1. Robots can be programed to adhere to the NAR code of ethics always.
  2. Robots don’t need sleep or take days off. Buyers would not have to wait for an available human so that they could make an offer.
  3. Robots could be programed to truly represent buyers and sellers and even be dual agents without conflict.
  4. Brokerages could add to their bottom line because they would not have to pay agents.
  5. Continuing education could be increased and would consist of data uploads once a month.
  6. Robots can be programed to do no harm to humans in a real estate transaction.
  7. Houses could be held open all day, everyday.
  8. Humans generally are not afraid that a robot will sell them something.
  9. The buyer and seller could truly become the center of the transaction.
  10. Robots could be programmed to constantly contact lenders and ask for updates.
  11. Robots will not make mistakes on real estate contracts or fail to disclose.

Robot real estate agents could take jobs away from sales people, which in turn would mean less business for the businesses that supply products and services to human agents. At the same time jobs in the areas of robot-building and programing and maintenance would be on the rise.

Real estate brokerages would still need to spend money on marketing and on robot technology. Brokerages could hire their own robot mechanic.

Real estate robots could have their own webpages, and they could be programed to appear to have traits like patience and kindness. They could be made to look attractive, too. Each brand could have their own gimmick so that their machines would be a little different, and so they stand out in the marketplace.

Insurance companies would have to create a special policy for machines. Like, what if a robot was showing a home and got grease on something or accidentally ran into a wall and broke it — or stepped on the family cat and crushed it?

Brick-and-mortar type real estate offices may still need to exist, but the office could be small with a shop type area where robots can be stored, cleaned and charged. In Minnesota, we would need special robots that could withstand sub-zero weather and frost — and mosquitoes, too.

Assuming homesellers and buyers are always going to be human, the humanity cannot be taken out of the transaction by switching out agents with robots. In some transactions, a little less humanity would make things go much smoother and cut down on the number of lawsuits.

There wouldn’t be any need for large teams of robots running amok or pretending to be real estate companies.

The real estate robots could be programed to follow up with every “captured” lead, put leads into databases and launch drip email campaigns. They could also cold call and door-knock, and of course, hold open houses.

Robots could be programmed to always lock the doors and shut off the lights after a showing and could remind clients to remove shoes. Their programming would also require that buyers have a signed buyer’s contract with the broker before they are shown homes.

The robot agent could record feedback from the buyers and send it to the seller’s robot. The seller’s robot could be programmed to make the feedback all nice and grammatically correct and see that it gets to the sellers quickly. Snarky comments could be removed if needed with the use of “snark” filters.

Out-of-town buyers could view a home tour through the eyes of their agent robot and let the robot meet with the inspector who is also a robot.

There would be no such thing as an incompetent agent, just poorly programmed models from those real estate companies that want to cut corners to enhance their bottom line. The departments of commerce could make laws and intact standards and require robot testing before they can be licensed and sent into the field.

A machine with a program that has the experience of hundreds of agents and up-to-the-minute information on market conditions and local real estate contracts could be a trusted adviser for clients. People who want a second opinion could use Facebook just like they do today, or maybe the broker could help with questions.

What would I do if real estate agents were replaced with robots? I would buy or rent a bunch of robots and deploy them. My robots would be special and programed to make people laugh.

Teresa Boardman is a Realtor and broker/owner of Boardman Realty in St. Paul. She is also the founder of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com.

Email Teresa Boardman

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