There are many aspects of real estate that technology can streamline. The shifts in the digital and tech space are moving forward rapidly. It’s like we blink, and everything is different. Although tech is changing the way that we do real estate investing and deals, there are functions within the industry that will continue to require “the human touch” (at least for now).
My prediction is that real estate agents will be a job of the past by 2025. Tech companies are attempting to disrupt the way that traditional real estate companies do business. For the moment, humans remain an integral part of the industry. So, what types of tasks— which require human touch— are still needed in the real estate industry and in what ways will people become unnecessary?
What Technology Is Replacing:
- The Basic Home Search— Technology is impacting the way that basic home searches are being done. Basic house searches have been long available to the public. It’s so simple to hop on your laptop and find homes for sale. You even have the option to set up alerts based on the certain criteria that you are looking to buy or rent. Of course, even with technology, there are still challenges, like knowing reliable property information. It takes a human to further do the necessary due diligence.
- Know Your Neighborhood— By using resources like Zillow, YouTube, Wikipedia, realtor blogs, and other technological avenues, you can find out whatever you need to about a neighborhood in minutes. You can learn about schools, crime, what amenities are close by, and grasp a visual feel for what the place is like and who lives in the area(google maps).
- Paper, Mail, & Voice Communications— Technology has made it possible to do almost everything in real estate with apps or through email. No longer is it about faxing and mailing documents or flying and driving to attend closings. This year, my partner and I took full advantage of technology when we closed on an apartment complex with a purchase price of nearly $1M. We wired the money to close the deal and signed the documents remotely. This was completely foreign and unheard of ten years ago.
- Visual Marketing— No longer do real estate investors, agents, or ‘For-Sale-By-Owner’ sellers need to hire a photographer to shoot property tours. These cellular devices that we have now are capable of shooting some crisp clear photos and video.
- Sending & Receiving Money— Paying online allows making payments and collecting rent simple, efficient, and profitable. Investor buyers transfer money and trade in just a few seconds through downloadable mobile apps.
3 Jobs That Technology Cannot Replace:
Business Owner — Technology has yet to figure out how to create someone to champion your company and business forward. Tasks associated with this position include a large amount of risk, which is why even the wealthiest and the smartest find good people to be part of their success equation.
Structure Of Off-Market Transactions— It’s a fact that often, the best deals on property are not the ones that can be found online. These are the deals which aren’t even marketed in a public manner. There are certain property owners who have not put their homes on the market because they are not aware that help is available. Others have concerns over privacy. They just don’t want the entire world to know their business. To find secret deals you need a human on-the-ground, and not an app on your phone, to make things happen.
Inspecting Property— Technology cannot replace a human inspection of a property. Inspecting a property is certainly a very important part of the equation to purchasing in real estate. It’s absolutely important that you know the true condition of a property and this requires a real live human go look.