In the real estate industry it seems there is a law of averages: the more leads a realtor can generate, the more home sales they will secure. As a result, a major focus for realtors remains the various forms of marketing and better facilitating sales. Fortunately, balloons on mailboxes and cookies baking in the oven are not the only options. Technology has stepped-up to make marketing, selling and buying homes more streamlined. And the entire industry is sitting up and paying attention. In fact, advancements are coming so quickly, creating so many opportunities that keeping up is now becoming a challenge. This is a major development for an industry that has viewed change with cold feet for years.
Since most home buyers begin the hunt online, it makes sense that realtors would begin rapid adoption of new technologies that factor online.
Or, as Realtor Magazine puts it, “agents are casting a wide net.”
Nearly half of the more than 6,000 executives and senior management at real estate firms surveyed by the National Association of REALTORS® reported that keeping up with technology will be one of their biggest challenges over the next two years, according to the magazine.
And an interesting finding: they want more technology available to them so they can better do their jobs, including cybersecurity, lead generation, and electronic notary services, per the survey.
“We are seeing demand skyrocketing,” said Regan McGee, chief executive officer and chairman of Nobul, which is a disruptive open digital marketplace that connects home buyers and sellers to real estate agents. “We are currently in a sort of renaissance phase for real estate technology.”
Tech is coming, and it is coming quickly.
According to the survey, 63% of real estate professionals are using multiple listing software daily, and 39% are using electronic contract and forms software. In fact, findings show that both residential and commercial real estate firms usually provide or encourage agents to use e-signatures, comparative market analysis, multiple listing systems, and electronic contracts as well as electronic forms.
“For decades, nearly everything about real estate has been unnecessarily tedious and laborious. We are beginning to realize this as an industry and startups are finding ways to make it better. This really is an amazing time for the industry,” said Nobul’s Regan McGee.
Social media takes the cake as far as marketing goes, and since it does serve as such a major mode for sales, nearly three-fifths of real estate firms have established social media guidelines. This goes a step further, with around one-third of firms having guidelines for both professional and personal social media accounts. When the agents are an extension of the brand, and represent the company, this seems to make sense. For that, Realtor Magazine offers additional guidance: Protect Your Business With a Social Media Policy.
Social media remains one of the primary lead generation tools from tech as far as getting quality leads goes. Around 90% of real estate professionals surveyed use Facebook, 52% use Instagram, 48% use LinkedIn, 24% use YouTube, and 19% use Twitter.
There are a number of reasons for real estate professionals to utilize social media, with the main reasons being that there is an expectation that they have a presence on social media, social media is essential to helping build and maintain relationships with existing clients and they can use social media to promote new listings, as well as find new prospects, per the Realtor Magazine article.
“There are an increasing number of tools from technology available that real estate professionals can make good use of. It is simply a matter of will, of training and of a cost-benefit analysis. Much of the technology will make their jobs easier and their clients happier,” said Regan McGee.