Techie Real Estate Trends for 2012
This year’s 2012 Consumer Electronics Show really offered some informative advice on not only typical “techie trends” but also in trends for the 2012 Real Estate business.
Like it or not social media has taken over the marketing industry in just about every aspect. Everyone from “Mom & Pop” stores to huge corporations are utilizing social media to reach out to billions of people daily and the Real Estate industry is not any different.
It’s a known fact that over 90% of buyer’s begin their search for a home utilizing the internet so it’s literally common sense that agents, brokers, agencies, lenders, lawyers, builders, and any other aspect of the Real Estate industry use the internet and internet based technologies to build their business.
Basically, by this time if you, as an agent or your agency, hasn’t taken advantage of the top Social Media giants (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, & the newest kid on the block Google+) you’re already behind the times. If you’re a consumer and the agents you’ve spoke with haven’t told you of their presence on the internet you may want to look for another agent that’s a little more high-tech and computer savvy; especially when it comes to marketing.
If you’re dealing with a Real Estate agent it’s for one of two reasons; as a buyer or a seller. If you’re selling your home and your agent isn’t utilizing today’s technology to market your home you are literally missing out on hundreds of thousands of opportunities for potential buyers to see your home. From a seller’s point of view you want the entire world to know your home is for sale. You want everyone to know the positive aspects of your home, the special things that help make your home unique and appealing to that one particular buyer that’s looking for just what you’re selling.
If your agent isn’t posting pictures of your home and tagging them with key words and/or your name so people you know also see the pictures then you’re missing out on potential buyers. If your agent isn’t posting daily twitter feeds and comments to their followers with links to their site, which then has pictures of your house quickly available or even rolling buy with a clickable picture that takes them to a virtual moving tour and not just still shots of your house then you’re not only missing out on prospective buyers but on high-tech marketing techniques that other realtors are using to show their listings. If you can click on a single shot, boring picture or take a virtual tour; which would you prefer?
As a buyer what would you be more interested in spending time online looking at, a plain photo or a virtual tour of the home? Would you enjoy finding homes that fit in your budget, locale and amenities online or driving around town trying to find open houses or better yet stopping by the grocery store and picking up a newspaper style book that displays some information with a single shot of the home? Would you be more interested in having certain help, such as calculating mortgages, finding lenders, and comparing prices on homes at the click of a button or making appointments and going from lender to lender to get pricing? Do you want to take time off work to shop for your home, look for a lender and get pertinent information before you even find that perfect home or would you rather do it when you get home and have the time to relax in your own house and browse online?
What it comes down to is a simple matter of convenience for the buyer and a simple matter of instant marketing to thousands of potential buyers as a seller. Basically, old school paper methods or new tech virtual methods that happen at the click of a mouse or push of an app on a phone are what you have a choice between having or not having. Generally, most would want answers now and with easy access.
Now it’s not only a matter of being available via the internet but using things like Smart Phones to get instant information. QR Codes clicked with an app on your phone to instantly find out information about a house you’re looking at in an ad, online, or even driving by and stop to click the code off the For Sale sign can give you instant gratification.
QR Codes are currently the most underused application for most real estate agents; but within a matter of a six months to a year you will find more and more agencies utilizing QR Codes for everything from offering specific information on a house to a prospective buyer, to getting instant access to mortgage calculators, and instant online help via mobile website pages. Again, it’s all coming down to being able to utilize your phone to access information, even to the point of being so interested you simply push “Call Agent Now” and you’re instantly connected to their office to make your appointment to view the home.
These are all things you not only are going to enjoy having access to but are going to be wanting and soon demanding as part of your buying and/or selling experience in the Real Estate world. The current technology trend in Real Estate is becoming as common and wanted as it is in any other product market. You’re either a consumer or a seller and as either you want to have the fastest, most accurate, easiest way to interact with those who will help you benefit from the instant access that technology brings.
So as you’re joining the ranks of either Real Estate Agents themselves or one of the many clients out there who are thinking of buying or selling a home the end result is being able to do so with ease. Technology is constantly growing and Real Estate is constantly growing with it, no matter what end you’re on. Be prepared and as an agent don’t follow the crowd but lead it when it comes to the age of technology and Real Estate. As a buyer or seller, expect the ease of access to information and utilizing technology to get what you want from your agent.