Is Innovation Realty Ltd. right for you?


This is a big question that deserves a thoughtful conversation about your business, your goals, your confidence and your needs. Read on to discover a little about us and to help you determine if you would like to have the conversation.

If you value professionalism and ethics – doing things the right way – Innovation Realty might be right for you.

If you’re currently at a Big Box brand, you’ve likely been served the syrupy elixir  that you need the “security” of the big brand. Have you ever seriously questioned this assumption?

You should.

Buyers and Sellers don’t care and, most likely, a significant portion of your database don’t know who you work for now. I have hired a number of REALTORS® whose Sellers were unaware of the brand they were with even though there was a For Sale sign on their front lawn. True.

In addition to this, our society has embraced the unique: craft breweries are being sought out over the old standards and funky, independent coffee shops are succeeding against the “big 2”. Your clients care about quality and service and, truth be told, the big brands have very little that enhances the buying and selling experience.

Do big box brands offer your listings more exposure? They don’t. With CREA’s Data Distribution Facility (DDF), your listings will appear on every participant’s website, including all of the big brands in Ottawa. If you are with a brokerage that does not participate in the DDF, your listings will have far less exposure than we offer.

Boutique brokerages that are creative and progressive, like Innovation Reality, have the ability to be more nimble and creative than any brokerage that houses hundreds (or thousands) of sales reps. Economies of scale do not work for innovative ideas. Why? Because it is too expensive to try something new. If there are hundreds of agents and dozens of staff, “trying” something new involves a huge training endeavour and a significant expense. You may have noticed that the big brokerages are always reluctant when the real estate board offers any new service. They have to have proof that something will work or they have to be forced into change. The cost involved with adopting and paying for something new for 100’s of agents, in addition to training management and staff and promoting the offering within the brokerage, keeps the large brokerages from being cutting edge and at the forefront of where real estate is going.

Several of Ottawa’s big box brand brokerages are also not locally owned and controlled, even if they pretend to be. Decisions are being made from Toronto investors whose primary concern is profit. Profit is a good thing, but innovation and progression require risk and investment.

A word about leadership…

The Toronto owned Ottawa brokerages don’t seem to value local leadership in the same way these brokerages did before they were sold. Or at least, they don’t want to pay for it. Several experienced, knowledgeable local managers have been replaced by well-meaning placeholders. Many of the newer managers lack the credentials of their predecessors and there is no system in place to enhance their knowledge. They are left to flounder – to fake it until they make it – and if they don’t figure things out quickly enough, they are a commodity to be replaced.

I’m at a boutique brokerage now…

If you are already at a boutique brokerage, you already know that your success is not dependant on the big brand name. Boutique brokerages, by their very nature, are different. Is your boutique brokerage meeting your individual needs?

Although the Ottawa marketplace appears to be dominated by big brand brokerages with hundreds of agents, there has been a proliferation of boutique brokerages in recent years. Many of these are small (less than five sales reps) and offer little more than low fees.

But a boutique brokerage can be so much more…. Solid, independent leadership that is not restricted by outside ownership or brand requirements. A desire, not just a willingness but a specific intention, to be innovative and progressive. The ability to be cutting edge in ways a big brand just cannot. 

Ask yourself if your boutique brokerage offers you:

  1.     Solid, knowledgeable and experienced leadership.
  2.     Quality colleagues you are proud to be associated with.
  3.     Technology, tools and services to help you serve your clients better.
  4.     Creative branding that you can build your personal brand upon.
  5.     A learning based environment that will keep you on top of the market, industry news and regulatory and rule changes.

If you desire a boutique brokerage that can offer much more than lower fees, you should call us.

The missing value proposition of big brands…

If you are at a big brand, you pay significant fees to the parent organization of the brand. Are you receiving value for those fees you are paying?

For the last 10 years or so, the big brands have gone “all in” on internet lead generation. They have spent millions “cultivating” leads that they then sell to their agent base. The concept is that these leads will generate business for you. The reality is, these leads have been a bust. A fraction of a percent may be a real client but the vast majority are useless. In truth, there are vastly more “leads” generated than there are buyers or sellers in the marketplace. Apart from the brands generating leads, there are literally hundreds of online lead generation companies all producing thousands (nee, millions) of “leads”.

Now that the brands have, quietly, moved on from the online leads, you might be wondering what their next value proposition will be? A.I. – Artificial Intelligence. This is set to be the buzz at big brands, and their value proposition to justify their fees, for the next 10 years. Imagine your Siri™ or Alexa™ transitioning into a data aggregator that will predict when someone is ready to buy or sell. The big brands have bought into the disruption paradox – that technology will change our industry. If you have not had the announcements yet, expect some new rollout in 2020.

At Innovation Realty, we believe that technology will continue to change how we do certain things, but it won’t change the core of what we do. We help people make the right, smart, personal buying and selling decisions. We know that, just like Tinder™ dates, pictures of homes online don’t reveal the full story. We know that visiting a home, exploring its’ features and flaws, can reveal so much more than a well written descriptive profile.

For the vast majority of people, home buying and selling is a personal endeavour and not merely an investment transaction. It’s emotional. Siri™ and Alexa™, as remarkable as they are, don’t get all of your voice commands correct. Do you believe that A.I. will dramatically change the humanity of real estate? If your answer is “yes”, that somewhere down the road your device will tell you that Susan is ready to sell based upon analytics*, do you want to be paying for years of developing this?

*Analytics might interpret someone’s online behaviour as an indication that they are thinking about buying or selling. Apart from the creepiness of you now approaching Susan, the algorithms used to make these determinations will be significantly flawed for years and will never be perfect. There are other hurdles, like privacy and anti-spam legislations, that will prevent unsolicited direct contact with these consumers. Billions of dollars are being spent on this technology in real estate right now. Billions. If the proof is in the pudding, where’s the pudding?

We’ve been conditioned to believe that “tech” will inevitably figure things out. That “tech” can do anything because we have space exploration and self-driving cars. But tech has not figured out cancer. Tech has not solved our environmental challenges. Tech helps with these things. And in real estate, tech will help you do some things more efficiently, but tech won’t change a home owner’s need to trust you with making a huge life decision. Tech should help you bring value to the consumer, but tech cannot replace a great REALTOR®.

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