Thursday, September 13, 2007

Technology is changing the real estate business

I wrote a guest post on Steven Groves' blog today about how Realtors can use technology to enhance their marketing strategy. It's an interesting piece trying to explain how to keep one eye on the present and the other on the future. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The real estate industry has spent the last couple of decades behind the technology curve; now that is changing quickly. Today's Realtors need to understand and use technology that didn't even exist just a few years ago. These are some of the tools that are almost basic necessities for today's Realtor (in other words, I can almost question how well a Realtor is serving their clients if they don't use these tools):

  • laptop computer (or a home computer with good use of the next item)

  • email enabled phone &/or the ability to check and return emails from the road

  • digital scanner & use of digital documents

  • digital camera

  • fluency in email communication

  • ability to synthesize large amounts of data into something that makes sense for clients

  • ability to use the web as a marketing tool for listings

  • customer service, attention to detail, negotiation skills, knowledge of the market – these never go out of style, but can be significantly enhanced by technology.

Everyday there are more broadband users than the day before. Each day there are people who are making their first-ever internet purchase, who then feel empowered to find more ways to use the internet. Each day there are 20-somethings buying their first home, and there are 80-somethings moving into assisted living. How long will it be before a non-tech-savvy Realtor cannot compete?

As a consumer, what's your technology level? Keep in mind you're going to be working with your Realtor very closely for the next few months; does he/she use technology effectively enough for you? Does he/she leverage technology as much as possible to find you the right house, or to help sell yours?

Food for thought...

- Chris Butterworth

[tags] real estate technology, Steven Groves [/tags]