“Why do I need you?” Jed Carlson asks real estate agents the big question

Reading time: about 2 mins

As a real estate agent, confidence is your product. And technology can never disrupt confidence.

“I found the house.”

“I got my own mortgage.”

“I did the school research.”

“Why do I need you? And why should I pay you 3%?”

As a real estate agent, you’ve doubtless heard some version of this. So what do you say?

Adwerx CEO Jed Carlson asked the same question to a room of hundreds of agents at Inman Connect in New York. His answer surprised them. A 10 minute replay is available with log in, but read on here to get the highlights.

“This could destroy our business model.”

Learning about the challenges faced by real estate, with new technology and more data than ever accessible by everyday buyers and sellers, Jed was reminded of another group of industry executives who felt under fire.

The execs were from the music industry. And the threat they faced was Napster.

The time honored model of music sales was by album. But Napster and other file sharing platforms revealed a different way for consumers to get music: one song at a time. And they liked it.

The entire music industry was disrupted. But it wasn’t piracy. Consumers preferred to pay for their music. They just wanted to buy the one song they liked, rather than the whole album. Apple’s iTunes store made that possible and changed the way we all consume media today.

This also sounds very familiar.

“Help them get up the mountain.”

Jed went on to explore another industry and how its participants also faced a rise in technology adoption. And one insider distilled what makes them useful into three points:

  1. Reduce the risk
  2. Carry the load
  3. Comfort the client along the way

If this sounds like the essence of a real estate agent, you’re right. But the expert was from the field of mountain climbing and was talking about Sherpas, the local guides that assist climbers up Mt Everest and K2, the most dangerous mountains in the world.

And Sherpas, in this age of technology, have also seen a more empowered clientele. These climbers have satellite phones. They have Google Earth. They have incredible gear. So do they still need a Sherpa?

Absolutely.

Because the Sherpa provides those three core values, none of which can be supplanted or disrupted by technology.

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