Today we’re bringing you something a little different. I’m interviewing Jeremy Wacksman, the COO of Zillow, about the future of real estate. He has a lot to say, so let’s get into it. 

I’ve been partnered with Zillow since about 2011, and you guys have always stayed on the cutting edge. What do you have planned for the future, and what do you think real estate will look like in three or four years?

The biggest factor to consider in real estate’s future is technology. Customer expectations are trending up; people want a more streamlined and simplified experience than ever before. To meet their needs, everyone in real estate will need to embrace technology in some way. 

How do you think the COVID pandemic has affected the industry? 

There’s always been a huge gap between the people who say they want to move and the people who actually end up moving. The people who don’t end up moving do so because of the friction and hassle involved in the process. The pandemic has accelerated the pace at which people accept remote technology, so we could see more people pulling the trigger on finally moving. 

“To meet consumers’ demands, everyone in real estate will need to embrace technology in some way.”

I think physically moving people from one place to another will always cause emotions no matter how convenient the tech is. How is Zillow enabling agents to help usher people through the process?

There are a lot of small things we do for our partners. We enable live calls in our Premier Agent app, and we try to connect our customers to their agents in any way we can. Having a real human there to help you through the selling process goes a long way in our experience. Our ultimate goal is to melt away the friction of selling; connecting our customers to their agents is just one way we accomplish that.  

Hopefully, this conversation gave you some insight into the future of real estate. If you have any questions, please call or email me. I am always willing to help!