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The COVID-19 pandemic has rattled human communication, the core of the commercial real estate business. Industries were challenged to digitalize as many aspects of work possible while realigning employees in the now often virtual work environment. Companies had to plan and provide an infrastructure that would enable employees to work effectively from home in order to priorities health and safety. Looking ahead, what does this tell us about talent needed in real estate?

The industry of Real Estate is undergoing a change like many other industries. With labor and skill shortages around the globe, now more than ever, agencies need to attract, develop and effectively train new recruits to succeed in the long term.

Technology in the future of Real Estate:

One key change that is taking place in the real estate industry Is the rise of technology. More and more real estate companies are going to have to become tech companies that happen to be in real estate.

With the way customers and prospects are researching and communicating with Real Estate Agents technology has become the backbone of this entire process.

According to the PwC report Talent Trends 2019, “organizations desperately need tech-savvy leaders and employees … who can harness innovative thinking, form the right strategies and apply the systems and tools that best fit the needs of the business.”

This need to train and recruit new talent effectively is creating a demand for skilled agents as well as those with the soft skills we often see in real estate agents:

  • Communication.
  • Active Listening.
  • Negotiation.
  • Patience.
  • Problem-Solving Skills.

These skills are typically what would make a successful Real Estate Agent. However while these skills are important Tech skills are rapidly becoming necessary as well. These skills can be taught early on in their careers to ensure that they under-go rapid growth and represent themselves and their businesses as a high quality professional.

Investing in the next generation of talent:

Investing in young talent is about imagining and building a more sustainable and connected city, with interconnected processes and procedures when dealing with clients.

The Real estate industry needs to start the process of training new skilled recruits as soon as possible however this is not the only change that is needed for the businesses in the industry to stay competitive.

With the Covid-19 pandemic it forced the Real Estate industry to undergo an adapt or die mentality. With many commercial real estate agencies closing down and the added difficulty of needing to solely communicate with prospects and potential buyers through digital means.

This shock of Lock-down and social distancing was an important lesson for those within Real Estate. Technology has enabled us to understand that ‘work is something you do, not somewhere you go’ is actually true. Hundreds of millions of people working from home, actually works.

Simply put the real estate industry needs to transform from being one that sells a product to one that delivers a service. It means that our customers no longer need what we have to sell. They don’t need an office to work.

The shift caused by the Pandemic:

The pandemic has shifted focus towards that of technology but it is important to note what technology lacks – this is where effectively trained recruits come in. The need for tech-savvy agents who have the soft skills of your typical agents are most valuable.

Being able to communicate effectively across many platforms and having the understanding of when to press a response from a potential buyer or let them think on it. All of these are very human skills and can’t be overlooked with these changes in the status quo.

Agencies that retain or hire agents who are not properly trained, well-versed in real estate rules and regulations may facilitate bad housing deals. This may lead to costly insurance claims.

The reality is that the real estate business is no longer just about real estate. That is just the starting point. Yes strong real estate soft skills are needed, but we need all the skills, talent and knowledge within our grasp to reach success.

The real estate industry needs to up its talent game, and deepen their talent pool. It needs to start with the customer, and work back from there. What does our customer really want, what represents added value to them, and how we can give them want they want.

This starts by asking what mix of skills, talent and technology do we need, to create, and run this process. Let’s start by training the right people with the needed skills. To ensure the industry grows and its people grow with it.