The business is changing when we can be at a property and hold a video conference with a customer while he is making a final selection with recently emailed photographs. Or we can look at sites on an aerial, upload the geocode information to the GPS for a property tour and fax the offer from the car.
The brokerage business has transformed itself nicely from one that focused narrowly on a specific geographic area and product type, to one that can do almost anything, anywhere. Technology, networking, and customer focus are at the core of these changes. Large brokerage companies and affiliate networks have heavily invested in a platform to conduct business in every major business center worldwide. Despite predictions that technology would hurt the brokerage business, the opposite has happened. Technology has enhanced client relationships by giving the broker more repeat business.
For example, after a broker has proved himself in the first instance, there are many reasons to continue the relationship including a shortened learning curve, trust, and the continuation of success. Traditional client/broker roles are becoming more collaborative. Buyers can no longer sit in an office and review offerings. They need a strategy to find more opportunities. This thinking leads to a process where the broker is given more authority to secure property since they are the deal generators. Meanwhile, this leaves the client more time for property selection, due diligence and raising capital. For listings, the Owner, if he has the capability, should be managing the deal, while the Broker is searching out other tenants. Clients are realizing it is sometimes more practical to reverse traditional responsibilities in order to do more deals and make more effective use of technology and relationships
Specialization and knowledge are the foundation of the brokerage business, not its limit. No broker has all the resources, but they can piece them together through cooperative arrangements and project planning. While offering solutions is nothing new, methods are changing on a daily basis.
Because typical real estate offerings show such marginal returns, clients are putting more thought into how they approach real estate markets. They need to be creative, disciplined, and better planners to see opportunities. There is nothing more rewarding than being part of a team that embraces new tools and methods to achieve success. True collaboration is the next opportunity for brokers and clients alike.