What will real estate agents of the future look like? That’s what a video from 1991 was trying to find out.
There are a handful of jobs that millennials remember from their childhood that have almost disappeared. For me, the first one that always comes to mind is travel agents. Online booking largely decimated that industry. But a close second is real estate agents. Yes, they still exist, but not like they used to. So it’s funny to see a video from my lifetime that imagined what real estate agents of the future would look like.
The video, titled “The Broker’s Office in the Year 2000,” was produced in November of 1991 for a National Association of Realtors (NAR) conference.
You can tell that it’s from the early ‘90s right from the first shot. The music is amazing. But it gets even better when our real estate agent of the future finally hits the screen. The future is filled with touchscreen desktops, videophones, and… shiny silver jumpsuits. Clients also ask about “home software system upgrades,” naturally.
There are quite a few funny details you’ll notice in the video like the idea that the houses are running on cold fusion and that all the appliances are made by a newly merged Microsoft and Maytag, but my favorite might be when the real estate agent describes a house in square meters. Metric? In America? How ridiculous.
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There were a number of different jobs that futurists of the 1980s assumed would become obsolete, like grocery cashiers, farm workers, and yes, “small real estate brokers.”But there are also jobs that they predicted would be common by now. Like holograph designers, mutations experts, and space geographers. We may not have many mutations experts quite yet, but they definitely got that whole decline in real estate brokers right.