We need to change the way we think about doing business in Real Estate.
I’ve met dozens of real estate agents and investors who make great money and appear to be very successful. There’s a lot of the same people who work 60 hour weeks, never see their (now ex-) spouses or children and are ultimately unhappy. It’s an industry which attracts money-hungry over-achiever types. This post and the ones that follow it are about looking at how I’m changing my business using ReWork to look at it piece by piece. If you don’t have a copy yet, go get one and read along.
37 Signals is a small company that is intentionally staying small. There’s a lot to be learned from their experience in keeping your company simple and small. I’m the same way with my own business, both investing and in my work as a REALTOR®. I own relatively few investment properties and I have no desire to grow a giant Terry Paranych-type team.
They designed Basecamp when they didn’t like the industry-standard project management software. I decided to change how I run my business because I didn’t like what I see in the market. There’s a willingness to make decisions based on our own which I think Jason Fried and David Hansson share with me. I see lots of new agents base their business model on what they see other successful agents doing, copying the FSBO and MLS® Mere Posting discount-companies. It’s time to stop copying everyone else in a race to the bottom. I refuse to work at the WalMart of real estate companies, where clients just pick me off the rack next to thousands of other agents who do exactly the same things for $495.
It’s time to expect more from your REALTOR®. And it’s also time for REALTORS® to do more, be more transparent with their clients and adapt to the changing reality of the market in a way which brings more value than just cutting costs.
Small, Frugal and Profitable
You don’t need a big fancy car, suspenders and french cuffs or an army of suit-wearing and crackberry carrying flunkies. You don’t need a gigantic advertising budget and full-page colour print ads. You don’t need bus benches and billboards. You need to gut your business down to the studs and examine what the real core of the real estate business is. I already think I know what that is for me, but we’ll explore it together while we go through ReWork.