Even though I'm a veteran of 29 years actively working in the SW Florida real estate market, it's time to revamp my online presence to include and discuss many new twists and turns affecting our industry, no longer your "Grandfather's way of doing real estate". This endeavor is an arduous task, so imagine my surprise yesterday when I read an article about Zillow, now predicting AI (artificial intelligence) will replace the real estate agent in the next 10-20 years.
You can tell by the number of years I've been working in this field, I'm no longer a spring chicken but thankfully, that's turned out to be an advantage (perhaps the only advantage) to old age. In this line of work, there is no better training than what you learn doing deal, after deal, after deal.
As I pondered the AI prediction, I began to recall my last 3 transactions, all of which were very complex and required much more time and attention than the typical transaction an agent normally encounters. Could AI really have replaced all the late night research, communication, creativity, coordination and hard work it took to get those deals to the closing table?
I'm just not so sure that's true!
I'm going to share with you one of my examples and hope you'll weigh in with your own thoughts.
I was working as a buyer's agent, charged with securing a home for her parents in one particular neighborhood, just across the street from her. She was was about to birth her fourth child and Grandmother right across the street was a powerful motivator. Over the course of 3 or 4 months we looked at everything that came on the market, bidding on several but without "over paying", we couldn't find a suitable property. Normally my search for the needle in the haystack also has to have a well maintained haystack and an upgraded/updated needle, but even with a buyer willing to make major changes or repairs, what should have been easy was absolutely not. This was in the last quarter of 2016. The market had softened and sales were infrequent but asking prices did not yet reflect the true market. Out of desperation, I finally decided to send a letter to every homeowner in the neighborhood asking if they had any inclination at all to sell and if they did, could I please show their home. At 3:30 PM the day the letter was delivered, I got my first call and made an appointment to show the home at 7:00 PM the same day. By midnight, we had an agreed and fully executed purchase agreement and everyone was happy. The Seller's got a sale without so much as cleaning their house, along with a 30 day closing and the Buyer's got a perfect home at a fair price.
Would Zillow's AI have been able to accomplish that? If so, I want to see that!