The road to progress is paved with the bones of companies that couldn’t adapt. Blockbuster, Borders, and Yellow Cab are a few examples of former industry titans that failed to incorporate the Internet into their business model. The best companies realized the potential of the Internet and harnessed its consumer-outreach potential, increasing their customer base without sacrificing their core product or their mission statement. The housing market is no different.
Demand Isn’t Going Anywhere
People will always need to buy homes; the questions is whether or not that purchase will involve real estate agencies and title companies in the same capacity as it did before the digital revolution. Rick Sharga, a VP at Ten-X (the nation’s leading online real estate marketplace), recently gave a webinar about the future of real estate brokerage.
The Future of Online Real Estate
First, Sharga pointed out that real estate transactions already include some form of online activity: browsing listings, searching for realtors, and researching neighborhoods are all just a few clicks away. Online brokers such as E*TRADE or Scottrade also offer fully automated alternatives to the traditional real estate agent, avoiding the large commissions associated with some real estate agents. Sharga notes that in 2014, 92% of home purchases involved some form of online interaction; as Millennials increasingly enter the housing market, that number will only rise.
The future is not far off, according to Sharga, “In the next ten years, we see both residential and commercial real estate fully online.” As consumers born in the Internet age enter the workforce and accumulate wealth, they want access to marketplaces that lack the pomp and circumstance of traditional real estate brokerages.
Most Shoppers Still Use Agents
The transition to online house shopping will inevitably see some firms struggle, but the real estate broker is not a dying breed. Though over half of Millennials found their home online, 87% still used an agent to close the deal. The real estate industry is a complex network of regulations and fees that needs a seasoned guide to navigate. Real estate agents also have the salesman’s gift of working with clients to find their dream home, rather than just a home that fits the bare minimum requirements. Buying a home is a human endeavor in every way, and online real estate markets can only go so far in replacing the markets of yore.
Innovative Solutions with a Leader in Maryland Title Insurance
Lakeside Title Company works with real estate agents, builders, and lenders in Maryland, Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Southern Pennsylvania. We take care of all the title work. Our goal is to simplify real estate transactions and help traditional real estate agents and lenders thrive in the digital age. Visit our homepage for more information.
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If you have a question for an attorney, please contact Lakeside Title Company’s affiliated Law Firm, Deardorff, Rath & Pichon, LLC.