What Happens When The Services That A Commercial Broker Provides Becomes Automated?


Ok, let’s start right out with the shouting. “Never going to happen.” “Not in my lifetime.” “What I do has a value that can’t be done by a computer.” “Not necessary.” “I’m better than any software program could ever be.” And the usual go to…”Bullshit.”

Ok, ok, ok…ease up and pay attention.

More and more this “automation of” question is coming up in conversations, and I addressed this somewhat back in September with Are There Going To Be Robot Commercial Real Estate Brokers? Hell No, But…

In that article, I made specific points about data aggregation and quantum speed being part of what brokers should be paying attention to. I did not, however, address the real part of what automation will do to what brokers think is the reason for their very existence and that is the “services” that they provide? I do now, have your attention! And I’m thinking about this from a tenant/user point of view. What do they think a broker provides for them? And are there services that are more important than others? Of course, there are.

Let’s start with:

– Organizing and submitting the paperwork associated with the lease and or sale of a property.

Well yes of course and is that not why you wake up every day. It’s what you do and do well. I think the word is facilitation.

– Contract negotiations.

And you do love this one. You are known for and pride your skill set like no other.

– The guiding of and yes facilitating of entire the buying/leasing process.

(Look at the last word in that sentence.)

– Providing general guidance on legal terminology/requirements.

I said guidance, not actual legal advice. Yes, you do.

– Deciding and defining the details of contracts.

Dates, times, etc.

– Providing off-market deals.

Oh, yes, the really juicy ones for those special clients. 

– Financial referral.

Who is your go-to because they always get it done without…hassle?

– AEC and GC referral.

Who sponsors the…who invites you the…with your S/O? Yes, those people.

– Finding new deals.

It’s the pipeline, and you fill it up for whom?

– Walkthroughs and tours. 

The physical space and what it’s all about. Oh, do I have stories.

Now, here’s where it gets sticky. ALL of the above are processes that can and will be automated.

And this is where I take a firm stand. I cannot be otherwise convinced that this won’t happen.

And your response it that “there is no way X will ever be just an automated process, and it’s because of the human relationship necessary to do the deal.

Fair point but again WRONG. That relationship has ZERO to do with that entire process.

You can cherry-pick any of the above and try to make a valid argument for your position and the very need of your human touch. You are just wasting your time.

And here is why. Your service or services/value is based on the processing of time-consuming and redundant tasks. 

Remember this before you click off in a fit of disgust. The elimination of those time consuming and redundant tasks are what your customer/user wants and needs. They want less not more or more of the same as.

Who is right in this basic scenario. You or your customer?

Here is the bigger question:

What Happens When The Services A Commercial Broker Provides Become Automated…

And you have no answer to that question!



+1. Might want to start figuring it…..

+1+1 The Duke Provides!





Duke Long

Add comment