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Some brokerage leaders today are trying to minimize new selling solutions, such as iBuying and buy-before-you-sell bridge solutions. And those brokers might be setting themselves apart in the real estate business—but not the way they’d prefer.

Your listing clients are not blind or deaf to the social media posts, ads and news stories about iBuyers and bridge buyers. When something piques their interest, they’re going to ask their agent: “Hey Jane, I heard a radio ad about a company that buys your home. What’s up with that?”

If your brokerage tells your agents, “Don’t worry about it, they’re a flash in the pan,” or “They’re not active in our market,” when Jane repeats this back to her client, she will come across as defensive. Defensiveness erodes trust. A modern brokerage helps their agents explain these different solutions to clients—not dismiss them.

The Difference a Modern Broker Makes
A modern brokerage must be informed and not just reactive. A modern broker would have trained Jane how to answer that question before she ever received that call. If Jane works with a modern broker and gets a softball question, she’ll hit her response out of the park.

She will tell her client, “They’re called iBuyers—companies that will buy your home. Let’s jump on Zoom, and I’ll tell you about it. I can even help you get offers from them if you’re interested.”

Instead of acting like a deer in headlights, Jane is prepared. She is ready to take that question and help her client while remaining at the center of whatever happens next. And she already knows that nearly 97% of the time, the client will list with her on the open market, so there’s never harm to offering alternatives.

Denial and Minimization Will Backfire
When brokerages downplay iBuyers instead of helping agents give a straightforward answer to clients about how they operate, it will backfire.

Will the client call Jane and ask her opinion when they hear about the next new thing? Or is it easier to visit the company’s website? After all, Jane dismissed the client’s question the last time.

This approach doesn’t help the brokerage either. How long will it take Jane to decide that she needs a brokerage that’s staying on top of what’s next—one that knows what’s going on?

The Tip of the Sphere
From my experience in the Marine Corps—whether you’re a pilot, a tanker or an artillery officer—your job is to support the infantry Marine on the front lines at the tip of the sphere. In real estate, if you’re a broker/owner or managing broker, you’re not on the tip of the sphere—agents are. They’re the ones sitting face to face with clients fielding questions. Your job is to support them.

The modern brokerage provides the answers for its agents, putting agents in position to take advantage of market disruption. Agents are looking for companies, brokerages and teams with a vision of the future. One that says: “We are ready for it to happen. And we’re not only prepared for it, we’re out in front of it.”

Lane Hornung is CEO and co-founder of zavvie, a complete platform offering all selling options for real estate brokerages, and is CEO/founder of Colorado-based 8z Real Estate, one of the nation’s most successful brokerages.

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