Why Race To the Bottom?

by Rob Wicker

Last Friday I heard Seth Godin speak in Atlanta. As you may know, Godin’s specialty is marketing. He writes one of the most popular business blogs in the world. If you don’t already subscribe to Seth’s blog, do yourself a favor…

One of the interesting points Godin made is his description of the “Race to the Bottom.” This is when you embrace a low standard for quality and service, and compete solely on price. The problem with winning this race is that the profit margin is slim or non-existent and you create no customer loyalty.

Think about the “Race to the Bottom” in real estate. I guess the bottom would be Craig’s List, a bare bones website where the home seller can post a listing for free. Somewhere near the bottom is the agent or brokerage that doesn’t offer much in the way of service or marketing. Maybe the agent just posts listings on free websites and hopes for the best—and is of course more than willing to cut a commission.

Opposite the bottom-dweller is the well trained Realtor who is knowledgeable about home prices in the area, and provides first class service to her clients. The Realtor is also willing to invest in a full-service marketing plan to help sellers get the best price for their home. She speaks to home sellers with confidence, fully justifies her commission, and gets a lot of repeat and referral business. You might call this the “Race to the Top.”

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Filed under Advertising, Interesting Takes

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