Truthfully I don’t think any agent really knows what is the next step for Realtors and what is the next fad for conducting business. We seem to talk a lot about how the industry has changed but are we sure its just not always changing and there is no norm? Or is it possible that the process of buying and selling Real Estate is stuck forever in a buyer > agent > agent > seller world? I sure as heck can’t keep up with what technologies and demands are being thrown at us but I definitely don’t want to be a part of the old way of getting a deal done. So really how is a Realtors business changing today and what is gone forever? I explain:
- Age matters – In 2016 the average Realtors age in the US was 48 years old. Frankly that is not very old but it doesn’t mean they are the ones making the rules. The older agents still do the majority of the volume in Real Estate and in turn if its working for them then its going to have to do for the younger newer agents
- Technology – The only real change in technology for Realtors is communication and how agents connect with their clients. We have always relied on great pictures, fantastic customer service and a regular movement of inventory but now we communicate differently and that changes daily. Facebook messenger, LinkedIn, email and text are dominating the lines of connection today and all of them are used continuously. No more fax machines or waiting until Monday morning to check your office answering machine because now your customers are your Facebook friends and expect you to respond during dinner. Tech is communication in Real Estate for sure
- Timing – There was a time when getting a mortgage was a special thing and closing on it took time. Not to say its super fast now but with streamline lenders and lines of credit, the closing of a home can take days or weeks instead of a month or more.
- Speaking or loans – The first time homebuyer showed up in the late nineties and continues to drive much of the market. Loans are cheap and with young professionals making on average $72,000 the ability to buy a very nice home is no longer out of reach when just starting out. Builders and developers have learned to speed up production of these homes and at times it seems like these are the only homes selling.
- Zillow – The elephant in the room when Realtors get together and can’t figure out what they are missing. Buyers and sellers know about Zillow, Trulia and all the other 3rd party sites that make a home buyable and sellable without a Realtor involved. So agents have had to learn to accept, explain and battle these websites for years now and whether we like it or not its here to stay. Buyers already know what’s on the market and sellers many times are dead on with valuation by themselves so the agent role becomes advisory or as a facilitator many times today.
- Nothing – I look at technology and the Real Estate business and sometimes think really nothing has changed for the normal hard working agent. We still network and get to know our neighbors so we are top of mind at a time to sell. Customers till want someone to hold their hand and assure them that they are making the best decisions. And more then ever my connections and resources for a smooth transaction are necessary as our customers have so many options and giving them the best is all they want.
I don’t think real estate is the same as it even was when I started but I also don’t think its too far different when we speak of the Realtor/Customer relationship. One of the things that we need to adapt to is the buyers and sellers perception of the services offered and fighting the fact that they really are engage and educated is a pain point we have to move beyond. We will always need to build our brand, be honest and service oriented and forever be hard working. Beyond that we are just taking the changes day-by-day, good and bad.
Curt has been in the Indianapolis Real Estate business for over 10 years and spent his first years learning all aspects of commercial management and brokerage. He has had great success in managing existing commercial projects and new retail and office developments. Curt specializes in building owner representation and purchases in the Westfield Indiana market as well throughout the Indianapolis Metro area. Curt is passionate about growing the local Westfield community and in his free time volunteers with Westfield Youth Assistance and raising 2 children with his wife Jennifer.