Proptech: the real estate agent becomes “hybrid” with new technologies

The real estate agent transforms in a digital sense, following the phenomenon of proptech. Here are the results of the RockAgent survey.
According to a survey by the RockAgent Proptech Trends 2019 survey, a survey carried out on over 500 Italian real estate agents, a new relationship has emerged with innovative technologies and models that are changing the real estate, which is changing the profession. In summary, 37% of agents estimate a turnover drop of more than 50% over the next 5 years if innovative approaches and tools are not adopted in the practice of the profession.

The main technological trends that are sweeping the sector – hybrid agencies (online), blockchain, virtual reality, real estate valuation algorithms and AI – are seen as opportunities to keep up with the changing needs of those who buy and sell homes. Among the few who feel threatened by the digitalization of the sector, the cluster of mature agents (45-54 years ) weighs more , so the acquisition of new skills and modus operandi is probably a more difficult step to face.

“Although the professional’s competence is irreplaceable, without an innovative approach to real estate and the adoption of technological tools, the agents have realized that they will find themselves losing a substantial part of their turnover, ” said Daniel Debash, founder of RockAgent . “Currently the mediator is burdened by too many commitments – from the search for opportunities in the area, to the creation of photos and marketing plan, to the negotiation with buyers and relative bureaucracy.

Through the centralization of processes and technologyyou can finally count on specialized teams that relieve agents between the parties, which make the role of the agent irreplaceable. This is why the skills required will be increasingly vertical and the real estate consultant will gain renewed importance. In RockAgent we have identified a great opportunity and we work alongside the agents in this digital transformation path, with the aim of recruiting at least 500 in the next 5 years “.

Digital real estate: threat or opportunity?
The use of technological tools to support work saves time in manual and repetitive tasks, facilitates remote working and improves customer relations, thanks to innovative services more in line with the current needs of those who buy and sell homes. More than half of the agents are aware of this (51.6%), so the non-use of these tools could affect between 30% and 50% in terms of turnover decline . Among the interviewees, it is precisely those with the most experience (over 10 years) who confirm these estimates: over half of them (55%) fear that their turnover could be halved in the next 5 years, and almost 40% place the possible contraction between 30 and 50%. A value that could weigh for some hundreds of millions of euros on a market that today realizes about 3 billion euros a year in commissions.
“Hybrid” real estate agencies: a winning model

At a time when the internet is trying to disintermediate , the hybrid agency model is emerging in a disruptive way all over the world. This model is defined as a “hybrid” model, even though it operates online , (without the help of expensive windows on the street), it does not abandon the figure of the real estate agent in the area , rather it enhances it with the latest tools to better support the customer. In addition, the use of technology allows the agency to offer top-level services for a fixed rate for those who want to sell their home and a percentage commission for the buyer, competitive with the market.

For the majority of agents (56%), this new model – launched in Italy by RockAgent – will help revive the figure of the real estate agent . The cluster of young adults (35-44 years old) thinks so, with over 2 exponents out of 3 agreeing on this aspect. About 1 out of 3 agents (31.3%) realize that it will be a necessary evolution to remain competitive .

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