The business of buying and selling real estate becomes more competitive every day – as potential homebuyers can now simply swipe right or hit up their smartphone app store to make one of the most important decisions of their lives – and it’s critical for experienced Realtors to have the tools and education they need to stay in the game.
Andy Bearden, the founder of Insight Realty Network, said there’s a lot of chatter about how technology is a major “disruption” in today’s real estate market – but the big picture shows it’s more than that.
“I’m maintaining that the disruption has to do with the brokers and the agent,” he said. “Agents have figured out that if they’re going to survive Zillow, Redfin, and Amazon, they’re going to have to figure out what the plan is. They’re spending all this time with ‘legacy brokers’ trying to figure out how to compete, and nobody is showing them how to do that.”
Insight Realty Network
Insight Realty created a transaction fee model, which isn’t uncommon, but they’re also looking only for experienced agents and showing them how to navigate new waters.
“We want our team to be the best-trained, best-qualified people,” Bearden said. “That’s our niche within transaction fee brokerages. Agents are facing competition from new business models, new brokerages, and pre-profit companies that have all this money from Wall Street and don’t need to make any money. The existing broker has to come alongside them and instead of being a recruiting machine, help them compete against those disruptors.”
Insight uses the hashtag #smartestagentsintheworld and have talked about using #renerd (meaning real estate nerd).
“We see that existing agents are not happy with high fees and are looking for other opportunities,” Bearden explained, referencing another popular firm that went out of business after 40 years because they were unable to retain agents. “In the past, brokers really helped agents build their businesses. Now brokers are just recruiting and seeing what sticks.”
Insight holds a 20-minute conference call every Monday morning that is “jam-packed with information and motivation,” Bearden said. They also hold monthly web seminars where agents can interact with industry partners. A two-day workshop is held quarterly to offer additional relevant tools.
“We talk about how we’re going to work with ‘for sale by owners’ or how we’re going to work with investors,” Bearden said. “We encourage our agents to spend time connecting with other people who are experienced producers. If you want to be an eagle, you need to hang around eagles.”
The Insight brokers also make themselves readily available to agents. There are currently more than 50 agents in the D-FW and Houston areas in the network. About half those agents have come to Insight from referrals, Bearden added.
“More are joining every day,” he explained. “That’s extraordinary growth and extraordinary retention.”
The Game Plan
So if you’re keeping score, Insight Realty’s game plan includes a few simple strategies:
- Brokers provide tools and education for agents to build their businesses.
- Brokers answer the phone, “which is all the experienced agent wants out of the broker,” Bearden says. If unable to answer, the broker returns the call by the end of the day.
- Hang with the eagles.