The rise of Internet and mobile technology has had profound impacts on many different businesses and industries. Recently, the ability of independent developers to create apps and websites has allowed entrepreneurial individuals to revolutionize the way consumers interact with many different markets.
For example, Uber and other “ride sharing” apps have been game changers for the taxi industry, while apps like Airbnb have made similar impacts in the hotel and hospitality industry. One need not look further than the impact Netflix had on video-rental stores like Blockbuster to realize that these forms of technology can have profound impacts on the status quo for many different types of business.
The question now is not so much “if” but “when” the digital age will have a big impact on the way we conduct business in the real estate industry. Some argue that websites like Zillow, which offer property specs and valuations as well as a map-based view of properties on the market, are already making big waves within the industry.
However, it is the implication of such technology rather than its initial impact that hints at the overall direction the profession is headed. Websites like Zillow are making information that was at one time only accessible to industry professionals available to everyone. This does not mean that the need for real estate professionals, who are often experts in their markets with extensive training and experience, will completely disappear; rather, it should serve as a warning sign to those who cling to old ways of conducting business.
With younger generations using the Internet as their primary mode for gathering information, it is the professionals who take advantage of this new form of communication and connect with their clients that will survive and ultimately thrive in the digital age.