Latest Articles

2009-10-13 23:08:19

Virtual Culture Vs Brick & Mortar


It’s amazing how much can change in just two short years. Two years ago I wrote an article titled “IS THE END IN SIGHT FOR BRICK & MORTAR?”
I just went back and read the article and it was like reading ancient history. The pace at which technology is changing this industry is awe inspiring. In those two years even the term VIRTUAL CULTURE has gone from being a negative term to being regarded as cutting-edge. Now, among the top professionals in the industry, the term BRICK AND MORTAR is becoming the negative term.
Not only do 80% of the Realtors® not see any benefit to an office environment, but many of today’s Realtors believe that a Realtor who works out of a Brick and Mortar environment is polluting our planet with an outdated and needlessly sprawling carbon footprint, and therefore aren’t good stewards of our planet. This war chant will only increase in intensity in the years ahead, I’m sure.
The 20% of the Realtors® who still need or want an office environment are the old timers for the most part. Realtors like me. We grew up with getting up, putting on a tie and going to the office and putting in an eight-hour day. With the younger culture, that’s old fashion, we might as well be driving a horse and buggy to work.
And it gets even worst for the Broker who is tied to a Brick and Mortar environment. More often than not, he or she has a long term, very expensive lease, plus the costs of telephone systems, copiers, toner, long distance calling, utilities, etc.  Realtors® working in this setting are independent contractors and while they appreciate having that status, they don’t care to share their commission with the Broker.
As time goes on, it’s becoming even scarier for the Broker of the Brick and Mortar environment. The “100% Genie” has escaped his bottle permanently. We all see 100% Real Estate Brokerages opening on every street corner in America, every day of the week now.  What is a Broker of a Brick and Mortar office going to do, when even brand new Realtors® straight out of school can now get 100% of their commission?
In my wildest dreams I did not imagine the demise of the Brick and Mortar environment as fast as I believe we will see it take place. The Brick and Mortar Brokers who have leases expiring should let them expire, and then start their own 100% company, or associate with a current virtual national company like ours.
What I’m finding very curious however is the fact that many of these 100% models are still tied to Brick and Mortar environments. I know from operating a true VIRTUAL CULTURE REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE for two years now that the majority of Realtors® don’t care about working in an office environment.
It’s not like it was just a few short years ago. What Realtor now doesn’t have a home computer, scanner, and copier and probably better equipment than most Brick and Mortar environments?
The need for a Brick and Mortar environment has by and large disappeared. The productive Realtors® no longer have to go to the office to do their work. They no longer have to put up with the office drama and gossip.  
Why these current 100% concept Brokerages are opening Brick and Mortar offices is beyond me, but then again, this is only my opinion.
James A. Crumbaugh III is CEO of Allison James Estates and Homes. You may reach Mr. Crumbaugh at 1-866-463-5780 or by emailing him at 


Related Post

Industry, Education

Negotiating Tip 114: Retreat Negotiations

March 29, 2019

Industry, Education

Negotiating Tip 113: Activating Our Opponent

March 28, 2019

Industry, Education

Negotiating Tip 112: Misconceptions

March 27, 2019

2021 Real Town The Real Estate Network