How Technology Is Affecting Real Estate Today

We’ve seen the internet modernize Real Estate with the free flow of information, mass exposure for properties, and even inter-corporation data exchange. But how do these changes affect the big players in the market today? What does it mean for the client-agent relationship when an agent gets a call from a big player in the market? With the internet’s massive cache of information, such as transaction history, neighborhood maps, detailed street-level images, school district information, and more, large brokerage houses around the world are facing competition from a pervasive force outside the realm of traditional Real Estate.

Consequently, they’re searching for ways to stay relevant to the consumer and survive the information revolution. Many large firms are exploring franchise models or forming expansive collaborations that bring together fragmented agencies through a network-style cooperation. Meanwhile, as information continues to flow freely, we will continue to see customer’s brand loyalty shift from these large companies to individual agents working for them.

Subsequently, brokerage houses will need to focus on creating environments for agents that encourage self-promotion, self-branding, and independent client acquisition. Today’s internet-savvy consumers start several steps ahead in the process than buyers did even just a decade ago. Instead of seeking a Real Estate agent to help them form an opinion on a potential purchase by providing relevant data, consumers are seeking knowledgeable agents who can verify their already developed concepts. The client-agent communication is just one more source of information for the consumer rather than the primary resource. The agent is relegated to a secondary role, which breeds shallow client-agent relationships.

This fuels the need for stronger personal branding and more individualized service. While agents focus on creating a brand to attract customers, they also face the challenge of defining their service. The tangible benefits a Real Estate agent offers are expanding and fragmenting, and they are struggling to secure fees for their services. The role that agents needs to play in today’s marketplace is more focused on support and service than in previous years because their advice is no longer proprietary and their research resources are just as easily accessed by their clientele. Very personalized services individualized to each client are becoming a necessity for setting an agent apart from the crowd. This is compounded by the fact that consumers have nearly instant access to so many agents. Going forward, we will continue to see large groups of independent agents branding themselves to a niche segment of the market or a specific type of relocation.

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