When I first got into the real estate business after college, many people asked me why I was getting in an industry dominated by middle aged professsionals in a terrible economic downturn. I never quite understood this line of thinking and here's why: More and more young people are transitioning into the real estate business and are very successful due to their increasing understanding of technology. Because I am only 25 years old, at first glance my age might appear detrimental when going up against more experienced agents. Instead I use my age as an selling point to potential clients. Because I grew up in an era where I always had a computer, I can bring different things to the table than that of some older more and experienced agents who aren't as used to dealing with technology.
A vast understanding of basic technologies makes life easier on the home buyer/seller in every sense. Here is a list a few reasons why hiring a tech savvy real estate agent can make the home buying or selling process easier.
Paperless Contracts: After a initial contract offer is signed, there is a lot of back and forth negotiating that goes on between the buyer and seller that requires signatures. Without paperless contracts, clients will have to worry about physically meeting their agent to sign a counter offer or any other document that comes up during the transaction. Or they will have to either scan and email their documents or even (gasp!) fax them back to their agent. Programs like DotLoop, DocuSign, and Transaction Desk have streamlined the arduous contract signing process, so clients with an email address can just click to sign a document rather then worrying about meeting up with their agent or finding a scanner.
Tablets/Mobile Internet: When I take buyers out to show homes, I usually get a lot of questions about other homes in the neighborhood that are for sale. For instance, a buyer will look at home that we have not scheduled to see close to the one that we are viewing and invariably ask what the price is of that home. Using my tablet, I can give them real time information about all of the other homes for sale in the area and answer any other questions they might have right on the spot. Having a mobile device with high speed internet and a quality mobile browser can make your job as an agent much easier.
Listing Optimization for Reciprocation: Let's face it, in today's buyer's market, the name of the game is making your listings look good on every website that your MLS reciprocates to (i.e. Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, Local Agent Websites). Without using quality pictures, accurate and well written property descriptions, and a virtual tour, agents are not putting their listings in the best light to get them sold. Understanding how your local MLS is shown on through the IDX on other websites is critical. If you do not hire an agent who understands this technology, you are doing yourself (and your listings) a disservice.
Virtual Tours: In my humble opinion, virtual tours are pretty useless at face value. In my experience, they usually only provide a look at the same pictures that the listing already has with cheesy music playing in the background. Virtual tours are an important listing component, however, due to how national real estate websites rank listings with virtual tours versus listings that don't have them. For example, many websites show listings first that have virtual tours, and as we all know, higher ranking = more exposure to potential buyers.
These are just some of many reasons that hiring a tech savvy real estate agent will benefit consumers.
Nick Peskoe is a Real Estate Agent affiliated with Keller Williams in Louisville, KY. Search for Louisville Real Estate on my website at www.louisvillekyrealestate.co