4 Tech Tools Real Estate Agents Should Be Using Now
Advancements in technology over the last few years have allowed almost every major industry to make great leaps forward within a relatively short time frame. It has fundamentally changed all of our lives in both subtle and overt ways: technology has revolutionized the way we connect with others, democratized information, and made existing systems faster, better, and more robust.
The real estate industry has also greatly benefited from technology, starting from the invention of the Supra lockbox. Going digital has transformed the real estate landscape, reinvigorating the trade by addressing inefficiencies in age-old processes and creating new opportunities for realtors to connect with both buyers and sellers. Step into the future with these 4 tech tools that real estate agents should be using right now:
Virtual and Augmented Reality
The internet has considerably changed the way buyers purchase goods and services—and real estate is no exception. According to a 2019 survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, nearly 50% of all potential residential property buyers start their search for a home on the internet first. Advancements in virtual and augmented reality can vastly improve the experience, allowing interested parties to take a detailed, in-depth tour of any property currently on the market from the comfort of their own homes or a listing office. At its most basic form, virtual reality solves two issues at once. First, it can help long-distance buyers see properties they may be interested in but are unable to physically visit. Second, it can help agents and brokers save time on showings, since potential buyers have already ‘seen’ the property.
Virtual and augmented reality can also help real estate professionals stage properties, which helps increase a property’s perceived value. Traditional staging requires dressing a property up with furniture, accessories, and other interior design elements, so that buyers can more easily visualize themselves living in or using it. It can be quite the expense for real estate agencies, but it is often deemed a necessary investment. With virtual reality, though, professionals can save on staging costs by staging properties digitally instead, using 3D models and renders to enhance its interiors.
Social Media and Personalization
Real estate professionals that haven’t yet integrated social media into their existing marketing strategies are missing out on opportunities to make valuable connections with potential clients. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great for facilitating conversations with both current and prospective clients.
There are about 1 billion users currently active on Facebook alone. Meanwhile, Twitter has 330 million monthly active users, and Instagram has over 100 million. These platforms make use of built-in algorithms to personalize content for every user, ensuring that each one sees what they want to be seeing.
Targeted social media ads put real estate services and properties for sale in front of interested parties who may already be actively searching for them. Relevant industry news and valuable original content also have a better chance at reaching wider audiences when they are deployed via social media. Popular social media platforms also have live-streaming features baked right into the app. These can be utilized for virtual open house tours, helping realtors engage with a targeted audience of local buyers by answering questions and receiving real-time feedback.
Internet of Things
The so-called Internet of Things refers to smart electronics and appliances that can connect and communicate with each other, independent of human interaction. These devices can both transmit and receive information to and from the cloud and can be useful for real estate professionals in many ways.
Smart sensors can serve multiple functions. Lockboxes equipped with them can help improve safety and security in unoccupied properties by logging data about when they were last accessed and by whom. The information collected can also be used to track agent movements and improve scheduling for tours and showings. Smart sensors can also be used to alert property managers to any issues in the listings that may require immediate maintenance or repair.
AI and machine learning also has many applications that could be advantageous to real estate professionals. One popular use of this technology is chatbots. These are computer programs that are able to simulate conversations with humans, providing answers to common questions or directing users to the information that they need. In some deployments, chatbots can be used to send periodic alerts to individuals that may have already shown an interest in a listing or a service offered by the realtor.
Real estate professionals would do well to take full advantage of these technological advancements to better their business and keep up with evolving customer preferences and demands. These innovations and developments can help agencies stay current and maintain relevance in a rapidly changing consumer landscape, too.