(NEW YORK, NY) — Now more than ever, technology is changing the real estate industry whether it influences the home buying process or agents personal use. Financially, technology has made a pricey impact on businesses, in fact, according to the Technology Survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, in 2018 39% of individuals involved in the real estate industry spent between $250-$1,000 on technology while 26% spent $1,001 – $3,000. It is no surprise that business professionals are willing to pay the price of advanced technology tools to help their business grow.
Besides the obvious handy gadgets such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets real estate agents tend to use several tech outlets to reach out to their audience. Here are a couple of popular ways agents get ‘Tech-Savvy’:
Top Tech Tools:
- Social Media: Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter are notably used in the real estate industry. Several agents use it to promote their listings and connect with their clients. When creating social media profiles agents should be dedicated to consistently creating engaging content for their audiences. This can also be a more modern way to provide services rapidly and efficiently. 70% percent of the real estate agents surveyed by the NAR use social media for their real estate business, 26% to promote listings and 25% because it helps build relationships with clients.
- Multiple Listing Services (MLS): MLS is a popular marketing database set up by a group of real estate brokers that allows for the viewing of one another properties and providing shareable and accurate data about the property and also sharing commissions. Brokers typically consolidate with other local brokers to create Multiple Listing Services also allowing brokers in other areas to view them. These services can be beneficial to both brokers and clients, for brokers MLS allows for significant exposure to the broker also, commission for both the selling broker and the broker representing the buyer, and allowing competition between small and large brokerages. For the clients, MLS allows the broker to quickly retrieve all properties listed by agents participating in the MLS as well. A majority of listings on MLS also come with contact information and viewing times, this feature provides rapid communication between broker and client. According to the National Association of Realtors, the most valuable tools provided by MLS include critical market analysis, property data and history, and automated emails to clients/prospects.
- Websites: Web content is one of the most popular ways real estate agents communicate with their clients whether it be direct or indirect. Agents tend to use websites for a multitude of reasons such as brand awareness (see: Building Your Brand: A few tips for New Brokers) and increasing their credibility. By building brand awareness the agent isn’t only standing out as an individual, he or she is also standing out from their competitors by relating their values to those of their clients. Credibility is one of the factors that make a real estate agent dependable, websites allow agents to create content such as client testimonials. Potential customers want to work with someone is trustworthy and what better way to prove it than previous clients? Also, agents may highlight certifications and professional partnerships to prove their professional credibility.
- Geographic Information System Mapping Technology (GIS): GIS is a system that is designed to obtain, capture, manipulate, analyze, and manage geographical data. Although this tool is relatively new to real estate agents, many have picked up on it, and one might think, how do GIS and real estate coincide? Well, both rely heavily on location. GIS uses location as the origin of geographic data. This tool can be helpful to agents because GIS databases offer information to agents regarding property boundaries and zone types which can typically be of use for developers, agents, property owners, and many more in the industry.
- Mobile App: The development of new apps have made it easier for agents to provide information to their clients. For example, Realtor’s Street Peek app allows for individuals to point their smartphones at homes and for sale signs to access information on the home through Realtor’s database. This app allows for quick and easy access to information a client may need in their home buying process. Another beneficial app for the industry is Curb Call. much like the Uber app, curb call allows for individuals to contact agents and whichever agent responds first essentially gets the job. The buyer will receive a list of real estate agents within the desired location only showing the agents who in a reasonable distance, showings can be requested, and agents will automatically be alerted. Apps such as these can overall make it easier for communication and retrieval for clients.
- QR Codes: These two-dimensional bar codes can be found almost everywhere nowadays and the use for them in real estate is no exception. Agents can place these codes on any signage or printed materials and can be easily accessed through smartphones. Each unique code will have access to different information on the property that will be directly sent to clients smartphones.