Has Technology Made The Traditional Real Estate Agent Obsolete?
With more and more new real estate sales models hitting the market, some people are beginning to question whether there will soon be no place for real estate agents at all.
I think there will be.
In fact, I’d go further and say, in this age of technology, a good real estate agent is more important than ever. Here’s why.
Buying and selling real estate is an emotional process
On one hand, real estate is a numbers game; on another, it’s not at all. Property is, and always has been, an emotional process. Sometimes you simply have to be human to understand why it’s worth stretching for one property and not another. Can technology tell you about the vibe of a place? Can an automated process relate with you about the feeling you get from the light hitting your lounge room at a certain angle or the joy it brings when your kids can climb over the back fence to their friends?
There are certain features a real estate agent can help you identify with that can’t be replaced. A good real estate agent knows what they are and helps connect with sellers on an intuitive level as well as rationally.
An experienced agent can point out the intricate differences between one property and the next, and why one property may be worth more than a similar property that was recently sold.
It’s also a relationships game
Real estate is also about human relationships – something no robot can replace. Social media and smartphones may have changed the way we reach out to each other and automation may have helped make it easier than ever to connect buyers and sellers. But there needs to be a human at each end – talking and forging a proper bond, even if that’s through a different medium than it used to be.
Selling real estate is about more than advertising
A lot of new models focus on reducing real estate fees without compromising advertising reach. But here’s the thing; real estate has never entirely been about advertising. It’s true that you need to get your property in front of as many potential buyers as possible, but whether that’s through online listings, old school window-style listings, signboards or even social media, advertising really is only one step in the sales process. It’s not enough on its own.
Sometimes advertising isn’t needed at all.
In 2017, we sold $127,970,000 in off-market transactions.
A good real estate agent knows what makes people tick, they’re strong negotiators, they’ve seen different sales conditions and different buyer trends and they know how to get the best price even if there’s only one buyer. I’m yet to see any new model or technology that can replace that.
Why you still need a good real estate agent
There’s definitely a place for technology. Whether that’s through the power of social media reaching and engaging more buyers and sellers, the chance to instantly updating people on the state of the market, the opportunity to quickly analyse data, spot trends and act on them, or to automate routine processes to focus on the places where we can really add value, technology has been a wonderful thing. Going forward, one of the main things that separate the best agents from the pack will be the way they use it.
But the best agents will also combine this with old school techniques, walking the streets, getting to understand where people are coming from and building human relationships in a way that computers just can’t. They will also have the kind of one-to-one human connections that can’t be replaced.
Far from replacing real estate agents, technology will give good agents the power to become even better.