96 hours later – Innovation

The saga continues:

Captain’s log star date: 1-18-2008

It’s been 96 hours since my first distress signal. Still no response. There appears to be no sign of life on planet Realtor. I am a lead. Lost in cyberspace. My mission was to seek out information on a home with a stairway fresco and a bathtub. It must be a very special tub.  I boldly went where I have never been before.

These are the voyages of the Starship Consumer.

1988. Four years into my marriage. I was cycling in Rockland County (20 miles north of Manhattan). I rounded a corner and screeched to a stop. In front of me was a home for sale. I was not in the market for a home. With no pen, no paper, no cell phone, I rode up onto the circular driveway and knocked on the door. 120 McNamara Rd.

Mr. Ralph answered. He was several days into retirement. We spoke. 60 days later, I was a homeowner.

2008. I suppose I could call the agent listed on this site. But the home hadn’t yet spoken to me. Not like Mr. Ralph’s did. I needed to see more pictures. Many more. Like I can on Zappos when I buy a $50 pair of shoes.

Maybe the agent sensed I’m not really a buyer. Maybe she determined through experience that lead inquires such as the one I made are a waste of time. What else could it be? Email has been around for a long time now.

2007: Friends of mine made an offer on a home. It was declined by the agent. Too low.
This couple recently moved back from Spain and couldn’t up their offer. Months later, while combing cragislist, they spotted that same home listed for rent. The owner, it turns out, was forced to rent because he received no offers. The couple were shocked. Turns out the listing agent never presented the offer to the seller.

There are too many examples of buyers and sellers getting beamed up into a real estate vortex where it’s all about the agent and not at all about the consumer. That is what all the lead generation this and lead incubation that is all about. None of it has any bearing on or sensitivity to the people who hire agents to represent their needs.

Right now a seller sits in a beautiful home, with a little yellow fire hydrant in the front yard and a special bathtub in a bathroom, blind to his agent’s failure. Blind to the opportunity passing them by.

And these days, the longer that homes sits on the market, the less valuable it’s going to become. There has to be a better way.

Introducing N-play. A simple little app imbedded into any listing that allows buyers and or buyers agents to make offers online that alert both the seller and their agent. The offer ends up on a live grid viewable by the buyer and seller as well as anyone interested in buying the home.

Bad idea? Why? Are sellers not allowed to see, or even handle, inquiries? Mr. Ralph certainly had no problem doing so back in 1988 and his agent received a double commission as a result.

Would this be a cool selling point to acquire listings?
Would this be a great way to involve sellers?
Would this serve to enhance an agent’s value proposition?
Would this serve to enhance the buyer’s experience?

A little innovation powered by love could lead to a brilliant sale and make a $100,000 commission check feel good to write. That’s what this is all about. That’s what real estate has got to be about.

I am no longer a lead. I am disgusted, frustrated and disappointed. Well done real estate.

This is Captain Davison of the Starship Consumer, signing off.

part 1
part 2
part 3