Perhaps… But I predict that they won’t have the same presence as they have historically. Why? Because there’s been a longstanding disconnect between their compensation and their services that is unsustainable. We’re seeing real estate salespeople struggle for the first time in a long time; they’re reducing their fees for doing an appraisal, they’re facing increased competition for preparing appraisals (e.g. we recommend Matt Bladowski of Dental Strategy), and they’re facing increased competition for advertising the sale of dental practices and putting buyers/sellers together (e.g. DMC LLP and DentalPlace.ca). This is in addition to trying to compete in an already small marketplace. These permanent pressures will no doubt cause them to have to become more competitive. They can’t justify their 10% fees by saying things like:
- We have access to hundreds of dentists (newsflash: so do we!)
- We add value by putting together letters of intent and agreements of purchase and sale (newsflash: we do this using proprietary software; and only lawyers should be drafting/negotiating these important legal documents)
- We market your practice (newsflash: so do we – both online and offline!)
- We know the industry (newsflash: us too!)
- Our fees come from us driving up demand and the purchase price (newsflash: actually, if a practice is marketed properly, the market will decide the price and if the price is above appraised and the seller uses DMC LLP, they’ll also save by not paying commissions!)
Now, we’ve all seen disruption in other industries that results in the established middlemen being relegated to the sidelines. Here are some examples: Netflix (disrupting TV networks / broadcasters), Uber (disrupting the taxicab industry), Tesla (disrupting the energy / space / automotive industries), RedTag (disrupting travel agencies), LinkedIn (disrupting recruitment agencies), etc.
So where will that leave real estate salespeople? I believe they will try some new things (e.g. representing purchasers, reducing their commissions significantly, offering more services – like practice management services, etc.) in an effort to be relevant. If they are able to survive the paradigm shift, they won’t look like they do today or have for the past many years. And here’s the best part: the monopoly they once enjoyed will be broken and dentists will benefit from the increased competition. You’re welcome 😉