Directory sites are on the rise. The internet is making it possible to completely skip the middle man. We have seen the travel agent, the tutoring agent, and stock brokers practically disappear due to the internet.
But why? Why are all of these people, who are experts in their field mind you, disappearing? It comes down to efficiency.
Let’s use www.universitytutor.com as an example. This directory site is run by Brian Armstrong. He is a great guy and a great entrepreneur. I highly recommend his book, Break Free, which you can download for free.
UniversityTutor connects tutors all over the world with prospective students. The tutors create a profile and the students search by their location and subject. Brian charges a small monthly fee to the tutor (after the free trial of course) and everyone benefits. The tutors get much more exposure, the students have a simple time finding the perfect tutor, and Brian gets a little on the side for making it so simple.
Sites like these make markets more efficient. It would be nearly impossible for a tutor to get this much exposure and a pain for students to sort through this many tutors. The middle man has been eliminated. No middle man mean that students also pay less and tutors get paid more. Everyone benefits!*
So here are some of the benefits of a directory site vs. an agent or broker.
- Costs less for the client
- Higher wages for the professional
- Ease of search for client
- Ease of exposure for the professional
- Next to no overhead costs for the site owner (domain + hosting)
- Best of all it can become a passive income for the site owner.
When the site is set up, the tutors pay every month and likely recruit other tutors to join. The students keep coming from organic and paid sources. So it is a snowball effect: the bigger you get, the less work you have to do and the more money you make.
A few partners and I believe in this business model so much that we have begun creating a directory site. In fact we have several planned. I will be posting more about that soon.
So what do you guys think? Are directory sites the way of the future? Are all agents and brokers destined to disappear forever?
*Except the tutoring, travel, and other agents that go out of business! It’s the tendency for markets to become more efficient, just make sure that you are on the side that is becoming more efficient.