Technology and computers replacing humanity is a popular discussion. Let’s examine the effects of automation and blockchain technology on real estate brokers in California.
How will realtors survive in California?
Real estate brokers in California and around the world have been struggling with their extinction for some time. Smaller independent brokerages are disappearing as larger corporations are buying them up. All surviving businesses must deal with the changes brought about by technology.
Brokers are finding ways to cope with the technology arms race. Tom Tognoli, recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in real estate by the Swanepoel POWER 200, co-founded Intero in 2002. The Silicon Valley-based company’s innovative business model has helped it become the one of the country’s leading real estate companies. In 2014, Intero was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary HomeServices of America, the second largest independent real estate brokerage in America. Tom Tognoli leads Intero as President and CEO. He said: “What we try to do at Intero is keep up to date with the latest and greatest technology and then pilot in one of our most tech-savvy offices.”
It seems that not all brokers shy away from adopting new technologies; in fact, some recognize the benefits. According to an interview with Carol Lansen and Dennis Byron of Montalvo Realty, “There is definitely a learning curve with new technologies. It is constantly changing and evolving. Some agents may have a “don’t fix it ain’t broke” mentality; however, there can be some interesting benefits.
In addition to residential real estate, automation is affecting commercial real estate. Robert G. Thornburgh, regional president of Kidder Mathews in Southern California, said, “The discussion around technology is becoming a common theme, fueling growth and delivering improved results. This accelerates the speed of our business and, in doing so, creates a variety of new services. »
Progressive real estate representatives recognize that with the addition of automation and blockchain, roles and duties will change. However, they also recognize that the real estate transaction process will become more efficient and transparent.
Bringing Blockchain to the masses
There are already real estate companies using blockchain. Platforms like Propy use the complex algorithms of the blockchain in a user-friendly interface for agents, buyers and sellers. Kelvin Kam, the Founder and Broker Manager of Sequoia Real Estate, shared his positive feedback on the use of the emerging technology, saying, “Although blockchain is known to be a very complex algorithm, the platform’s user-friendly interface Propy transaction made me forget the complexity.
Like Kelvin, the new generation of brokers and agents admires the simplicity that new technology brings to the real estate market. Buying a property becomes easy and efficient. All parties, including a buyer, seller, buyer’s agent, seller’s agent, and title company, can exchange communications in one place. Once the transaction is complete, the buyer receives the title deed, which features a blockchain address – a hash that is stored immutably on the blockchain. No matter what happens with the municipality’s databases in the future, the title deed on the blockchain is immutable proof of ownership.
Automated smart contracts
The use of automated smart contracts reduces the work of intermediaries in the real estate transaction process. You might think this is bad news for realtors, but there is actually a new opportunity for realtors. “Crypto Certified Agents” is the new buzzword around San Francisco. The new program educates agents and brokerages and gives them more opportunities to compete with large commercial real estate companies.
Clearly, there are ways for agents to adapt to new technologies that disrupt their roles. In his article, Steve Murray, president of REAL trends, noted: “We are still disrupted, and it won’t stop this year, not 10 years from now, not 20 years from now.
Let’s face it. Technological advancements in the modern world are inevitable. Thus, to adapt as a real estate professional, it will be necessary to align with new needs.