Reports of death are great for shock value and blog traffic but are not particularly useful for true leaders, who invent the future they believe in, regardless of what the pundits say.
Lately there’s a lot of talk about the death of IDX, and let’s just say I think that assertion is quite premature. It could happen, if brokers continue to be encouraged to abandon the cooperation that has done so well by them and consumers. Headlines like “Brokers pulling out of IDX” are just plain inaccurate. The idea that one can “make plans for the post-IDX world” without knowing what would replace it in NAR policy is a time-waster, plain and simple. That doesn’t mean that NAR couldn’t spin off a PAG to evaluate the question of “What could or should we do instead of IDX?” – but that process isn’t even started, let alone done.
Just for fun, let’s look at some reports of death over the time I’ve been around the industry…
- 1993 “There are hungry lions coming over the hill!”
- 1997 – dot Coms will disintermediate agents
- 1998 – Mega Brokerages will eliminate the need for MLSs
- 2003 – VOWs will kill MLSs – DOJ to destroy industry
- 2003 – Portals are “lions coming over the hill” (again)
- 2004 – The Internet is killing commissions
- 2005 – DOJ & States fight over minimum service – FSBO’s ahoy!
- 2005 – DOJ to destroy industry … again
- 2006 – The MLS will be open to consumers (starting in Maine)
- 2006 – DOJ to destroy industry … again
- 2007 – Real Estate “is the most screwed up industry in America”
- 2007 – DOJ to destroy industry … again
- 2008 – DOJ to destroy industry … again
- 2009 – Web 2.0 to radically change MLSs
- 2009 – DOJ to destroy industry … again
- 2011 – Discounting is dead (Zip shutters offices in 11 markets)
- 2012 – IDX is dead
Look, this is an industry with challenges – every industry has them – but it’s an industry with great leaders, awesome capability, and amazing potential. Yes, it’s important to understand the threats, so that one can address risks – and Clareity wouldn’t run a strategic planning session without a SWOT analysis. Ofcourse let’s keep our eyes on the technology and legal landscapes, as well as on changes to consumer and business cultures that could affect how business is done in our industry. But, as Brian Larson said last year, “We’re an industry driven too often by our fears and not enough by our dreams.” So, while managing our risks, let’s put aside the declarations of death and start working on all the positive things we can do.
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