Keith in Glendale's point is a valid consideration for the broader community of brokers. Nevertheless, the emergence of alternative brokerage models has been years in the making and many of these models are highly functional success stories. Many are not - I can certainly point to a higher percentage of withdrawn and expired listings from my discount competition. Their casualties in this market are piling up.
How do agents feel about this? Well, it depends on how an agent defines their business. It depends on whether the agent is merely dependent on a broker for their menial livelihood or whether the agent has a compelling, hyper-local business model that is based on lead generation and high level consultation.
According to the NAR, the average agent completes 6 transactions per year, earns gross commisions of about $36,000 per year and nets about $21,000 per year. What does that mean to me? It means that average is failure, and I believe that many average agents are crippled in this market. Many won't even complete 6 transactions this year.
By profession, I am a consultant. Consulting is nothing more than the application by a specialist of technical information to a problem which, when solved, offers a disproportionate benefit to the client compared to the fee he pays.
So, does housepad.com offer disproportionate benefit. Sure - low risk, low cost, potentially high reward. Does this disproportionate benefit work for most folks? No. Most people don't have the free time, don't have the will and don't have the expertise to facilitate a complex real estate transaction from the beginning point of detailed due diligence, to the end point of a fully funded, timely "win / win" closing.
My Listing clients are busy professionals - doctors, lawyers, business executives and tradespeople - a lot of the disproportionate benefit they receive from The Rootdown Group is simply the gift of time.
My fees are negotiable, and when I am dealing directly with an unrepresented seller, I , just like Joshua Jarvis, relish the opportunity.
I like being smarter than the other agent, and surely I'm smarter than some telemarketer in Pennsylvania who works 8 hours a day managing hundreds of $300 transactional, nationwide clients clamoring for service and squeezing every ounce of so-called "value" out of the so-called "broker", in between their 15 minutes per hour smoke breaks.
That's not hyper-local, and real estate agency is becoming increasingly hyper-local.
Get your real estate on, J.