Stay on Top of the Game by Keeping Up with Technology
The real estate market in certain areas of the United States is currently hot, so houses can literally go under contract within hours of being placed on the market. Buyers must proceed quickly if they want to purchase a home. Actually, quickly might not be the best word to describe the rate at which buyers must act. The word immediately is probably more accurate.
Because many buyers must be ready to submit an offer to purchase a home as soon as the home is put up for sale, it’s more important than ever that you, as a real estate agent, are on top of your game.
Besides thoroughly understanding current real estate market trends in your area, it’s crucial in today’s world that you are tech savvy and able to use technology to help your clients achieve success.
Three examples of technology that can be extremely helpful to real estate agents include: having a website with a live IDX feed, providing a mobile app, and featuring 3-D virtual tours of properties that you list for sale. These technologies are not only advantageous for buyers and sellers, but they are also essential for disseminating information to more people in a faster and efficient manner.
Real Estate IDX Feed
The letters IDX stand for internet data exchange. With a live IDX feed on your website, visitors can search the local MLS database for all active properties from all brokers. The IDX searchable database provides extremely accurate results.
In my local area, having a website with an IDX feed is essential for any tech savvy agent. Since April 2015, Zillow and Trulia no longer have access to the local MLS IDX feed. So, only the brokers can provide buyers with up to date listings. For a buyer and seller to find accurate real estate information online, they look to the broker’s websites.
Real Estate Mobile App
Given the fact that a majority of internet users utilize various types of mobile devices to search the internet, it’s essential that real estate agents have a responsive website. But even more important than a responsive website is a mobile real estate app, which allows users to easily view active real estate listings in their search area on their smartphone, iPad or tablet. Because the information transmitted with the mobile app is regularly updated via a direct IDX feed, users will still have access to accurate information on active properties. Most real estate agents offer their mobile app for free, which is a great marketing tool for the agent.
In addition, I have found that having a mobile app also creates great brand recognition for my business. Consider this, when a buyer is driving around a neighborhood and they find a home for sale they are interested in, all they have to do is open the app and click on a provided link of “Closest Home” and the property will show up with all it’s specific details. Now, which agent do you think they will call if they want to view that property right now? You, of course. Because all they have to do is tap to call the local specialist whose banner is across the top of their mobile phone.
Real Estate 3D Virtual Tours
How many times have you driven around town for hours with clients looking at the interior of homes that looked great from the outside – but were disasters on the inside? In addition, many buyers have expressed their frustrations to me after viewing a property online and then discovering the floor plan does not work. Physically visiting multiple unsuitable properties is a waste of valuable time and can be frustrating for buyers. When a real estate agent takes the time and puts forth the effort to feature a 3D virtual tour of listed homes, the homes can actually be easier to sell. When a person takes a virtual tour of a home – and still wants to see the home in person – that person can be considered a more serious potential buyer.
As a real estate agent, it’s important that you “Keep Up with the Jones” with regard to the technology you use to run your business. Buyers and sellers are looking for an agent that understands technology and how it can be used to help buy and sell a home for the best possible price in the least amount of time. People are looking for a quick, capable and organized real estate agent – and these attributes can only be achieved with the help of modern technology.
Jim Garcia is a specialist in homes for sale in Douglas County. When he’s not involved with real estate transactions, he spends time with his family, hones his cooking skills and enjoys the unique adventures only Colorado can offer.