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Realtors haven’t lost value

Posted September 03, 2014 in Advice Column, Urbandale

Real estate professionals are not in the information business. They analyze information. They help people make good decisions based on certain information. Gone are the days of jumping in the car and viewing 20, 30 or 40 houses. Now buyers can view hundreds of homes from their phones, tablets or personal computers.

The percentage of buyers who found their home on the Internet has skyrocketed since 2003.

As more people found the house they purchased on the Internet, more and more people have used a real estate agent to go through the process of purchasing that home. The first couple of years, from 2003 to 2009, nationally it stayed relatively steady, as more information went to the “net.” We can see the percentage of buyers who actually used an agent to purchase the house they found on the Internet skyrocketed. Realtors didn’t lose value; Realtors gained more value.

Here are two other industries where all their information went to the Internet.

WebMD handled the medical profession. Legal Zoom handled the legal profession. Did that put doctors and lawyers out of business? No. Your doctors and lawyers — we didn’t go to them for information only; we went to them for the analysis of the information. So now, if we get sick, we might go to WebMD first. We might even figure out  “You know what? This is what I think I have.” We might be going to the doctor almost thinking we’re looking for a second opinion because we already formed our opinion. But that didn’t put doctors out of business. Just like Legal Zoom didn’t put attorneys out of business. We still go to them. We still need them.

The more we discover about our health, the more we discover about the trials and tribulations of the legal system, the more we need them. The more information that went to the “net,” the more they would require their services.

Realtors are not in the information business. Realtors analyze the information and help people make good decisions. And when we think about the amount of information out there, for buyers and sellers, we can see that they’re going to be overburdened with the plethora of information that is out there, and so much of that information is conflicting. They need an expert. They need Realtors who are there to help them through that process.

Information provided by Jon Smith, Iowa Realty Beaverdale office, 3521 Beaver Ave., 240-2692.

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