The personal touch is still an important component in attracting clients and closing real estate sales, but technology use is quickly replacing charisma as a Realtor’s most important attribute in attracting home selling and home buying clients. According to statistics compiled by the National Association of Realtors, in 2011 87% of home sellers and buyers searched for real estate agents on the internet. Equally important, 88% of all buyers and 94% of buyers in the 25 to 44 age range used the internet to search for a home. Today’s real estate customers are looking for Realtors that make aggressive use of the latest internet tools, mobile technology and social media platforms to market real estate listings.
The real estate tech products that are attracting the greatest attention are:
- Listing syndication expands multiple listing service feeds beyond the primary destination website to agent-designated websites. Listing syndication services like ListHub also provide customized tracking services that allow real estate agents to see where their leads are coming from and allocate marketing resources to the most productive real estate sites.
- Virtual staging provides a time-efficient alternative to physical staging. Instead of physically clearing out the clutter, moving furniture and worrying about proper lighting, real estate agents can snap a series of digital photos and submit them with a floor plan of the home to a virtual staging company. After digital enhancement and photo shop-enabled virtual decorating, the photos are returned to the agent ready for uploading to listing domains, agent websites, eflyers, Virtuet videos, Facebook, etc.
- Social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and other social networks puts real estate listings where potential buyers and sellers are spending the majority of their internet time. People spend more time on Facebook than on any other social network — 700 billion minutes each month! The recent launch of Facebook IDX now allows Facebook users to access and use multiple listing services to search for homes without leaving Facebook.
- Mobile apps for smartphones allow on-the-go real estate agents to connect with equally busy customers and respond to customer queries immediately.