1) Buying or selling real estate is infrequent. The average person will buy or sell a home between 3 and 5 times in their entire life.
2) The product (a home) is not standardized. It is unique and does not come “in one size fits all”
3) The performance behind a real estate transaction is uncertain and, when dealing with an investment of this size, uncertainty leads to high risk. Research and studies point to the fact that home buyers and home sellers will continue to use REALTORS even though they have access to information (the Internet) and could potentially represent themselves in this type of transaction. That being said, the role that a REALTOR plays in this transaction is what is going to continue to evolve and change.
While the internet is able to perform the matching side of a real estate transaction, consumers say that the infrequency, uniqueness and uncertainty behind a real estate transaction require a professional. There will be a fundamental change that we will be seeing in the role of a REALTOR in the years to come - a strong shift from the matching to the bargaining.
What does this mean for the real estate industry? REALTOR and consumer education is crucial along with resources to help REALTORS in stream lining a real estate transaction. Innovation and technology will be key to meeting consumer demand for highly trained, highly professional REALTORS that concentrate on exceptional customer service by providing tools and resources that will help them become more of a consultant to their clients than an acting agent.
We cannot take away the Internet or the information that it provides, nor should we want to. It is our job as real estate professionals to embrace the new, educated consumer and value the opportunity to work with them as a team. This is an exciting time in the real estate industry and I am personally excited to watch my industry rise to the occasion and exceed the expectations of today’s consumer.
Adapted from Article in the Calgary Herald by Kirsten Bartlett Marketing Manager, CIR REALTY