What if a group of agents from different brokerages decide to work together to improve the industry for consumers—a cross-brokerage movement of real estate professionals with the consumer as the guiding light.
When I was first licensed in 2003, the buzzword for real estate brokerages was agent-centric and here we are almost 20 years later, and that hasn’t changed. Brokerages continue to race each other to see which can offer more tools to agents for lowest cost. They say, ‘Join our company to learn how to market better!’ or leverage technology better, or negotiate better. These are all B2B messages. Keller Williams came out with profit-sharing, eXp came out with revenue sharing and now we’re seeing agent equity and stock programs emerge as the current agent attractor.
It’s all great news for agents! But where is the consumer focus in these models?
As brokerages focus on providing value to agents, agents have been focused on providing value to our clients. This is one of the reasons mega teams have emerged: the better, more consistent customer experience you can create, the more customers you create. With more customers comes a need for more help from more team members. Teams are now mapping out the consumer journey and, with their economies of scale, can affect real change. So then why aren’t they making a bigger impact?
They are siloed by brokerage lines.
It’s almost taboo to work together across brokerage lines on anything other than a real estate transaction. I’m not sure if it’s based on fear of violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act or if old school brokerage allegiance runs deep. NAR is the biggest cross-brokerage league in the industry, but as Bret Weinstein opined in his article titled “NAR, stop fighting for commissions — make better Realtors” on Inman last month, lots of agents wish NAR had a different focus.
So instead of another article questioning where our dues go, we’ve been working behind the scenes on a solution: LEOPARD, otherwise known as the League of Elite Performers Aligned for Real Domination.
We can be different.
Our league of producers can have consumers as our guiding light. We can share notes on how to improve, pool resources, and work together to create the change we all talk about around the water coolers. We have begun to outline the best practices from some of the top training teams and brokers across the country on how to run a profitable apprenticeship program. One big step towards creating better agents for our clients.
Where can consumers read about the service level of an agent? Are we going to leave that up to LinkedIn reviews? Maybe Zillow or realtor.com reviews? If we band together across brokerage lines, we can build a brand of accountable real estate agents that consumers can trust.
We can work together to create a listing portal that highlights listing agents! Shout out to the Houston Association of REALTORS® for understanding that consumers want to talk to the most knowledgeable person about the house. They showcase listing agents and their contact information for consumers – love this! We can’t expect a brokerage to do this because they are focused more on lead generation—it has to come from a cross-brokerage League of producers that list houses.
The LEOPARD leadership team is coming to Inman Connect Las Vegas in October to spread this discussion across the country. We’re ready to showcase what we’ve been working on behind the scenes to help create a brand consumers can use to differentiate REALTORS® that perform at a high level of service for the consumers from those that don’t. Join us. We can’t do this alone, but if we work together then the change we wish NAR would create can become a reality.