After a long day at Downtown Disney on Christmas Day, my family was exhausted and it was time to go home. Since we only live a few freeway exits from Disneyland and parking costs are absurd, it’s often that we don’t drive. We skipped the long line of taxis (sitting empty of course) and took an Uber for about $8 and it was seamless: a few clicks here and marking an address and BOOM….our driver was on her way to pick us up.
We’ll skip the part about the driver hitting the curb, getting lost, and almost getting in 2 accidents, but bottom line is that it was cheap and it was a very easy transaction. I can even give feedback about my lousy driver. It’s not perfect, but I would use Uber again and again.
I’m often told, “Real Estate Agents will soon be eliminated like Taxis. An app is coming.”
I even participate in heated online arguments with techies who tell us “you don’t understand. Amazon didn’t make profit the first years either. You’ll see.” I think it’s fair to say us agents do NOT understand the tech. But they have to admit they have no idea of what our transactions are like until you’ve lived in our shoes.
I agree. Our industry can be “Uberized”…..however, a few changes would need to happen before you automate the Real Estate transaction:
- With Uber, if a Toyota Yaris is picking you up, your only option is to decline the ride. So, with Real Estate, you have to say yes to the first home that’s selected by the app. Buyers will love this.
- Payments need to be tied to your credit card. This gets rid of pesky wire transactions, cashiers checks, and….loans? Get rid of loans because they’re not app friendly.
- The escrow needs to be the same duration as an Uber ride. 10-30 minutes.
- Since you can’t change your mind during an Uber ride, no contingencies. That means no inspections, no appraisal, no time to review to disclosures, melo roos, natural hazards, etc.
- With Uber, if you cancel during the ride, you’ll still be charged — up to the full amount. The same will have to happen in Real Estate.
- If you have an issue after closing, the buyer can be directed to an online feedback form or chat window — that’s answered by someone in India or the Philippines.
Ok…I’m obviously being sarcastic here, but you get the point. A Real Estate transaction is NOT as simple as a taxi ride. There are many moving parts, high emotions, legal ramifications, and most of all, it’s a low conversion industry. Our prospects can be in our funnel for literally years — and sometimes that’s 3 years for them to tell us they’re going with another agent. Our industry will continue to require human contact: an app can’t talk a seller off a ledge or come up with a compromise in a divorce transaction where the husband and wife hate each other.