Things that cost around $66,000

  1. 1 year’s tuition with room, board and flights home from Princeton
  2. A 2008 Mercedes GL320 CDI SUV
  3. A10% down payment on a luxury condo with panoramic views at the Rivage Tower in Panama
  4. A month’s vacation at Frégate Private Island in the Seychelles
  5. 1 pear-shaped 4.25 ct diamond ring flanked by 2 tapered baguette diamonds at Doyle New York
  6. A Montessori education for a child for their first 8 years of schooling
  7. Marriage counseling 2 days a week for the next 5 years.
  8. A fully remodeled kitchen
  9. A liver transplant
  10. The commission to sell my home at 6%. 

The argument over protecting real estate commissions will continue until the services performed by agents are viewed by consumers as being equal in value to the other luxuries in its class.

This has nothing to do with Redfin and their right to price their service anyway they want. This is about the traditional model steeped in yesterday, unyielding to change and unwilling to put a ladder of benefits in place that resonates with the consumer.

Ask 10 consumers to:

  1. Describe the benefits of a stay at a 5-star hotel.
  2. Define the experience of driving a Mercedes.
  3. Speak of the miracle that is a liver transplant.

If you asked these people if these things are worth their high-dollar price tags, most will say yes. It’s why the Wynn Hotel in Vegas and Macau are both sold out for months in advance and why Doyle of New York gets 50% more than list price in their estate auctions.

What about real estate services?

Can consumers define what agents do, differentiate one agent from another or one brand from another, describe what a luxury real estate experience would be like or describe what innovations they believe Realtors bring to the table?

When they can, the industry will no longer ever need to bother justifying itself or worry an iota about Redfin. Ever.