Published on January 18th, 2022 | by Sunit Nandi0
The Impacts Technology Continues to Have on the Real Estate Industry
The real estate industry has evolved by leaps and bounds over the last few decades, and that is thanks to rapidly evolving technology. While realtors used to do most of the leg work when it came to finding houses, clients, and completing the proper paperwork, tech has reduced much of the minutiae, and now buyers and sellers can complete their business faster than ever before.
And that’s not it. New tech also allows us to find data faster, keep our homes secure, and protect the wellbeing of realtors in ways we never thought possible. Let’s talk about the evolution of tech and its impact on the real estate industry.
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The Selling Process
In the past, when potential home buyers wanted to find a new residence, they had to physically go out and hire a real estate agent who knew available houses in the neighborhood so they could do in-person walkthroughs in hopes of finding their dream home. However, with new tech, finding and reviewing all the details of a property can be done entirely online.
Buying and selling platforms, like Zillow and Redfin, allow anyone interested in buying a new home the chance to easily filter out available properties in their neighborhood. From there, they can look at the attributes of the home and the price. Many websites even allow the user to calculate their monthly mortgage payment right there, so they can decide if they want to move forward. If the property piques their interest, the potential buyer can contact a real estate professional with the click of a button. The ability to do all of those steps without leaving your living room is a luxury that homebuyers could never have imagined 30 years ago.
Even the act of looking through the home can be done remotely through the use of virtual tours. An interested home buyer can go room by room through a home and look at every nook and cranny, just like if they were there in person. This is a great advancement for busy homebuyers or for people who prefer to avoid public places due to the dangers of COVID-19. Realtors can also now virtually stage empty properties and insert digital furniture, which gives buyers an idea of how they could set up the rooms if they decide to buy the property.
These incredible advancements give realtors the chance to be more successful than ever before while being confident that they are putting their clients in a home that they will love.
Tech Keeps Realtors Safe
While evolving tech has made the home buying process easier, it has also made it safer as well. Even though virtual tours are readily accessible, many people still like the idea of touring a home in person before they decide to buy. While real estate agents aren’t going to find themselves at the top of the list of most dangerous professions, there is some risk when the job involves going into houses that are often unoccupied by their owners, as there is always the possibility of squatters or other dangers. In fact, 40% of realtors say that they have been in a situation that made them fear for their safety while on the job.
Once again, tech comes to the rescue with new devices that can put relator’s minds at ease, including wearable technology such as the V.ALRT, which can be carried discreetly in a pocket. If the realtor believes they are in danger, then they can push a button, and it will send text messages to emergency contacts informing them that they need help. In an open house, it can be tough to tell who is coming or going, so realtors can also use authentication tech like TrustStamp, which verifies the individual before they can enter.
In addition to keeping them safe, tech can also give realtors more talking points when they are trying to sell a house. For instance, by completing a fire risk assessment, a realtor can actually inform buyers how likely dangerous situations like fires are to occur inside of the house, so the occupants can make the proper adjustments or choose to pursue a different home. Once a home has been proven to be safe, then buyers may be more inclined to move forward.
There is also a good chance that a home an agent is showing has smart tech like smart thermostats and smart doorbells already installed. This amazing tech has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, allowing homeowners to control just about any appliance in their house with the touch of a button on their cell phone. If the house you are selling has these devices installed, use them as a selling point.
Electronic Databases and Potential Dangers
Realtors that have been in the business for years will likely remember the days of keeping client information in bulky filing cabinets, but any newer agents will surely see that those physical filing systems are a thing of the past as we are now able to store most data electronically on computers and backup servers. It is a great advancement because it takes seconds for a realtor to pull up info on a buyer or seller, making it much easier to pair people with their forever homes via different digital platforms.
However, the technology revolution also has a dark side in the form of hackers and cybercriminals who can easily break into our systems and steal the data of those same clients that we strive to protect. Realtors need to be vigilant when it comes to protecting their systems. It is a smart idea to have a computer systems analyst come in to ensure that your databases are in strong working order and verify that there aren’t any vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit for malicious purposes.
At a very minimum, realtors should make it a point to use complex passwords on their systems and encourage their clients to do the same. If realtors notice an anomaly in the database that they believe may be an issue, they should contact their brokerage for assistance.
As you can see, technology has made quite an impact on the real estate industry, and while there are some issues, the changes are mostly positive. Agents who want to make a big difference for their personal brand should take note of these changes and use them to their advantage.