The Voice for Real Estate 80: Robots, Association Health Plans, Shutdown

Will robots take over showings soon? Tech companies are making prototypes to do just that. Also covered: Association health plans get a boost, another federal shutdown could affect real estate, what NAR's reorganization means to you, and home sales at the end of 2017. 


  • Robots
  • Health insurance
  • Shutdown
  • NAR reoganization
  • Home sales


Will your next showing be done by a robot?

Association health plans get a boost

And the structure of NAR is changing

These stories and more in The Voice for Real Estate

Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque with the National Association of REALTORS®

Robots are commonplace on the factory floor, but is there a place for them in real estate? One company in San Francisco, called Zenplace, believes the answer – is yes. They’re testing the use of robots to conduct showings using your voice and image while you’re back at the office or making client calls. REALTOR Magazine talked with them and other tech companies last week at the world’s largest electronics innovation event—CES in Las Vegas—to see what they’re cooking up for real estate.


You can watch REALTOR®Magazine’s video of all the innovations coming to real estate on the magazine’s YouTube channel. 


An important change in Washington on health insurance. The U.S. Department of Labor has released a proposal to expand the definition of employer to include working owners. These are people, like you, who are self-employed or sole proprietors. The proposal is important because it could open the door to association health plans for real estate professionals in the future—although there is still a lot to be worked out before that becomes possible. Analysts explain why in an NAR Government Affairs update. 


That video and other resources on health insurance are at the healthcare reform page on 


Also in Washington, after a three-day government shutdown, Congress passed a short-term budget agreement that will keep federal agencies open until early February. Lawmakers will need to resume their contentious budget debate so agencies can stay open without the threat of another impasse. 

If there is another shutdown, will your business be affected? It could be. Routine processing of loan applications should slow because staff at the IRS and Social Security Administration might not be on the job to verify borrowers’ financial information. And if your client is buying a home in a flood zone, their ability to get flood insurance could be impacted. 

NAR has a detailed memo on how another government shutdown could affect your business. You can access that by searching “What a shutdown means for REALTORS®” on


NAR is putting a new structure in place to better serve you. CEO Bob Goldberg has announced a reorganization that aims to better position your association for the challenges your industry faces in the years ahead. He spoke about the reorganization in a Facebook Live event hosted by NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall in Monterey, Calif., last week. 


Also at the event, NAR leaders talked about what’s next in Washington, the important role the REALTORS® Relief Foundation has played in recent disasters, and new technologies to help you sell more real estate.


And now an update on home sales. Here’s NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun on the strong ending to 2017 and early trends for 2018.


NAR’s housing data is available for you to use at the Research and Statistics page on


And that’s our show for the week of Jan. 22. You can get more on everything we talked about today at The Voice for Real Estate page on Thank you for joining us and be sure to join us again next time as we bring you the latest news on The Voice for Real Estate. 



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