Virtually all businesses are now quickly pivoting to meet the expectations of their consumers amid the Coronavirus pandemic, and the land brokerage industry is no different. This industry has been impacted by technological advancements and changing consumer behavior.
Technology’s Disruption and the Coronavirus Pandemic
Before COVID-19, the impact technology was making on both our personal lives and businesses was palpable. We knew technology had forever changed us: How we receive our news and information, communicate, shop, bank, receive our education, get entertained, and now, visit with our doctors. But we didn’t fully understand how quickly the benefits of technology would shift from convenience to becoming an absolute necessity.
Before the pandemic, 40% of both blue- and white-collar jobs were predicted to be lost to technology over the next 15 years. Since the onset of COVID-19 and the shutdown of our economy, it’s evident that the loss of American jobs to technology is going to take place at a much faster pace than initially predicted.
Disruption in Residential
Real estate companies that are leveraging technology, data, Google rankings, artificial intelligence, and social media were covering ground quickly. Land brokers should learn from these residential companies, who are changing their industry’s message with marketing slogans such as “Real Estate, Made Simple” and “Finally, the Way Real Estate Should Be.” Some of these businesses are demonstrating how the residential real estate industry has been ripe for disruption. All companies are seeing consumers demand more transparency. Consumers expect relevant, accurate, free-of-charge data to be at their fingertips to assist them with their decision-making processes. If you’re unable to give it to them, they are on to the next vendor.
The Future of the Land Brokerage Industry
An Oxford University study predicted that 86% of real estate agents would be replaced by robots over the next 20 years. The truth to this statistic remains elusive. However, regardless of the actual number, the question is, will you be part of the percentage pushed aside, or will you be a part of the elite portion who are taking the time to learn how to stand out, stay relevant, and remain valuable? If we can better serve clients by providing what they need on a personal, emotional, and technological level, while saving them time and money, we become invaluable.
As real estate brokers, our path ahead may not be as easy as it has been in the past, but it’s essential to seek opportunity in every challenge. Do not sit victim to the changing circumstances. Be coachable and seek mentorship from others who can provide valuable tools and insight into changes and updates in our industry.
As consumers take the lead in telling us what they want from land brokers and our services, it’s essential to go above and beyond to protect our brands and reputations. Take caution: Enabled by tools such as Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews, the service industry is now placed under a microscope more than ever before. Consumers will have access to how well or insufficiently we’ve performed, and they’ll base their buying decision on that information, and for many of them, that information alone.
The Bottom Line
There is no way to slow the pace of technology. We need to embrace the impact it’s making on our industry and the changes in how we connect with consumers. Brian Buffini said it best when he said: “We are the advocate, educator, and advisor, not the decision-maker.”
The consumer decides who will win and who will lose. Only those companies that can reach and provide the best consumer experience will win. Participation trophies in the brokerage business are a relic of the past.
Aaron Graham is Chief Innovation Officer of National Land Realty and is a licensed real estate broker in NE, IA & KS. Since he entered the real estate business after retiring from a successful NFL career, he’s brokered over $300 million of land transactions throughout the Midwest. More information at nationalland.com