How Has Real Estate Changed For Today's Agent?

Education & Training with Mayfield Real Estate Inc. 1999901491

Just curious what your thoughts are on how agents have had to change over the last couple of years.  I was recently posed this question from a company I do some consulting for.  Here's my response below.  Curious what you would add?

From my perspective real estate agents today are finding out how important technology “really” is to their personal business. With the emerging Social Media’s playing such a vital role in networking and staying in touch with clients, customers and other real estate colleagues, technology is a MUST today! Several years ago technology was something to have, but few agents were really applying its use in their businesses. Today, technology is applied to each and every business transaction the real estate agent is involved in. Consider some of these facts that I share with my real estate seminar students on a regular basis.

• It only took Facebook two years to reach an audience of 50 Million people. It took television 13 years to accomplish this goal.

• YouTube is reportedly the 2nd most visited web site today as a search engine, and it’s not even an internet search site.

• Google has some 31 Billion people that search for stuff every “month!”

• According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2008 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, 83% of buyers used the internet as a source to find homes.

• Same profile, 32% of the buyers said that the home they purchased, they learned about from the internet. That’s up from only 8% in 2001.

• Most buyers said that “speed of response” was very important to them from a real estate agent. In fact, most of the buyers said they expected a response from the agent within 30 minutes or less. This statistic is from the California Association of REALTORS®

As you can see, technology is a huge part of the real estate agents daily lives, and if they do not position themselves with the right tools they will miss the boat. Virtual tours, web cams, smart phones and effective web sites are separating the profitable real estate agents from the rest of the pack. Finally, as with my own company profile, many offices are turning to what is deemed a “virtual real estate office.” I recently re-opened my real estate operation and have structured the company as a “virtual office.” What’s this mean? It’s an office, with a conference room, table chairs, another office for me, a third larger office where agents can plug in their laptops, print, scan and fax documents, meet with clients and head back out to do business. Many firms are using this same concept around the U.S. It’s a wired world, and agents really want to work mobile. Many of my agents have offices in their homes, and only need a place to come drop off their paperwork, meet with clients and or visit with me for a quick moment. Most of our sales meetings are done online, and issues and problems are also addressed at the office or by cellular phone. Sounds kind of crazy, but it works! I give the agents a bigger piece of the commission and they pay all of their own expenses.

As you can see with this type of environment, technology is crucial for the real estate agent. Companies like this are already leading the competition in Chicago, Dallas, and other metropolitan areas. I think we’ll continue to see more and more mobile office solutions around the country, and as agents are more dependent to work from home or on the road, they will need the right technology tools, (laptops, tablet p.c.’s, portable printers, scanning solutions, etc) to make their jobs easier.

I hope this has shed some light on my thoughts in how the market has changed for agents working today vs. yesterday, as well as where the future is expected to move. Technology will continue to be bigger and bigger for the real estate professional in the days and years to come.

Comments (2)

Allen F. Hainge, CRS

Huzzah, John!  Right on target and, hopefully, a wake-up call to those agents who still think that today's technology:

  • Is too expensive
  • Is too complicated
  • Is not necessary for their business
  • Won't make them money, save them money or save them time
One correction to your NAR figures, if I may: 87% of today's consumers go first to the Web to search for a home or to search for an agent to sell their home.

One would think that this statistic alone would prod agents to see a deep, consumer-oriented agent Web site as the core component of their business, as my CyberStars(r) do.  Taking the time to look at agent sites, however, shows that a good 90% of them just don't get it...they have weak sites.  

Consumers are "interviewing" agents all the time...the agents just don't know it, since the "interview" takes place on their Web site.  Good sites result in a bookmark, as the consumer is, according to studies, 6-9 months away from making a deicsion on an agent.  Weak sites result in lost sad!

Again, your article is right on target, and I sincerely hope that it spurs some agents to commit to focusing on improving their use of technology.

It's a great day here on the lake in Reston...hope it's a great day up there in Farmington as well!

Jul 22, 2009 01:30 AM
John Mayfield
Mayfield Real Estate Inc. - Farmington, MO

Thanks Allen!  I always admire and appreciate your advice!

Jul 22, 2009 02:18 AM