OpinionBrokerage

Will technology wipe real estate professions off the map?

What brokers need to do to be successful in the future

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The world of science and technology continues to revolutionize the world, and, along the way, legacy systems became obsolete. New technologies brought about a change in protocol. A change in the system brings in a chain of advantages and disadvantages that optimizes the organizational structure and affects lives as well.

Call it a change for the better. One bright example is the global real estate industry. In the beginning, it looked optimistic with the creation of new technology. The house listings were there on Internet; brokers could easily find homes.

Real estate agents felt the brunt of the burden when it came to changes and innovations in the industry. Let’s take a look at the industry’s changes and what needs to happen for brokers to be successful in the future.

Real estate back in the day

When the concept of real estate brokers/agents came into light, there was no Internet or any other technological medium, such as smartphones. This was when brokers looked after the industry, and they controlled all the information. Every locality and region was governed by these agents who would hire people, open up offices and serve the clients.

It was (and is) somehow impossible to ignore these agents because these people understand the business, have strong contacts and have visited each house or building themselves. However, the sudden rise of technological outputs for real estate began to pose a little threat to the employability of these brokers.

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Technology enters the picture

The real estate activities that involved meeting with these brokers have now become automated and computer-driven. For example, nowadays bidding is handled by an automated system, which includes legally binding documents for both parties and their attorneys.

The trending online real estate activities have altogether gone against the traditional approaches that once fetched results. People have stopped trusting the brokers.

The online bidding system has offered following benefits:

  • It poses as a bridge between the seller and the buyer.
  • The residential, as well as commercial listings, comprise properties that are available with and without brokerage. Hence, this saves money.
  • The buyer can have a look at not just one property but many at the click of a mouse — without even visiting the actual place.

The saving grace

Now the question arises: If technology is invincibly strong, what is that one thing that has still kept the business of real estate brokers alive? One answer is the government-designed regulatory bills and policies.

Another validation of real estate survival is found in a study done recently at University of Western Sydney; it revealed that even now foreign investment in Australian real estate is controlled by financial, immigration and real estate agents.

The study also says that Australian real estate agents travel to China to present their properties directly to foreign investors — that personal touch counts. On the other hand, Chinese and Australian agents offer free group tours for strong investors to travel down under.

Hence, it can be safely said that even in today’s times when technology has taken the market by storm, there are places where real estate agents are still thriving and innovating.

The verdict

The verdict here clearly indicates that technology has won over the traditional approaches and has come out as a winner. You can’t ignore the fact that real estate agents are still operating, but the numbers have apparently gone down. The online biding system has lowered their businesses to some extent. The market is not running out of real estate agents. Technology can wipe out the business if and only if the brokers don’t adapt.

  • Brokers have to understand the need of sharing information rather than hoarding it.
  • They have to be very clear when dealing with the customers and investors.
  • They must embrace the technology and use it in their portfolios.

The time has come to wipe the slate clean. Imagine that there are no real estate brokers in the market yet. To resurrect brokers’ roles, they must redefine their benefit to both buyers and sellers.

Vineeta Tiwari is a keen writer on global economy and realty market. She is currently professionally connected with 99acres.com. Reach her on Google Plus.

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