As fall arrives, agents can revisit their tech needs

September 22, 2017

Now that real estate professionals aren't necessarily required to run from one client to the next - as they almost certainly were all summer - they likely have more downtime to review other issues. That might include taking a look at emerging technology in the industry and how it might improve their prospects.

To understand where tech use in real estate is headed, it's important to also understand where it stands now. According to the latest Imprev Thought Leader Survey, at least 40 percent of decision-makers for real estate businesses said they think - among current tech in the industry - mobile apps, social media and video marketing will be the most important five years from now. But to support use of those platforms, many real estate companies say they have big investment plans for the future.

What's next?
Among the top tech options that industry insiders feel will be the most important to the industry by 2022, predictive analytics led the way, with nearly 3 in 4 respondents saying it will be vital by then, and nearly two-thirds saying they plan to invest heavily in it. Nearly as many - on both counts - felt the same way about big data. Meanwhile, about two-thirds also felt marketing automation will be a huge component of the real estate industry, and roughly the same number think they will invest in it over the next five years.

Some of the more client-facing technology, like AI or virtual reality, is broadly recognized as being a likely important component of the industry over the next five years. However, only 30 percent and 46 percent of real estate pros say they plan to invest in those technologies, respectively, during that time.

But the goal of technology use seems to be shifting. More than half of respondents say they hope their investments on these fronts will help them better understand how effective they are, and about 1 in 3 said they want to boost the return on investment for every marketing dollar.

The practical application
When it comes to these issues, it's important for agents to understand the way in which any technology adoption they undertake will impact their ability to not only connect with would-be buyers and sellers, but also help them as they move through the real estate sales process, according to Cedar Valley Business Monthly. This may be especially true given the rapid rate at which technology now evolves.

Part of that effort, therefore, includes understanding why and how potential clients search for listings and connect with agents initially, and what is most effective in drawing their attention.

As a consequence, agents need to not only know what new or emerging technology they want to invest time and money into, but also have a clear plan for how they will implement those new platforms when they get the opportunity. With the hot shopping season now more or less at an end, agents should have plenty of time to plot their courses into the future of the industry.