It is widely agreed that the rise of tech-enabled brokerage is one of the major trends to watch in the real estate industry. Where historically brokers held all the information (tenants/buyers on the one hand and sellers/properties on the other), today’s on-demand technology has given clients on both ends of a transaction access to immediate and seemingly limitless information. Many real estate brokers see this as a threat to their business model, however research has suggested that better-informed consumers are more likely to value the help of an agent and that technology can lead to significant benefits, eliminating inefficiencies and redundant tasks and allowing brokers to focus on serving clients.
Today, clients expect a fast, seamless experience from start to finish. They want powerful search capabilities, a transparent brokerage process, and on-demand flexibility at every stage. While some companies such as Redfin are more focused on consumer-controlled technology, only using brokers for necessities, others have bet that the future of brokerage is an augmentation of the agent with technology rather than replacement or redefinition. Compass, for example, still revolves largely around the agent relationship and believe that the agent (their real customer) can thrive through the technological support the company is able to provide such as sophisticated marketing tools and a design center, automatic valuation models and industry leading CRM tools.