GameChanger Paul Benson on industry shifts serving consumers

In today’s RealTrending, Paul Benson, CEO, Engel & Völkers Gestalt Group, talks about recent consumer shifts that are causing real estate brokers and agents to look at business differently. From artificial intelligence to home as an investment, Benson offers a unique perspective on the issues most impacting real estate today.
Benson and his company were named a 2023 RealTrends GameChanger, launching June 1, with 93% growth by transaction side percentage between 2017 to 2022.

Here is a small preview of today’s interview with Paul. The transcript below has been lightly edited for length and clarity:

Tracey Velt: You mentioned artificial intelligence. And obviously, that’s talk of the town right now. What are your thoughts? Are you doing anything with it at your brokerage company?

Paul Benson: This time last year, we’re still talking about NFTs. And then boom, here we are. What’s an NFT now, right? But I do think this is here to stay. AI is going to change our industry in ways that we have been pretending nothing could really have that impact for a long time. You have programs where you can go into, right now, for example, and build your dream home, and then they have the interface to match that to a listing. This is only 1.0. of this intelligence. And there’s gonna be many, many phases to come.

What I’ve watched is, for a while, the brokerage controlled our industry. Then that shifted to the agent in the last 5-10 years where the agent became the free agent. But now the consumer actually has taken back the power. The consumer is using technology better than a lot of our agents are. And they will adapt quicker to the AI than a lot of the industry, because the industry is afraid of the change. We’re afraid of being replaced, we’re afraid of a lot of things that really we should be embracing. Change is not easy, but it’s here.

The RealTrending podcast features the brightest minds in real estate. Every week, brokerage leaders, top agents, team leaders, and industry experts share their success secrets, trends, and lessons learned navigating this ever-changing industry. Hosted by Tracey Velt and produced by Elissa Branch.