I work and live in the revitalizing Toronto Downtown East. My real estate business primarily services the Metropolitian area. Like many cosmopolitan cities, the modern social economic ecosystem in Toronto has been increasingly influenced by the sharing economy which offers alternative goods and services to consumers and redefining how we live.
According to Investopedia, the sharing economy is "an economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else." A sustainable sharing economy model would create value by enabling the most efficient use of resources from an underused physical asset being rented out by the asset owner. This type of sharing model is becoming more popular due to the internet and mobile apps revolution, allowing peer-to-peer connection much easier.
Companies like Uber has been in the forefront for shaking up the monopoly of taxi cab operations. Airbnb, another champion of the home sharing economy not only impacts the hotel industry, but shifts the supply/ demand from broker listed properties. Spinlister smart bikes made by Vanmoof first purchased then rented out to consumers through Spinlister's bike sharing program, eliminates the need to rely on a vehicle or public transportation in the inner city without going through the public bike sharing system.
It is certain that the sharing economy has already started to change the traditional real estate model. Airbnb, Workplace One and various co-working space have brought in a new type of residential and commercial tenant that no longer requires any interaction with a realtor.
As sharing economy becomes mainstream, "ownership of assets" becomes a means to provide the consumer "access to goods" without having to go directly to the big brands and organizations. Do you think the role of the traditional real estate agent and organized real estate will be diminished in the new age? How should real estate professionals recreate new value?
Real Estate Broker
Homelife/ Realty One Ltd. Brokerage