The Future of Real Estate, With or Without an Agent
Article Published in Forbes – Real Estate Council, July 21, 2017
An Interview with Jarred Kessler
Jarred Kessler is the CEO of EasyKnock and the Author of Death of a Real Estate Salesman
Things in real estate are changing, to be sure. Here are a few insights on how technology and consumer habits are changing and what the future of real estate will look like as a result:
Evolution in Advertising
Marketing has changed a lot over the past few years. Social media platforms use personal information to pointedly deliver advertisements to an audience who will likely actually appreciate them, and local advertising options mean that you can deliver ads directly to people in your target market. With movements in the legislature aiming to relax privacy laws coupled with rapidly paced advancements in tech, it won’t be long before in-person advertisements like those found on benches, buses, and billboards become more personalized as well. Look for targeted ads to literally appear before your eyes in the real world within the next decade.
Photographs have been an incredibly important part of the real estate industry, particularly since listings became readily available online through MLS and other private listing sites. Great photography is one of the cornerstones of a successful listing, and it helps buyers to make the right decision, too. From remarkably high resolutions on digital cameras to drone technology, the constant advancement in imaging capabilities that has occurred over the past couple decades is bound to continue.
Some imaging advancements that are likely to become the norm in the real estate market include virtual reality (VR) experiences that allow buyers to experience a listing from afar and cameras that require users to have little to no experience to take extraordinary listing photos. One company, Floored, brings innovative 3D software that incorporates VR for commercial office space rentals. The real estate brokerage community will be less important, fun and accessible to their consumer base if they don’t adopt this type of tool.
Mobilization of Technology
The revolution of cellular technology, with Wi-Fi being available almost everywhere, means that people are no longer tied to the office. People can send or receive listings while sitting at their kid’s Little League game or camping at the lake. Advancements like this may eventually spell the end of the real-life, in person office for at least part of the real estate industry.
The way business in general happens is rapidly evolving based on the new technology that is invented and refined. There are several types of tools that may have an impact on the future of real estate.
Rating sites like Yelp have gained popularity over the past decade, and having the opinions of others at our fingertips seems to have started a cultural trend. People now frequently make decisions based solely on the opinions of their peers, and the internet means that everyone everywhere is a peer. While great customer service and providing a smooth experience has always been important, it’s likely to become even more so in the years to come when other agents and real estate experiences are more easily accessible.
Listing sites have become more technologically advanced, as well. In the future, we’ll see these sites get more interactive and more comprehensive, like offering built-in financing and actual transactions. These changes are in the works at many sites now and have the potential to create tidal waves in the real estate industry from the perspective of buyers, sellers and brokers. Real estate agents that embrace transaction management rather than fight it will be able to do more transactions by having more time and being more efficient.
Due to mountains of student loan debt, lower income combined with higher cost of living, and witnessing the housing crisis, the new generation of homebuyers is thinking differently about money and debt. It may mean that the real estate industry of the future will not only be responsible for selling properties but also for convincing buyers to buy in the first place.
The evolution of our culture also means that the legislation that governs the real estate industry is likely to change some, too. Optimistically, this will mean better protection for buyers and less asinine regulation on real estate professionals.
The real revolution has just started and we will see explosive growth. Like in so many industries, change for real estate professionals is not always bad. These changes will produce more transactions because the process will become easier, and those who embrace these changes will win. Most importantly, the consumer will win because they will have more transparency and control.
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