Real Estate Agents— Doomed or Different?


by Lorraine Beato

t goes without saying that 2020 and the pandemic brought about

would, for the most part, become virtual. Those of us who truly are real estate professionals and have a passion for what we do instant- ly learned how to do virtual show- ings and have Zoom consultations with clients. I think I used Facetime more than ever as well as having more video-footage of my clients’ homes. Many embraced the changes and hopped on to learn as much as possible about the digital marketing world. Those who did not fell by the wayside or retired. I have a few col- leagues who basically said they were done; they had no interest in learning all the technology and either left the business or retired. Now, as we all know, there is a lot of automation in the real estate space. Consumers have the ability to go online and • Create their own home searches; • Get their own guesstimate of value on their home; • Set up property showings on some automated platforms; • Get an instant offer if they are selling their home; and • Research neighborhoods on their own and join local community groups. However, technology can never take the place of building relationships and having that trusted advisor by your


huge changes in the real estate indus- try, forcing many real estate agents to pivot, adapt, and re-strategize. While many saw their businesses tank, others still saw an increase in their businesses. Why? What did they do differently? With over one million real estate professionals across the United States, I think it’s still fair to say that only about 20 percent really operate a business. So many agents hop into the real estate sales game because they think it is easy, quick cash, and the low barrier to entry. Add to that pool, those real estate investors who get licensed just to save the commissions when they sell. With effects of recent industry changes like iBuyers, lack of inven- tory, for sale by owner, and creative financing, are real estate agents doomed? In my opinion – yes and no! There are agents who do not adapt well to change or are just oblivious to what is happening. As I wrote in my book Flip the Switch, which launched in April 2020, little did I know that the title of the first chapter would be so apropos: The Real Estate Land - scape Is Changing. Never would I have expected that we would be in a pandemic where real estate agents would have to pivot so quickly, figure out if they were essential or non-es- sential workers and showing homes

side who will truly consult you through the home buying or selling process. Real estate is a people business and the largest investment most people will ever make. You cannot completely remove the human component—you can order a burger online, but a per- son still needs to cook it! Technology and automation cannot • Handle the professional negotiations of a contract or inspection items; • Help sift through the barrage of offers many sellers are now experiencing and compare how they stack up and which one is truly the best;

• Write and craft contracts with special stipulations to protect

68 | think realty magazine :: august 2021

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