One of the most frequently asked questions throughout today’s real estate brokerage ecosystem is: “Will technology replace real estate agents, and if so, when?” The answers vary greatly and usually end in a resounding not now…and not ever.
Correct Answer, Wrong Question
It’s a correct answer, but don’t be fooled into a false sense of security and safety. It’s the wrong question. The correct question is: “What will the role of the agent be like in the future?” Agents will not be replaced with technology, however, the role of the agent could be dramatically minimized if we don’t ask, answer and build solutions to prepare them for the future. I believe our growth, in part, has been driven by United Real Estate’s ability to get to the heart of the issues facing agents and provide solutions.
Technology Is the Linchpin
With billions of dollars pouring into our industry in a massive attempt to deliver an alternative buyer and seller experience (often labeled as a “better” experience) and diverting revenue to the new players, things are changing fast. Technology could erode the role of the agent, but it also has the opportunity to greatly enhance it when the right components are in place.
The Agent-Centric Strategic Imperative
The way to create a successful future is to take an agent-focused approach and ask, “What solutions do my agents’ clients want?” and “What makes our agents more competitive than the alternatives?” Identify those core solutions and strengths, then build the tools and resources around them.
United Real Estate builds and employs cloud-based proprietary technology solutions for our agents and their clients. We empower agents with productivity-enhancing solutions that provide agent and enterprise websites, paperless transaction completion, training, mobile regulatory compliance support, client communication and business-winning marketing systems.
One hundred-percent virtual client service is now an expectation. You must provide it, and it must work seamlessly for all parties. Ten years ago, United Real Estate initiated our “work-from-anywhere” concept with our productivity platform. Our agents embrace and excel at it.
Transferring Cost Savings to Agents
A well-deployed technology platform drives cost out of brokerage operations and enables the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars of cost savings to our agents. Technology, along with the passionate support of our brokers’ and owners’ on-the-ground expertise, are the underpinnings of our company’s mission.
When you ask the right question and avoid the protracted debates about the wrong question, you’re on your way to shifting to a sustainable, successful brokerage model for now and in the future.
Rick Haase is president of United Real Estate. For more information, contact him at Rick@UnitedRealEstate.com or 504-251-3757, or visit www.GrowWithUnited.com.