By Susan Tjarksen
Technology is offering efficiency, knowledge and timely information. Through the adoption of technology, brokers can be trusted advisors at the table, rather than transactional agents. It’s the role of a broker to provide liquidity, transparency and the highest return on a property.
Residential real estate brokers — think single family homes — quickly adopted technology as a symbiotic partner while commercial real estate has lagged. Today, embracing technology will propel savvy commercial real estate firms ahead and leave those slow to adopt new practices chasing the curve. Technology will most certainly have a significant effect on the business of commercial real estate brokerages.
Like individuals in many other industries, real estate professionals and brokers especially have been reluctant, skeptical and worried about adopting new tools that could seemingly put them out of work. Think about stockbrokers: Their current day-to-day operations are totally different from what they were doing 20 years ago, but their jobs are also now enhanced and more efficient because of technology. And it’s not like they’ve lost their jobs due to technology, quite the contrary. Technology has supplemented their fiduciary role to clients, their relationships and their market knowledge — now, they’re better brokers because they have embraced the role of advisor in its truest sense. These same reasons apply to commercial real estate brokers and why technology will only strengthen their work without endangering their careers.
Technology will help brokers spend less time working on transactions and more time providing advice and building stronger relationships with clients. We all know that technology increases the number of eyeballs on a listing; however, converting those site visits to offers and navigating rounds of offers and due diligence requires a relationship and communication between the buyer and the seller. The relationships needed for these roles is a skill that brokers cultivate over time and something that technology can’t replace.