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NEW GOOGLE Maps: One of our favorite services just got better! A new redesigned and sleeker Google Maps is available to the general public starting today. Check out the Street-View photos, the public images uploaded to Google+ and Picasa as well as Photo Spheres, and the user-generated photo tours. You can request a free invite here - http://www.google.com/help/maps/helloworld/desktop/preview/
In an information overload and multi-tasking world their message is clear and single-minded. You have to FOCUS on ONE thing. Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus. Of course for most of us that is really hard to do. Distractions and popular philosophies are often the reasons why we think we can’t or didn’t succeed. Today good friends, Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, publish their next book—The ONE Thing. I had an opportunity to read an advance copy and there is no doubt that this book will surge on to all the best seller lists this month, and most likely bubble all the way to number #1. Here is my review of their book - http://amzn.to/YYOK9Z - if you found the review helpful I would appreciate a yes on Amazon.
In general, I don't think so. Most agents either believe that it won't change because consumers will always need an agent and therefore they deserve their current commission or that if it will change it will not impact them personally as they personally deliver a better service than "other" agents and therefore they will be able to charge more commission even if others have to charge less. Agents should however step back and not include themselves personally in this debate but rather ask the question whether consumers in general would like to pay less or more for anything. And if less is the overall direction/ answer for the majority of consumers (yes there are exceptions and different service levels and offerings), will the consumer pressure not continue to seek solutions in that direction.
Michael and Alec thank you for restating earlier quotes I made about education, training and professionalism in our beloved industry. Matt you may enjoy enjoy trend #2 and #1 in the latest 2012 edition of the Swanepoel Trends Report released this month in which those two chapters really delve deep into the structure, value and challenges of MLS and Realtor Associations.
Cyndi: I've done several Evernote webinars with the good people at The GoodLife Team and Coffee with Krisstina. I probably will do more at some point in the near future, because the demand for Evernote knowledge seems to be growing. I also just co-authored the Swanepoel Technology Report, in which I wrote a chapter about Evernote usage in real estate. You can check that out if you're interested in learning more quickly...
Stefan: You wrote: "Few visionaries and researchers are predicting the disappearance of the agent, but rather the redefinition and repositioning of the participants and the compensation paradigm in the home buying and selling transaction. Change is a certainty, it is the timing and method that is in question and worthy of debate." Yes, EXACTLY that...
I will fight for our industry but I will also prepare, for me that meant 2 years ago creating a media company with a partner. We have not gone public direct nor do we plan to but when the time comes when consumers have adapted and our industry hasn't I will be there to help consumers and still get paid. There is way too much innovation going on out there and I am going to take part in it. Individual agents will not be able to quell the tide that is coming and has to come to other industries. I'm not knocking anyone but severe change is coming, am I scared...NOPE...I am prepared! I've purchased 25k worth of video and audio equipment over the past 3 years, hired a full time web/video editor and working diligently with my brokerage to help them also utilize the tools we have been implementing. This isn't about our value as agents, it is about what is happening on a much larger scale and consumers will lead the charge.