Technology has played an important role in real estate, more so than in many other industries. With transactions ranging into the millions, and potential commissions sometimes being just as high, agents have been chomping at the bit to find new and innovative ways to streamline their business.
Believe it or not, it wasn’t that long ago when real estate agents were selling with a Coke and a smile, heavily reliant on sales ability, charm, and charisma to make deals happen. Older readers might remember these days, but younger agents have not had to deal with doing business in such an archaic manner. My, have times changed. When it comes to technology and doing business in real estate, there have been hundreds of technological advancements that have served two very important purposes- to make agents more money, and to reduce their workload.
Advancements in real-estate related technology have done exactly that. If we want to go back to the olden days, the introduction of fax machines actually made life much easier for agents working in the 70’s and 80’s. Prior to fax technology becoming commonplace in office settings, agents needed to physically drive around with printed out contracts, sit down with the buyers and sellers, and make sure things were signed correctly. Forgot a page? Well, it looks like someone is driving back to the office. Once fax technology was brought to the real estate business, it eliminated such headaches by giving agents the ability to electronically transmit documents back and forth, saving them valuable time and energy. While fax technology isn’t used nearly as much as it was 10 or 20 years ago (if at all), it is undeniable that it made doing business much easier for both agents and their clients.
A more modern technology that has helped thousands of agents transact in a more efficient manner is the introduction of websites that track inventory across the country. Sites like Zillow and Trulia have made home-shopping a breeze. For a potential buyer, they can look at properties in any neighborhood, in any price range, in any state or region of the country with just a few clicks. Furthermore, they can choose specific needs such as amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, proximity to schools, and much more. These sites allow such fine-tuning to their searches that they truly allow buyers to narrow down their search in just minutes. Once a buyer goes through the search results, they can easily select one (or several) of their favorite properties, and with just a few more clicks can have a message sent to the listing agent, requesting that they contact them. Not only does this process give home-buyers the biggest selection possible, it allows them to narrow down the results based on their needs and save valuable time. On the agent side, it benefits them greatly since once a buyer reaches out to them, odds are they are very interested in the property and will not need to look at many more before they make their purchase decision.
These are just two examples of technologies new and old that have forever changed the way that real estate agents and brokers do business, but really these are just the tip of the iceberg. It is an undisputed fact that technology has improved the real estate business, and it will surely continue to do so for years to come.