Brokers Don’t Want Innovation

I recently applied two inventions for Realogy’s “Innovation FWD” competition.  I won’t win for the same reason the entire real estate industry is about to lose everything: brokers don’t want innovation.

Google’s top line definition of innovation talks of “change, revolution, and upheaval”.


I get excited by those terms.  But this is not what the real estate industry really wants.  Realogy’s and the industry’s talk of innovation is a lie; a lie told to themselves.  “Upheaval” requires removal of the existing business model being replaced by something radically new.

What everybody in the industry really wants is the next shiny object that they believe will perpetuate the status quo for them.  No one within the role of providing brokerage services nor the portals or title companies or the lending industry wants innovation (change, revolution, upheaval).  They desire something that will take a portion of current market share from someone else and give it to them—without upsetting their current business model.

I believe the current broker-centric real estate business model has zero chance of surviving as you see it today.  The brokers’ one shot was to truly innovate, to dump what they currently have in order to offer something completely new, but they chose the easier, wider path marching in the same direction they have been while still believing things will turn out fine.

Within my official “100 Word Elevator Pitch” required for my Innovation FWD application I tried to hint where protecting the status quo has gotten the industry before I offered my solutions.  No one in the industry is going to listen.




When a Broker becomes a Tech Innovator

Sell Me in 100 Words or Less

What does five years’ of very hard work and investing $1,000,000 of my own cash to create my own version of innovation for the real estate industry get me: the chance to “sell” Realogy on my stuff in 100 words or less?




The reward for beating out every other company offering the industry some form of innovation: $25K and a chance to sell my stuff to Realogy’s associated agents.

Brilliant plan really: invest five years and $1MM and get $.025 of a million in return (there’s a decimal point before that zero).  I guess I’ll have to make up for that bad ROI in volume…

Want to see how I “dazzled” them?  Here’s my QValue® AVM “elevator” pitch:

One reason Zillow dominates every franchise site for leads: being first to offer an AVM.

One thing every broker needs: high quality leads.

One reason brokers pony up 20% of their income to advertise on Zillow: no franchise offers them the volume of leads Zillow does.

But, Zillow’s AVM is built on the wrong criteria (all physical criteria).  And buyers fall in love with and most value homes offering them qualities allowing them to envision their future life.

The QValue® AVM values homes using the same qualities buyers love and teaches sellers how those impact their home’s value.

Zillow loses.


But wait, that’s just the AVM.  The home search tool for buyers is just as cool—so I tried sneaking in a second application.  I didn’t see any rules posted at their site against being ambitious.

Buyers search for homes, mostly on Zillow.

Zillow’s home search sucks as bad as everyone else’s: input a price and bedroom count and we’ll dump on you a long list of homes you mostly hate. 

Broker/owners are starving for profits and a unique home search.

With QValue’s® Find More Genius a buyer simply points to a house they love—touches one button, and immediately sees every home very much like the one they love—based on the Qualities allowing them to envision future life events at the home—the real reason they fall in love with a home.


Do I have a shot with Realogy?  Maybe not, but my chances are better than yours since you didn’t apply.

Additionally I had to explain in “50 words or less” my sources of funding along with my website links (they actually asked for one; I of course sneaked in two).  Explaining my funding was easy “stupid person invests all he has to create something”.  Okay, that’s not exactly what I said, but that is what happened.

I may be doomed from the start as honestly I’m not even sure if my applications went through.  I hit “submit”, and the screen cleared the form, but I received neither a pop-up acknowledgement at their site nor an email confirmation for my efforts.  My application may have gone to the same place “” went.  But if this whole franchise pitch thing does not work out I guess that I’ll rephrase my “100 word” description a bit and see what Zillow thinks.

You can see the same presentations Realogy will see (that is if they even want to) at, or play with them live at  Afterward be sure to tell Realogy that my programmers burn through $25K about every two weeks and to show me mercy.


  1. says

    Had the same experience with Realogy FWD application this year…sent mine into the same black hole without a response. I too believe I will not hear from Realogy..

    This innovation you speak of. To me it’s like this:

    Why do we need buyer’s agents anymore when buyers find homes for sale on their own, show up at open house events and beg listing agents to write their offers? Why are 5-6 real estate people still getting paid for a typical transaction, (i.e. 2 brokers, 2 agents, 1-2 transaction coordinators); Why do sellers need to pay 5-6% commission when today’s buyers and sellers are more engaged in the process and perform better than half the tasks agents used to perform using solid data and information found on the internet? Why are commissions still 5-6% of the selling price when agent/broker costs and time commitments have fallen 50% or more since the advent of the internet and advancements in technology? Why are there 5-6% commissions paid when about half the properties sold in solid markets sell in 10 days or less? Why are sellers figuring this out and listing their own homes as a FSBO and using a buyer’s agent to “do the paperwork” for 2 1/2 % of the selling price?

    This is the path to annihilation of our industry as I see it…unless we innovate… check out

  2. Richard says

    I bet you’ll find the knowledge and insights you’ve gained over the past five years will serve you well in the future.

    I’ve been following your blog for about a year because you are one of the few in the real estate industry that realizes it’s time to do something even if it is wrong.

    Most of the industry seems to be in an echo chamber listening to themselves praying that nothing changes. Change is coming whether they like it or not. That leaves only two options.

    Action versus inaction.

    I’ll bet on action every time.

  3. Richard says

    Guts. They are in short supply these days.

    This reminds me of the famous Apple commercial “The Crazy Ones.”

    It’s the crazy ones who move the human race forward. It’s the crazy ones who change things. It’s the crazy ones who upset the staus quo.

    You’re obviously crazy.

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