The first Triple Crown Winner in 45 years… and he bat .330
Welcome to another edition of an annual tradition, in which I go back and grade myself on my predictions made at the start of this year. My track record so far:
2010 Predictions: 6 of 10 (.600)
2011 Predictions: 4.5 of 7 (.642)
As was the case last year, I’m hoping to be wrong more often than not, because my 2012 Predictions, written on January 2, 2012, were kind of on the doomy and gloomy side of things. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Thus far, we have explored why Redfin 3.0 is significant, and the hypothesis that the real estate consumer cannot, will not, or in any event does not form relationships with companies or with brands, but only with another person: the agent. We have looked at the two main consequences of that hypothesis: that if the brokerage brand doesn’t help an agent form and maintain client relationships, it can’t hurt an agent either; and that brokerages should only invest in technology only to the extent that such investment leads to greater recruitment and retention of agents. What matters, at the end of the day, is agent count.
We now turn to how those two conclusions then inform business strategy for brokerages going forward.
So in the last post, I made the case that Redfin 3.0 is significant because of who made the decision. Redfin was and remains (a) an innovator in brokerage business models, (b) a technology leader, and (c) led by smart people who don’t make snap decisions. Their decision to move away from the whoever happens to be available brokerage-to-consumer model to a one-to-one agent-to-consumer model suggests that perhaps the real estate transaction is so emotional, so psychological, so personal that consumers cannot form a relationship with any company or brand, but only with another human being.
In this part, I explore the possible consequences of that assumption: real estate consumers can and will form a customer relationship only with a human being. I believe that assumption has real implications for the hot topics the industry is debating and talking about today.
Was it just yesterday when I was speculating on Zillow’s recent hiring of Bob Bemis? Why, yes, yes it was. How things change in 24 hours when you live in interesting times. [Editor's Note: Obviously, you started writing this on the 15th and didn't finish? Nice managing the deadline, Rob.]
Today, Zillow released their Q4/2011 results, which shows its full year results as well. The numbers are… shall we say… ah… scintillating given the state of the real estate market today? And there’s just so much here that points to the future of real estate, where the battle lines will be drawn, and what the next set of tensions will be.
I warn you now. This will be long and filled with the kind of “paranoid speculation” that makes most insiders guffaw with disbelief… until it happens.
Continuing the tradition that started when the earth was young (or last year… depending on your definition of “time”), I’d like to present this year’s version of “Predictions Guaranteed to be Wrong, Or Your Money Back”! As we saw in the report card post, last year, I went 4.5 for 7 in predictions. I hope to bat lower for this year’s predictions. Of course, I can guarantee 0 for 7 by making ridiculous predictions, like “The Jets will win the SuperBowl”.