REALTOR.com is Making Some Bold Changes

Read the blog below:

Anthony Lamacchia :

Realtor.com made some huge changes that hit MN new yesterday. Are you ready for it? Broker-owners, team leaders, single agents that are buying droves of realtor.com leads, are you ready? Zillow did the same thing last year, the writing was on the wall that realtor.com was going to follow suit, and that’s happened. The question becomes, are you prepared for it? Here’s a few different things, I’m going to give you three things that you should be doing to prepare for it. Number one, you need to be constantly teaching your agents to work by referral. I hear too many team leaders nationally, good friends of mine, people I genuinely like, saying, “Well, I’d rather them be addicted to me and my leads.”

Guys, that is no way to grow another person. That is no way to help someone grow their business. You’ve got to think bigger picture. Teach them, motivate them, incentivize them to work by referral. Incentivize them to get in touch with other clients, with past clients, with their sphere of influence to bring business in. You don’t want to be solely addicted to online leads. Yes, we do a lot of it. I guarantee there’s locals watching right now saying, “Well, he does that.” Yes, I do. You know how much of our revenue it was last year? Maybe 20%, maybe. I learned my lesson years ago, and I’m going to tell that story in a few minutes. That’s tip number one, teaching your people to work by referral.

Another thing that you should be doing is creating more buyer leads of your own. You can do that. When you bring in listings, you should be milking those listings. Milking those listings to get as much out of them as you can. Marketing them before they’re on the market, so long as you’re following your MLS rules. I know certain states are more strict than others, but we do a lot of coming soon ads. We get that MLS form signed, whatever it is, the delay form. Coming soon ads, we’ve substantially increased at our company in the last eight months. Our sales manager came up with a genius strategy to do it. We’ve been doing it, and it’s been working out well. We’re putting out coming soon signs. We’re doing more advertising around it.

Another thing we’re doing, and this is something that you can get on right away, this is the third thing, increase your advertising for seller leads. The market has changed. The market is slower than it was a year ago. The slower the market is, the easier it is to advertise for seller leads. I’m going to talk about that in videos in weeks to come, but the easier it is to bring in seller leads. When you bring in seller’s leads and sellers and listings, what does it bring? When you have listings, what does it bring? Buyer leads.

For everybody out there that’s freaking out and pushing the panic button across the country, my message to you first is, you should have saw it coming. A year and two months ago, very beginning of 2018, our sales manager, Dave, our director of sales, Mike, and I talked, and we said, “The end of the road is coming with Zillow, let’s get prepared.” Soon as Zillow went down the road, Dave said to us, “The end of the road with realtor.com is coming, get prepared.” We didn’t believe the song and dance they were saying.

I remember last year when Zillow pulled the rug out on everybody and made the changes, I didn’t get mad. There’s a lot of people that are mad. I said, “That’s capitalism.” Listen, companies are working to grow their revenue, to grow their profit. You’re doing the same thing with your company. I’m doing the same thing with my company. They’re allowed to do it. Don’t be mad at them if you haven’t adjusted your business and you’re not prepared for it.

Last summer, when Zillow did it, realtor.com they took good advantage of it. Their revenues increased. They brought in a lot of advertisers. We talked to them. I even talked to them. Our sales manager deals with the whole thing. I talked to one of their people at the top, and they said, “Anthony, we’re here for you. We work with the realtor. We do–” “Yes, okay.” This is what they all say, all these companies.

Guys, I’m not just calling out Zillow and calling out realtor.com, this is every company. I’ll tell you how I learned my lesson on this. 2010, back in the REO days, we started getting in way too deep with Fannie Mae. We started realizing it. We started saying, “Shit, we’re getting in deep here. We have a lot of properties. It’s more of our listing inventory than anywhere else.” All of a sudden, one day, poof, they fired us. We made a mistake on the stupidest little thing, they fired us, and I said, “I will never in my career be beholden to another company again. It won’t happen.” I learned my lesson, and I never forgot.

I told a lot of friends this, around the country, over the last few years. I said, “Don’t get in too deep with Zillow, don’t in too deep with realtor. Things will change. Business will change. Something will change.” I learned my lesson. For those of you out there that are pissed off, I hear you, but use that as a lesson like the one that I got in 2010 and fix your business. Get your agents working by referral, create your own buyer leads, set up systems to do that, don’t be lazy. You don’t need just leads to come in from online sources, you can do things to create them yourself. Create a process in a system to bring those leads in, dole them out to the agents. There’s many things you can do.

This is your chance to rise up. Make real changes to your business even if some are painful. Get yourself in a better position so that you’re never beholden to these companies again or any other company for that matter because, guys, guess what, in four or five years, there’ll be another wave, there’ll be another company, there’ll be something else. I promise you that’ll happen, and if you got in too deep, pick your head up, get ready, take the bull by the horns, fix the situation, and move on. That’s all, guys. I hope that makes sense. I hope that helps you. Leave your comments below whether you agree, disagree or have more questions. Thank you.