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RISMEDIA, August 13, 2010—I recently had a fascinating conversation with another industry professional who made me laugh even though the topic was very sad. This person made an analogy to dinosaurs and the Ice Age that rang true as it relates to what is happening in the real estate brokerage industry. “Our industry (in general) is like a herd of dinosaurs grazing on dry grass wondering what happened to the green grass, while, in the distance, a glacier is slowly coming down the side of the mountain ready to make fossils out of all of them.”

Harsh? Yes.

Somewhat true? Yes.

All the signs are there:
-Physical-office overhead bankrupting brokerages
-Internet leads going unanswered
-Websites still looking like static brochures
-Agents leaving the business

Yet, these and many other issues remain, all too often, unaddressed by brokerages either out of fear, ignorance or hope that the market will return to “normal” so we can all wake up from this nightmare.

Guess what? It’s not going to happen. If you are not willing to embrace change and innovation, you might, metaphorically speaking, find yourself “stuck in the ice.”

There is a great site called that I refer to when I want to communicate an idea with a quote. Here are a couple of good ones that should get you thinking:

“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” —Harold Wilson

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” —James Baldwin

As humans, we don’t like change and, as real estate professionals, we have had the additional burden of a tough market for the past few years, which has kept our focus on survival rather than innovation. When you add all that to the fact that the consumer’s expectations have continued to grow, you are faced with a huge gap between innovation and expectations.

So here we are. What are we going to do? Are we going to go the way of the dinosaur or are we going to take the bull by the horns and make the changes that are necessary to reinvent ourselves for future success? Here are a few things to put into your reinvention playbook:

-Create a vision. You need to lead the charge by living your new vision.
-Remove obstacles and create short-term wins. The changes will not take hold overnight so build on successes.
-Create a new corporate culture. Make innovation part of everything you do.

It’s not too late…but you have to start today!

Jose Perez is the president of PCMS Consulting, a full service consulting, sales and management organization that specializes in real estate industry issues. For more information, visit or e-mail