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Trends & Tides: Traditional vs. Tech Brokerage

Trends & Tides // Aug 07, 2017

Trends & Tides takes a look at the ever-changing environment of New York City real estate – past, present and future – by offering observations, analyzing perceptions and challenging myths, while giving a dose of reality along the way.

Yesterday, I was privy to an interesting war of words regarding a LinkedIn post. The two sides ultimately battled over whether a traditional brokerage model or a tech-centric model would fare better in today’s real estate environment. The comments were incredibly revealing with one member of a deeply entrenched, once-traditional brokerage clearly pointing out that adaptation is necessary to provide the best service to the consumer and ultimately cement the survival of any company in today’s real estate industry. I couldn’t agree more that a hybrid of tradition and technology best serves the consumer. The traditional broker who turns a blind eye to technology better rethink the ways in which they do business. Or suffer extinction. Similarly, the tech-centric brokerage that spends all of their dollars generating leads for agents, while showing little concern for the quality of customer service they are providing, is also doomed. Both models will fail independently without the other. Let’s look at the pitfalls of each:

Traditional Brokerage:

  • focuses on its brand more than the consumer
  • highly leveraged with office space and expensive leases
  • makes promises to its agents that it can’t deliver due to corporate bureaucracy
  • decreases dollars spent on the consumer in an effort to maintain profit due to high overhead
  • is “trapped in the box” with no ability to truly see outside of it
  • claims to embrace change all the while avoiding it like the plague
  • talks the talk but resists walking the walk

Tech-centric Brokerage:

  • puts all focus on its agents with no regard for the consumer
  • spends a majority of their dollars on lead generation for agents and not marketing property for their customers
  • hires agents blindly, creating an opaque environment that often negatively impacts the consumer
  • claims that their technology is consumer-centric with only an eye on the company’s bottom line
  • talks the talk but resists walking the walk
If there is one thing that seems to get lost in the battle of brokerages trying to stay relevant and profitable, it is the consumer. There is no substitute for high touch customer service when assisting someone with the purchase or sale of one of, if not the largest asset in their portfolio. Sophisticated consumer friendly technology should be a welcome addition to the customer experience. But high touch and high tech do not have to be mutually exclusive, which is why CORE will be launching a new and exciting listings platform. This platform will allow consumers to collaborate with their agents while simultaneously receiving the outstanding high touch customer service for which CORE and its agents are renowned.