HHistoric revolutions, which overturn social order and radically change the way people live, are often initiated by conquest (The Roman Empire), by political Coup d’état or civil war (our Revolutionary War), or by new technology (the printing press). Technology peacefully but fundamentally changes the status quo and is the great leveler of people in our world. Knowledge, tools, and privileges formerly reserved for the elite, the wealthy, and large corporations, is made available to the masses. The printing press fueled the expansion of the Reformation and the Renaissance, the development of nationalism, and the ability of the common person to know more and affect more individually.
If everyone is affected; who gains and who loses?
The technology revolution of the past few decades has radically reshaped the competitive business landscape. Some think this trend will make obsolete the need for real estate agents. We do not think Realtors® will become unnecessary, but we do believe that technology is obsolescing, or at least minimizing, the power of the national brands or large regional firms. The riches which used to be their exclusive domain are now in the hands of any broker! The individual Realtor® today is empowered with limitless information and resources, and immediate accessibility to anyone on the planet.
What do I gain with a national brand or a large real estate firm?
In our industry, national brokerages and large real estate firms used to provide valuable and necessary services that were beyond the individual’s real estate agent’s reach. They had national and world-wide reach. Their deep pockets could provide expensive national advertising, sophisticated business systems, and impressive marketing collaterals. They could amass extensive resources for agents while providing unifying and confidence inspiring branding. In exchange, they had large numbers of agents working for them and a significant income from their commissions.
The fruit of independence and autonomy
Equipped with today’s technology, Realtors® have the ability to be fully independent and autonomous in a way that was unimaginable to former generations. Not only can we reach the entire world directly, but we can be found by anyone on the planet with a few clicks of a mouse or a message sent from a phone. Direct and instantaneous communications worldwide by cell, text, instant message, email, social networking sites, or live video stream have set us free from offices and unnecessary expenses. Today we can utilize virtual assistants in Australia for our marketing, buy industry products world-wide, find web-based training and knowledge from our laptops or phones, collaborate with the finest business resources available, and use the most powerful software applications.
Are you becoming obsolete?
Real estate remains essentially local and personal. Home buyers and sellers today are more educated and sophisticated about real estate because of technology, but they still need “field guides” and expert information specialists. There is a greater need for protective representation and expert counsel to help clients build wealth and make good investments. We still need boots on the ground to execute all the logistics. Real estate is not like researching and buying commodities, financial products, or travel reservations. It is personal, geographical and local. We maintain that as the real estate industry continues to grow in complexity, the local Realtor® becomes all the more important.