Why Tech-Enabled Experts Are the Future
Consumers will always need advisors and always need counsel, especially when it comes to huge, emotional and pricey decisions like buying a house — likely the largest transaction they'll ever make in their life.
CHRIS HELLER , CHIEF REAL ESTATE OFFICER, OJO LABS
ON 1/10/22 AT 9:25 AM EST
One of the constants in the real estate industry, for agents and brokers, is the fear over what their role will be in the transactions of the future. It's also likely a fear that's materialized in a number of other transaction-based industries, as venture capital money has flowed endlessly into these spaces and perceived outsiders present consumers with new choices.
For decades I've repeatedly emphasized that consumers will always need specialists, so there shouldn't be a fear of disintermediation. Consumers will always need advisors and always need counsel, especially when it comes to huge, emotional and pricey decisions like buying a house — likely the largest transaction they'll ever make in their life.
Even now, as the playing field changes due to new money and new entrants into various industries, that's not going to be dramatically different. But one thing is going to change: Agents aren't just going to need specialists, advisors and counsel — they are going to need tech-enabled specialists, advisors and counsel.
In the real estate industry, a tech-enabled expert is a real estate agent, broker or loan officer who leverages technology or technology platforms to supercharge or supplement their business. It's someone who integrates the latest tools and technology into their workflow and continues to act as a trusted counsel and advisor but is now armed with better insights and data about their customer and their needs.
These are professionals who have made a concerted effort to stay ahead of the wave of technology innovation in an effort to meet and exceed the expectations being created by a rapidly evolving tech ecosystem. Consumers are receiving offers of tremendous value from a lot of tech platforms long before they would come into contact with an agent. Real estate search sites are a great example in my industry. In the past, it was an agent who guided a customer through the early parts of the journey, but now people can start home shopping entirely online.
If a real estate agent — or really any professional working in a field that's facing constant disruption and is growing more and more competitive by the day — is looking to grow their business, they won't be able to do it any other way. They have to be that tech-enabled specialist, otherwise, over time, they'll see their opportunities and sphere shrink.
The idea of supplementing your business with technology also helps you meet clients with whom you'd never have worked otherwise. For real estate agents and loan officers, that means meeting people outside your direct sphere of influence — and those one-time buying and/or selling hopefuls eventually become part of your sphere for life.
Agents who embrace this new wave of technology are also embracing a purposeful move into the future. Many are looking to level up their business and wondering, "Should I be doing things differently, or do I just need to be doing the same things I've been doing for years, but better?"
What I advocate for is doing things differently and better — and that means supplementing your existing workflows with great technology partners.