I'm just a student at this point, but am very interested and driven to carve out a career for myself in real estate.
Everyone here has made some great points.
I personally believe that there are two classes of junk mail that we all receive from Realtors
1st) is the pure junk.... I'd consider what @Gord Smart
posted to be pure junk. Within a few seconds of looking at it all I can see is a mess of information. None of which provides me with much real data.
2nd) There are Realtors who send out letters/postcards/flyers that provide REAL information that benefit and educate people on the state of the market in someones neighbourhood.
The second type of junk mail is good for people to get as it provides them with information in a concise form. The 1st type isn't worth the paper it is printed on.
I'd also like to address the points about education in the real estate industry. I agree with @Josie Stern
that the educational requirements are far to relaxed. I think it would be fair to say that going forward anyone looking to write the exams should be required to have a minimum of a 1 year College certificate in business or a relatable subject matter. That the current requirements only require a high school education is just setting the industry up for troubles. To put it in perspective I'm personally going to be completing a 2 year business diploma in April and will be looking to complete a BComm in entrepreneurship or real estate after that (maybe part-time, open to advice on this!)
I totally agree that your business model serves a place in the market, but just like any other marketplace there is normally room for independents and different business models. I definitely agree that the "standard" brokerage businesses need to seriously evaluate how they operate in todays rapidly changing market. There are several players in the real estate market that have built successful brands around themselves and have separated themselves from their brokerage enough that, if they decided, they could easily move to a new brokerage without damaging or affecting their brand reputation and recognition.