Ryan Mahoney (Dubai, UAE): The Impact of Online Real Estate Marketplaces

by | Oct 26, 2023 | Travelling

Ryan Mahoney (Dubai, UAE) is the owner and CEO of CenCorp, a conglomerate of real estate-related businesses. This article will look at how the advent of online real estate portals has impacted the industry, exploring the pros and cons of traditional real estate agents.

In the real estate industry, there is a huge amount of speculation regarding the potential of websites like Trulia and Zillow to one day render the traditional real estate agent obsolete, a similar scenario having played out in the travel industry when many travel agents were replaced by online travel sites.

While it is true that technology has made the process of buying and selling real estate easier, people often underestimate the value of traditional real estate agents. It is not the hours they spend taking pictures, writing contracts, and marketing homes that presents their biggest value; rather, it is their experience in pricing properties, negotiating contracts, and helping sellers and buyers to get the best deal possible.

In real estate, every property is different. The more experienced an agent is, the better they are likely to be at valuing, marketing, and negotiating – all capabilities that online sites currently fail to fulfill.

In spite of this, many people do use sites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Realtor.com to find listings, value their homes, and access other real estate-related information. These sites have made it a great deal easier for consumers to figure out the value of their homes and find other properties for sale. Many people suggest that such sites could easily replace real estate agents, as consumers no longer need to rely on traditional real estate agents to market their homes or help them find a new property to buy. However, while the general public can use such sites to value their homes and find properties for sale, this does not make it the best option in all circumstances.

Real estate agents are unlikely to become obsolete, although it does seem likely that demand for them will decline over the next decade. While a cash-offer via an online platform may appeal to some sellers, enabling them to skip the hassle of staging their home and scheduling multiple open houses, for most sellers, the biggest concern is achieving the best price possible, which is where the real estate agent comes in.

In addition, there is also the question of trust. Changing consumer habits takes time, with many consumers continuing to favor real-world interactions and agencies with a physical premises they can visit in person, particularly when it comes high-stakes activities like buying or selling a house.

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