March 25, 2010
In an interview with the Globe and Mail, the new head of the Canada Real Estate Association (CREA), Georges Pahud, claims that the real estate industry is too ’emotional’ to be radically changed by the internet.
He says, “Take a look at how it (the internet) has impacted stock brokers and travel agents – clearly one of the challenges we are facing is technology. But the difference in our case is the product we sell is highly emotional. I was reading something the other day about how people are starting to use travel agents again because the online experience has not been satisfactory. I think it will be the same for us. We have a flurry of people who want to use the Internet but I think the experience worldwide is that people want to use an agent because it is a complicated process.”
Pahud added, “While the tools we use are different, it is still a belly-to-belly business where you do deals across the kitchen table. Most people won’t buy a house over the Internet – they want to feel it, see it, touch it, smell it and get a feel for the rooms. That hasn’t changed, and I don’t think it will change.”
I think Pahud is underestimating the challenges modern technology such as the internet presents to CREA. I think in a short period of time (like a couple years) the internet will change the real estate industry as radically as it changed the travel business and then some. Want to know how and why? Read… Real Estate Will Go Social