“The times they are a changin’.”
That song from Bob Dylan plays in my head at least once a week as I watch the disruption happening all throughout the real estate and mortgage industries. Whether it be from M&A, digital transformations, consumer direct marketing, social selling, technology partnerships, etc. things are changing.
Note: I use the term “disruption” not as the cliché buzzword it has become, but as a descriptor for any change from status quo.
As has been said by many industry titans, the only constant in business you can count on is change. Yet, too many of you are still holding on to the past, to the “good ol’ days” of this business. Putting your head in the sand will only work for so long before you realize it is a losing proposition. And it is ALWAYS a losing proposition.
When I speak to agents and loan officers on disruption, tech, marketing, etc. my core message is always the same. It is time for you to stop being romantic about the way things used to be. We are never going back. It is time for you to embrace the tremendous opportunity in front of you to reimagine your business for today’s consumer. I stress that you don’t want to be on the “wrong side” of disruption.
What does the wrong side look like? Keep reading.
Taxi industry vs. ride-share (Uber, Lyft). Yes, I know you have probably heard this comparison a lot. But what about rental cars? In the case of taxis, you are looking at a centuries-old profession/industry and rental cars, though not as old as taxis, started with Hertz in 1932. The commonality between the two is that both industries have been decimated in just the past few years. Think about that. Industries that have owned a market forever have now seen their market share drop in just a few short years. How much have they dropped? Let’s look at some data.
The Certify Q1 2018 SpendSmart report analyzed over 10 million business receipts and expenses from the first quarter of 2018. Ride-sharing now accounts for more than 70% of the transportation market for business travelers. With the ride-share companies grabbing 70% of the market, taxis and rental car companies are now competing over smaller slices of a smaller pie. Rental cars are getting 23.5% and taxis netting only 6%. At the beginning of 2014, ride-sharing was only 8% of the business transportation market, while rental cars were 55% and taxis were 37% respectively.
For me, as a consumer, taxis, and rentals are dead. In the past year, I have been to NYC, New Mexico, Richmond, Virginia, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, etc. I have used Lyft/Uber instead of taxis and Turo instead of rental cars. The experience is 10 times better, and the price is the same if not lower. Just think of all the taxi/rental car income that was lost on me, just a single user, and multiply that by all the others that do the same. Think about that, and look at the SpendSmart report and you now have a visual of what the wrong side of disruption looks like.
Make no mistake, that type of disruption is happening to the mortgage industry, and it is picking up steam. In the Real Estate industry, which is the biggest referral source to loan officers nationally, the disruption is happening even faster. The mortgage industry will look vastly different in 10yrs, and I would argue that it will probably be more like 3-5 years. However, I still run into Loan Officers every day that don’t buy it. They give me reason after reason about why they are different. And I tell that that “every disrupted industry says “it can’t happen to me” until it happens to them.” Look back over the past five years in the industry and tell me with a straight face haven’t changed. How many mortgage brands are no longer around?
I am sure you are saying “Well jeez Frazier, aren’t you Mr. Sunshine and Rainbows.” I know it sounds that way, but this isn’t a doom and gloom post. This a plea for you to seize the day, to seize the opportunity to adapt your business to meet the needs of the new economy and the modern consumer. This is the greatest time in history to build your business and reach customers. For those of you who “Get it” the future is bright because most of your competition won’t change. Most won’t see the change, won’t believe the change, and won’t want to change… until it is too late.
Don’t let it be too late for you. No more waiting. It is time to wake up and be different from the herd. Take advantage of the tools available to you, the ones your companies are providing for you so that you can not only adapt to change but become a change creator yourself. If you have finally accepted what is happening and choose to go all all-in on creating change, you will have no problem succeeding in the era of disruption. If you don’t, then chances are you aren’t going to make it.