I have been talking about this for a long time now. Is it time that all of the independent agents across Australia got together to form a non profit organisation? Yes, will it ever happen? I hope so.
In the Internet economy many things have changed and one of them is the benefits franchise groups have had over independents in relation to buying power!
The current thinking is that if you want to start up a large real estate portal just get all the major franchise groups on board and independents will follow.
But what if the tables were turned? What if the thousands of independent agents across Australia got together and created a board and management team. What if they went to realestate.com.au or domain (both) and negotiated terms for all members.! What if we went to newspapers and told them, this is the linage charges we will pay or we will all walk to your competitor? Ahhh how the tides would turn.
You see…..the success of realestate.com.au and domain.com.au is built upon many things, but the major factor is property listings. For without these they would not get the numbers and without the numbers they would not get the visitors and they would not be able to make their millions from associated advertisers.
So how could it be done? For one I would not include real estate institutes for they have shown their complete lack of understanding in this area for too long now.
But it can be done, it is all about a common goal. It also must be about equal rights for all independent agents.
1. A Board of Management equally represented by each state and territory. This would be a no cost voluntary role. Meetings would be held each month in a different state, of course expenses would be paid, but it cannot be viewed as a cash cow.
2. Each agency has voting rights, so if you have 5 offices you get 5 votes.
3. Each office would pay an annual fee of $495.00 including GST and this would give the organisation enough money to hire a full time consultant and to develop an independent agents real estate portal and systems to export to all major portals. 4000 independents = $1.98 Million Per Annum, but it would take a long time to get to that kind of revenue.
4. Each office would be given 1 share in the new enterprise. Each year any new members would be allocated shares.
5. The role of the consultant would be to negotiate deals with a variety of websites and other common suppliers. It would be a streamlined role.
6. Release a National Real Estate Portal and Systems (simple clean effective) and market this site heavily online. The cost of running a national portal developed well would be around $100,000 per annum, but you would only do this once you had enough members to justify it.
7. Hire a national sales manager to negotiate advertising rates on the portal for banks etc.
8. Deliver a prospectus to all independent agents with an aim to float on the stockmarket.
This is just a idea, but if you could pull it off, I am sure the savings made each year would more than pay for membership.
It would have to be pushed by all independent agents across Australia, it would involve competing agencies getting together for a common goal, but it is very achievable.
And it would be owned by the agents with a charter that basically controlled its future!
Over to you guys?