Technology moves the modern world. Every industry has been forced to adapt and those that have not are being left in the dust. The real estate market faces a growing demand for more user-friendly and tech-savvy tools that can help improve and simplify the user experience. Home buyers and sellers alike are leading the charge for this change, and realtors can either embrace it or be passed over for those who do. Here are some technologies that buyers and sellers are demanding from agents.
Chatbots and Voice Assistants
In today’s market, buyers and sellers are demanding 24/7 assistance and instant responses to their queries. The solution for some agents? Chatbots and voice assistants, which both had a huge year in 2017. When you look at the success of Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Assistant, users are becoming increasingly more comfortable communicating with artificial intelligence. But how can chatbots help real estate agents?
For starters, a chatbot can help customers save time by addressing their precise needs with rapid-fire efficiency. Chatbots gather essential information, such as whether they are buying, selling, or renting; the type of property they’re seeking or selling; price range; bedroom and bathroom preferences; and more. Once the chatbot knows what they’re seeking, they can show the customer the properties that match their search parameters.
Chatbots can save both potential clients and agents time and energy because the bots can narrow their searches for them. Once a bot shows interested buyers which properties match their search results, a call-to-action message can get their information over to an agent in no time. Chatbots also offer 24/7 support, greatly improving customer service outside of normal business hours.
Home buyers and sellers want a real estate agent to know their properties backward and forward. When previously unknown issues arise, it shakes their faith in the agent’s professionalism. Real estate agents can improve their knowledge on both the properties they manage and the industry as a whole through the use of big data.
Big data is a term that describes large volumes of information that are so complex they defy the abilities of traditional data processing software. Using big data, organizations can perform advanced analysis as to what strategic decisions will be better for their businesses overall.
For real estate agents, big data offers a higher level of transparency. Before, information on commercial real estate properties might have been limited to square footage, rent roll, and what the building previously sold for. But now, cloud-based data gives real estate agents the ability to see a forecasted property value from one to 10 years, neighborhood trends, estimated mortgage payments, cost of ownership, property history, and the current market value of a home.
When combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning, big data can identify previously unknown patterns and predict trends that can shake up the entire real estate world. Big data allows real estate agents to make decisions backed by facts and figures, and never operate on imperfect hunches again.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Modern home buyers and sellers want new technology integrated into the real estate process. Recent advancements in augmented and virtual reality are improving everything from video games to theme park attractions. But these digital milestones can have a strong effect on the real estate world as well. Using VR and AR technology, prospective home buyers can tour entire homes without leaving their beds.
Such advancements solve the issue of scheduling, wherein a potential buyer and real estate agent have to schedule property tours at a time which works for both of them. Many times, a buyer will know right away upon entering a home if it does not meet their needs. By touring homes in a virtual setting first, both the agent and the potential buyer can avoid wasting time on a home that does not meet specific needs.
Mobile and IoT Technology
Home buyers and sellers want more mobile integration. Everything is done on mobile devices today, so why should the home buying process be any different? In 2017, it was reported that the average American spends more than five hours per day on mobile devices. If that’s where society is headed, then the real estate industry needs to be on board. On top of popular listing apps like Zillow and Trulia, potential home buyers have a wealth of new and exciting technology to help ease their real estate process.
Some mobile apps give buyers the ability to tour a potential home without a realtor present. The home key is locked within a device on the door, allowing the potential buyer the ability to unlock the key with an app, tour the home at their leisure, and then put the key back before leaving.
Social Media Presence
It seems as though everything can be done on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and other social sites these days. By creating a Facebook page or group, real estate agents can create a community around their business and speak with potential buyers directly.
To be successful on social media, real estate agents must keep their branding consistent across every platform and respond to inquiries and comments in a timely manner. If they can achieve this, then social media can be the perfect place to share listings, respond to questions, and provide real-time information in an environment that potential buyers and sellers are familiar with and enjoy.
Technology is evolving, and today’s real estate market demands their needs be met. Embracing this change and employing new technology, like the ones listed above, is a good first step in creating a sustainable, modern, and effective real estate business.