The real estate industry is going through a period of transformation, to put it mildly. After operating roughly the same way for a century – relying on physical MLS systems, word-of-mouth advertising and salesy lead generation tactics – the industry now finds itself at a new precipice.
Consumers are more informed than ever. They are more demanding than ever. And they’re looking for that “Uberization” factor in their transactions: convenience, choice and control. In part, these shifting consumer priorities explain the rise of Nobul, the world’s first real estate digital marketplace.
Nobul is disrupting the real estate industry by upturning the agent-client dynamic. Rather than agents ensnaring clients through lead generation tactics, Nobul puts consumers in the driver’s seat. On Nobul, consumers can find transparent information on agents, and encourage agents to compete for their buy or sell.
What impact has this dynamic shift had on the real estate industry? Let’s take a closer look.
The Consumer Perspective: Transparency, Choice and Accountability (At Long Last)
For buyers and sellers, Nobul is a no-brainer. Unlike other so-called “agent matching” websites, Nobul is decidedly pro-consumer. As CEO Regan McGee has said, “The problem that everyone else is solving is getting agents deal flow.”
He shared in an interview with Medium that “the problem we are solving is getting consumers the best possible experience at the best possible price. Simply put, our goal is to serve the consumer, not real estate agents.”
The company achieves this in a couple of ways. First, they make agent information fully transparent. In the past, agents could hide their transaction histories, negative reviews and commission rates – but on Nobul, it’s all out in the open.
Next, the company offers consumers an AI algorithm that matches their criteria to the ideal agent, making the search process efficient and fast. Finally, once a consumer chooses a shortlist of agents, Nobul gives those agents an opportunity to compete for the consumer’s business by offering lower commission rates or more attractive services.
Consumers don’t pay a dime. And in return, they receive a long-overdue combination of transparency, choice and agent accountability.
The Agent Side: Adjusting to a More Equitable System
When Nobul first launched, the company ruffled some feathers and rankled some dyed-in-the-wool real estate practitioners. That makes sense. Some traditionalist agents didn’t like the idea of having to compete for their clients, nor did they like the fact that their information – warts and all – was a matter of public record.
In that same Medium interview, McGee recounts a nasty Christmas card he received from a major brokerage owner in Nobul’s first year of business. It read: “Do you really think people are going to use a technology platform just because they can get better value and better price at something?” McGee framed the card as a reminder of the company’s mission.
However, since those standoffish early days, more practitioners have come around on Nobul. Essentially, the platform encourages meritocracy and honesty, which in turn fosters public trust in the entire real estate industry. Moreover, quality agents who put in the hard work for their clients (with the transaction histories and positive reviews to back it up) can use Nobul as a streamlined lead generation tool – even if that isn’t the platform’s intended purpose.
Overall, Nobul’s impact on the agent-client relationship has been positive. On Nobul, consumers enjoy all those modern luxuries they’ve come to admire, like transparency, convenience, choice and speed. And agents, after a period of adjustment, can take solace in knowing that Nobul is boosting the overall credibility of their profession and industry.