We are living in the “Information Age” and computer technology has given us access to all sorts of information that was not available a decade ago. The growth of the internet will continue to provide ways to access information and cut out the middleman in many job fields. Real Estate, in particular, is a field where access to technology will create less jobs in the industry. Twenty years from now, there may not be any real estate jobs due to advancement in applied science.
As millennials become the major market for buying and selling property, they are more likely to rely on technological advances for research, planning, negotiating, financing and transacting the exchange of real estate. The generation that relies most on the internet is more likely to execute the sale and purchasing of homes without a real estate professional. Internet sites can supply a vast amount of information about property values, mortgage rates and neighborhood data.
The internet can provide information on how to properly execute a real estate transaction and provide paperwork for the process. Other advances in technology, for instance drones and satellite imagery, can provide current photographs of property for sale and the surrounding area.
Here are 10 real estate jobs that may become obsolete in 20 years.
Real Estate Agent
Advancing technology is a main threat to the role of the real estate agent. The agent is basically the middleman acting as a facilitator between the buyer and the seller. A good real estate agent will be knowledgeable of the entire property sale transaction. The agent must be able to market the property physically and through the internet. The agent must have a thorough knowledge of the property and the neighborhood including market trends in the area.
An agent must have good interpersonal skills and be able to help the buyer and seller negotiate the sale. Finally, the agent must be able to process the sale including completion of all necessary legal documents. The job of the real estate agent is threatened by technology. The internet makes it possible for a property buyer or seller to find a multitude of information regarding the property, neighborhood, market trends, mortgage rates and paperwork. There has been a rise in FSBO (For Sale By Owner) real estate transactions particularly now that the millennial generation is buying and selling property.
Millennials will not hesitate to use a computer or smart phone to acquire information. Some notable internet sites include Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com for comprehensive property searches. Streetadvisor.com is an example of a site that provides information, demographics and states about the neighborhood of a property for sale. Smartzip.com gives a home’s value rating. Postlets.clom and vflyer.com are examples of sites that tell how to market an sell a property. Why pay a commission to an agent when you can do all of the legwork yourself.
The role of the real estate agent does not need to become obsolete all together. Some people will prefer to use an agent to manage the sales process. A good real estate agent will be able to see the process through from beginning to end with knowledge and skills. A good agent will be able to appropriately market the property, will be available to meet with clients, will have excellent knowledge of market trends and home values, and will be able to appropriately mediate between the buyer and seller.
Real Estate Brokers
Much of real estate is managed through brokerage firms. These firms hire agents to buy and sell properties. The problem is that the brokerage firms charge fees. At the same time brokerages do not provide much supervision for their agents. While most agents bring a vast level of knowledge and experience to their job, some have little technical, sales or business training.
There is some debate whether brokerages will exist in the future. Without them, there will be less fees to pay out of the sale. In fact, there could be a flat fee for real estate transactions. It is possible that the future of real estate will be agent-centric and not brokerage-centric with emphasis on expert agents.
Real Estate Appraiser
Real estate appraisers assess and evaluate the value of the property to be sold. They report their findings to the banks for determination of the loan value. They bring experience, knowledge and expertise to the process. Appraisers undergo 2 years of training and must be certified. The downside of their job is that they have to pay for insurance, fees and software. Although there are benefits to an appraiser being able to be on site to evaluate the property value, it is not always necessary.
With software, information on the internet and access to detailed photographs of the property through the internet, drones and satellite imagery, evaluation of the value can be done remotely.
Real Estate Loan Officer
Loan officers work on residential or commercial loans. They take loan requests and prepare possible financial packages for buyers. They underwrite the loans and manage the closing process of the sale. A good loan officer should be experienced, knowledgeable and have excellent customer service skills. Loan officers must attend industry events and keep abreast of market trends. A loan officer is employed by commercial banks, credit unions, mortgage companies or other financial institutions.
The availability of the internet and the information it provides could take the place of much of the loan officer’s work. The need for loan officers is also constantly fluctuating with the economy. Low interest rates and population growth accelerate the need for loan officers.
Real Estate Analyst
Real estate analysts study and evaluate market and economic trends. With increased dependence on technology, particularly various websites, the role of the analyst is less important to the real estate field. It is quite possible that the job of an analyst will become obsolete.
Real Estate Attorney
Much of real estate’s legal requirements and documents are available online. A real estate attorney must stay knowledgeable of current real estate laws. Access to the laws through internet research could eliminate the need for an attorney. Also, access to the legal documents necessary to process a property sale eliminates the role of the attorney.
A mortgage banker manages the mortgage owed on a home that is bought. Mortgage companies are accessible through the internet. The role of the mortgage banker will become less as the role of technology becomes more important in managing a mortgage.
The accessibility of documents through the internet may diminish the role of the title officer. Research and filing instructions can easily be found on the internet. Filing electronically is sure to be the norm in the future. Why pay fees to do the work yourself?
Property managers may not have a role in the future of real estate. Property managers are employed to oversee properties in residential communities. Much of the work of property managers can be done remotely due to advances in technology.
Inspectors look at property that is to be sold and assess what repairs are necessary to meet building codes. Inspectors visit the site and must have knowledge of city building codes and construction. With access to the internet and detailed property photographs, the role of the inspector will probably be diminished. The job will not be as time consuming as physical access to a property may not always be necessary.