As Realtors, there are so many times you or your clients need to get odd things done. Real estate ebbs and flows - sometimes you're busy, sometimes you're not, and often you rely on the help of your family, kids or friends to make it happen.
You end up asking so often that family suddenly becomes scarce, and your friends start declining your calls. Not a good feeling.
Ultimately, you're a one-person show. You need to give great service at a moment's notice, and often are the de facto recipient of all your buyers' and sellers' questions. “Do you know someone who can help me clean, move, fix, deliver ______,” you’re often asked.
What about your own needs? Assistants can be so expensive! Wouldn’t it be great to outsource your errands and odd jobs with a click of a button? Or how about a meeting space when you’re far from the office? Starbucks is great, but hardly private. For a few dollars, you can easily rent for an hour a professional, cozy and quiet space to have your clients sign documents at a moment's notice.
There’s a trend unfolding called the sharing economy with the goal of helping make life more affordable, flexible and simple. The concept is sharing access to products and services with a community rather than having sole ownership. It's sort of reminiscent of college life, where you couldn’t afford anything without at least three others pitching in.
In fact, this peer-to-peer sharing has created what's being called a freelance economy. People are finding that these short-term gigs are pulling full-time income, which is very attractive to some.
New companies based on this collaborative consumption concept have been launching and gaining a ton of trusting users over the past five years. For example, TaskRabbit, Uber, Airbnb and Breather. And all have huge application in our industry.
TaskRabbit, built its business on the need for quick help, offering services such as furniture assembly, moving help, deliveries, minor home repairs, organization and personal assistance. They fully vet and background check each "tasker" so you know you’re not getting a random person.
This could be a great solution for filling in the help your clients need around the house or with moving. Instead of bringing your kids along to help, why not hire someone? Or, even better, how about a little help for you?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone check to make sure your listing’s flyer boxes are full? Or to pick up or put out your open home signs"? How about stuffing envelopes for your next mailing? Just think how much more productive you’d be SELLING, verses doing errands.
Airbnb is another interesting resource for real estate. This site lets you make money renting out either your entire home or a space within. It’s become the new way to travel, often getting you a better rate in a more comfortable space than you'd find in a hotel.
How does this apply to your clients? While you’re thinking of homes for your buyers, mention whether there’s an in-law unit or an extra room and how easy it could be to list it on Airbnb and put a few extra dollars in their pocket. Airbnb even has a host guarantee with protection up to $1 million.
It’s becoming a sharing kind of world, which, I’d say, is a trusting kind of of world. None of this could work if we didn’t have faith in one another. If I were you, I’d embrace it. Enjoy it. And start thinking of ways to apply it. I think it will be easy, and you’ll end up giving better service, and become more efficient and productive yourself.
When we work together, anything is possible.