Homebuyers want automation, still want human agent

There’s a careful balance to be found between automation and humans in the real estate buying process.

Buyers want the ability to track the progress from making an offer through to the deal closing but are far from ready to do so without tapping the valuable insights that a real estate agent offers.

A survey conducted by US online real estate platform Move found that knowledge of the market and neighbourhood, together with unique perspectives from a human agent is valued by homebuyers.

Automation must be used for the right processes; for example just 14% of homebuyers said they were likely to respond to a communication that appeared to be automated.

"This is a critical time for real estate professionals," said Luke Glass, executive vice president, industry platforms for Move. "The emergence of technology and automation onto the scene has greatly improved the real estate process in some ways, yet these findings reveal that many agents are failing to leverage technology or to use it properly at key points along the journey, to the detriment of the agent-client relationship."

The survey highlights five key factors that buyers use to decide which real estate agent to choose: Honesty, local market expertise, likeable personality, personal connection, and client recommendations.

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