Technology has caused change, and sometimes disruption, in almost every industry. Real Estate is no exception to this. In fact the way that real estate agents and others in the industry do business has been significantly impacted by technology. In some instances, the effects are quite positive, but in other cases not so much. Let’s look at a few ways that tech is impacting real estate.
Today, somebody who is interested in buying or selling a property can quickly find the value of that property, along with the value of other properties in that area, by doing a quick internet search. This arms them with the information that they need to ensure that they are treated fairly, and that they get the price they deserve/pay no more than they have to. The problem is that there is all of this housing data out there that is so easy to access, but much of it is completely inaccurate. As a result, agents have to contend with managing customer expectations much more today than in the past.
Person to person contact is exceptionally important in the real estate business. Both phone contact and in person meetings are needed to build the relationship between agent and client that is so important to the process of buying or selling a home. Social media and other technology can facilitate developing that relationship, but it is true personal contact that solidifies it. People in the business must learn to balance the time saving benefits of doing things via apps and other technology with the need to maintain person to person contact.
Darren Best, at a commercial real estate firm has this to say, “Thanks to technology, clients can come to our website, and narrow down the properties that interest them using a variety of criteria. Then, once we have their short list we are better able to help them.” Less time spent figuring out what customers really want allows agents to maximize their usefulness to their clients.
The process of appraising a property was once both a labor intensive and paperwork intensive process. Thankfully, technology has provided relief to appraisers in both of these areas. For example, the physical work of measuring a property could take hours. Now, technology such as laser measuring devices can make that process much shorter. There are also apps that save time spent entering data by pre filling appraisal forms. There is now even the ability to compare similar properties based on appraisal data.
The sensitive and savvy will be able to use technology as a means to enhance already good business practices and to add efficiency to the process where it needs to be. However, they will also remain sensitive to the human side of the real estate business by remembering the importance of direct contact. Data accuracy will continue to be an issue that impacts the future of realty.