Want to stay relevant? You need a kick in the pants.


Hire a Chief Millennial Officer

Every company, MLS, brokerage, publisher, mortgage company and even NAR should have a kid with a skull cap and a skateboard in their boardroom. Her title will be Chief Millennial Officer. Let’s call her Joplin.  The first thing that will change? The boardroom. If you have an old wooden table and a crooked picture hanging on your wall- throw it away. As you do, embrace the fact that the table will be the first of many status quo ideas you may have to trash.

To say that we will never be like these cool tech companies and all we want to be is par is simply not an acceptable way of doing business, nor will it last. The greatest proof I can offer?  Huge old line brands have stopped pounding their chests as the reality of the landscape is finally hitting home. The term "level playing field" has become our reality.

Established, antiquated brands have fallen way behind. The inclination to "redo" websites is a good first step, but many are doing this on the same foundation and ideology as the old one. How is it possible that companies are not implementing a responsive cross-platform strategy? One that is mobile first?  As you throw out your table, throw out this myopic way of thinking. Joplin would never let you do this on her watch.

A simple way to fix this is to flatten out your organizations and empower younger, more innovative thinking that is embraced at the higher levels of your company. If you proceed down the path of status quo, I assure you you are building trouble on top of trouble and that your work product will fall short.

Staying Relevant in Real Estate

Why are the founders of this industry struggling for relevancy? Please say that out loud.

Are you outsourcing your core? (why yes you are!!) You are doing this because you can't or don't know how to build it yourself. That is why there are dozens of start-ups who see the gaping holes that Spencer, Pete, Sammy, Sean, Glenn and others saw in 2006 when they infiltrated the real estate scape and started what is now a tech culture we all live by. It’s round two and you should be hiring these people or buying their start-ups, not spending huge multiples to buy old technology.  This pervasive strategy won’t work in my opinion. In an ideal world you would grow this culture organically.

Like it or not we are in a technology age exacerbated by a coming-of-age generation that will continue to do things in a much different way than us older folk. I really hate to put myself in that category, but I'd really like this post to resonate among my industry peers. To be frank, our age is starting to show.

One Size No Longer Fits All

Take a step back. Ask yourself where you want to be in 12 months, not 5 years. I believe in 5 year plans but the tech that you put up today will be obsolete in 12 months, so this is an exercise in becoming nimble, thoughtful, relevant and dare I say, younger.  Hey there is a cream for everything these days. I’m not suggesting we alienate our older audience, but I am saying is that real estate is not one size fits all. We are the only industry that I know of that throws a search box up to every passerby and asks them WHAT HOME DO YOU WANT TO BUY TODAY?  100% of people that come to your website are NOT buying today so why do you continue to treat them all this way? Let’s pretend we are Morgan Stanley and a 22 year college grad walks into your office. The canvas of their future is blank and you can earn their business for life if you ask them some simple questions and gain their trust.

Look if this doesn't make sense- then why are there so many companies making billions doing the job that your company is supposed to be doing?

Under some of my frustration there is a genuine motivation to help our clients today and in the future.

I’d be happy to talk to you in private about how I can help.