Where is the power center of real estate?

Oct 29, 2007 Michael Wurzer

I was envious today as I read Marc Davison’s description of a recent Keller Williams think tank meeting. I’ve been impressed with Gary Keller ever since I read his book outlining the process he found successful for real estate sales and turned it into the Keller Williams franchise. I would loved to have participated with this group, yet we’ve been so focused on our MLS clients that we haven’t reached out to the franchises separate from our MLS efforts. As I watch Trulia and Zillow court the franchises hard and fast, I have to wonder if we’ve been making a mistake by not having stronger relationships with the franchises.

At the same time, Jim Duncan writes today that the power center may be shifting to agents, something I’ve long thought. On the other hand, Kris Berg says that size does matter when selecting a broker and that bigger is better. Along that same line of thinking, my friends over at eNeighborhoods have long established relationships with the franchise systems, and, as is often the case with them, that’s starting to look smarter and smarter.

I’ll conclude this post by circling back to the Keller Williams meeting for a second, and contrasting that with one of the key MLS meetings, called Connection, which has now purposely excluded vendors from their discussions. This is a mistake. MLSs need to engage with vendors now more than ever. We need to be having high-level discussions about the future of MLS and the real estate sales process.

I suspect the MLSs feel the vendors will try to sell them something or otherwise prevent them from speaking freely. I can only speak for myself, but my primary motivation in attending these conferences is to participate in the discussions. I no more want to cart a booth or projector or brochures to these meetings than the man on the moon. I want to come with my mind only and engage on the issues and seek better answers together. Keller Williams is inviting Trulia to their event and Google is invited to Connection, which leaves me wondering even more where we should be focusing our attention.