I’ve been involved in the real estate industry, one way or the other, all my business life.
I have no difficulty admitting to being a “salesman“. I could dress it up a lot by saying I’m a “successful entrepreneur“, but fundamentally that success has principally been as a result of my ability to “sell“.
I’ve been involved in more entrepreneurial ventures than I care to remember, most of which ended up war zones where only the most fit survived. I’m still here so I guess that’s a statement in itself.
If you are not good at fighting then possibly entrepreneurialism is not for you because, as conceptually alluring as is the vision of “entrepreneur“, my experience has been that you are fighting with a lot of uneducated kids in a sandbox in the real world of entrepreneurs.
There’s an old song that says that “all my daddy left us was alone“, and that rather adeptly sums up my upbringing, which led to a total lack of education, that would undoubtedly help me apply the latent intelligence that I obviously possessed but simply would not use during adolescence.
I produced television and music videos but fundamentally “sold” them into existence. I’ve run large sales organizations and been responsible for more than one “cold start” business, I’ve taught selling, and basically become successful simply for having realized at a young age that everyone is dependent on somebody selling something!
I’ve always been a visionary, having developed the first ever, interactive multimedia real estate application way back in 1990 before the Internet, World Wide Web, and even Windows Operating System.
I’m always looking for what is next, and this week while envisioning a strategy to transition out of my downtown Toronto luxury townhouse to a detached house that is presently under construction, I came across a fellow visionary who, in my opinion has already grasped the future of the real estate industry.
I’m looking at renting out my 3 bedroom (each bedroom has its own ensuite bathroom) four bathroom, custom designed (with floor to ceiling windows on two sides, overlooking a 3 1/2 acre enclosed park.
I am no longer a member of the Toronto real estate board as I have no real need for access to its member’s web site because Realtor.ca carries all the listings.
I’m not overly active these days, as I’m working on a “Success Training Video Online Series – Sun Tzu and The Art of Success in Real Estate” and quite honestly, fifteen years of every day in the trenches pretty much proves enough for me.
So, I went looking for a way to gain the quality exposure offered by Realtor.ca, and sure enough I come across a Broker offering to list any property in Ontario on Realtor.com using all the standard real estate board forms, under a very limited “agency” agreement that basically limited his relationship to being paid $95 up front for all the paper work and putting it on the multiple listing service for ninety days.
Now, if I were a member Realtor on that real estate board I couldn’t list it so inexpensively (unless of course I wanted to be a “broker of record” of my own brokerage which is not something I am remotely interested in).
There has been “For Sale By Owner” web sites for years now, but none offer the distribution and/or credibility of the one and only “Multiple Listing Service” which is owned by Realtors.
To have this broker change to rules of the game is a major development in real estate.
So, I called him and told him that I wanted to rent my townhouse, and in minutes I had all of the conventional listing forms, and all documents including a lease for the flat fee of $95.
If I were selling it, it still would have only cost me $95. It’s worth over $1.5 Million so 5% (the conventional commission rate in Toronto) or 6% (frequently applied to high end properties) we’d be looking at $75,000 – $90,000!
And for only $95 anyone can list their house or condo unit, saving $74,905 – $89,905.
Historically, direct access to mls was limited to real estate agencies but today, just like you can handle your own stock portfolio, banking, find a car, buy gold and/or foreign exchange, you can professionally sell your own real estate.
The one “fly in the ointment” is that many people aren’t confident in doing all “the other stuff” that is involved, like fielding the phone calls, setting viewing appointments, making sure that keys are available (lock box) and negotiating with Realtors and/or buyers.
For these people, I am willing to offer my professional services where they do the actual Listing but include my telephone number and for just 1% I am prepared to handle all of that responsibility for them (I hold a valid real estate license).
I can see these Sellers offering no buyer agency commissions as I’ve said for years now that buyers choosing to use their own Realtor should pay that Realtor directly.
This, I see, as the future of Toronto and Ontario (and most markets for that matter) real estate.
Buyers and Sellers can still expect top level professional real estate services for a fraction of commissions (2% as opposed to 5% – 6%).
Don’t get me wrong, professional Realtors earn their money but with the industry boasting a 90% Failure Rate, consumers are provably not getting informed professional services from 9 out of 10 Realtors anyway so taking control of their own destiny seems a pretty reasonable alternative.
With today’s crazy pricing of real estate (houses and condos that were $500k a couple short years back are selling over $1 Million today!)
Isn’t it time that the consumer, who is paying for absolutely everything in the Condo Game, simply get some perk?