Many people seem to think realtors are going to be replaced with a bunch of apps on a phone. I don’t see it happening, but changes are bound to come.
I can see a day when, instead of touring several houses in person, buyers use virtual reality to narrow down the ones they want to see. I am sure any buyer will still want to see whichever one they pick in person before signing a contract.
I can see sellers and technology doing more on the listing side of a sale. I can see more for sale by owner listings and various businesses popping up to help sellers navigate the process alone, but I don’t see the same for buyers. Buyers will always want help from a pro. The seller is dealing with one house, their own. The buyer is dealing with making a wise decision. Artificial intelligence won’t ever replace the voice of a pro.
I can see a day when there are far fewer realtors than we have now. The lame ones who don’t do more than open doors, fill in blanks and who just tag along to get their check will go first. All that will be left are the really good ones. We’ll make less per transaction, but each transaction will take less time.
I can see a day when a realtor hardly has to see their client in person, or actually go in many houses.
What I can’t see is there ever being a day when people don’t want a realtor. People will always want a real live person to help them navigate through something they don’t understand, or when they have a problem they can’t solve. Don’t believe me? Then why does Apple have live people to help their customers when all the self guided trouble shooting tips don’t help? Also, short of new construction, no two houses are alike. People are always going to want to see a house before they buy it. It is something most people do only a few times in their lives. They are concerned about resale potential. This isn’t like ordering a pair of shoes online where you will wear them and then dispose of them when they are worn or out of style.
I am sure there will be things I welcome as real estate evolves. There will also be things I miss. Until then, I will just keep doing my best for my clients and laughing every time I read an article that predicts I will be replaced with an app.