Yesterday, online used car retailer Vroom advertised during Super Bowl LV in a bid to increase awareness of their company. The ad, called “Dealership Pain,” features a car buyer being pressured by a used car salesman almost to the extent of torture with jumper cables. Vroom purchases and sells vehicles online without requiring customers to go to a dealership. This exact same 'story' is being promoted by online real estate entities messaging the horrors and waste working with real estate agents, especially unprofessional agents.....
This theme of tech-fueled entities trying to replace the 'agent' or salesperson is growing and their tactics are becoming increasingly aggressive. Just like some entities seduced the brokerage community with 'free exposure' - and then progressively raised pricing, not unlike crack dealers - now we are witnessing a wave of entities doing their best to convince the consumer that they don't need a broker or agent. The first ruse is always COST. "We can do it for less!" or "save a fortune!" and nothing entices the consumer more than savings.
Yes, it is true these entities can save the consumer money. They are exclusively transaction-focused and actually can perform many of the tasks we agents do. Yet we all know the extent of tasks and work we do outside the obvious transactional ones that no tech-exclusive entity or un-incentivized salaried salesperson would even want to do. As professional agents we are there for the consumer well before a transaction takes place, all the way through the transaction and then forever afterward. High tech AND High-TOUCH. THIS is the message we have to broadcast loudly and clearly and repeatedly - on top of the white-glove, uber-service professional agents deliver - to secure our future.
This VROOM story further highlights how bad, unprofessional, rude, uninformed, lazy, dishonest agents have the capacity to provide the fuel for our adversaries to message to the consumer a stereotype that we know is in the minority. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our survival to call out the bad players and either force them to change their ways or leave our profession.
The travel industry is the perfect example of how the tech world raided the travel advisory industry with 'cheap' and 'do-it-yourself' ideology. Personally, I find booking a trip myself very time-consuming and difficult. I have to do all the homework and editing. AND...... it's not cheaper! These anti-salespeople entities are not charitable or humanitarian organizations: they are in it for one thing only.....PROFIT. Cheaper is not necessarily better, especially when you factor in the cost of time. Time is the last luxury.
Have a MAGICAL Monday!