CEO Unscripted brings CINC CEO Alvaro Erize together with great thinkers from home and abroad to hold open discussions about real estate, technology and the issues that move the market.
As VP of Industry at Keller Williams, Jason Abrams has a particular focus: making sure the company is run by its brokers and bringing the agent’s voice to the international office. He also starred on the HGTV show Scoring the Deal, a behind-the-scenes look at the intense world of pro-sports real estate. So he was the ideal guest for this fun and energetic episode of CEO Unscripted with CINC CEO Alvaro Erize. Here are some of the highlights of their conversation.
Your quote from last year inspired me that agents now need to be human more than ever. I said this is the time to call that you need to invest in your people. How is that still true now?
“A home is such a human place,” Abrams said. “Nobody curls up with their stocks and bonds portfolio, but they curl up in the same kitchen where they have their screams and smiles. 2020 forced us to rethink the way we communicate – not necessarily the words we say, but the media with which we say them. “
Abrams noted that change is easier when you have no choice. This applied to both consumers and the real estate industry.
“I think a lot of us have rethought what home will mean to me, and our homes have become a schoolhouse for some of us and a church or a Friday night meeting place for others. Will we see changes in the floor plans? Are we going to think more about home offices? Will more people move from urban and rural areas?
The connective tissue between all of this is the same: the consumer still wants to be at the center of these decisions side by side with a real estate agent and receive excellent escrow service. “
For me, a fundamental difference in the real estate industry is that it is an owner-occupied business. And the fiduciary duty you are talking about is irreplaceable.
Lots of people talk about Uber thinking the industry is “Uberized?” It really is the opposite. Uber took an industry from people just driving their cars and made them an industry of independent contractors who own their business. Realtors are. The ones going the other way are companies that turn these brokers into employees.
How do you coach your agents to prepare for 2021?
“I don’t see an immediate answer to the inventory problem. But if you’re surprised by the number of people in your database looking to buy and sell real estate right now, the joke is on you. Because I don’t think these people woke up yesterday and concluded they should sell today.
If you are surprised by the number of people in your system who want to move, it may be an accusation that you don’t know nearly as much about the people in your system as you should.
If you have someone in your database and they can tell me the number of bedrooms you want, the number of bathrooms and square footage, and the amount of spending, and that’s all you can tell me? Do you really believe then that these people are in your database? “
Abrams described an exercise based on a Harvard Business Review article about the triangle of trust:
Draw a triangle.
In the lower left corner, write LOGIC.
Write EMPATHY above.
And write AUTHENTICITY at the bottom right.
“Remember this whenever you’ve had an argument with someone significant,” he said. “I promise you, it’s because one of those three things was fuzzy.” And they’re all important in relationships, including real estate. “
I don’t see this industry ever changing. Transactions are not getting any easier, and there is a lot of change going on in the world outside of technology and what we do as brokers. The basic transaction doesn’t get any less risky and requires people who can be there and so trusted advisors.
This is where the Jedi comes in. Because agents are uniquely positioned to alleviate the fear of buying and selling.
“Residential real estate agents must strive to help people overcome fear. “I want to sell but I’m scared because I don’t know what I’m going to buy” or when someone says, “I had a home inspection and these are the problems and now I’m scared” or “I” don’t know how much I should offer. This is the Jedi way: going through this fear. “