The real estate market is evolving and has been for a few years, transitioning into uncharted territory for some real estate markets. As usual, by the time this news is in the headlines, the housing market has already evolved, as does any major segment of the economy. And that evoluation continues to spread. What am I talking about? I-buyers, smart home technology, the public perception of real estate agents, and commissions.
Not every city has experienced the I-buyer phenonmenon, but here in Phoenix, about 6% of our sales are by I-buyer companies with Open Door being the leader of the pack and we tend to be a test market for all things new and maybe not so exciting for veteran agents.
Smart home technology is becoming more prevalent in new and re-sale homes and problems have surfaced in resales of those homes when thermostats magically set to different temperaturs. Sell your home and don't forget to change your passwords or reset them lest your thermostat ghostly react for a new buyer or be hijacked by someone else.
The public's perception of real estate agents is an ever changing topic. With the addition of I-buyer companies in major cities, the public is taking that short cut and probably thinking they'd rather not endure the sales process, thereby effecting the perception of real estate agents and home sales.
Commissions are evolving as well. In some markets, nothing has changed, but in larger cities agents might be experiencing some backlash and more competition. Never before has it become important to show your value and how an I-buyer company CANNOT show as much value as a seller's agent who works his magic in negotiating repairs, appraisals, changing close of escrow dates, much less explain how to value solar panels in a sales transaction.
Just as the MLS's have evolved to help agents to share listings and make showings easier, so has the internet helped the public to find most all of the information they need to research a home. And there are fewer MLS's as they merge with others, expanding their territories.
Managing those expectations of different sales models and the ever present availiability and access of information has also grown to new heights.
Recently, I eliminated my website filled with testimonials, features articles, and custom searches so that I provide direct access to a customer version of the MLS. Clients love it. No extra clicks and they are happy.
Recently I had a client tell me they wanted to see a specific home that outside of the parameters they had shared with me. It was VERY dated, on an acre of mostly raw desert land, and backing to fairly busy road in North Scottsdale. Again, nothing like the custom on an acre they wanted to live in.
My reaction to this listing - if you want to see it I'll learn as much as I can about the history, have a lender look at the photos of the halfway exposed roof deck and find out if it can be financed. All before I get into my car. Managing expectations before I open a lockbox, communicating with my client the location, expected loan scenarios that MIGHT work and the comparable sales is automatic.
Human touch is the most mportant part of real estate. We interract, learn, and engage. This is the reason why real estate will always require real estate agents. But in order to stick around, agents MUST adapt, be effective, and provide as much value as humanly possible!
Stick to the basics, stay relevant and educated about the real estate market and your city, and provide value above and beyond. If not, your business model is outdated.