Buckle up, it’s about to get very interesting in the real estate world! The real estate consumer experience will forever change the real estate industry. We’re about to experience more change in the next year than the last 20 years combined. That’s a big statement, and we’ve seen it with other industries.
This may lead to fewer agents in the business. Some experts predict National Association of Realtors membership may decline from 1.2 million members to around 700,000. That’s about a 42% drop. Even a 20% drop will put pressure on real estate companies. We may see mergers and we may see brands closing. There are just too many unprofitable companies. Independent brokerages will either close or merge into larger companies with more consumer tools. Publicly traded real estate companies will face increased pressure from shareholders to return a profit, which could affect commission splits to agents. All these spell big change for the industry.
What will drive these changes? The consumer experience will, and that’s about to change in a big way soon. We’ve already seen rival companies gearing up with new updates, and we’ve seen sites like Realtor.com losing their CEO and losing brokerage accounts right and left.
A Better Real Estate Consumer Experience
In the past, search was where it was at. Companies competed on search to gain consumers, but retaining consumers is another story. Consumers are always in search of a better experience. If you’re looking for places to vacation in Hawaii, you may use search. However, if you frequently visit Hawaii and a company came along and provided a more in-depth and customizable experience, you might go from search to being loyal to the online experience.
This happened to Blockbuster. They had all the DVD’s you could ever want. They knew which titles were popular because they had the data from their stores. What they didn’t have was the data outside their stores. Netflix did, and they ate Blockbuster’s lunch. We call it getting Netflixed.
2019 will be the year some real estate companies get Netflixed. This will only happen because other companies provide a unique customer experience. Some companies will focus on search, because it’s all they’ve ever known. Search might attract a customer, but the experience will retain them.
Better Online Search
If an agent today has a database of 1,000 past customers, they need to ask themselves one question. Are any of these 1,000 past customers at risk? Could I lose them if someone else came along with a wonderful consumer experience? The answer is, you betcha! Nobody owns a customer. While they may love their agent, they’ll go to whoever provides the best consumer experience today.
And this is what’s changing right now. In the next 60 days we’ll be rolling out our new customer experience. We’ll use artificial intelligence to match home buyers with properties they love. It will shorten their search for a home time. We’ll provide neighborhood information like never before. The consumer will be immersed in a platform they won’t want to leave.
Other companies will try to copy, but it might be too late. It would take over 3 years to copy what we’ve done, along with data. Wall Street is impatient and won’t wait 3 years. Already we’re seeing real estate company stocks of selected companies under pressure. Agents are worried and beginning to shop around for a company that can compete with what’s coming. No agent wants to be caught at a company that’s been Netflixed.
We’re not saying one company will survive. There will be 2-3 main companies that make it through all this, and several fighting for 4th place. 4th place isn’t where you want to be.
You can download our consumer app at www.SWfloridaopenhouse.com It will automatically change over to the new real estate consumer experience when it’s released, so you won’t have to do anything. Today you can search open houses, find homes, rentals, and much more. Soon, your whole new real estate experience will change. We have a web version coming too if you’re not into smartphones.
We look forward to changing the way consumers experience the real estate market. You can always email me at Brett@topagent.com if you have more questions, or call 239-489-4042 Ext 4