The Impact of Technology on Today’s Realtors

The real estate industry has seen rapid changes in how it does business. Homes for sale have gone from a monthly printout of local properties for sale to consumers having access to thousands of properties locally, statewide and internationally. That is quite a leap! The impact of technology on today’s Realtors has been increasing in the industry over the past decade, and it is continuing in an upward spiral.

This new way of doing business has taken hold all over the country, and South Florida is no exception. It has weathered the storm, literally, and the city of Pembroke Pines is one of its hottest markets because its location is central to several tourist attractions, parks, golf courses, and entertainment sites. Homes for sale in Pembroke Pines are near major airports for easy accessibility. The digital era has positively spurred sales in this family-friendly area which touts positive educational opportunities for its citizens.

As the industry has been revolutionized through the technical advances in how, when and where properties are viewed or negotiated, Realtors have had to adapt. Whether they live in small cities, like Pembroke Pines, or large metropolises, like New York City, the push is the same. Some of the advances that appear online are:

– MLS (Multiple Listing Service)
This service is now available online for all to see. Various apps can be downloaded to facilitate the viewing of properties. Not only do you see the property, but the vital statistics are also given, such as taxes, square footage of the property and lot, the condition of the property, purchase history, and pertinent information about crime statistics in the area. All of these factors help purchasers make a decision about whether they want to view the property or not.

– Reviews
Sometimes it helps to see another person’s perspective. Reading the comments of others, who have viewed the property or have had experience with a particular agent, allows potential buyers an opportunity to have feedback.

– Marketing
Realtors can market to a much larger audience through the various social media platforms. They can build their own website and drive traffic to it through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and countless other digital accounts that potential customers will likely frequent.

– Virtual Reality
Giving clients the ability to “walk through” a property without ever leaving their own home is one of the advancements that many clients may value. Perhaps because of time constraints or lack of mobility, they can appreciate this feature. A Realtor can enhance his or her offerings with this technology. Drones provide aerial photos of properties and their surroundings. Clients may see the topography of the area, proximity to other structures, neighborhood areas of interest, and a bird’s eye view of a community at large. Hopefully, the result will be faster closings because clients will not waste time physically going through properties in which they have no interest.

– Efficiency
Agents spend less time on paperwork and culling properties that meet client specifications. They can devote that time to putting together a dynamic presence online that will impress prospective clients. This can also increase an agent’s chance of acquiring new business because it presents potential clients with an image of a self-confident person who can take care of their needs in a professional manner.

There are many profound ways in which the impact of technology on today’s Realtors is changing the game and it’s nothing short of miraculous. Just a few years ago, none of these advances were possible. With the advent of technology companies, whose sole purpose is to analyze and track the development of data that will enable agents to be more effective, traditional realtors find that they must evolve along with the industry. There is no place in the new world of real estate for dinosaur methods formerly employed by veteran agents.

Digitalization has its benefits, but it may have drawbacks as well. While it is certainly more efficient, it may also reduce the human interaction, which can be pivotal to closing a deal. An online list of homes for sale is expedient, but people still like the personal touch. If an agent can bring individuality and personality to the table, it may be just the thing that will clinch the listing or sale. People like to feel that they matter and that they are not just another means to a paycheck. Character and integrity are still very much sought after and appreciated. Going the extra mile to assure that clients are happy will only serve to increase an agent’s popularity in the neighborhood. Done well, he or she may become the “agent for the area.” Of course, this requires a great amount of diligence and forbearance.

Streamlining the process of home buying or selling makes a positive impression on clients. Things such as e-signatures save clients the time of driving to a title company or making time for the agent to come to their home. While this is a popular time saver, the agent should still be knowledgeable enough to explain what the clients are signing and its effect on a successful transaction.

Artificial intelligence is the next big customer service indulgence. It will help relieve the agent of many of the mundane tasks that a dedicated personal assistant would do. One new app on the market is the electronic notary. Clients can securely and legally have documents notarized from their home computers. Its functionality is another step in the digitalized world of the modern agent.

One caveat for the Realtor is that he or she does not want to become so distanced from clients that personal experience and knowledge lose their position in first place. With the click of a mouse, potential clients can perform tasks to which only a Realtor would have had access in the past. Today’s buyer still needs the guidance of the professional. Just because they have access to lots of information, it does not mean that they have the wherewithal to handle the process from start to finish. Numerous people have to come together in order to have a successful transaction, such as appraisers, attorneys, lenders, and title agents. The Realtor is the one who coordinates all of these people as well as having the information about the property that may not be online. After all, that information is gleaned directly from public records. There may be something that is not publicly recorded that the client may need to know. In addition, the agent’s relationship with fellow colleagues can help secure a deal.

Exciting technologies that are still evolving give Realtors the opportunity to be on the precipice of a new frontier. Consumers want to be instantly gratified. Agents who can make quick connections with them will be the early bird who gets the worm. The market is pretty competitive, and new and veteran agents alike still need whatever edge they can use to keep business from flowing through their fingers.

Redefining the role of agents in the process of buying and selling properties is the main thrust of how property is explored, listed, monitored, advertised, negotiated and sold. An agent who can address all these concerns and can work with lenders to make the circle complete is worth his or her weight in gold. Online mortgages are available to consumers in some cases. This can be a tremendous advantage for clients who want to know if they qualify for a particular property and what down payment they will need before contacting an agent.

If agents are not as well-informed as their clients, they will find that their confidence quotient goes down. The biggest take- away is this: Knowledge is king when it comes to successfully joining and remaining in the new digital world of real estate.

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