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Digital Disruption Prepares to Strike Again

disruption game change 1No less than five issues of this columnthis column in 2015 raised concerns and awareness regarding the continuing march of digital disruption across the industry's landscape. With that in mind, it is with mixed emotions that we start out 2016 with yet another example of how digital disruption has already—or will, over the short-term future—change virtually every aspect of the traditional real estate and transaction.

The would-be target of this report is a tradition that, while it has long been controversial within organized real estate and the overall marketplace, has over the past three years reached a state of almost open warfare within the agent ranks.

The object of all this attention is the longstanding, unwritten rule of the REALTOR® culture that an individual who has applied for membership, paid their dues and sworn to uphold the Code of Ethics is entitled to full faith and credit with respect to the real estate industry and marketplace. It then followed that no other REALTOR®, regardless of background, training or credentials would be discussed within the circle in terms that would suggest that they had any higher status or ranking than the newest recruit.

This tradition continues to play out in the industry's representation of itself to both consumers and the marketplace. Over the past few years, research conducted by such industry notables as Steve Murray of the Real Trends organization have established what everyone, including consumers, already knew—that being that only about 20 percent of REALTORS® (AKA, the counselors) ever reach levels of unquestionable expertise and skill while the remaining 80 percent live out their REALTOR® experience as facilitators.