Ever wondered how the real estate industry has weathered the advent of the internet, when so many other industries have faltered? Read on to learn how we’ve done it, and how we’re looking to the future to make the digital age work for us.
Since the 90s, the internet has been the Great Disruptor in almost every industry its touched. Businesses that have failed to embrace it or adapt to it have been devoured. Service-based industries have been particularly shaken by the advent of the internet, from travel agencies to tax and stock services, and even pubic transportation. In the midst of all this disruption, however, the institution of the real estate agent has hardly been disturbed, even when it was predicted decades ago that the internet would render the role as we know it obsolete. What happened? How has the real estate industry stood firm where retail and service giants have buckled?
The internet has certainly changed some aspects of a real estate agent’s job, but it has by no means endangered it—in fact, since the advent of the internet in the early 90s, the number of agents has grown 60%. Commissions have swelled with rising house prices, and agents are earning more overall than they did years ago. All this, despite the advent of several web services and apps that, at the time of their creation, sent waves of anxiety throughout the industry. The mid-2000s was a time of worry for many real estate professionals due in part to start-ups like Trulia, Zillow, and Redfin. These sites and their companion apps were created to help buyers and sellers take control of the real estate process, and to be more hands-on in posting and searching for listings. It was predicted and agonized over that they would be the extinction of yet another middleman, just as Amazon and eBay had been for countless retailers.
But they weren’t. Real estate agents and brokerages continued to flourish, and even utilized these resources to make their jobs easier and increase customer satisfaction. The industry’s seeming immunity to the internet’s disruption factor has left many an analyst scratching their head, but part of the real estate agent’s staying power lies in the fact that we’re not your average middleman—we’re the human element in a process that for many people is lifechanging and dramatic. Our customers know they can rely not only on our knowledge, but on our intuition, care for our communities, and commitment to excellence. REALTORS® aren’t just there to rack up leads. We’re there to help untangle your frustrations, flesh out your dreams, and make your goals a reality. Despite all the shakeups of the tech industry, the process of buying and selling a home remains a uniquely human interaction.
Technologies may grow and change, but at Showcase, we’ll always adapt to be here for you! Contact us for more info on our media portfolio and how we harness the internet and social media for success.