1. Sellers who are successful at selling pay for the other half of sellers who abuse the “industry”. Roughly half of all listings ever sell. The sellers who never sell costs agents and brokers time and money. Cindy Zetts correctly identifies the seller as a greedy culprit. Of course the culprit could also be a mis-informed victim of a green and unknowledgeable agent. Bottom line: … The “industry” does not require an upfront contribution from a seller who is only “testing” the market.
2. Current tax law allows real estate brokers to pay licensees via contract or 1099. Essentially, it costs brokers very little to “hire” real estate agents because they guarantee them no pay until closing. (cue: coffee is for closers , Glengarry Glen Ross movie scene). Companies like Redfin and Zip are challenging this model.
3. Regardless of how you get paid, being successful in real estate is demanding because “time is of the essence”, and you are serving people evenings and weekends and then working during the day to get ready to work in the evenings and weekends. Even if the model is W2, this is called overtime or time and a half.
4. Large cities, coastal areas with higher dollar housing do attract franchises (buying brokerage firms), and agents seeking greater commission dollars because of the percentage of sales price brings more dollars.
5. Buyers and sellers will always be at a disadvantage because they have limited transaction experience. Agents simply “see” more homes, and negotiate many “deals” over time.
6. Real estate is a personal referral, relationship business. We are in the business of trust. That is why eBay, and Airbnb are successful. They have established a model with “acceptable risks exposure” (Airbnb has insurance in case rock band goes ape on your home bedroom).
7. Deferred maintenance, subjective cosmetic features, fixture updates (lighting, plumbing, trim), functional floor plan differences, landscaping…. the lists goes on and on of variables that affect value. Your latest guess of value from an app will never be able to monitor the “feeling” you get when you smell your mom’s apple pie in the kitchen of your dreams. Perhaps a mood ring app will be able to transfer feelings to an emotional response database. (hey,,,not a bad idea!)
8. Making the real estate industry a more efficient lean machine is a wonderful challenge. Finding ways to serve people’s real estate problems has provided well for my family for the last 23 years.
9. My observation is that landlords, and lenders have more power to “abuse” the consumer (buyer, seller, renter) than the broker in a real estate transaction. Banks own larger buildings, and have more attorneys. Real estate agents drive Lincoln Town Cars, bankers drive armored trucks!