Shopping for a home today has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, from when listings were published in a book that was kept in each office and information was only available through an agent/broker, to now … The Digital Information Super Age! The internet has broadened that reach to every continent on the globe, to nearly everyone who has online access. Computer, phone, tablet…this information is right at our fingertips!
Most potential buyers look online PRIOR to contacting a broker. They research the community, neighborhoods, schools, demographics, cost of living, and other factors, as well as the local real estate market. People are more informed, but there is always *some* bit of information that they can’t get elsewhere. Just like shopping for a new car online can’t beat getting in that same car and test driving it, nothing can beat meeting a broker in person to walk through a house, to drive around a new neighborhood or new town/city and EXPERIENCE it all in person.
When looking for a real estate representative to handle your real estate needs, nothing compares to a handshake at the end of the deal. That’s where a Real Estate Professional comes in! The Daily Herald published an article about how even in a digital age, homebuyers are continuing to utilize the personal services that only a broker or agent can provide.
Yet now, we have outside competition that could make our profession obsolete, and brokers across the nation and around the world are fighting to keep their physical doors open, while maintaining a strong, affordable, profitable online presence.
In a recent article by BizJournals.com, “real estate search portal Zillow now delivers more value to agents than most brokerages do…,” and I argue that is not true. While Zillow, and other online search portals, do offer a 24 hour 7 seven day a week information hub to buyers and sellers, they can’t offer that personal service that a broker or agent can. They are not familiar with many of the communities that each little dot on their maps represent. In many rural communities, their information is out of sync with what their local market is actually like, and often smaller communities and their unique properties can suffer from the “Zestimate” they provide. Nothing can compete or compare to the personal work and dedication that a broker and their company can provide.