First, good luck with your book. I look forward to reading it one day.
We all agree the market is changing. What we don't all agree on or even know is how much. I wrote a short blog here on Trulia about some of that change. You can find it in the link below. Here are my three biggest fears:
1) As a franchisee of a major brand, my biggest fear is whether or not the brand I have chosen will be able to evolve with the new market change, or if the business model will be viable. My initial response says it will and that all major brands will come out stronger, but perhaps with slightly different business models to adapt to the new market. I have also taken precautions myself to brand my company's "Southern Advantage" name and even logo it. I have even gone as far as to develop a business plan, based on what I feel the new real-estate model may look like in the future.
2) My second greatest fear is that I will be judged by those around me. It is inevitable that every industry has members who may not be as concerned as the rest of us about our profession, how they practice it, or how it gets viewed by the public. I think for the most part, Realtors are conscientious about providing the highest level of service and doing the best job. Unfortunately when the economy began to downsize, many people immediately jumped in to the real-estate market to become an agent. Like I said, most I think were sincere and had a good foundation to become good agents. But some just did not have the foundation required for this industry. You just cannot go to a real-estate school and come out with all the tools you need to be successful. But a good foundation to begin with in sales, marketing, and customer service is an absolute must in my opinion. So I like many of you, would prefer to be judged by my actions and my level of service. But we all know this is not the real world and we will all be judged to some point by our collective membership.
3) Third and finally, I am concerned about what our industry may morph into. Here I am referring to the ever present threat of major financial institutions or worse, major retail brands, getting into the industry and further eroding the level of confidence our market shares with the public and eventually commoditizing our service. I don't fear the overall take-over of our industry by these "outside" entities, just the confusion and static they can create for those real professionals trying to do a good job, for a market that is need of such services.
Now, all that said, like the previous poster, I am actually very excited about what the future holds. I think our industry like any other needs a shake up from time to time to shake out the uncommitted and make the professionals polish up their shoes and hit the pavement for new business.
Good luck again with the book.
Pittsboro, North Carolina