“The Future of……”
“Real Estate ‘Reimagined’, ‘Redefined’, etc “
The media is gurgling with stories of Blockchain, A.I., Chatbots, etc. ‘disrupting’ the world of real estate.
One cannot argue that it’s a very exciting time we currently live in; that’s for sure.
The proliferation of startups in every conceivable industry has led to searching for “antiquated” industries which are ripe for disruption - enter the real estate industry.
Admittingly, the real estate industry has not been seen as cutting edge, or progressive in its adaptation of new technologies.
It has been governed by bodies who have desperately clinged to technology built in the late 90’s - forcing agents to adapt. (Have you ever seen the inside of an MLS platform??)
It is only recently, that VC-backed firms have entered the scene in hopes of stealing market share and creating their own monopolies consisting of technology-driven solutions and tech-savvy agents.
There is more pressure than ever on the individual real estate agent to perform, hit sales goals and to work more effeciently.
A fresh breed of startups have emerged to feed into this desperation - by offering seemingly "magical" technology which seems to do it all; transaction management, lead follow-up, even Artificial Intelligence which promises to replicate the services provided by an agent and accomplish tasks 100x faster..
So, is the traditional real estate agent, as we know them, fading away into oblivion?
A few days ago, I stumbled upon a great answer on Quora, from Kendall Clark, he writes:
In addition to the inherent complexities of even the most run-of-the-mill real estate transaction and the tremendous financial stakes involved, real estate transactions are emotional.
You're not dealing with a lawn mower, a refrigerator, or some other fungible good, you're dealing with someone's home--a place where the seller's memories were made and where the buyer wishes to make new ones.
This is a highly personal transaction, and the potential for doubt, insecurity, second-guessing, mistrust, defensiveness, cold feet, confusion, paranoia, and, therefore, conflict is extremely high. The role of realtors throughout this process is invaluable.
So, it's the skill of dealing with the emotions of human beings which will always be valuable.
An agent who can skillfully handle their client's emotions won't become obsolete anytime soon.
Having said that, the agent cannot ONLY possess this one skill, but has to be open to adapting to newer technologies (or hiring someone who handles this for them) or they will become obsolete for sure.
The role of the real estate agent may be changing, but will not be going away any time soon.