All the hubbub, hullaballoo, and hooplah will certainly overwhelm and confuse most of the world's population but luckily, Jeff Jarvis' bookÂ What Would Google Do?Â
provides an informative and succinct manual to the new age and more importanly, what you can do for yourself or your company. While it contains a hearty pat on the back for internet companies springing up to take advantage of the new digital age, many industry's will find its writing more like the book of Revelations, as it proclaims ominous doom for the middleman, including newspapers, car dealers, and most relevantly, real estate agents.
The new era of openness, Jarvis declares, will sweep aside all old businesses based on controlling a product or service. For real estate, that is the MLS monopoly we hold exclusive access to. In time though, he predicts that will open up a crack in our last line of defense to all open and free sharing of property transactions, advertising, and information on the new internet's boundless networks.
In the worst-case scenario for our industry, MLS would be freed up or obsolete in the light of new and more open databases and buyers and sellers would all directly connect through the internet without the service of agents. That vision is incredibly grim and slightly realistic but rather akin to a future in which we have moved completely beyond fossil fuels: technologically possible, but extraordinarily difficult due to established practices and societal inertia.
In the meantime, what can real estate agents do to ensure they remain unique and unreplaceable by a cold, inhuman database or online service? Agents must remember that in the new age, the days of owning a product or monopolizing a service like MLS are numbered and to not rely on customers coming to them for a commodity, but for a complete helpful, enjoyable, and efficient service. Even if buyers and sellers could snap and find their perfect match immediately, there remains a massive labyrinth of financial and legal barriers to cross. That's where experts with years of training and experience in the industry can best offer their services, guiding customers honestly and proactively through all the headaches of title, escrow, disclosure, and such, rather than just unloading a home and moving on.
In the new age, "stuff, things, atoms" as Jarvis derogatorily calls it, will become much less valuable and more of a hassle while information will be the new standard of value. If agents can remain masters of information and not just stuff, they will weather this new paradigm shift like many before.Our main blogOur website