Real Estate Industry is Next Up for Disruption


Photo Credit: Missy Schmidt

 Agents merging technology and service still highly valued

New technologies have arisen in the last ten years, introducing many ‘disruptive’ innovations which brought much change to several industries and making some obsolete. This is the Netflix-Blockbuster dynamic. Other examples are how transportation network Uber is transforming the taxicab industry or how Airbnb is disrupting the hotel industry.

In the past decade, the mobile phone along with its technology conspirator the World Wide Web, has disrupted and brought a few industries to the edge of obsolescence. Industries/ services affected includes home phone service, navigation systems, clocks, encyclopedias, pay phones and personal music listening devices.

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The real estate industry stands as one of the last big industries that haven’t been disrupted. The chances of change in this industry is very likely.

These are the reasons why:

1) Diminishing value

Diminishing value has been slowly become entrenched into the real estate industry for a while and there’s simply less of a need for agents who only provide consumers with information that is readily available via or  If agents are only opening doors to show homes, the consumer may not feel that this warrants their six percent commission. This is not saying that agents are not needed. They are, without a doubt. Professional and knowledgeable agents offer much value and in this changing world, the agents who are highly valuable will have a chance to shine.

2) Outdated marketing methods

Many real estate agents today still think the surefire way to attract new business is by hanging a sign in the window. This method still works; but more people, especially Millennials, go to the Internet first for information. It’s possible for the average consumer to have deep real estate information before meeting a real estate agent. Companies are increasingly popping up online or in digital device applications to service these savvy consumers.

3) The real estate industry is poised for change

If you look at the real estate industry today, you will see an industry that has struggled to keep up with the changes. Consumers have instant access to real estate information and have grown more comfortable with the idea of selling their own homes; further cementing consumers’ widespread embrace of technology and new ways of thinking.

4) Increased competition for the next big real estate technology

There’s potentially disruptive technologies such as virtual home staging and automated agent selection out there now, but these innovations are not massively scaled to disrupt the industry yet. The entrepreneur that addresses real estate industry pain points may come up with an app and/ or website that will represent real change by making it easier and better to conduct business in the industry.

Empowering the consumer has been the focus of the industry’s latest innovations. This includes providing consumers with more access to data which would allow them to make more informed decisions while diminishing the need for less-informed real estate agents. The smarter agents will embrace these technological advances and utilize them to survive; rather than continue to stay attached to their brochures and rolodexes. History is against embracing nostalgia as a business model, no matter the industry.

What do you see happening in the real estate industry?


Entrepreneur Magazine.  Who Will Step Up and Disrupt the Real Estate Industry?

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