Will Realtors Become Extinct?
Disruption is here
In a world where Uber has overtaken the traditional taxi cabs and iTunes has demolished hard copy CD sales, it’s apparent that disruption is upon us in almost every industry. Is it too obvious to say that we are living in a digital era? It seems like an obvious statement, but many Realtors are moving at a snail’s pace to keep up with the disruption that is happening in our industry. They aren’t actively working to provide value to their clients.
We can get all the information we want
A bit before my time, but I’m told that not too long ago, Realtors would carry around a big book that had every listing in the desired community for their clients. They would flip through it together, and the Realtor held all the valuable information about what properties were available, their value, and the comparable properties in the area. The consumer relied solely on the Realtor to disseminate useful information to them and locate the appropriate home in the right area. Boy, how things have changed! Today’s consumer is savvy and efficient. They can get all of this information with the swipe of a finger on their smartphone.
So will Realtors soon become extinct like music stores?
The answer is no, but we will soon see the concept of “Survival of the Fittest” play out in our industry. The days of a Realtor just showing up, drafting a contract and collecting a commission are over. To survive as a Realtor in today’s market, you need to embrace digital and know how to use it in your favor. You need to know your consumer and how they search for property and what they expect. You need to be the expert in your community and inventory. You need to build and maintain a stellar reputation. You need to guide your clients’ experiences as they make one of the most significant financial transactions of their lifetimes.
Make it seamless and convenient
Why is it that Uber is such a hit? What about iTunes or matchmaking sites like Tinder and Match.com? They succeed because they’ve taken a necessary part of everyday life and made it seamless and convenient for their customers.
In real estate, sites like Zillow, Trulia, and in Houston, HAR, are doing the very same thing. They are delivering a seamless and simple approach to identifying and making better decisions when a person is ready to purchase a home. I often hear Realtors complaining about these sites, but I embrace them. They are freeing up time for my team and me to focus on other aspects of the buying and selling process for luxury homes in Houston that go far beyond running searches for bed and bathroom counts on the MLS.
When clients know what they are looking for and have done their research, they are ready and confident to move forward and, for you, their trusted advisor, to fiercely negotiate on their behalf, getting them the best deal possible.
Do you want to keep from becoming extinct?
It’s imperative that you set yourself apart: become an expert negotiator.
Become a strategic marketer. Provide value and knowledge that far exceeds what can be found or experienced on the web. Let’s get back to focusing on relationships, listening to what our clients are (and sometimes are not) saying, and building trust. These are all emotion based processes that a website like Zillow will never be able to provide. This is our value as Realtors.
At the end of the day, buying or selling a home is a process that resonates far beyond the purchase of a CD or a taxi ride. It is an immense financial undertaking with many nuances that can be navigated so much more successfully and less stressfully when you are hand-in-hand with an expert Realtor.