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Will traditional real estate agents be obsolete by 2025?

Some arguments do make sense. But you have to be careful of viewpoints, intentions, and realities. In this interesting email I just received from PropertyGuys.com, a leading FSBO company, I found it difficult to argue with some of the valid points. However, one needs to remember that most modern real estate agents aren’t sitting on their hands waiting for the inevitable. In fact, some, like myself, not only welcome the changes that are coming, but have already begun to integrate them into our daily work lives.
For the past three years, my role has changed dramatically. I am now more of a coach and coordinator than I am someone who simply finds houses for clients. Buying the house is about one fifth of what I actually do. I spend more time arranging for contractors, designers, inspectors, City officials, property managers, and making sure they have access and all the info they need in order to ensure my clients–mostly investors–succeed in the end.
It’s an interesting turn of events since I technically get paid at the beginning (when my client buys a home) but it is understood that I’m still working for my client for the next six months or more. Talk about a guaranteed income and justification to give that client your best efforts!
Here’s the email:
PropertyGuys.com’s co-founder and Director of Partnerships, Walter Melanson, predicts traditional agents will move from servicing almost 90% of the market (as they do now) to only 40% by 2025. This is primarily driven by changing consumer behaviour and a desire for digital on-demand services that are less costly and do not require hefty agent commissions.
The movement toward Canadians adopting a different real estate service will be disruptive in nature and will be fuelled by innovation and a changing consumer appetite to take charge of their “own sale”. In 2010, the Canadian government’s competition watchdog (The 2010 Consent Agreement between CREA and the Competition Bureau”) – stepped in the market to help eliminate what they saw was certain “anti-competitive” policies in the market by that it says harmed everyday buyers and sellers. Access to information has since increased, and with many buyers and sellers searching for properties online as they do travel and accommodations, the shift is well underway.
“It’s not that the individual agents will become obsolete, it’s that their role will change dramatically driven by consumer demand and intuitive platforms,” explained Melanson. “As a customer-centric company, we put buyers and sellers at the heart of the transaction so that they can connect directly and benefit most from the sale. Platforms help drive value innovation – products and services that are easier, more affordable and put the user in control. We’re seeing this trend in almost every other industry, it’s high time for real estate to see the same positive change for consumers.”
All valid points. But remember, real estate agents have amassed a lot of experience over the years and there is no one better suited to provide solutions for Buyers and Sellers than someone who does it every day. Remember, I have access to all the FSBO information as well as organized real estate. And I make sure my clients have access to everything I do; sales, DOM’s, comparables, whatever. It hasn’t made my job obsolete, so I welcome the openness if that’s what private companies are after. What I provide my clients is expertise in the field. You can give someone all the information they want, but unless an expert shows them and leads them in the right direction, they won’t know what to do with that information.
My job is now to assess all the information, tie it to a project, and ensure everyone involved does what they’re supposed to do, on time, on budget, so that my client succeeds. Then I’m worth that money I got paid upfront.

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