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RISMEDIA, September 25, 2010—As our industry embraces MLS 5.0 concepts, as has been prominently exhibited over the past year-and-a-half through MLS and association adoption of consumer-centered marketing strategies and listing syndication, we should never again fall back into complacency until the next ‘lion’ appears over the hill! But the risk remains.

Famous Last Words
“We can never be replaced. This is a people business and there is always going to be a need for a real estate professional in the transaction.”

Social networking and artificial intelligence software packages that know more about the transaction process than many agents will transform the industry. Inventories are easily accessible online. Homes are easily and inexpensively advertised online by anyone with very little technology expertise required. As such, complacency about one’s value in the home-buying and -selling process could prove disastrous.

“During the 1970s and early 1980s, technological upheavals (appearance of the quartz technology) and the difficult economic situation resulted in a reduction in the size of the industry: the number of employees fell from some 90,000 in 1970 to a little over 30,000 in 1984.”
—Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry

The paradigm shift that eviscerated the Swiss watch-making industry was the quartz crystal, invented by the Swiss, not protected, and used by competitors to make their highly skilled craft obsolete.

Transaction of the Future
Marketing Homes

-Party A wants to sell and advertises her home on Craigslist.
-Party B wants to buy Party A’s home, Party A does not want Party B’s home, so the two parties now work through their channels to sell Party B’s home.
-Party C is found and wants to purchase Party B’s home, but needs to sell his home first. Parties A, B and C all now work their channels to find a buyer for Party C’s home.
-Party D is found, wants to purchase Party C’s home, and Party A (remember Party A?) wants to purchase Party D’s home.

Consumers Bundle the Entire Deal
-Contracts are created (maybe with the help of an attorney, or artificial intelligence software).
-Parties offer through a bidding process on eBay the entire package to one broker. Lowest bidder with most experience wins the bid.
-Consumers save tens of thousands of dollars. How would you convince a social media-conscious consumer that the above is not the way to go?

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Saul Klein is CEO of Point2 Technologies Inc., author of MLS 5.0 – The MLS of the Future Whitepaper, a licensed real estate broker in California for the past 32 years and former president of the San Diego Association of REALTORS®. Klein is also creator of NAR’s ePRO Technology Certification Program and NAR’s Web 2.0 & Social Media Course.