With tech adoption booming, where should agents focus?

August 15, 2017

Today's real estate professionals have plenty of options for buying the latest and greatest tech, but every dollar counts, so they need to make the right choices to ensure a solid return on investment. There are fancy gadgets to buy, and behind-the-scenes tech that can help to support business operations, but each product's usefulness will be dictated by what individual agents need in today's market.

Fortunately, one area where almost all agents can use tech to their advantage is by keeping more information stored in the cloud, according to Real Estate Tech News. This means agents will never have to go back to the office to check files, and any information they may need for the various real estate sales they're facilitating will be available right on their smartphones or laptops.

Along similar lines, it's also wise for agents to invest in software options that help them pull data and aggregate it in a way that will help them unlock the potential of all the information they collect when it comes to marketing efforts. "Big Data" might sound like an industry term for tech that's out of the reach of most agents, but it's actually widely available and extremely usable in most situations.

Other types of investments
Meanwhile, some agents may also be thinking about the benefits that more "feature-based" technology - such as virtual reality and 3D modeling - could have for their efforts with clients. After all, everyone likes to be wowed, and most people who put on a VR headset come away impressed. Fortunately, the cost of such technology is starting to decline to the point that it may make sense for some agents to use. Moreover, an added benefit here is virtual open houses can help save both agents and clients time during the sales process.

Even artificial intelligence now has a practical application in real estate, as it can be used to have chats with people who visit a website or send a direct message via social media, collect necessary information, and potentially convert them into future clients.

Meeting modern expectations
The thing agents have to keep in mind is that those who don't keep up with the times technologically are likely to run into difficulties because of how buyers and sellers alike now interface with tech of all kinds in their daily lives, according to Cedar Valley Business Monthly. For instance, because the vast majority of shoppers now start their home searches online, agents whose websites can't take full advantage of their eagerness could fall behind local competitors.

Other advanced tech, like drones for photography, could also be helpful, but only in certain situations.

"It's always been important to showcase a home in the best possible light and from the best angles, and that's even more important with online platforms," broker Amy Wienands, of Amy Wienands Real Estate in Waterloo, Iowa, told the publication.

With these issues in mind, agents should regularly consider whether their current tech investments are paying off, and how best to maximize the value of those efforts.