Have you worked with traditional brokers in recent years? How are traditional brokers doing today? In 2010 in Chuck Marunde’s book, The New World of Marketing for Real Estate Agents, he wrote, “The real estate industry is in the midst of extraordinary change. There’s no doubt about that . . . The traditional bricks-and-mortar real estate brokerage is hemorrhaging, and the headlines lately have been about closures, bankruptcies, consolidations, and mergers.”

Traditional Brokers

Traditional Brokers Struggling

Why have traditional brokers been going out of business, declaring bankruptcy, or consolidating? Because they no longer have the right business model. Consumers don’t want their model anymore. It is outdated and low tech. This week I talked with a broker from a traditional brokers office, and I was surprised to learn that they still use hard copy files and don’t use any kind of digital transaction management system. I started using a digital system to keep all my real estate documents organized about 10 years ago, as have many modern brokers who are bridging the gap between the old and the new. But many of my colleagues are stuck in a very old business model. Nearly everything they are doing today I was doing when I first started in real estate sales almost 40 years ago, including print advertising, farming letters, open houses, and paying for a big brick building. It’s really kind of surprising that their business model is 40 years old, isn’t it?


Traditional Brokers Leaving the Stage

This photo above, which I took inside the Silverdale Mall one hour from Sequim, shows a big empty space. What traditional brokers had a kiosk in this location for many years? It was Windermere. They recently moved out and left a great big empty space, which is such a classic example of this continuing hemorrhaging of the big traditional brokerage. Consumers changed their habits and preferences long ago, and yet many traditional brokers just don’t get it. Of course, they finally do get it when they find themselves struggling to survive or have to close their doors. I’ll tell you this. They are in denial, and they will be vociferous in their denial. They will claim they are doing fine all the way to the end.

There’s an entirely new way of doing business, a way that keeps up with technology and is effective in reaching qualified buyers, which is the whole goal for sellers. There’s one Sequim broker who broke free over 10 years ago from the traditional brokers paradigm, and that is Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate, also known as iRealty Virtual Brokers. Chuck Marunde is the founder and owner, and is regularly the top selling individual broker of single family homes by volume. Some who are claiming to be number one are actually counting Chuck’s sales of their listings as their own sales. Oh my, the games people play with consumers (that would be you). While Chuck doesn’t care about statistics or where he stands with respect to competitors, his sales record only proves his business model is way ahead of the competition.

You can buy The New World of Marketing for Real Estate Agents online at Traditional Brokers v. The New Brokers. A good companion read would be Chuck’s latest book, The Seven Myths of Selling Your Home.

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