Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Conference Coverage

Creating Advantages

why play on a level field uploaded by mindshareworld

A Level Playing Field

I was at Connection 2008 listening to a group of Nationally respected Mega-Brokers talk about Internet Marketing when the conversation wound its way around to the topic of MLS provided services. One of the participants from the floor began to talk about how these services could help level the competitive playing field.

One of the larger brokers responded, “I don’t want a level playing field. I have worked long and hard to assure that my company has every competitive advantage”.

Listening to the conversation , it occurred to me that the only people with an interest in leveling the playing field are those who feel they are at a disadvantage in the game. That led my mind back to a meeting of a local MLS many years ago, when I was a small, independent, start up company.

In that meeting, I was arguing passionately for a rule change to the MLS which would have leveled that specific playing field, listening to arguments from a much larger broker about why they didn’t want those changes. Frankly, I wanted the playing field leveled to benefit my agents and our company. As I compared those meetings, almost two decades apart, I realized yet again, that everyone wants the “fair thing” as long as it benefits their purpose.

We all Want an Advantage

The differentiation that we all strive for in our blogs, farms, listing presentations, marketing materials, etc. is important to us. Each of us are legends in our own minds and yet we all know that we can learn from others in our business; no one wants to re-invent the wheel. However even though we want to know what other people are doing , we’re not so quick to share our own “stuff” with competitors. After all, those things are designed to tilt the playing field, aren’t they? Who wants to give their best baseball bat to their competitors to use against them?

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Why I love the Internet

In local marketplaces, brokers don’t share their ideas or programs because they want to retain a competitive edge. For many years, large national brokerages created brainstorming groups like the “Masterminds” or the “Dozen” (the 12 largest Real Estate firms in the U.S.) that met quarterly so that those business owners could have someone to talk to who shared their problems and concerns but did not compete with them on a daily basis.  Those people were so dominant in their own marketplace that they needed to travel across the country to find others who could and more importantly would share ideas with them.

National franchises created networks where brokers could seek help from franchisees outside their market and learn new programs or get ideas to advance their business. Independent brokerages didn’t have this luxury until the Internet leveled that particular playing field; now everyone can be part of a larger electronic community where we can interact and share ideas with people that we have much in common with but will never compete with.

Because of Web 2.0 we have friends and colleagues all over the country. We tweet, we blog, we podcast, and we create a national clearinghouse of information. I can email a broker in a marketplace across the country for information on his recruiting program, and he or she knows that I will never use that information to recruit one of their agents. I can learn about tools they use to list or sell property because they know that I will never use that information to compete with them for a piece of business. 

 Luckily many brokers and agents don’t get it yet, which keeps the field tilted in our direction – Hooray for us!

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

Bill is an unusual blend of Old & New - The CEO Century 21 Advantage Gold (Philadelphia's Largest Century 21 company and BuzzBuilderz (a Social Media Marketing Company), He is a Ninja CEO, blending the Web 1 and 2.0 world together in a fashion that stretches the fabric of the universe. You can follow him on twitter @Billlublin or Facebook or LinkedIn.



  1. Paula Henry

    May 26, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Definately, Hooray for us! I was speaking with a colleague just a few weeks ago who told me, people in the industry do not like blogs or agents who blog. I asked why do they care? Her response was, they feel blogging creates an unfair advantage. I was amazed! Rather than take time to create their own online presence, they would rather complain about those who do.

    I have made more friends across the nation who would gladly share their knowledge, as I would with them. Therein lies the true advantage!

  2. Jeremy Hart

    May 26, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    I find it laughable that a blog gives me a competitive advantage.

    Think of all that time I waste preparing posts, making sure I get the apostrophe in just the right place so that my mom won’t call me – AGAIN – to remind me it’s “its” and not “it’s”. Imagine how much time I’d have left over if I didn’t read all of those bloggers from around the world that write such uninteresting things, and don’t even get me started on the fact that I haven’t seen fame and fortune come about as a result of blogging.

    They’re right – there’s no competitive advantage. Think I’ll just give up now.

  3. Bill Lublin

    May 26, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Paula: People usually don’t like those who do more then they do – it takes away their excuse for not winning!

    Jeremy – I think you’re famous 🙂

  4. Jay Thompson

    May 26, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    This whole Internet thing isn’t an advantage, it’s just a passing fad and you’re all wasting your time…

  5. Bill Lublin

    May 26, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    @Jay; I know I’m wasting my time, but I need something to do while your arm is healing. 😉

  6. Russell Shaw

    May 27, 2008 at 1:58 am

    Killer post, Bill. Nice job.

  7. Jim Lee

    May 27, 2008 at 8:15 am

    As one of the early adapters to the www (which is different from the Internet) I’ve enjoyed an uneven playing field for many years now.

    At the current pace our fellow Realtors are “catching on” (NOT), I see that uneven field continuing for several more years.

    It’s (is that the correct usage Jeremy?) amazing to me that even though statistics show that over 80% of current home buyers use the www in their home searches, the majority of Realtors do not nor do they have an effective web presence.

  8. Jonathan Dalton

    May 27, 2008 at 8:52 am

    That same message can be applied to nearly any walk of life … it was that way when I was back at Schwab and metrics were the heart of my existence, it’s that way in baseball …

    Those who complain most about some having a competitive advantage tend to be those who take the fewest steps to negate that advantage. They’re waiting for their fairy godmother to come save them rather than taking the needed steps themselves.

  9. Jon Griffith

    May 27, 2008 at 10:57 am

    That’s it! I’m throwing my computer in the trash can.

  10. Vicki Moore

    May 27, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I’m reading along, nodding my head. Thinking of the depth of the post. Then all of a sudden: Hooray for us! LOL.

  11. Greg Broadbent

    May 27, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Maybe those other agents already know everything and are making too much money. I can see why the internet would be a waste for them.

  12. ines

    May 27, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    What’s amazing about the power of blogging is how uneven the field gets by the day! Sometimes I feel like I’m the top of a hill looking down – it’s a bit surreal and I can’t wait to see what comes next…..we’ll be here waiting for that train and will be the first ones on board.

  13. Late Night Austin Real Estate

    May 28, 2008 at 2:30 am

    Personally I think I have gained a lot more from the free exchange of ideas on the internet than I have from anything else. Its nice whenever I run into a problem I can poke around the interent and get some answer from other re folks who are experiencing the same thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Business News

(FINANCE) An anti-trust lawsuit against major players in the residential real estate industry sheds light on misinformation and misunderstandings about commissions - when you're...

Business Marketing

(MARKETING) Opcity is the Austin startup making big changes to the ways that lead generation happens in real estate.

Business News

(REAL ESTATE NEWS) NAR CEO Dale Stinton is set to retire after his successor is named. Stinton is known for his steady leadership and...


When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment - where are the best places...


The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.