Who knew that back in 1994 when Amazon started in the garage of Jeff Bezo’s home and began selling / brokering books online that it would one day become the largest online retailer in the world?
I remember years ago when I first saw Amazon online, my initial thought was this; why would I buy book online when I can simply drive to the local book store and buy a book? That is of course if I was a reader (Which I am not, but I am a very attuned listener). It made no sense to me. The entire concept made no sense to me. But over time I began to see more and more items for sale on Amazon. I started to see eBay becoming less used and Amazon becoming a place that I would every now and again buy from rather than eBay.
A few short years go by and I basically completely stopped using eBay altogether because I really got tired of losing bids. More and more items began to be sold on Amazon. Then clothes started to be sold on Amazon. What? Wait! Clothing? What happens if they don’t fit? What if I don’t like the material? Who pays for the shipping and handling back? THEN…..
Amazon Prime goes into effect. Pay your yearly membership and now just about everything you buy is free shipping to your home and if you need to return the item, it is free shipping back to the seller. Amazon then allows you to ship 7 items of clothing to your home to try them out and ship them right back if you don’t like them or if they don’t fit.
Did this change the mind of consumers for purchasing online? You bet it did. Amazon set the new “bar” for shopping online. It literally took the MARKETSHARE from almost all other online retailers by changing the MINDSHARE of the online consumer due to its ease of use and no hassle purchasing. Did it happen overnight…of course not. But they did it.
NOW just about everything I buy comes from Amazon. Just two weeks ago I bought a new pet for my daughter. A pet!!! A Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Seriously…the little guy cost ten dollars and was delivered to my door in just a few days. Hello??? Where could I have bought a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach in Greenville, SC? I know most of you are totally grossed out right now…but if you could have seen the look of excitement on my 10 year old daughter’s face when the little guy arrived, you would never forget it.
Those that own marketshare
actually own MINDSHARE First!
So what does all of this mean for Real Estate and your business? I am so glad you asked….
If you have little to no Marketshare (i.e. Your sales are minimal and no where near where you want them to be at the end of your year)….chances are it is because you have little to no Mindshare as well. Chances are you are not changing with the way consumers do business in this day and age. Chances are YOU are the one inhibiting change. YOU are the one that is not doing more on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram, etc…YOU are the one that is not using digital technology to go to where your target audience is. YOU are the one that is not using a good Customer Relationship Manager to know exactly who to contact and when to contact them.
So before all of you that have been in the industry since the Louisiana purchase start getting on your soap boxes and state that you have been doing business the same way for years and blah, blah, blah…Look at your sales today and compare them to 10 years ago. More than likely your sales volume and units was much higher years ago than it is today. I see it over and over again as a Broker In Charge. And don’t say it is because you wanted to slow down and in-turn make less income. You know that ain’t true…..(Yes I did use the word Ain’t….I can ’cause I live in the south!).
And by the way, don’t hear what I am NOT saying…Real Estate is still a very personal relationship business and there will always be the basics of real estate. And there will always be the Bob Burg Rule that says, “All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like, and trust.”
Just like Amazon changed the mindshare of the online consumer you have to change your mindshare about technology and the way you are doing business in 2020. You MUST change YOUR mindshare FIRST in order to have more mindshare in your market….and then you will gain marketshare. You MUST own it. Own mindshare with your SPHERE of INFLUENCE first! Then you will see an increase in your marketshare.
Don’t be the one that inhibits change; especially in consumer behavior…YOU WILL NOT WIN! Your life will be easier if you accept the changes in the way real estate is done in 2020…just like your life is easier now because of Amazon.
Until next time ~ MLT