What’s the purpose of a real estate broker?
It’s a question that both agents and entrepreneurs are asking a lot these days. Between the ever-improving tools and software being marketed directly to agents, bold real estate startups like Redfin, and so-called “hybrid brokerages” that are driving down commission splits across the industry, there are those who say brokers are a thing of the past.
We generate so much broker-to-broker referral business, but what happens next? If you have a poor website experience, then that referral is a lot less meaningful.
— PAM O’CONNOR
Certainly, the traditional brokerage model is under siege. But for Pam O’Connor, president and CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, the problem isn’t that brokers are outmoded: it’s that they’re not marketing themselves properly.
“I think that brokers are among the worst at really selling themselves and the value they bring, because they’re so used to being outwardly focused on their agents and taking care of them,” Pam told us. In fact, she said, brokers have never been more relevant or valuable to the real estate industry — and Pam is making sure they stay that way.
At LeadingRE, Pam oversees a network of the most successful independent brokerages around the globe. From Los Angeles, to Dubai, to Sydney and dozens of cities and countries in between, LeadingRE companies generate an astounding $330 billion in annual home sales. That’s partly due to the high bar LeadingRE has set for its members when it comes to digital marketing.
“We generate so much broker-to-broker referral business, but what happens next?” Pam asked. “If you have a poor website experience, then that referral is a lot less meaningful.”
The first woman to head a major real estate network, Pam has managed real estate and relocation organizations for over 25 years. She’s been named one of the top 25 most influential people in real estate by both the National Association of REALTORS® and Swanepoel. In this interview, Pam explains why there’s never been a better time to join or start an independent brokerage, and why referrals are worthless without the right systems to capitalize on them.
- Matt & Seth