From Listings to Lift Off - Real Estate Scores High on Technology
It was eons ago when our parents would scramble through listings in the Sunday newspaper, or look at the neighborhood “Open House” sign and know of properties on the market. If the listing met their requirement of neighborhood, square footage, etc (which often times could be misleading), they drove over to look at the property, which clearly made the process rather tedious.
With time, the real estate industry evolved in terms of technology. Listings were up on the web, with high resolution images, for potential home buyers to browse through. Only if they liked what they saw, would they even pick up the phone to call the agent. The process soon moved a step further with “Virtual Tours”, taking potential buyers through every room of the house with the click of a button.
For all those overwhelmed by the tech savvy options and still prefer to drive in to see for yourself, there was the “Talking House”. All you had to do is come up with a list of houses you would like to see and set off on a little trip. As you pull over just tune your car radio to the mentioned frequency on the “for sale” sign, and voila, a audio recording describing the listing will help you cross off and narrow down your options!
In an industry where marketing is everything, real estate agents have had to face the challenge of constantly adapting to the ever changing technology and being abreast with everything from new Apps, social media marketing, and everything else in between; to sign off on happy homeowners.
The power of the click has taken the real estate industry by storm. And the latest in the sea of newer technology are “Drones”. While the President can order for a drone strike for strategic purposes, a minimally trained real estate agent can comfortably operate a small drone to get crisp images of the property in question.
Don’t fret if your agent tells you he is using one of these! Since you can enjoy up close views of the property from several angles and not have to spend a penny on it. As these overhead buzzers are the latest in the line of marketing tools among agents, who are constantly trying to stand out amid the plethora of agents in every neighborhood nook.
While they are the newest buzz in the real estate industry, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is keeping their eye on them. Agents have to adhere to rules like - 400 feet ceiling limit, no commercial operations of unmanned aircrafts, and the FAA can ask operators to stop the usage if found operating in a careless and reckless manner. While the FAA is in the process of writing regulations involving operations and permit issuance, agents like Mark Pires have already gotten pretty comfortable operating the device.
Basically with all of this technology that is at the tip of our fingers, not only works in favor of the home buyer, who is juggling between roles in their busy lifestyle, it also means the client pool gathered by agents at the end of this interactive search phase, is of the more serious clientele. Which makes this a truly win-win situation, cutting down the time in a process which can take anywhere between a couple of months to even a year.
Wrapping up with some statistics to bring it all together.
90% of homeowners searched online during their buying process
Google.com has seen a 253% increase in real estate related searches over the past 4 years
Potential buyers have been seen to use specific online tools along the different stages of the home buying process
68% of home shoppers use mobile applications during the process
31% buyers who take action on a real estate site are aged between 25-34
TV, billboards, and print channels play minimal role in the research and decision making process
Finding an agent and agent related searches on YouTube grew 46% year-over-year