It’s a question or thought that has been on my mind for some time. Many, Many, Many years ago I was a Real Estate agent. As a point of reference for how far the industry has come, it was 1980.
Has Technology Helped The Real Industry?
I was 20 years old and had visions of making my fortune selling Real Estate. Interest rates were a mere 17% and inflation was running wild. I often ask myself, “what the heck was I thinking” I would have to say maybe I wasn’t. I went along blindly not really knowing much more than, families needed a place to live, and my job was to make that happen. Fortunately, I was coached and mentored by some very fine brokers. I survived the 80’s and sold houses all the way to 91.
During that time I discovered that the new age of technology was upon us. Desktop computers were making their way into business and I wanted in on this “NEW WAY” of doing business. Being young and visionary I tried to explain to all my real estate counterparts that the computer was the future. And someday people will buy and rent property right off his device.
But how was I to know that it would take 20-25 years before that whole vision would become a reality. With a dial-up modem and graphics that were cartoon-ish at best, how could the reality of the home search and purchase even be possible? What I saw was the future. Not that I can foresee the future. It was simply so obvious that this was how things would get done. Not only in the real estate business, but for business in general.
All of this back story brings me to where we are now. We are in an age where 90% of all Real Estate transactions begin on the internet and or an internet search.
Whether you are simply trying to get an idea as to what area you want to live in or as specific as to what street or neighborhood you desire. In the past, we would grab the real estate ads, jump in the car and start driving around looking and physically taking down numbers and then returning home or our office, start making calls and setting appointments with a Realtor so that we could view each property.
This process would take hours.
Hours of time for the Realtor and hours of time for the prospective buyer. The Internet has changed all that. The process has been dramatically streamlined to the point whereby the agent obtains a buyer and that buyer more than likely has done all the research, pick 3-5 homes that they like and has gotten pre-qualified via an online mortgage company and is almost ready to go.
The challenge here is that the agent somewhat becomes more of a facilitator of the transaction than anything else. On the other side of the equation, a seller has many new options when it comes to the marketing of his or her property.
Data transfer speeds and delivery improvements have incubated a whole host of new real estate companies that offer sellers many options over and above the traditional service model of the local real estate brokerage.
With Redfin, Offer Pad, Upnest, Redefy and others ( too many to mention) Many local real estate firms have gotten on the bandwagon and started their own flat fee programs. Is this good or bad?
We all must take in the fact that technology has and will continue to change our way of thinking, communicating and conducting transactions. Technology has drastically improved the real estate industry.
The high speeds in which data can be transferred allows our buyers to use their cell phones to view properties. 360 virtual tours, Drones, DSLR cameras and a host of other technology has brought us to a place where the home buying and selling experience to a place that is efficient and more cost-effective.
Sure, we all have to adapt, but that’s okay. Let me remind all you of the days of putting a family of 6 in your car that only had 5 seats. And the driving to every neighborhood in the county. Putting ads in newspapers, and hosting weekly open houses. Let us not forget the weekly caravan’s and
No show appointments. So To answer the question, Is technology Helping Or Hurting The Real Estate Professional? I would have to say for those that are willing to make some changes and get up to speed.. Technology is HELPING the agent. For those that are stuck in the old ways of doing things, technology is probably KILLING your business. We all need to embrace technology, but maintain our compassion and willingness to help others.
Don’t depend solely on Tech
Don’t depend solely on technology, use your phone not only to conduct your business effectively but also use your phone to communicate with your clients via the mouthpiece. ( talk to them) Use your phone to schedule one on ones.
Most importantly, your sellers deserve the best possible marketing strategy. Use all the tools at your disposal so that you can expose their property to as many buyers and other realtors that you can. 360 virtual tours and high-quality photos are inexpensive services that can dramatically improve online views.
Walkthrough videos and aerial shots can make all the difference. Here at Image Streets, we offer all these services and more. Our team is made up of former and current real estate professionals. Let us help you help your seller get the best possible chance of a quick and event-free sale. Have a property that’s small and the marketing budget is tight, call us we will work with you.