What Does the Future Hold for Real Estate Agents?
Updated: Mar 27
As technology improves, industries change. Travel agents have largely been replaced by automated services—except where specific expertise and skills are needed. Flying to Newark can be done on Priceline, but booking a Disney cruise with your aunts, uncles, cousins, and family friends? It’s better to get an expert involved.
Many have wondered if real estate agents would go the way of travel agents, with only the specialized few remaining. The answer so far? No: the agents who adapt will still be valued.
The real estate industry has changed a lot in the last 40 years, and will continue to change in the next 40 years. Real estate is still the biggest asset in people’s lives, and they will continue to need to trust the people, companies, and software that support them. Real estate agents aren’t going extinct, but they do need to be able to adapt.
Today’s consumers want convenience, information, and options. Real estate agents will be evaluated based on how well they can help their clients achieve these items.
Convenience in the real estate world can come in many forms.
Digital signatures and file storage make the home buying process quicker, more mobile, and more consumer-friendly. Mobile closings can even bring the signing table to you.
At a more systematic level, many companies are seeking to provide convenience to consumers by offering a one-stop shop, with mortgage, insurance, and home purchase all originating from the same place. This can work well, though we do caution consumers to make sure that they are represented by a fiduciary in the process. A package deal is good as long as the consumer isn’t left on an island!
According to a NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 44% of recent home buyers started their process online, and only 6% started with an agent. Typical buyers who used the Internet in their search also had longer, more involved searches—searching for 10 weeks and visiting 10 houses on average, compared to their offline counterparts who searched for 4 weeks and visited 4 homes.
Buyers like to shop online—Amazon could have told us that! Despite the digital beginning to the search, 89% of recent buyers purchased through an agent or broker, with another 5% buying from a builder.
Today’s buyers and sellers are hungry for information, and it’s more readily available than ever. However, the importance of having a real estate consultant by your side hasn’t changed.
As more companies cater to consumers, and information spreads more quickly, consumers increasingly want options. Whether that’s the chance to find a house before they move, or new options for selling, buyers and sellers like to be able to maintain control over the process. The rise of iBuyers is a clear indication that there is a demand for fast, sure closings. Technology that provides more options for buyers will have a clear place in the market. As Keller Offers, we’re proud to present a new product that offers convenience and a new consumer option, while placing all the power and information in your hands. This program ensures that consumers don’t have to choose between convenience and representation!