In the age of the internet, social media, and mobile devices, the speed of business has accelerated in every industry. Realty, clearly, is not exempt. Ever since listings were posted online, realty decidedly became much more accessible. So, how is technology changing the way real estate is done today? Nowadays, technology is expanding this same accessibility to even wider horizons. With mobile devices, people can access listings at any time, and from anywhere. Given the fact mobile online traffic rose from ten percent to thirty percent of total traffic this year, the industry will only continue to increase accessibility.
Technology has increased the speed of accessibility as well. Thanks to services like Evernote and Dropbox, documents and information can be transferred faster than ever before. Using the cloud, real estate agents can remain ‘in the field,’ instead of having to return to an office. Real estate agents also no longer need to schedule the often impractical face-to-face meetings that can slow down the realty process. Even signing can be done over the cloud with the advancement of e-signature technology. This technological speed and efficiency lands consumers in houses and releases agents onto more listings with less effort.
However, with these online interactions, some realtors believe the relational aspect has been downplayed, creating a marginalized role for real estate agents. In fact, the consumers’ preference for online interactions has tweaked, and expanded the real estate agent’s role, and requiring new skill sets. As agents turn to social media to maintain relationships and spur referrals, they are learning to play the role of marketers, experts, and content creators. Since the internet, consumer can find real estate information anywhere. But without the necessary context, this data is lost on the average consumer, and rendered ineffectual. Real estate agents with an effective social media presence make relationships with future clients by providing educational and insightful knowledge first.
Unfortunately, many real estate agents are finding this task daunting. To keep up, some real estate agents have used products like Lumentus, a service that makes social media more manageable and effective, or Wikirealty, a site that connects real estate agents to consumers in a role of knowledge provider and potential agent. Technology’s impact on real estate has pushed the speed of the industry, while also equipping real estate agents with the necessary tools to keep up.