If you have been reading the news lately, you have likely heard about Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods Market, a grocery retailer. It was not long ago that Amazon appeared on the scene to change the book retail industry forever, bringing sales to the web. Could Amazon be preparing to take over the real estate industry as well?
News websites report that Amazon hosted a placeholder web page for shoppers to “Hire a Realtor” for a short time. Shoppers could use a box to type in a zip code to find a broker. Could Amazon be the new competitor to sites like Zillow and Redfin? This remains to be seen, but it does bring up a number of important changes to consider.
How Will Amazon’s Real Estate Operations Work?
At a glance, it would appear that Amazon will be offering its customers the ability to hire real estate agents on the web via a marketplace for professionals of many types. In return to connecting clients and real estate pros, it seems as if Amazon will accept referral fees. Social media websites like Facebook have joined the real estate industry in recent years, so it only makes sense that Amazon wants in on it too.
Amazon already makes it possible to hire an interior designer, electrician, or home inspection agent on the web, so why not real estate agents as well? It is not a strange business move for the company, and it is reasonable to expect that the web retailer will offer a service for those looking to buy and sell homes at reasonable rates.
Will Amazon Change the Current Face of Real Estate?
It is highly likely that Amazon’s possible new offerings will have an impact on the real estate industry. For one, reports suggest that at least 60 percent of real estate clients have found their agents via personal connections. This number is decreasing over the years, and Amazon could lead to even steeper trends.
People may be more likely to read online reviews and select a real estate agent rather than to ask friends and family members for referrals. One negative review could go further on the web than it could between friends, but so could a positive one.
What Should Real Estate Agents Do to Prepare?
Ultimately, Amazon has removed the placeholder for real estate agents. This does not mean that big changes are not coming for the real estate industry, though. Real estate professionals should take note of changes that might occur in the future and gear up for said changes.
While Amazon is not yet commenting on prospective real estate movements, it is important to consider the direction of your real estate career in a world where retail giants like Amazon are leading the charge. Real estate education is one way to gain a thorough understanding of the industry. Continuing education courses can help real estate agents embrace the coming changes. Contact us for more information about helpful real estate courses.