Who is buying real estate? Who is selling real estate?
Millennials, born between 1981 and 1997, made up 36 percent of homebuyers in 2019. This represents the largest group of home buyers. Twice as many millennials want to become homeowners one day.
While the baby boomer generation is holding on to their homes longer, this group of sellers will steadily put their homes on the market over the next decade. That's 32 million homes that will need to be sold!
Get your real estate business ready with the latest technology for real estate. Automating will free you up to spend more time developing relationships with buyers and building credibility in your local housing market.
What Is Meant by Real Estate Technology?
PropTech and RETech are two of the current buzzwords to describe any technology that supports the residential and commercial real estate markets.
Listing portals are one of the most visible real estate technologies, but there is a lot of hardware and software to choose from.
Using technology helps you engage your target market, build and manage a healthy pipeline, and close deals.
Why Do You Need Technology for Real Estate?
If you were ever told that you were a great salesperson, it was probably based on your personality traits. Maybe you’re an extrovert that quickly captures customers’ attention. Maybe you’re an introvert that easily establishes trust with customers.
No matter what your sales personality is, today’s successful real estate agents need technology. Real estate technology doesn’t replace good agents but is a tool for real estate agents to compete in a crowded marketplace.
With a vast majority of home buyers beginning their search online, the internet is essential in building awareness of your brand. Let’s take a look at technologies that create incredible marketing opportunities.
Technology Tools for Real Estate Marketing
Buyers searching for a home on the internet want visuals.
Listings with visuals sell faster and for more money. Professionally photographed homes sell 32 percent faster than other listed homes. One study showed professionally photographed homes sold above list price 44 percent of the time.
With those compelling numbers, let’s get to the technology tools to help you realize the benefits in your own business.
Invest in a great website. While many real estate agencies have biographies of their agents on their website, home buyers searching online will not find you this way. Create a website with your name or a memorable phrase that you can easily refer people to.
Think about what you like when you shop online. Slow-loading website? Most searchers leave the page if it doesn’t load quickly. Static content? You don’t go back to a website unless it has new content.
The features below can make your website engaging:
- A blog helps your customers get to know you
- A video biography helps your customers get to know you
- An occasional quiz or survey can help you get to know your customers
- Infographics related to the local housing market help demonstrate expertise
- Video tours and professional photographs of your listings
You may have picked up on a theme in the list above. Your website is an opportunity for you to make a human connection through technology.
It may seem like ‘old school’ technology, but email can be a very powerful marketing technology.
There are many website builders, like Wix and Squarespace, that have features that really maximize visits to your website. Automated email marketing campaigns are one feature that could have a 122 percent return on investment.
A study from the National Association of Realtors found that 47 percent of real estate businesses received the highest quality leads from social media compared to other sources.
The same study reports that three-quarters of realtors use social media for real estate purposes. The most popular social media apps for real estate agents are Facebook, LinkIn, and Instagram.
So, what should you post on social media?
- Property photos and videos
- Success stories and client testimonials
- Company milestones
- Industry and market news
- New listings and properties
Are you one of those people who think social media is so impersonal? Remember that social media can be another opportunity to engage with buyers. If someone likes a post, be sure to comment.
You may be asking yourself, where is all this visual content going to come from? Let’s move on to the technologies that will produce visuals to excite buyers.
3D Interactive Tours
What does 3D mean anyway? It means your prospective home buyer can tour a home while eating lunch at their office or on a beach 3,000 miles away. If you’ve seen a move in 3D, you know the feeling of being right there, in the scene you’re watching.
With 3D interactive tours, buyers feel like they’re walking through the property. The interactive part comes from a buyer’s ability to manipulate the view using a mouse, trackpad, or touchscreen. Buyers feel in control of what they’re looking at, which creates a positive shopping experience.
According to Realtor.com, staged homes sell 88 percent faster than non-staged homes. You know that selling a vacant home is difficult. Buyers have a hard time visualizing a home when there isn’t furniture and décor. You also know that selling a home that is cluttered with personal items and dated furniture is difficult.
Virtual staging is a great solution for both of these problems. You can engage a service to create furnishings and decoration in a photograph of a vacant home. These same services can also remove personal items or furnishings from a cluttered home.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Don’t be intimidated by this science fiction sounding real estate technology!
With an expected compound annual growth rate of 152% by 2025, AR and VR technologies are becoming common tools in several industries, including real estate. By 2025, experts expect the real estate AR and VR market could be worth $2.6 billion.
AR technology is when a computer-generated image (digital information) is superimposed onto a real physical object or view. AR is used in real estate by allowing a buyer to superimpose their desired lifestyle onto a potential home. When a buyer can picture themselves in a home, that listing’s time on market decreases. You can also superimpose specs on an image.
VR technology is a wholly artificially created environment. Buyers are placed in a computer-generated 3D image or environment. This means that showing a home is not restricted to your schedule and the buyer’s schedule matching up. Buyers can tour anytime, anywhere.
Both AR and VR require some special equipment. This could be as simple as Google’s cardboard headset. This is yet another tool that allows buyers to experience homes in different ways.
For the majority of home buyers, the neighborhood is more important than the house. Traditionally, listing portals have provided oodles of stats about a neighborhood from crime rates to maturity of trees.
Enter the drone technology for real estate! Capturing an aerial view of a home and the surrounding neighborhood helps your customers get a feel for the neighborhood. Statistics are important, but a picture is more powerful in marketing.
Providing a buyer with three-dimensional views helps them feel like they are seeing the space with their own eyes. That’s because 3D technology uses two camera lenses that mimic the sense of depth your human eyes capture.
Technology Tools for Maximum Productivity
Capturing the interest and attention of your buyers is only half the battle of closing deals. Maintaining that attention and nurturing commitment requires seamless administrative support. Fortunately, there are several apps to help you be organized and productive.
Using the cloud to create, share, and store documents is essential. One example of this is using Google Drive. You can access your documents or create new documents anytime, anywhere. There is also a feature that works like a customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
Task management apps, like Trello or Slack, help you organize your virtual office. You can organize and prioritize listings; you can build an automated workflow, and sync your virtual office across all your devices. Again – anytime, anywhere.
This may not strictly fit in the category of technology; rather a service enabled by technology. Typically, virtual assistant providers will receive and follow up on leads from your various marketing campaigns. These services are often interoperable with CRM software. The value proposition here is that the service weeds out the hot leads from the dead ends.
At the end of a busy day with a full inbox of leads or voicemails or texts, how do you know which leads to contact first? A virtual assistant can do the dirty work so you can concentrate on the hot leads.
Let Technology Do the Busywork
It’s important to remember that technology is just a tool that can work for and against you. If you have a great website, your business will benefit; if you have a bad website, your business will suffer.
But even the greatest technology for real estate will never be a substitute for the expertise of professional real estate agents. So, allow technology to do the busywork, while you do the fulfilling work of building relationships with people in your local housing market.
Are you ready to start building your successful real estate business?