By Victoria Reviel • 2018 President
In July, I along with the leadership of the WCREALTORS, attended the TAR 360 Regional Meeting. Great information was given, but the hot topic of the day was the ever changing real estate landscape regarding all the new “technology brokerages” opening up around the United States. Many attendees were visibly worried about what these companies could do to the traditional structure (accountability, education, agent competence, loyalty to the client, etc.) of our industry.
I say to you; there is no need to be afraid of the “technology brokerage.” They come and go just like traditional brokerages. The good thing about tech brokerages is venture capitalists have the funds to design and implement amazing technology that many of us may benefit from on the national, state and local level.
For example, I was the designated broker for Zip Realty, a company many people called a “disrupter brokerage.” We had a different way of working with clients, we were publicly traded on NASDAQ and our agents were employees. This was a radical difference in the marketplace at the time, but we developed amazing lead generation, SEO, CRM, paperless document storage, accounting and innovative ideas that many traditional brokerages, like Coldwell Banker (Realology) now benefit from. They acquired Zip Realty’s back end platform called ZAP.
As technology continues to permeate every facet of the real estate industry, we will all have to maneuver ourselves so we can better serve our clients.
Ryan O’Hara, the CEO of Move Inc., the parent company of REALTOR.com, says the future of real estate is data. “We need to focus on using it to make things better and easier for consumers.” Technology has made personalization, customization and ease of use a requirement for everything in today’s society. These companies (backed by lots of VC money) have found ways to do this and make it profitable.
Now, take a deep breath. The traditional face-to-face relationship building real estate is not going away anytime soon. Traditional brokerages have been around for about 160 years! In the end, the consumers will determine what brokerage will be successful or not. There is room in this industry for everyone. RL