By Ayman Alashkar – Founder & CEO – OVERWRITE.ai
This is not an article about facial hair preferences.
It’s no secret. The advent of property portals has been the single biggest gamechanger for the real estate industry in the 21st century. Every real estate market from the US to Australia has its established portals, all vying for market share. Most markets are either dominated by a single portal, or a duopoly.
It’s now been nearly 25 years since the online property portal became a reality. In that time Portals have grown phenomenally. By the start of 2020, the combined market cap of the world’s leading property portals was estimated at $35 Billion. Such is the nature of the aggregator business model; the smallest of the established Portals from any market dwarfs the market value of the largest Agency they serve.
In fact, the real estate technology industry has grown so large that evermore Proptechs and would-be disruptors are joining the action, all wanting a piece of the pie. Some are even hoping to edge Estate Agents out of the game, promising broker-free property transactions.
While Proptechs come and go, and markets rise and fall, it’s precisely because property is a ‘people’ business that the role of the Estate Agent is constant. No property market, large or small, functions without Estate Agents. Real Estate is made of bricks, but it’s the Agents that’re the mortar holding the market together.
The Coronavirus is shifting the real estate industry’s landscape the way winds reshape sand dunes. Market players are re-positioning like pieces on a chess board. And Estate Agents are asserting their place as Kings.
So what move do Kings make when they’ve had enough of upstarts and profiteers?
They purge. Reshaping the industry to fit their needs.
Proptechs that know how vital Estate Agents are and deliver what they want, will survive the King’s wrath. Because they’re in sync. Shaving along the grain.
Those expecting to squeeze Estate Agents, diminish their roles or even render them obsolete, are shaving against the grain. A fool’s errand.
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