Search With Us

Sign Up Today!

Get fresh listings via email, save your favorite listings, match with similar properties, and unlock additional property info.

Create Your Account

Do not fill in this field:

Already have an account? Log in

Blog :: 03-2014

Disruptive Ideas in Business

We recently ran across a very interesting article on about so-called disruptive ideas in business. Now, we arent talking illegal activity where youre walking out of the office meeting in handcuffs, but rather ideas that shake up, or even revolutionize a particular industry that has been stuck, and unquestionably so, for quite some time with no large changes.

If you ask us, the business model of the typical real estate company, in general, has not really changed much in the past 50 years, though the clients, technology and the home markets definitely have. Most agents are still stuck with antiquated ideas that sliding commission splits, where they give a large portion of their earnings back to their company, is just the norm. More importantly, they largely dont question it, but just accept it as the status quo. Because of this, we could likely call the real estate business model a stuck model in a stuck industry.

To explain further, the articles author, Luke Williams, sets up the scene by talking about industries that have been stuck with no changes and no new ideas for a long time. He uses an amusing example about the sock industry, asking whats changed in the sock industry recently, if really ever? Nothing a sock is a sock is a sock. Well, what if they were sold in mismatched pairs (solves the laundry dilemma of the missing sock, right?)? While this example serves more for comedys sake (at least we think so), this idea actually resulted in a company called Little Miss Matched that actually did a large business deal with Macys.

Other great examples that the article gives are, for one, the soda industry. Specifically, the industry of these carbonated, caffeinated, sugary drinks typical was thought of in two regards: 1) cheap, and 2) good tasting. However, Williams suggests while at first glance when you use disruptive thinking and flip these two notions and come up with expensive and bad tasting it sounds strange. But, what you essentially come up with is Red Bull. A highly caffeinated beverage that is double the price of a typical soda, frankly, has no taste appeal. Its actually tastes pretty bad, right? However, its sales are through the roof and it will give you the boost youre looking for in terms of energy.

The article also gives several other interesting examples such as the car rental and the movie rental industries. What do you think of when you think of car rentals? Well, besides trying to expertly get the gas meter to the same spot you started, its the long lines, the paper work, the face-to-face interaction with the employees. But, look at Zipcar. There isnt any of that. Notion challenged.

Or, when you think of the typical movie rental companies that we used to use, you think of all those times where you forgot to return a movie, or maybe 6 months later you found a DVD in some random DVD case or in your player, and thought oh no, I must owe a fortune in late fees now! Well, thats not the case with Netflix, and is likely why Blockbusters are closing left and right all over town (there no late fees sales pitch wasnt entirely true). Again, notion challenged.

With all that said, this is what we aim to do at Andrew Mitchell Real Estate. While the word disruptive can definitely take on a negative connotation, we look at it as a positive. We are a highly progressive company in an industry that is slow to progress. We want to challenge old notions of what real estate has to be and ask, what if?

What if agents got to take home a lot more of their hard-earned dollars every year? Would the industry really crumble? Or would the scales be tipped in favor of balance in fairness? We think the latter.

What if clients had access to the industrys best information? Would they really bypass real estate professionals? Or, would they come into the process feeling informed and then let their agent guide them from there? We also think the latter.

So, we invite you to take a moment to ask yourself what if? You may be surprised that what you think simply is doesnt always have a solid reason for being that way, and may need an update. Things change. People change. And, industries definitely change.

Is Your Facebook Strategy Putting Off Potential Clients?

Its pretty difficult to find people who dont have Facebook pages, especially real estate agents who rely on networking to main their business.

But, have we really thought about how we are using our pages? Are we raking in business or possibly putting off clients with overly promotional posts?

The recent issue of Realtor magazine brought up an interesting point in their Selling on Facebook article. While there are a variety of opinions on this some love the idea, some cringe what we found interesting was that they compare Facebook to an in-person social gathering. Whether you agree or disagree, I think we can at least entertain the idea that most agents would not likely walk into a purely social cocktail party or a friends birthday gathering and start pushing their listing brochures at the guests, right? Well maybe some would but its not likely socially acceptable in most circles.

The article suggests that these two situations are not that different. When you think about, technology does have an annoying little habit of being, well, sometimes annoying think the person on his/her cell in the grocery store who is loudly having a conversation about intimate details of his/her life. Not what you likely wanted on your trip to pick up some milk and eggs, right?

So, how do we use Facebook in a way that promotes our business, attracts new clients and builds rapport without coming across as rude or inappropriate?

Below is a list of the Realtor magazine tips with our take and advice on them:

1) Show that real estate is part of you without pushing it on people. For example, assert yourself as knowledgeable about the industry by posting relevant news articles that people will find interesting. Sometimes it helps to give people something, not just try to sell them something.

2) Use Facebook as a means to show your hobbies, interests and special areas of expertise. This could spark a connection with a potential client, because clients want a real, authentic person they can relate to. You are selling your knowledge, but youre also selling your personality.

3) Dont bore your audience! Posting just plain links to listings isnt exciting. If you are going to post listings, try to limit them to open houses or interesting facts about the homes.

4) If all else fails, you can create a business page connected to your personal page to separate your business and your personal life. This way clients or other agents can see you as a person on one hand, and if they so choose, take a look at your listings by clicking over to your business page.

Written by Andrew Mitchell staff.