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2010-04-13 18:07:46

Another Surprising Development in the Virtual Culture


We have recently experienced another surprising development within the Virtual Culture that has been a total surprise to the corporate office.
We have always used the tag line “GIVING REALTORS BACK THEIR BUSINESS”. What we didn’t expect is the fact that when a top producing Realtor joins our company, they have literally taken this message to heart.
We have had over a dozen Realtors throughout the country open their own offices. In fact we have had four offices open in just the last three weeks. At first this was a very uneasy feeling for our corporate staff for the simple fact that we teach everyone that a brick and mortar environment is no longer a necessity to operate a Nation Real Estate Brokerage via the internet. We have proven after two and a half years that we can do it efficiently and culturally.
However, when we stop to analyze why this is happening, and we speak with our top producers that are opening these offices this is what we hear from them.
We joined your firm because you claimed to give us back our business. Neither the corporate office, nor the brokers pay for these offices. These offices are our offices, and we run them. With the corporate office handling all the back office operations, we can concentrate on business, and we don’t need the brokers permission. All we need to worry about is compliance.
These Realtors are opening these offices in some very high end areas. They love the fact that these offices are their offices. Just like McDonalds had to make changes to open in other countries, we need to accommodate our Realtors. As we say all the time at the corporate office.
We aren’t in the real estates business, we’re in the realtor business. Our realtors are in the real estate business, and it’s our job to support our realtors.
So while we believe that in 10 years most Real Estate Brokerages will realize and adapt to the fact that a brick and mortar office is no longer require to operate a Real Estate Brokerage efficiently, we will support our Realtors 100% in their decisions.
The Virtual Culture is still in its infancy and it’s still very difficult for many Brokers to understand how easy it is to operate a Real Estate Brokerage efficiently via the internet with today’s technology. Ten years ago when I had my Prudential franchises, I went paperless. I was one of the first Brokerages to go paperless. So I guess I have a little Lewis and Clark in me.
However the Realtors get it. I would say that 80% of the Realtors support the idea of working out of their home and getting in return 100% of their commissions. And 40% of the Realtors tell us they don’t even enjoy going into the office.
I believe the Virtual Culture in Real Estate is where the Internet was in 1998. Everyone knows the change is coming. It’s just hard to see the future till you are actually part of the future.
James A. Crumbaugh III is CEO of Allison James Estates and Homes and may be reached at  

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