OpinionAgent

Tick tock: Can this generation’s real estate agents prove their worth?

Many are quick to say that technology will soon eliminate agents, but the industry will rise to the occasion
  • Mature VC money enhances agents' jobs.
  • The Stop Zillow campaign needs to re-examine the facts.
  • Messaging, big data and computer vision are coming to MLS users.
  • NAR's new chief has the reins and a big opportunity.

What's the next big thing in real estate? Lately, I’ve been getting more inquiries from investors looking for the answer to that question. You can usually categorize their messaging by the amount of time they've been on the ground in the industry. Newbie: “Software will eat your jobs.” Veteran: “Can you share a bite of that commission?” A friend of mine just sold his company in the Valley and is dabbling in venture capital investing. He explained to me how tech will soon eliminate agents. It’s not a rare stance. Take it from another VC investor, Joe Lonsdale of 8VC: “A popular opinion in the technology community is that real estate agents will soon be replaced by software  --  whether in the form of direct consumer-to-consumer marketplaces or programs which automate many of an agent’s basic function," he wrote in a recent post. Lonsdale actually feels that tech will change agents’ functions but not eliminate them. Of course, he’s been around for ...