Let’s start with how it was when I started in a small town in Indiana in the late 90’s. We had MLS books in the office in which prospective buyers had to come check on out in order to know what was on the market. We had much less paperwork, in fact, some companies were still using one page listing and purchase contracts. Polaroid photos were still alive and well.
Fast forward 2 decades…..
Technology has changed, and continues to change the transactional side of real estate. Having the ability to write an offer and have it signed electronically from a buyer in another country, or signed manually on a tablet pc (mobile device) was unheard of just a few short years ago. This has taken the profession from local to global. Now all real estate companies are the same playing field. Access to breaking industry news which then disseminates via plug-ins to hundreds of other outlets and sites simultaneously, which is then viewed by hundreds within minutes, also unheard of until now. State of the art virtual tours making homes 24 hour open houses to name a few. Those trends are allowing users to access information faster and acquire knowledge without ever needing to meet with an agent face-to-face. As a result, is also requiring more self policing on the part of the professionals in the industry who are sharing the information and tools on their various websites, blogs, etc., to ensure the information provided is pertinent and valid. Because we all know, if it’s on the internet, then it must be true. Some would have us to believe that our industry is in jeopardy because of how technology is making the process of home buying/selling more convenient and efficient for the would be buyer/seller. However, I beg to differ. For, as with any business, there is also the relational side of business. Technology will never take the place of the personal agent hosted house warming, or hand written “thank you” card. The agents who excel in the unexpected extras will do well no matter what the market condition is or what the next new piece of technology does. We will instead embrace the change, remain cutting edge, and serve our clients beyond their expectation.