Over the last 6 or 7 years a lot of real estate professionals have dropped out of the business across the USA. Fewer new agents have entered the business and those who have stayed often find the new technologies required in the business world to be overwhelming so they are contemplating retirement. With so much upheaval in the industry the door is standing wide open for a new type of agent to emerge. Applications for the real estate agent of the future are now being taken.
So what will the next generation of real estate agent look like? Here is a short list of characteristics:
1) Hi-Tech. The new super agent will need the tech skills to carry his/her office in his phone. Be able to access information is a split second. Be reachable through numerous communication methods instantly. Respond in a heartbeat to electronic mail, texts, social media messages, and yes even voice messages. Offers and listings will be drafted and communicated quickly through on-line forms. Property searches and scheduling showings will be done quickly on a smart phone. All these skills are required right now in an agent but the key is how much more will technology change in the coming years and can the agent quickly adopt to whatever new technologies emerge in the future?
2) While being high tech and moving at the speed of light, the new agent will also be required to follow up well with clients. Often we find that the hi-tech agent moves faster than other agents but does not take the time to build relationships with clients and does not follow up well. This may allow for early success in the industry but will not promote long-term staying power. It is essential that the new agent be sharp on technology yet a good counselor with a strong bedside manner while working with people and building trust. It is still a people business and always will be about people and not houses.
3) Finally, the new agent will have to be motivated. Sometimes people with great people skills don’t move fast enough to keep up with the fast paced, high tech business world we are seeing develop. Other times we see agents with the tech skills that never leave the comfort of their phone screen long enough to talk to people person to person. The new agent will need to blend new tech skills with people skills and take the time to learn the time tested business fundamentals of a real estate professional in order to be a well-rounded real estate agent.
The truth is that the agent of the future is here now. But there is plenty of room for more. In a time when jobs are scarce and many people are looking for work, those who match the skills described above may find a real estate career very attractive.