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smart_female_realtorIf you had to hire a real estate professional to sell your home, or to help you buy a new one, would you hire “you” to do the job? If the answer is yes, then list all the reasons why. If the answer is no, list all of the reasons why not.

As you consider the above, do not get complacent. I have often heard the following refrain from real estate professionals.

Buying and selling a home is an infrequent, emotional event in one’s life. Because of the emotional aspects of this event, a real estate professional will always be needed, to help fulfill the emotional need and provide support for buyers and sellers.

Based on the above belief, many real estate professionals believe that they can never be replaced in a real estate sales transaction. This complacency could prove to be their downfall. To survive in the real estate industry of the future real estate professionals must begin to examine the possible answers to the following questions:

While it is true that the purchase and transfer of a home is an emotional event that has many tasks and needs that must be fulfilled by “someone,” must that “someone” be a real estate professional as we know them today, working as an independent contractor for a brokerage firm? Are there any models of successful brokers using another employment method, such as salaried employees?

Is it possible that the emotional needs of buyers and sellers may be satisfied by “someone” that works for a title company, escrow company, or lender; someone referred to perhaps as the “transaction coordinator.”

In what way will the services required by the real estate consumer of the future be shaped by generational attitudes, knowledge and preferences?

Is the current sales transaction model cost effective for consumers, the buyers and sellers of real property? If not, what will the future real estate sales transaction model look like? How might costs be cut? How might the transaction process become more cost effective?

Can marketing be done cost effectively on the Internet? Is the value proposition of the Googles, Zillows and Trulias of the world real, or is it a mirage based in part on traffic numbers that seem irrelevant when compared to the number of actual transactions closed each year?

Can showings be arranged by “showing companies,” companies with bonded employees who are present when a potential buyer wants to view a property (and hold open houses)?

Because loans are the part of most transactions, what if lenders formed an “association” and built a data sharing arrangement with each other that had the effect of providing what an MLS provides, exposure of properties offered for sale to everyone who uses a bank?

Is there money in all/any of the different types data? Today there is listing data, sold data, property data, consumer data, etc. Is there a way to “Protect, Control, and Monetize” the different types of real estate data created, curated, distributed and analyzed?

In the age of information and technology, is it possible or even probable that the future needs of buyers and sellers involved in the purchase and sale of a home may be fulfilled by a new type of “professional” under a new real estate sales and transaction model? A real estate sale transaction model that is more cost effective than the current model, a model where the average costs of sale are between 5 percent and 7.5 percent?

Is there more than one potentially successful model? What are some of those potential models or job descriptions of real estate professionals and what is the potential amount of compensation and method of compensation that will become common place over the next 10 years? What method will consumers prefer or even demand?

If you are currently earning a living as a real estate professional, broker or salesperson, you must begin to consider the answers to these questions, and more. If you are an association executive, the answers to these questions will help you prepare to service your future member, and possibly insure your continued existence. If you are an MLS executive officer, MLS vendor, provider of technology or educator of real estate professionals, you are equally concerned with the answers to these questions, for they will influence your future in this industry as well.

Saul Klein is senior vice president for Point2.

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