HousingWire recently spoke with Ashley Terrell, chief revenue officer at Milestones, about the value of real estate agents and why it is critical for the industry to start helping buyers’ agents justify their value not only during the 30-60 day transaction period but through the 7-10 year period of homeownership.
HousingWire: The current multibillion-dollar class action antitrust lawsuits aim to have buyers pay their own real estate agents. What are the potential long-lasting effects of these lawsuits on not only agents but the industry as a whole?
Ashley Terrell: Mortgage lenders traditionally rely heavily on referrals from buyer agents, with approximately 60-70% of their business coming from referrals from previous clients. If the buyer agent role is eliminated, this could dramatically affect how commissions are handled and potentially leave mortgage lenders with a very small pool of referral business.
HW: Many consumers struggle to understand the role and value of real estate agents. What’s driving this?
AT: Real estate agents face challenges in setting expectations, providing transparency with measurable outcomes and demonstrating their value tangibly to consumers. While consumers expect a collaborative and informative service experience built on a foundation of trust, there is a current absence of consistency in communication and resources between from the agent to the consumer. As a result, the relationship is lost and consumers seek assistance from other agents and sources for their future transactions.
HW: How can agents better showcase their value and provide ongoing support to their clients no matter where they are in the homeownership lifecycle?
AT: Implementing a home management platform that delivers online, personalized client portals will enable consumers to work with their agents, in close partnership with their mortgage lender, no matter where they are in the homeownership life cycle — buying, selling, moving or owning a home.
Meeting consumers where they are today and providing them a wide array of real estate resources such as trusted home service providers, insights into how to build wealth and managing home maintenance, will shift the agent and consumer relationship from transactional to more relational.
HW: What role can technology play in helping agents establish and maintain an advisory relationship with homeowners?
AT: A marketplace platform offering where agents can provide ongoing personalized service to homeowners will help them navigate all facets of homeownership at every stage of the lifecycle, build trust with their real estate professionals and alleviate the stress that comes with owning a home.
Similar to how healthcare networks provide patients with healthcare portals, real estate professionals can provide homeowner portals to create a personalized and trusted experience in real estate — for everyone involved.
To learn more, schedule a meeting with Ashley Terrell.