During Connect Now, Trulia co-founder and NFX Managing Partner Pete Flint explained what agents must do to stay relevant during the transaction revolution.

If you’d like to catch a video replay of this Connect Now session, and access the other 25+ hours of video content from Connect Now, tickets are still available. Click here to access.

Over the past three months, the real estate industry has gone through immense change with brokerages and agents quickly adapting to shelter-in-place by using digital showing, marketing and transaction tools to keep their service going.

As states open up, Trulia co-founder and NFX Managing Partner Pete Flint told the Connect Now crowd there’s no going back to how business was done, especially since consumers have gotten a taste of what a fully digital transaction could be.

Pete Flint

“A five-year revolution has happened in three months,” Flint continued while explaining the industry is in the midst of a transaction revolution. “Opendoor was ringing the bell at the starting line for that revolution.”

“The next wave is absolutely the transaction revolution. I think it will have its own impact in various, different ways,” he added. “I do think it will fundamentally help consumers in providing a confident and convenient close.”

Flint said companies, brokerages and agents must revise their business strategies to serve the clients of the future who want simple, quick, and autonomous buying and selling experiences.

“I look at what the 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds are doing,” he said. “How are they conducting their business? They’re doing everything from their cell phone.”

With that in mind, Flint said legacy companies and startups must think about how to use enabling technologies such as Zoom, consider the cultural acceptance of using such technologies to reduce face-to-face time, and the economic benefits for agents and consumers.

“People are looking to save money,” Flint said in reference to current economic woes. “Things aren’t going to get cheaper, but the service quality will go up.”

To survive, Flint said brokerages and agents must change their service lineup to fit consumer needs.

“It’s not clear that real estate is facing a downturn right now,” he said. “The first thing is to lean into the opportunity and accept change. The worst thing you can be is a deer in the headlights.”

“[Ask yourself], ‘Am I providing a nice-to-have or a must-have?'” he continued. “The luxury goods are sort of irrelevant.”

Flint said must-haves are and will include virtual home tours and open houses, online notary services, paperless transactions, and e-closings.

“I look almost obsessively at the number of transactions done without consumers entering the home,” he said. “I think the notion of virtual home tours and open houses will become a mainstay.”

“It will be simple and efficient,” he added. “[Virtual tours have] gone from ‘that’s interesting’ to a necessity.”

Lastly, Flint said the move to a fully digital transaction and work environment will push brokerages to become asset-light, which opens up the cash flow to invest in creating immersive showing experiences.

“You can imagine a world where this will be more dimensional,” he added in reference to Zoom and other video platforms.

Looking forward, Flint encouraged companies and agents to shift their focus from providing commodity products, such as mortgage and title work that can be done by computers. Instead, he said, they must focus on upping their value to consumers — which will include access to cutting-edge transaction platforms.

“Think about what the youth of today are doing,” Flint concluded. “Put yourself three years forward, and do that now. That is going to be digital, simple and integrated.”

“In every time there’s a crisis, there’s an opportunity,” he added. “Lean into it, and make your business to fit the market today.”

Email Marian McPherson

If you’d like to catch a video replay of this Connect Now session, and access the other 25+ hours of video content from Connect Now, tickets are still available. Click here to access.

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