As virtually all businesses are now having to quickly pivot to meet the expectations of their consumers amid the Coronavirus pandemic, how extremely relevant a glimpse into the rapidly changing land brokerage industry is today, which has been impacted by technological advancements and changing consumer behavior.
Technology’s Disruption of the Land Brokerage Industry, and the Coronavirus Pandemic Acting as a Catalyst
Even prior to COVID-19, the impact technology was making on both our personal lives and businesses was palpable. We knew technology had forever changed us: how we receive our news and information, communicate, shop, bank, receive our education, get entertained, and now, visit with our doctors. But we didn’t fully understand how quickly the benefits of technology would shift from being a convenience to becoming an absolute necessity, overnight. Our world came to a screeching halt a few months ago, and it’s clear the innovative, forward-thinking businesses aren’t the ones having to stop their dribble to pivot; they are going straight to the hoop for the score. Technology has taken over, whether we want it to or not.
Before the pandemic, it had already been predicted that 40% of both blue and white collar jobs would be lost to technology over the next 15 years. Since the onset of COVID-19 and the shutdown of our economy, it has become very clear that loss of American jobs to technology is going to take place at a much faster pace than originally predicted.
Long before Coronavirus had become a household name, massive disruption had been going on in the residential sector. Companies who were leveraging technology, data, google rankings, artificial intelligence, and social media were covering ground faster than Murder Hornets. We should learn from these residential companies, who are changing their industry’s message with marketing slogans such as “Real Estate, Made Simple” and “Finally, the Way Real Estate Should Be.” Some of these businesses are demonstrating how the residential real estate industry has been ripe for disruption. On another note, businesses in general are seeing consumers demand more transparency; Consumers expect relevant, accurate, free-of-charge data to be at their fingertips to assist them with their decision making processes. If you are unable to give it to them, they are on to the next vendor.
The Future of the Land Brokerage Industry: 86% of Real Estate Agents Will Be Replaced by Robots Over the Next 20 Years
An Oxford University study predicted that 86% of real estate agents will be replaced by robots over the next 20 years. This statistic could be scary, but I’m not here to dim your light with doom and gloom. The question is, will you be part of the 86% pushed aside, or will you be a part of the elite 14% who are taking the time to learn how to stand out, stay relevant, and remain valuable? If we can better serve our client by providing exactly what they need on a personal, emotional, and technological level, while saving them time and money, we become invaluable.
As real estate brokers, our path ahead may not be as easy as it has been in the past, but It’s important to seek opportunity in every challenge; Do not sit victim to the changing circumstances. Be coachable and seek mentorship from others who can provide valuable tools and insight into changes and updates in our industry.
As consumers take the lead in telling us what they want from land brokers and our services, it’s important to go above and beyond to protect our brands and our reputations, at all costs. Take caution: enabled by tools like Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews, the service industry is being placed under a microscope more than ever before. Consumers will have access to how well or insufficiently we’ve performed, and they’ll base their buying decision on that information, and for many of them, that information alone.
The Bottom Line
There is no way to slow the pace of technology; We need to embrace the impact it’s making on our industry, and the changes in how we connect with consumers. Brian Buffini said it best when he said:
“We are the advocate, the educator, the advisor, we are not the decision maker” - Brian Buffini, Inman News
The consumer is the decision maker in who will ultimately win and who will lose; Only those companies that can reach and provide the best consumer experience will win. Participation trophies in the land brokerage business are a relic of the past.
Aaron Graham is President of National Land Realty and is a licensed real estate broker in NE, IA & KS. Since he entered the real estate business after retiring from a successful NFL career, he’s brokered over $300,000,000 of land transactions throughout the Midwest.The company’s proprietary video technology, Land Tour 360™, as well as its GIS land mapping system, LandBase™, is offered for free to the public. More information at nationalland.com.