OK, so I guess "60 Minutes and Redfin" is the topic du jour. I've been reading all the Blog fodder today trying to decide whether or not to chime in. Well, why not? It is an important topic and as usual I have an opinion, for whatever it‘s worth….
First, I want to link to the three posts, I have read on AR, that have addressed this "issue". There may be more posts but AR is too big for me to read them all.
Laurie Manny posted "Shame on you Redfin" It is very brief but hits on the Redfin agent (Kelly Engel) talking about how her conscious got to her for making $12,000 for five hours work and also touches down on the statement about Redfin handling the financing for their Buyers. The comments on this post are very good. Kelly even drops by to put in her two cents worth. I like the post but it doesn't really address the "issue" as I see it.
Neal Bloom wrote an article titled "Did Redfin show up or did they conduct the interview from their computer" Now, I like Neal, but did not like his article at all. It was very defensive and resorted to cutting down Redfin which in my opinion is doing the same thing that they are doing and is very negative. Sorry Neal, I'm not with you on this one. Redfin had air time and used it to their advantage. Why not? It's great marketing, and that seems to be their forte. So I can't fault them for that. By the way, talking about commissions is not a violation of the Sherman Anti Trust Act. Sherman is all about collusion and price fixing, a discussion, is neither.
Lenn Harley chimed in with "60 Minutes….Public Puff Piece by Purveyors of Publicity for the Percentage Possessed." Now, that my friends, is what I call a GREAT post title. OK, now we're getting somewhere. First, Lenn mentions the ReMax agent and her pathetic attempt to make us look good. Well, she failed miserably. I don't know if she was handpicked by Redfin or 60 Minutes but certainly managed to do more damage to our profession than anything Redfin said. But most importantly, Lenn wrote this "OUR BUSINESS IS NOT ABOUT THE COMMISSION PERCENTAGE. IT'S ABOUT THE VALUE TO THE CONSUMER OF SUCCESSFUL REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS. And she wrote this "these anti-REALTOR pieces will continue to air as long as we continue to ignore that we are paid for WHAT WE KNOW, NOT WHAT WE DO." Lenn, you go girl!!!!
OK, so here's my opinion. Redfin is NOT the problem. Redfin is using the consumer's perception of REALTORS® to their advantage. Redfin is also using REALTORS® defense of their commission to their advantage. They are creating a buzz. Frankly, I think they have a business plan that will fail but I firmly believe they have the right to try. They will fail because they are building a business by discrediting the competition. A successful business must be built on it's own merit.
As REALTORS® we are shooting ourselves in the foot, by trying to justify our commissions, by what we do, instead of what we bring to a transaction. We are harming our business by defending it against these types of attacks.
60 Minutes and Redfin are correct that there are many in our business that are grossly over paid. Not by the amount of money they are making but by the lack of value they are providing. I for one, will not waste my time trying to defend these REALTORS®. I would welcome a cleansing of our industry. If companies like Redfin help to shine a light on what's wrong with our industry then I'm all for it. Redfin is certainly not the solution but hopefully the attention they are getting will help us to reevaluate what it is we do and force us to "clean up our act" and make being a REALTOR® mean something again.
NAR needs to step up to the plate and make becoming a REALTOR® more difficult than writing a check. REALTORS® need to start putting their customers and client's needs first. We need to prove our value not defend our cost. My average commission is about $6,000. My customers are getting a steal. How about yours?
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