Will A.I. Replace Us?


The Impact of AI on Realtors: Will the Human Touch Prevail?


You’re a Realtor, navigating a constantly changing industry. You’re working hard, building relationships, and striving for success. Yet, in the back of your mind, theres that nagging anxiety as we ponder the question: Will AI technology render our jobs obsolete?


In a recent CE class, this topic came up. A lively 10-minute debate ensued, with some optimism but mostly varying levels of anxiety. How will AI impact how you work – and more importantly – how will your value proposition to clients change? What will your new role look like? How will you be compensated?


Three general theories emerged during the conversation, summarized here:


The Robot Overlord Theory

This theory suggests that AI will become so advanced that it will completely replace Realtors. Imagine a world where AI analyzes property values, handles the emotions of buyers and sellers, manages transaction conflict, and smoothly communicates between different stakeholders. In this scenario, Realtors are left on the sidelines. Its a daunting vision, but is it likely? Or is it just another version of the fear that machines will replace humans in various sectors?


Realtor Overlord Theory


This is the flip side of the same coin. In this perspective, Realtors remain dominant. The essence of this theory is resilience. Think about the last two decades: we’ve seen a myriad of technological advancements, from online listings to virtual tours to iBuyers. Yet, the importance of Realtors has only grown. Technology cant emulate the human touch, understanding, and intricate local knowledge that you bring to the table. The personal connections, the trust built, and the nuanced negotiations – these are elements AI may struggle to replicate fully. As the value of a purchase increases, the need for human trust in the purchase increases. Because homes are generally the most expensive purchase people make, the process requires high trust and organic human interactions.


The Final Mile Theory


Here, AI and Realtors work together. Think of it like Amazons last-mile delivery challenge. AI can handle much of the initial processes, such as property matching and initial inquiries. But when it comes to the crucial steps like physically touring homes or the detailed conversations at a seller’s kitchen table, thats where you come in. In this vision, the role of a Realtor evolves, shifting and focusing more on areas where the human element is irreplaceable: seeing houses, building rapport, and driving the sales component of the real estate process.


So, Whats Next?


Who knows? If we make any prediction, there is a 100% chance we will be wrong.


AI will undoubtedly play a more significant role in real estate, simplifying processes, improving efficiency, and most likely finding trends, patterns, and insights from data that humans can not. But for now, the following truth remains: people buy from people. The emotional, financial, and logistical complexities of real estate transactions should mean that there will always be a demand for trusted advisors.


If you have thoughts, experiences, or fears about AI in the real estate industry, reach out. The conversation is ongoing, and your perspective is invaluable. After all, in an industry built on relationships, it’s the voices of those on the front lines thats you that matter most.