Can real estate technology ever replace a Realtor?

Don't ignore human bonds -- they drive everything
  • Tech hasn't overcome the obvious logistical barriers to replacing Realtors.
  • Personal allegiance seems to be undisruptable.
  • Smart money is building allegiances instead of trying to break them.

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Two great conversations came across my inbox this week in the realm of real estate technology. They're topics that are older than Inman (20 years, if you're counting), and still just as timely. Is the 'irreplaceable Realtor' a myth? Rob Hahn penned a detailed post questioning the existence of the "irreplaceable Realtor." It described the portion of the Realtor population that is susceptible to disintermediation by technology (or outsourced labor). Read the comments as well as the post because the discussion is really insightful. The gist is that Realtors who can only facilitate a normal transaction are replaceable cogs in a process. Counselors with education and knowledge who are experts in exception -- unique problems, irregular negotiations and last-second emergencies -- cannot be replaced by an algorithm or an app. Mediocre facilitators outnumber the valuable counselors heavily, though, and cause the industry great liability. The person who fixes the mess This dovet...