Karen is my travel agent.
Her services cost me $40.00 per flight.
Those services save my life.
I email Karen my travel particulars.
Within the hour, she sends me an itinerary.
I approve, she books. Runs my card. Done.
I have no interest in using the web for travel anymore.
It’s anything but empowering.
It’s not even fun.
Empowerment is delegating arduous tasks to a professional.
Someone who possess a core expertise in that which you are novice.
And produces results faster and better than you can.
Spending time booking a hectic travel schedule is not empowering.
Zaps time better spent on other things.
Playing Wii with the kids. Jogging. And after drink with my wife and wishing the moment could last forever.
I’m done searching for homes online.
It’s cumbersome, confusing and no longer fun.
Search sites have now narrowed it down beyond simplicity.
With advanced search filters galore.
And maps with little blue markers
I struggle to get passionate about that.
Or believe that it is the best experience the web can provide.
Or that it gets users any closer to what they really want.
Survey’s say consumers research for months prior to calling an agent.
Then, during a ten minute phone call, they tell that agent what they are really looking for.
A home with an artistic vibe to it. Close to a Montessori school. In a neighborhood where there are other kids.
And I wonder, why don’t we just do that from the onset.
How can a web search possibly find vibe?
I’m sure it could.
I guess all those Stanford grads who now decide how we simple folk search haven’t thought of it.
But an agent can do it for us. Especially a good one.
One that knows the neighborhood.
And understands what “vibe” means.
And send us an itinerary of vibey homes by email within the hour.
These days, my sands of time are dissolving into the bottom half of the hourglass.
At 51, having been at the Internet thing since the 80’s, I appreciate the immense value it offers.
I also appreciate its limitations.
For the last decade, through the web, real estate handed the agent’s work over to the consumer.
It was cool for a while. Some say empowering
But now, I think for me anyway, I’d like to hand it back to the agent.
I don’t want to do your job anymore.
I think, I am not alone.
You are the future of real estate.
I still believe in the web.
And there are some search sites I love.
And broker sites that help me source good agents.
They are the ones posting nice, quality pictures of their homes.
Posting them on the big national search sites.
Branding their efforts with their brokers
They are the ones who are making it easy for me to contact them.
Not through a form. Or some office number.
With a real email account. A cell number. A facebook link.
And live chat.
As for the 6% commission, I am at peace with that.
Especially in the wake of Exxon’s recent net profit report.
And the billions of bonus dollars all their execs will reap.
If my agent handles search, finds the right home or sells my home during a bad market, god bless them.
Here’s my check.
Thank you so very much for your service.