Talk about perfect timing! On May 26th I posted an article discussing our need to add value or die (click to read article) — the very next day the National Association of REALTORS® settled their three year old anti-trust lawsuit with the Department of Justice, ending what many believed to be the most important challenge our industry has ever faced. What does that have to do with adding value? Everything!
After cutting through all the spin, the simple explanation is this: our National Association released a brand new VOW policy allowing open access to the MLS data. This new policy opens the doors to companies that want to add value to the transaction in some other way than by simply camping on the listings and the lock box.
As the chief executive of FavoriteAgent.com, a company that’s pioneering a new virtual way of doing real estate, I am thrilled with the settlement: first that it’s finally over, and second, that the NAR finally agreed that it was time we began to add value and not continue down that path of simply protecting our monopoly on the data. I believe that this will open the door for many new model companies to begin to reshape our business.
Over the next few years, watch for the emergence of companies that do it differently. Flat fee companies, fee-for-service companies, virtual office companies, national real estate companies, and other models we can’t imagine will begin to emerge. and the industry will be better for it. It will be scary to watch because we all resist change, but in the end, it is inevitable, and it will lead us to a new and better place.