As homeowners and property seekers gain more access to information and become more educated in the process of listing their homes or acquiring property, coupled with the recent turn of events, is it time to say goodbye to our Brokers?
The internet has become the prime resource of real estate information that was once only accessible to realtors and brokers, however, homeowners now have a better understanding of the market, knowledge of their property value and reach of potential buyers. Although most real estate brokerages use the same listing services to distribute their feed across the internet, with the rise of online listing platforms and new technologies, homeowners themselves can also list and sell their homes reaching a large number of potential buyers that match the criteria of any home.
Access to information has changed the way realtors are doing business and some buyers start to question the value of paying a real estate broker a commission as part of the fixed amount of the selling price of a home.
At the beginning of the year, Dubai has seen a rise in property transactions according to the records in DLD (Dubai Land Department). Real Estate transactions increased by almost 10 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to last years. A total of 10,243 sales transactions were completed in Dubai compared to 9,317 of the previous year. This has been the highest total number of transactions recorded since 2017.
Property Sales have undoubtedly declined and almost came to a halt as we all adhered to lockdown measures to curb the effects of the COVID-19 virus. The UAE government implemented curfews for city-wide sanitation which restricted not only movement but also business operations. Top real estate brokers were restricted to meet with clients or conduct property viewings and the number of leads was declining with fewer calls and engagements from clients. According to Data Finder, 100 brokers took down 9,000 listings from some of the largest property listing websites in the country to be featured in the portal.
With the rise of property listing portals and emerging technologies, the amount of influence of a broker and homeowner to reach a potential buyer is almost the same. Some platforms also operate a real estate technology that allows homeowners to list their homes for free. Proptech has come a long way and its presence has become essentially important in recent history.
Economies bounce back
We have all been through economic downturns and the ups and downs of the market, and the real estate sector is not new to that. Time and again, have we witnessed that economies do bounce back and recover from various recessions, natural disasters, and even pandemics.
Hence, the real question lies down on people and businesses who are able to evolve and adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic, or as we have conveniently termed as the “new normal”. Companies that survive the current economic blow means they have a business model that is fitting in today’s business world, other companies will have to adapt and follow suit to continue operations. And the same goes for brokerages, the real estate sector has to roll with the changing times and leverage on emerging technologies such as virtual house tours, online contract management, and the list goes on. We also have to consider the change in the property landscape and criteria that home buyers or renters seek.
As it was evident, Dubai has closed more sales transactions in the last three years pre-COVID. The Dubai rental market is also in a good position and has seen a lot of opportunities to renegotiate rental contracts.
We are all going through an economic setback and we can choose to see this as an opportunity to rethink our current business models. Businesses have slowed down and people may have been laid off, however, once the economy picks up and businesses resume as normal, a sharp bounce back is imminent with people being rehired and new workers employed with a newly stimulated economy. So, real estate brokers are here to stay but with a fine-tuning here and there. It is now only a matter of time.