Will technology replace real estate agents? That’s the subject of this episode of the Real Estate Redefined video series. Join Dan Forsman to learn how emerging technology will benefit consumers and sellers. He also discusses how agents who understand, and can leverage this technology will be able to manage their business more effectively and profitably.
Good Morning, Dan Forsman here –
INC Magazine recently published an article that said, “Artificial Intelligence will replace the real estate agent.” Another article stated, “Your next real estate agent could be a robot.” Zillow just announced that they are testing a new Zillow Group Home Capture App. This 3D app leverages the new Augmented Reality features in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 10 to create a new category of Zillow 3D Homes. Augmented reality and virtual reality will substantially improve the way consumers view and experience listed homes.
Speaking of virtual reality, a new blockbuster movie called Ready Player One will be released in March 2018. The movie is produced by Steven Spielberg and is based on the best-selling novel by Ernest Cline.
The story is set in the year 2045. Much of Earth’s population centers have become slum-like cities due to overpopulation, pollution, corruption, and climate change. To escape their desolation, people engage in the virtual reality world called the OASIS or Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation. Try quickly saying that one three times! The hero of the movie is Wade Owen Watts, a teenager from Columbus, Ohio. Young Wade attempts to win “Anorak’s Game”, a new game created by the recently-deceased creator of the OASIS, James Halliday. The winner who finds the Easter Egg will be granted full ownership of the OASIS and Halliday’s $240 billion fortune. James Halliday, the creator of the OASIS was a fan of 1980s pop culture so there are many references to this time. You will see the Delorean time machine from Back to the Future, KITT – the robotic car from Night Rider, Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, the A-Team, Mad Max, DC Comics and lots of great music from the 1980s band RUSH. This movie will be a major hit and will create a lot of discussions about what our future might look like in 25 or 30 years.
Yes, as Bob Dylan said in his Grammy award-winning song back in 1964, “The times, they are a-changin.” As a society, we are entering the fourth industrial revolution. Ready Player One taps into the expectation of a new digital experience powered by technology innovations like artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality, virtual reality and 5G speeds.
When disruptive change occurs, new players emerge. Well-capitalized companies including iBuyers like Opendoor, OfferPad and Knock are already here trying to steal your clients. Redfin is now promoting 1% listing fees and rebating back 1% to buyers trying to drive down the commission structure in the industry. Home Light is advertising to match the best agent and then sell leads with high referral fees. There are a growing list of interlopers coming to our industry and these new technologies will bring more. If we don’t take control of our destiny, we may see a new era of referral fees for under-qualified leads and reduced commission could become the norm. Or could it be worse? Will Artificial Intelligence, Robots and Virtual Reality simply replace the real estate agent as some predict?
I think the answer is no – and yes! One of the key differentiators will be the customer experience. Real estate agents who learn to leverage technology innovations will replace those who do not. Real estate agents who interact well with people, can earn their trust and can articulate their value will replace those who do not.
In the best-selling book, Humans Are Under-Rated, Geoffrey Colvin says: “Our greatest advantage lies in the most essential human abilities—empathy, creativity, social sensitivity, storytelling, humor, building relationships, and leading. This is how we create value that is durable and not easily replicated by technology – because we’re hardwired to want it from humans. As technology advances, we shouldn’t focus on beating computers at what they do best. We’ll lose that contest. Instead, we must develop our most essential human abilities and focus on the richness of the interpersonal experience while leveraging the benefits of new technology.”
As a pioneer in innovation, we are always testing new technology solutions that can benefit our agents and your clients. For example, we are testing a new AI chatbot that could revolutionize the real estate search and generate more leads for our agents. We are testing new dynamic Facebook ads that will make it easier to promote your listings and attract more buyers. We will be the first in our market to test the new Zillow 3D Homes with augmented reality. And we have more exciting announcements planned to announce in 2018.
At the same time, we are investing in the development of critical human interaction skills. We developed strategic relationships with industry-leading coaches and trainers including Tom Ferry, Brian Buffini, Mike Ferry, Larry Kendall and David Knox to help teach valuable human skills training. As you work on your business plan and strategy for 2018, allocate time to practice and improve your human skills. We will always keep you on the leading edge for technology innovation. By investing in your human skills, you will be more successful in generating appointments, securing clients and closings transactions. Just like public speaking, these skills can be learned and mastered with practice.
Yes, change presents opportunity and we are excited about the future. Thank you for watching our Real Estate Redefined video series. Remember, every day in every way, you can get better and better! We look forward to bringing you more relevant topics with insight, information and inspiration to take your business and life to a higher level.