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How Resilient is Your Brokerage During These Economic Times?

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By the Gonzales Group

RISMEDIA, Oct. 30, 2008-”In the past, executives had the luxury of assuming that business models were more or less immortal. Companies always had to work to get better, of course, but they seldom had to get different-not in their core, not in their essence,” states Gary Hamel, a visiting professor at the London Business School and director of the Woodside Institute in Woodside, California.

In the new world even Coca-Cola and McDonalds are facing the challenge of new business models. Coke struggles to regain its position against the noncarbonated drinks and McDonalds must contend with burger weary customers. Today’s real estate professionals must also come to the realization that to thrive in the changing real estate world, they must develop strategies that are forever “morphing” and conform themselves to emerging opportunities and new trends from the competition and from the consumer. Brokers that fail to adjust to the changing real estate industry will soon lose their relevance to agents and ultimately home buyers.

Bill Gates has been known to say on several occasions that Microsoft is always two to three years away from failure. Granted Microsoft will probably not go away in two to three years, but Gates is certainly savvy enough to know that change will render some of what it is doing today irrelevant in that time. Hamel goes on to say that, “One company’s creativity is another’s destruction.” We only need to look at IBM and Dell, and Motorola and Nokia to see that investing too much in “what is” and too little in “what could be” can result in devastating loss of market share.

This condition does not just affect fortune 500 companies, real estate brokerages, both large and small, are subject to the same type of market dynamics. It’s painful to watch some brokerage pour good money into dated and decaying marketing strategies that produce diminishing returns.

Brokers and agents don’t have to succumb in this new world. That is what evolution teaches us and what Mother Nature provides plenty of examples of; just don’t take the three toed sloth as your lead, speed does count.

Hamel provides four sound and relevant questions that every brokerage should ask itself:

1. Is our strategy losing its distinctiveness? Make sure that your strategies defy industry norms in important ways that makes its competitive advantage truly unique.

2. Is our strategy in danger of being superseded? (Now that is a term every one of you that has ever had a challenging buyer should know) Study the evolving brokerage models that might someday render yours irrelevant and make certain that you have strategies in place that can neutralize those forces of change.

3. Is our strategy reaching the point of exhaustion? Make certain that the pace of your improvements are not slowing down. We all know that when the real estate market is moving along at a brisk pace the markets can get saturated with opportunistic real estate dabblers and home buyers can start to get fickle. Gauge your growth, is it slowing down or about to start doing so?

4. Is increasing customer power shrinking our margins? Today’s home buyer is much more “info-empowered” than in the past and are gaining enough bargaining power to demand your commissions be adjusted to reflect the service you are promising to provide them. Accommodate their needs, wants, and lifestyles. The Internet and e-mail are not a passing phase it’s here to stay.

Accelerated change means a brokerage must keep up with a multitude of conditions to maintain its position in the market. A brokerage that can make sense of the changing conditions and change its strategic plan and realign its resources faster than the broker down the street will certainly enjoy a competitive advantage and in essence its resilience.

For more information, visit www.thegonzalesgroup.com.

The Gonzales Group and RISMedia are excited to introduce a ground-breaking White Paper that takes a realistic and practical in-depth look at the changing face of modern-day real estate. In “The New Economic Power Source: Increasing Profitability with Multicultural Home buyers,” the authors will help you unlock the potential of the multicultural market by answering the questions and clarifying the assumptions often associated with this consumer group. To order the White Paper, click here.

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