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The data suggests real estate agent jobs may be among the most likely to go as technology replaces

Updated: Aug 28, 2021

The data suggests real estate agent jobs may be among the most likely to go as technology replaces the global workforce. How big is the risk to realtors? What can agents do to survive? Real estate experts have been debating the future of agents for several years. They haven’t been replaced yet, but an Oxford study suggests the end may be nearer than we realize. There may be hope, but that will rely greatly on the immediate actions individual Realtors take to secure their positions. Real estate agents are still the best choice for buying or selling a home. Find a fantastic agent with UpNest. The Employment Apocalypse We’ve been warned for a while that as many as 80% of jobs could soon be replaced by “robots.” Some are still not taking this seriously enough. Many don’t appear to be retraining and developing the skills needed for the future. Yet, we can clearly see the evolution of the workplace all around us. We may even be contributing to the transition, without even thinking about it. Now it can be hard to find a cashier in supermarkets and at fast food joints. That’s if we aren’t ordering our groceries on Amazon and having Uber deliver meals to our doors. Airlines are doing away with check-in counters. We can learn new languages or even how to surf via free YouTube videos. A report from The Guardian debates that despite all the Terminator type doom and gloom projections, we are working more hours than ever, not less. Unfortunately, earnings have remained flat, and a global wealth report by Credit Suisse shows that in spite of the fact that twice the number of people are now earning college degrees, millennials are actually earning 20% less than older generations at the same period of their lives. Real Estate Jobs Thousands of individuals have moved into the real estate space in one way or the other since 2008. That includes thousands of real estate investors, a new generation of Realtors (approx. 1 million members), and real estate entrepreneurs launching tech startups. Yet, out of 700 plus occupations reviewed by Oxford University, real estate related jobs appear to be among the most likely to fall prey to AI and technological evolution. Percentage of likelihood these jobs will be automated in the near future:

  • 97% Real Estate Brokers

  • 99% Telemarketers

  • 98% Loan Officers

  • 86% Real Estate Sales Agents

NAR started out with just 120 founding members in 1908. As of 2021, it had over 1.4M member agents. Then add to that how much home buyers and sellers can do without an agent today, even without any new technology coming along, and many may want to take some time out and give some serious thought to their future income options. Different Vs. Doomed When you look at the jobs humans are doing today, it’s clearly about finding a role and tasks that computers can’t do, or at least not to the level real people can. If you’ve been betting your financial future on being able to take orders for burgers and fries, or Ubering people around, you’d better have a pretty hefty lottery win coming your way in order to survive. Then there are brain surgeons and fashion designers and marketing managers which seem to be in very safe positions. According to the numbers physicians have just a 0.42% of having their jobs replaced by automation. Though that could change soon too. We still have drivers, chefs, and lawyers, but their work is a lot different today. At least among those who are successful, and can expect their careers to last. In real estate many tasks can already be automated, including:

  • Home searches

  • Home value estimates

  • Property showings

  • Researching neighborhoods

In fact, a scene from the 1989 movie Robocop predicted that the future of home showings will occur with a prerecorded video screen Others, that may be furthest from being automated out may include:

  • Professional negotiations

  • Creating property descriptions that sell

  • Crafting contracts which really protect buyers and sellers

  • Keeping transactions together when issues and disagreements arise

  • Making sense of all the data

  • Acting as a buffer to protect seller privacy

How to Save Your Real Estate Career There are four main strategies and tactics for agents who want to preserve their positions:

  1. Being fast to adopt and integrate new technology

  2. Increasing volume to offset downward pressure on commissions

  3. Lowering customer acquisition and operating expenses to increase profit margin

  4. Focusing on personal service and delivering experience

It also pays to recognize who is most likely to need realtor services in the future. Experienced repeat home sellers and buyers may feel they want to give it a shot themselves. Yet, first time home buyers can quickly find themselves lost and needing help. Luxury home sellers who prize service and privacy may also be among the least likely to attempt a DIY approach, even with all the tech tools and apps coming online. Prepare for the Future with UpNest The latest research may not bode well for the majority of today’s real estate agents. Of course, 80% of the business is typically conducted by just 20% of all realtors. Who remains in business and thrives in the years ahead will greatly depend on who reacts fastest and best to emerging trends, and positions themselves, to be the most attractive to those who still want to use agents. For those who are serious about a long and prosperous real estate career, UpNest provides a tech savvy platform for streamlining the process of securing home buyers and sellers who are ready to take action. Find a Top 5% Realtor for Free with UpNest today! Guaranteed to Save Thousands. Free, No Obligation Service. What are the risks of being a real estate agent?There are three main risks to becoming a real estate agent. They can be divided into the unpredictability of the housing market, stress from many areas, and legal issues. Safety is also a concern, as you’re often working with clients who you’ve never met before. Is a real estate agent a dangerous job?Being a real estate agent means working (often alone) with people who you haven’t met before. It’s important to ask for identification and perhaps have someone accompany you to your first appointment with buyers and have backup at open houses. Is real estate a dying career?Real estate isn’t a dying career. In fact, there are more real estate agents in 2021 than perhaps ever before. However, the field is changing dramatically, with the advent of online marketing, VR and virtual tours, and easy online paperwork. To compete in this new world, it’s up to real estate agents to innovate.

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