Foxbusiness.com placed this post 12/6/2007
Who is Thomas Musil? Thomas Musil is the director of the Shenehon Center for Real Estate in the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. He is a Phd, real estate broker, analyst, consultant, and expert witness in real estate litigation and arbitration disputes.
Dr. Musil has also served on the following boards and committees: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Building Owners and Managers Association; the Appraisal Institute; the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks; National Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives; and the American Real Estate Society.
This man is worth considering, listening to, and pondering his warning as a call to take action.
Below are excerpts and points from Dr. Musil’s article “Will real estate agents be replaced with virtual deals?”
1. The next step for real estate “virtual transactions, could happen.”
2. “Many real estate services are already online.”
3. Skepticism is alive and raging over amounts of commissions earned by agents and their “veracity.”
4. “Could the consumer set the stage for a revolution in real estate transactions?”
Dr. Musil’s answers to his posits and points:
1. Technology is changing all business niches and real estate is not exempt from this change.
2. Technology provides more information to the consumer and “market activities are more transparent.” See Pat Kitano’s great article on radical transparency.
3. Although media has posited that the “Realtor is going the way of the dinosaur, travel agent, and stockbroker. . . Agents bring value to transactions.”
4. This Realtor Value is due to the increased “complexity, regulation, requirements, and procedures facing real estate buyers and sellers.”
Analysis: Many consumers will opt to perform as many functions of the process of buying or selling real estate in the virtual world as is possible. Online signatures, a specialty of super agent Kevin Boer of 3Oceansrealestate.com, is just one example of the virtual world’s new role in the transaction.
In the final analysis, a majority of consumers will rely upon an agent to help them complete their transactions. Although this will remain the status quo, Realtors must learn and adopt as many virtual “functions” as possible in order to remain credible and viable to all consumers.