Technology Has Changed Real Estate
New technology has not only revitalized how real estate is marketed to the masses, but also how agents, brokers, loan originators and all other interested parties correspond throughout the real estate transaction process, whether someone is looking to rent, buy or sell real estate.
The cloud has changed the way real estate is rented, bought and sold because it eliminates the gaps that once existed in the industry. Mobile tools like smartphones, tablets and other daily evolving technologies assist agents 24/7 from everywhere. These tools help drive rentals and sales faster than ever before because agents aren’t the only ones using them – consumers are utilizing them at increasing rates.
Endless apps have been huge for helping agents and consumers keep their notes, files, contracts and disclosures in order – such apps as Evernote and Dropbox. And with E-signature technology maintaining popularity, consumers can sign documents quickly and effortlessly on the fly.
Other apps that benefit both agent and consumer alike are:
Increased Search Efficiency
Smartphones and mobile devices have accelerated the entire real estate process, without a doubt. Web listing search is real-time, finely filtered and specifically targeted. Most home-search apps even offer options like up-to-the-second price change notifications and in-the-vicinity alerts, which blows their search market wide open and broadens their shopping limits.
According to Dustin Moore, real estate technology expert, this technology is accessible to most agents and consumers, which can be a bit overwhelming. Moore explains, “The real challenge now facing the industry is getting all of these tools to work together in a seamless way for the consumer.” When agents and consumers take full advantage of what real estate technology has to offer, they can make deals happen more smoothly. Consumers can even drive an agent’s business in the form of referrals using technology. Agents who continue delivering the information that consumers need, when they need it, bring themselves closer to their current clients and potential clients by improving the overall real estate process.
A new wave of homebuyers is changing how agents utilize their phones. The telephone, once an agent’s tool of the trade, is no longer the desired method of communication for potential buyers. Millennial clients, consumers born between 1980 and 1999, prefer text messages and email to making and taking phone calls.
The Zillow real estate portal predicts that millennials will overtake baby boomers as the generation purchasing the largest number of homes annually, which makes their communication preferences all the more important. Their choices impact every aspect of the housing market because they are the majority. It is this generation of tech-savvy buyers that is driving the real estate industry to revisit some traditional places and change the way it does business because they like having information at their fingertips.
Many homebuyers, especially millennials, still rely on parents to provide recommendations on local agents, but now more than ever they are turning to the Internet for testimonials and reviews. 2014 social media statistics show that Facebook and Twitter each have over 1 billion monthly mobile users with 75% of their interaction on a post occurring within the first 5 hours. Google+ and LinkedIn both allow investors to market available properties for sale or locate additional funding sources and capital partners. Pinterest, YouTube, Vine, blog, and the list goes on and on… people are interacting socially online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Under 50% of the world’s population is currently under 30 years old and they are using social media to find and fund their real estate investment options.