Real Estate Technology is Elevating Agents, Not Making Them Obsolete

By  //  May 5, 2022

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It’s a common fear across professions, sectors and industries: fear of obsolescence. As technology becomes broadly more capable of automating tasks and facilitating access, some people – perhaps understandably – worry about their relevance in the future. 

But there’s a flip side to every coin. Technology can also be a powerful tool for positive change, especially in professions traditionally entrenched in outmoded ways of operating. Moreover, technology can’t replace human expertise, emotional value and intuition – so its primary purpose has to be to augment, facilitate and elevate human jobs. 

This is the dynamic we see currently playing out in the real estate industry. Some real estate agents (again, perhaps understandably) worry that technology will replace them. Real estate technology proponents, however, know differently: Rather than being a substitutive presence in the real estate industry, real estate technology tools are a supportive, beneficial driver of positive change. 

What is real estate technology, exactly? And how is it elevating agents? Let’s take a closer look. 

What Is Real Estate Technology and How Does It Work?

Real estate technology refers to the growing field of software applications designed for the real estate industry. 

To understand how it works, let’s look at an example of its real-world application. Take Nobul as an example, an online marketplace that uses big data to match buyers and sellers with agents. The company uses a proprietary algorithm to assign agents a “match score,” which potential clients can use to select their preferred agent. Then, buyers/sellers can attend virtual showings or chat with their agents through the marketplace, capitalizing on several features to make the transaction process easier. 

According to Nobul founder and CEO Regan McGee, homebuying isn’t, nor should it be, a one-size-fits-all process. “It is personal, and we aim to facilitate homebuyers’ ability to choose the agent best suited to their needs, and support them end-to-end throughout their real estate journey.”

As this example illustrates, real estate technology doesn’t replace agents; instead, it shifts some control to clients. In an industry conventionally known for its propensity toward gatekeeping (of information, access, etc.), this should be a welcome change. 

How Real Estate Technology Elevates Agents

Real estate technology can be roundly beneficial to agents, allowing them to stand out among competition, offer better service, streamline the lead generation process, and more. Here are a few ways that this technology elevates, assists and benefits real estate agents: 

■ It enables agents to add value: Technology leverages big data and algorithms to bring agents into closer alignment with their clients’ wants and needs. 

■ It can partner agents with interested buyers and sellers: technologic features can help remove lead generation and qualification from the equation, allowing agents to focus on the part that matters – closing deals. 

■ It broadens access: Through consumer empowerment and greater digital access (like virtual showings), technology makes the buying/selling process more appealing to people. More people who feel empowered to start the process = more business. 

■ Fast, simple lines of communication: Technology can make communicating with clients easier, removing the need for commute-dependent meetings and lengthy phone calls. 

■ It helps “disaster-proof” the industry: According to Aceagent, a real estate licensing company, 96% of real estate agents agree that technology was essential in keeping their business afloat during the pandemic. 

If the examples and points above don’t exactly paint a “dire” picture of technology’s influence on the industry, it’s because concerns around real estate technology are often overblown. It’s natural for anyone to worry about technology replacing their job – in this case, however, the reality is the opposite. Real estate technology elevates real estate agents.