The internet has been rough for people who make connections. People like travel agents have been usurped in their fields by websites that can get packages and rooms on the cheap. The impact of Amazon is seen more and more by small business owners and major brands. Food delivery, in town transportation, even home-cooked meals have changed.
What sets home sales apart from travel companies and home delivery when there are websites that have the same information? Why would someone actually pay a person for a service that can be done online? Well, fewer do now but that may not be a bad thing. During the housing boom, people flocked to real estate to turn an easy profit. During the fallout, those that were in it for keeps survived. Those that wanted fast cash didn’t make it.
Those that were operating successfully before and during the crash have really seen things. Since the crash, things are more complicated and that experience is not something you will get on a free site. Lending standards have changed and a realtor fresh out of the gate is going to be a better guide than google. Having a professional to help obtain financing and working tricky contracts is the smart way to do things.
Because potential buyers can find homes via the internet, agents don’t have to take them on a bunch of tours. They can swoop in to do the pesky closing work and take a commission for their time. Obviously, they also do tours and walkthroughs and anything else their customers need as well.
Agents no longer rely on huge brokerage firms to get customers. They can market themselves to the type of customer or property they like. Agents can now keep more of their commission because they self-promote. Agents have more freedom as to where they work as well because the brokerage firms cut down on overhead by cutting the size of their physical offices.
Translate a bad vacation that you booked online to a house. People recognize that there is value in a professional navigating a home sale. Realtors have started realizing their own value as well so there is not a lot of undercutting on commission rates. That makes it more desirable for realtors and that will translate into the quality of work.