Key Takeaways 

  • Technology has changed the way the real estate industry conducts business, but consumers have largely been denied and dissuaded from interacting closely with the technology that could benefit them most: that which offers a high level of transparency and an increased level of control within a real estate transaction. 

  • A hybrid brokerage planning to survive the innovation necessary to modernize the real estate industry must offer consumers technology through which they can achieve transparency of every detail of the real estate transaction, an increased level of control over many aspects of the transaction, and effective methods of communication throughout the transaction. 

  • Hybrid brokerage TRELORA provides consumers the myTRELORA platform, a client interface designed to offer consumers a high level of information transparency, increased control, ongoing monitoring of the transaction through a simple to use mobile app and opportunities for increased communication throughout the transaction.

Technology already plays a powerful role within the real estate industry; many tools have changed the way the industry functions including smart CMA programs (current market analysis), systematized transaction management tools and eSignature capabilities. 

The challenge is many of the advancements that would be of direct benefit to consumers have been kept out of their hands in an effort to protect the industry’s inflated 6% commission rate.

Online portals like Zillow have made access to listing information and market statistics a game changing proposition for consumers. As a result, Realtors are under pressure from the National Association of Realtors and high level leaders within the largest national franchise organizations to view Zillow, Trulia and other consumer-centric online portals as untrustworthy and a waste of resources in terms of promotional opportunities for Realtors within these sites. 

Currently, there is no widespread technology available to provide consumers the level of transparency and control they desire in a real estate transaction. Clients want to view showing feedback from both buyers and agents in a timely manner; they want to know if the average days on market for their neighborhood has fluctuated since their home was listed; if interest rates appear to be affecting the buyer pool, they’d like to hear about it. Knowing this information reassures them of the process and helps them understand the timeline of their transaction and the activity level taking place at their home. Realtors are afraid, and rightly so, that once effective technology of this nature is in the place, consumers will no longer be willing to pay inflated prices in order for mysteries to be unveiled over the course of a real estate transaction. Their desire is for a simplified process that is neither mysterious nor elusive. They are seeking real estate transactions with an increased level of control provided by reduced barriers to communication and a better understanding of the process. 

Innovation in real estate consumer technology will not replace full service real estate; rather the price of services will fall in line accordingly and consumers will become active, informed participants in the process. 

Successful consumer technology will complement specialized service to provide quality control, true transparency and an effective means through which to ask questions and receive answers in a timely manner.

Q: Will consumers readily adopt advances in real estate technology directed at the client?

A: The industry will teach and inform consumer behavior. The notion of reading a book on a tablet or iPhone was once foreign to consumers, but the marketplace has embraced this technology and eBooks have revolutionized the publishing industry. 

For hybrid brokerage TRELORA, technology is a dual relationship. Pricing specialists consult with clients in their home to discuss price and provide education. Consumers are then introduced to the myTRELORA platform. Home photography, public data including county records, showing history and personalized information is all in one place and available 24 hours a day. Jabber, the platform’s communication interface, allows clients to chat with the team any time, and an easy to use mobile phone app lets consumers track every new communication or update to the transaction. When the data onscreen is not enough, clients can talk to their full service team for reassurance or clarification; the consultative aspect of real estate is vital, and the tools onscreen won’t replace this resource. TRELORA is the bridge between the now and what’s next.