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Will Real Estate Agents Be Automated?

It is highly unlikely that real estate agents will be fully automated in the near future. This is due to the complicated decisions, negotiations, and complex emotions involved with transactions that involve large sums of clients’ money.

What Should We Be Automating In real Estate?

The successful real estate agent wears many different hats. These include the CEO and rainmaker, salesperson, accountant, receptionist, call center, and consultant.

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Not all parts of the real estate agent’s job require a high-level of human connection or interpersonal skills. There are some things so mundane that most real estate agents would happily allow automation to take them over.

Finding Likely Buyers and Sellers

One of the most boring parts of being a real estate agent is finding likely buyers and sellers. This is time consuming work. It can involve lots of guess work and mindless tasks. Because of this, automating mundane tasks will be a relief to most real estate agents.

This is one part of the job that could easily be automated. We are already seeing companies like ProspectNow implementing automation. They are using artificial intelligence to determine which property owners are most likely to sell their property.

ProspectNow is just one company utilizing automated systems, and they are taking massive steps towards the future. Be sure to check out their website and learn more about how they are able to do what they do.

If the client acquisition process were automated, we would see other areas of the real estate experience improving. By automating the process of finding clients, the real estate agents can focus on providing the best possible service to their clients. When these tasks are automated, everybody is winning.

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ProspectNow is great for automating the process of finding likely property sellers. This allows real estate agents to focus on providing great client service.
Photo by GeoJango Maps on Unsplash

Writing Contracts and Sending Documents for Signature

Real estate agents receive training in the classroom and from their broker when it comes to writing contracts. The hardest part for new agents is making sure the contract is written correctly while still meeting the client’s terms.

Once an agent has mastered the correct way to write contract documents, it is not difficult for them to do. However, many busy agents will find themselves pulling over and writing contracts on their phone.

Agents are too busy meeting with clients to get back to the office quickly enough to write it up. Because of this, they are often risking making mistakes on a mobile screen to get their contracts written between meetings.

Automated real estate agent document signatures
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

What’s The Motivation for Agents to Use Automated Contracts?

By utilizing an automated tool to write contracts based on major inputs, the room for error would drastically decrease. Agents would be able to focus on negotiations, finding the perfect property, and coordinating closings.

What could agents be entering into automated contract software that would make their lives easier? Here are a few examples we are loving:

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  • Property address (could auto-populate all property information from this)
  • Sales Price
  • Any special terms (for example: the inclusion of a home warranty, repairs, who pays for the survey and title insurance, etc.)

Automated Contracts and Signatures Save Time for Everybody

The typical terms that you are using across contracts could be automated to autofill and only need manual editing for unique circumstances. This is how automation would drastically improve the contract writing process for agents and their clients.

By using automated contract completion, the time between agreeing on terms and having a contract in hand would be reduced.

Another great use for automated systems in real estate is document signature services. Using an automated platform that writes contracts and is sending them to clients would save time for everybody.

Automating the signature process is another way of reducing the likelihood of errors being made, too.

Providing Property Access for Tours

Many members of the public believe that showing properties is all that real estate agents do. Contrary to popular belief, most real estate agents do not spend every day opening doors.

Photo by Philipp Berndt on Unsplash

Most of the time, real estate agents are working hard coordinating the rest of the deal to make sure it makes it to closing.

Looking for new clients, negotiating terms, coordinating inspections and closings, and putting out fires that arise during deals.

By automating the showing process, buyers would feel more comfortable touring a home without feeling watched by the agents. The buyers also would not feel hurried or like they are taking too little or too much time in each property.

Using an automated access tool that lets buyers into homes would give agents more time to answer questions, serve more clients, and write more offers.

What Parts of the Real Estate Agent’s Job Cannot Be Automated?

Although many parts of the real estate agent’s job could be automated, there’s a lot that only humans can do.

Whether you are a fan of automated business solutions or not, it is hard to deny the difficulty of completely replacing people. Humans can solve complex people-related problems, navigate emotions that come out during stressful experiences, and coordinate groups of other people through the deal.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Finding Win-Win Solutions to Difficult Problems

What makes a real estate agent better than a robot or online real estate shopping site? A skilled real estate agent is experienced in navigating challenging negotiations. They are able to do what an automated shopping platform cannot.

A real estate agent finds ways to make a deal happen, while making sure it is not a zero sum outcome. Finding ways for both buyer and seller to walk away happy feeling like they won, and willing to do business together again.

Seasoned agents know ways to make win-win deals happen out of the ashes, in ways that even young agents do not. Is it realistic to believe that an automated real estate system would come up with creative and out-of-the-box answers to complex problems?

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Navigating the Emotions Involved in Large Transactions

For most, the purchase of their home is the single largest transaction they will engage in during their lifetimes. Most times, a home costs many times what buyers are earning at their job each year, or what they have in the bank.

When dollar signs get big, so do the emotions involved. Humans are complex, emotional beings. Using an automated agent is neglecting the value of human emotion that is involved in deals.

One of the greatest values in using a human real estate agent is the understanding of human nature. Knowing when a client is anxious and needs comforting, or when they need to be told to trust their instincts by jumping ship.

An automated system does not know whether it should be comforting a client or warning them.

What About People Who Just Want to Save Some Money?

There are many who do not feel emotion or get nervous about large purchases. There are also people who prefer saving a few dollars by automating a process even if the risk financially greater.

When a human is buying or selling real estate, they would rather have a human being working with them who can empathize with what they feel.

For others who would rather save a few dollars, they can go the automated route. That being said, there are already options for these people to use when buying or selling property. Even today, you can choose not to use a real estate agent and instead do the work yourself.

Coordinating with the Countless Humans That Are Part of Every Real Estate Deal

During a real estate deal, there are tons of people working to make sure it goes smoothly. Everyone from the buyer’s agent and people at the bank, to the service providers such as inspectors that make sure there aren’t problems with the home.

Photo Courtesy of The Agent’s Archive

The above chart is just the starting point for determining how many people are working on every real estate deal. For most deals, it will include most of these people. Sometimes, you won’t see or need all of these parties for the deal to get across the finish line.

For some transactions, you will have all of these people working on your deal plus many more. The more complex the deal, the more people who will be working on it.

Will We See Automated Systems Replacing Real Estate Agents in the Future?

According to Replaced by Robot, there is a 97% chance that robots will be replacing real estate agents.

I disagree with this estimation. Robots will be replacing real estate agents for certain parts of the job, but not all.

Eventually, most of the real estate industry will likely be on the blockchain. The world is quickly shifting to the metaverse, and real estate will be following right behind.

Buyers and sellers will still be using licensed real estate agents to help guide them through this new market. Just like today, the process will be somewhat complex to some while others would prefer to navigate it by themselves.

While everybody will be using automated systems as they are buying and selling properties, the human agent will very likely not be going anywhere anytime soon.

Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash
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Matt Moreland
Matt Morelandhttps://www.mattmorelandrealtor.com/
Matt is a real estate agent, investor, and entrepreneur in Texas, where he lives with his wife and three children. When he is not working on The Agent's Archive, he is helping his clients acquire investment properties, guiding new agents as they enter the industry, farming wine grapes, or working on something for his winery. In his free time he enjoys homesteading with his family, hunting, swimming, and backpacking.
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