NAR (National Association of REALTORS) was founded in 1908, over a century ago – their goal was to provide a standard for real estate transactions. Since then, residential real estate transactions (the method of buying a home) has stayed largely stagnant.
However, over the past decade, there have been many advances to the way we search, buy and manage homes. The big breakthrough came with the first wave of real estate tech startups, namely Redfin, Zillow and Trulia (which later got acquired by Zillow). The largest change that these provided was the way we search for homes.
Before the era of Redfin and Zillow’s search, the primary role of a real estate agent was to educate a home buyer on different properties available for them to shop around. An agent would give a buyer a list of properties, help them schedule showings, take them around to homes, and repeat this process till the buyer found a home they fell in love with.
However, for the first time in 2017, 51% (the majority) of home buyers found their homes online (with Zillow in the lead, followed by Realtor.com and Homes.com). This means that agents are now focusing more on helping their clients understand what to look out for in homes, negotiate for better offers, navigate through the closing process, etc.
At Hutsy, we believe an agent’s biggest role is in ensuring that you are ecstatic about your home purchase. This entails that they build a strong relationship with you right from the start to best understand your needs and wants, and navigate the offline process better than anyone else. They can only do that because we have a heavy emphasis on online efficiency and we work directly with every single one of our agents to make the process better for you at every step of the way.
So yes they very much are, just, their role is changing from how it used to be before.