Last week we mentioned an article that compared Apple stores to Sears. This week, Forbes has an article that, in part, compares Best Buy to Amazon. Mostly the article is just about the gradual failure of another big box chain and the mistakes its made. While the author says that Best Buy’s main problems arise from internal issues, he contrasts them to his experience at Amazon, which is able to deliver superior service even without the benefit of immediate gratification, retail locations, and knowledgable salespeople.
How does this relate to REALTORS? As I see it, the failure of Best Buy to be customer-focused, its failure to take responsibility for its actions, and the squandering of its assets with limited technology all are applicable to the real estate experience. Is your website actually useful to consumers? Or do you make them jump through hoops to get at information? Do you provide all that home buyers and sellers might need – deep market knowledge, the latest technology, ease of access? You’re working hard to earn that three percent commission. Does the customer know and feel that?
I think there are some real lessons here for REALTORS. Either really do what’s best for your customers or someone else will swoop in and do it better. You don’t have to be the cheapest (see Apple), but you do have to offer value for service. Are you providing a three percent experience to homeowners or is it less? The choice is yours. Maybe on volume you can make it up, but volume in real estate is hard to come by these days.