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Real estate industry finding comfort level with technology

Adversarial relationships evolve into partnerships

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Real estate professionals are looking for ways to remain indispensable to their customers, even as they embrace the technology some once saw as a threat. That was the perspective of industry leaders participating in a panel discussion, "Fight, Flight or Partner?" Thursday at Inman News' Real Estate Connect conference. When technology began forcing changes in the real estate business, freeing up information to consumers and threatening long-established business models, the first instinct of some was to fight. Now, a slowdown in housing sales -- and predictions that technology will allow a smaller number of agents to handle the business that remains -- has others talking of flight. For agents and their brokerages, the alternative to fight or flight is to partner. The key to succeeding in the changing environment will be for agents to build stronger partnerships with their brokerages, and for brokerages to work with companies that can help them use the latest technolog...