Technology has played a debatable role in the real estate industry over the past few decades. Technology has changed the way business is being done. Consumers now have more power than ever through the internet; they google, research, ask their friends and family, compare and filter their choices even before getting in touch with sellers. With 94% of home buyers starting their search online, it’s safe to say that technology has transformed the business models for real estate. But is it a friend or a foe for agents? Let’s take a look at it from both perspectives:
Technology is an Enemy
In the last 5 years or so, we have seen a lot of tech startups in the real estate industry which aim to simplify things for home buyers and sellers. Some even are seeking to minimize the role agents play in transactions. Even without the services of these companies, everyone has access to vast amounts of information which is required to make decisions. Home sellers can promote and sell their own houses now with the help of the latest technology and not pay a single dime in commission to agents. A lot of consumers don’t see any value in services offered by real estate agents. Millennials who have grown up with the internet and computers do not have patience with real estate agents who are unable to utilize technology. In a way, technology can somewhat take over the role of real estate agents in the future.
Technology is a Friend
What allows buyers, sellers and investors to contact you anytime from anywhere? Technology. How can you remotely sign a contract from another state? Technology. How can you market your client’s property without any cost to hundreds of thousands of buyers online? Technology. The smartphone is a powerful weapon to an agent. It allows them to network, generate leads, communicate with customers, and build a strong referral network. The role of technology in the real estate market is solely determined on how willing representatives are in adapting to it. It is quite likely that technology will continue to advance and infiltrate different industries, but for representatives readily up to the challenge, the market is yours for the taking.
An important attribute that the internet is incapable of replacing is face to face interactions with clients. This is extremely valuable, as clients have someone who gives them confidence, knowledge and reassurance throughout the entire process, and most importantly a professional is the only party viable to fulfill this role.
The true value of a real estate representative lies in their ability to provide clients with far more than what they need. Whether it is buying at a lower price or selling at a higher price, it is the representative’s responsibility to seek the client’s satisfaction and give them a buying experience that the internet won’t.
So what are some ways that technology can help a representative? The answer to this has two layers. The first layer includes the benefits to the representative and their business, and second is the value they provide to their clients. Learning how to take advantage of technology increases the visibility of services to clients, reduces advertising costs, expands their network of influence, provides access to more knowledge, increases productivity and much more. The value that clients receive from the use of technology from their representative ranges anywhere from offering addition and better communication, offering virtual tours and listings, providing more research about homes and neighbourhoods, using more avenues to market a client’s home, and the list continues. Even suggestions for apps to better the experience for clients such as the BEHR App for buyers which allows them to select the colour code of a paint colour they like, to using a secured electronic signature for documents fall in the category of providing value for client through the use of technology. We know.
Technology has changed the game at a global level, and has broken down many barriers in this field. It has never before been this easy to connect with clients all over the world, at any time, from any place. The opportunities are endless for those who can exploit all of what technology offers. To answer the question, technology will be a friend to those who are up to date with technology, those who know the benefits and actually implement them for themselves and their clients. If used properly, technology can work with the real estate agent to set higher standards in the market altogether.