
  • Trulia
  • Amazon
  • Expedia
  • Social Media

{I could go on and on,}

yet the traditional real estate agent/brokerage continues on-unchanged.

Question. What is the value proposition of the traditional real estate brokerage? Real estate agent?  Why would an agent/consumer choose to work with you?

Lets come back to this one.

Traditional Value Proposition of a Real Estate Brokerage:

  • Fees
  • National Ad Campaign
  • Office Space
  • Education
  • Renewal Hours
  • Referral Network
  • E & O Insurance
  • Coaching
  • Leads
  • Broker support
  • Legal Support

please don’t kill me, I’m sure I have missed some………….

In today’s climate most of these things are vanilla unless a real estate brokerage can actually help an agent get more business.  After all, why in today’s market (any market really) would a real estate agent choose a brokerage unless it can help increase their business?

How this started.

Over the past year I have met with brokers/agents around the valley, some of the conversations I have had with them are rather surprising.  For instance, one of the 1st things I ask a broker or agent when we sit down is “What is the value of you or your brokerage? Why would an agent/consumer choose to work for you? The answers I get back are telling.

(These are real answers……..)

  • Brokerage
  • Location
  • Centrally located
  • Parking Space  yes, parking space!
  • Office space
  • Free Copies
  • Postcards/flyers
  • “We believe in our agents!”
  • “We have office hours!”
  • Floor time (insert snicker here)

Not that these things are worthless, they aren’t BUT they become less and less relevant every day.  Why? For some consumers, a brick and mortar office is a value add, but I would argue this type of buyer/seller is disappearing-and fast.  How many prospective clients want to meet at your office? They don’t even want to get in your car anymore! They want to meet you in front of the house they are interested in.


  • I work hard
  • I’m passionate
  • I’m knowledgeable
  • Friendly
  • I follow up
  • Designations
  • My Marketing plan

While these traits are important once someone meets you, they have not met you yet. They don’t even know you exist.

Why would a consumer choose to work with you? Want the right answer? Because they found you FIRST. 80% of buyers will work with the 1st agent they come across.


“A new class of real estate brokerage or BETA brokerage is springing up across the country to attract the web 2.0 agent/consumer.  The next generation brokerage markets themselves in new ways – ways never thought possible –  and connects with consumers across the myriad of social media channels that were once considered frivolous or off limits to marketers.”  These brokerages/agents offer:

  • Websites
  • Blogs
  • Landing Pages
  • Squeeze Pages
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Video classes
  • Green Rooms (Video)
  • Google PPC Campaigns
  • Facebook PPC Campaigns
  • Social Media Training

And not only these things, but they also help an agent understand how these things work and how it will grow their business.  These agents and brokerages understand that the goal of web 2.0 technologies like the ones listed above is to develop online strategies to eventually meet the consumer offline-toe-to-toe-belly to belly.

1st rule of sales…be where your customers are.  Sounds pretty simple right?  Well the customer is online.  Yet most the the tools, training, etc.. of a traditional brokerage/agent revolve around them, their brand, not the consumer

You need to be where the consumer is……………

Consumer behavior has changed.  The days of calling an agent to inquire about a property are disappearing.  Today’s consumer wants this information, but on their terms-not yours.  Can you imagine how you would like it if you called a tire company-for product info and prices and tire salesmen started calling you-trying to sell you tires?  How would you feel about that one?

The Future.

The Future of consumer behavior and ultimately Real Estate marketing revolves around mobile applications and browsing.  How much surfing do you currently do on your desktop/laptop compared to your Blackberry, iphone, HTC or Drooooooooid?

Google most popular search engine in mobile devices

According to Web researching firm Gartner In the next “3 years mobile browsing is expected to pass PC’s as the most common browsing device”

Are you ready for that?  According to Market Share the iPhone has almost 65% usage leaving all the others far faaaaaaaar behind with Google being the dominant search engine, literally crushing all others with 95.57% of all global searches

Mobile Browsing By Platform

What does your website (if you have one) look like on a smart phone?  Is the functionality still there or do you get the dreaded blue cube (iPhone)?  Does your website have flash? As of now, I am aware of no smart phones that support flash.  Apple announced recently that it will not support flash.  Apple “We don’t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash.” What does that mean to your business?  If you have flash, your website will not function properly for the 33 Million iPhones that have been sold since 2007-and this number does not include the millions of iPod Touch and iPads……

Give to receive.

Today’s consumer wants information.  And if you won’t give it to them,, someone else will-and quicker.  The days of requiring the consumer to register on your website to search for properties is dying-fast.  Why would I register for your website and risk you calling or emailing me over and over again when I can just repeat a Google search?

Here is the good news… can still became a BETA brokerage or agent but you have to change your mindset.  You need to embrace inbound marketing techniques over stale outbound techniques and most of all-you need to add Value.

If you are an agent in the Phoenix Metro area that would like help growing your business, call me….let’s meet for coffee to discuss.

And if you are a brokerage in the Phoenix Metro area that is looking to attract top talent to your company – offer education that will help their business grow!  The genie is out of the bottle, this stuff is not going away – it’s jut going to get bigger and better.  Want help getting your agents into the web 2.0 world where their customers are? Fill out the form below

Need Help With My Real Estate Marketing

Whether you are a REALTOR®, Real estate agent or loan officer looking to grow your business, I can help. Please fill out the information below and I'll get back to you asap.
  • Feel free to tell me ahead of time what you want help with. I look forward to speaking with you.


Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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