The Real Estate Startup Problem
Does this sound familiar?
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It’s the same thing we’ve seen a hundred times this year: startups that are trying to disrupt the Real Estate industry but are focusing on all the wrong things. Real Estate is a people-centric business. People trust people when they’re making the biggest purchase of their life, and that’s not changing any time soon. Buyers will gladly pay a few thousand extra dollars to work with an expert that can guide them through the process with confidence.
With that knowledge, it becomes obvious that the business model of most new real estate technology startups is deeply flawed. Taking the agent out of the home buying and selling process is not going to happen, at least not any time soon.
Instead of thinking about how we can make agents obsolete, we need to focus on empowering the agents with tools, networks, and software that will enable them to do what they do best — aid buyers and sellers in making better decisions by utilizing their years of expertise. After all, a good real estate agent knows what a buyer wants and how to find it better than they do.
You can’t put an agent into a database
A (good) agent provides an invaluable insight into locale specific knowledge, negotiation skills, legal contracts and processes, and by bringing years of transactions to the table, can save buyers and sellers a large amount of time.
As a software developer and startup founder that focuses primarily in Real Estate technology, I see all too many people building apps and websites outside of their domain. And from an outsiders perspective I can see why thinking, “Let’s move the home buying process online” makes sense. But the truth is that this will never work. Buyers will make bad decisions if they’re left on their own, and this cannot be solved by another search portal website.
Let’s start thinking differently and using all of these amazing new technologies to give agents more power, not to take it away from them.
This is geared towards developers and innovators of our time:
Buyers need agents, and agents need technology. So let’s give it to them.
With that said, I’ll leave you to ask yourself this question…
What can I, as an innovator, do to make expert real estate agents do what they do even better?
The answer to that question, will be the the same answer that changes the Real Estate industry for the better, and for years to come.
— Cody, Co-Founder at SimplyRETS & Real Estate Technology Enthusiast