Real estate and the technological world are like peas and carrots, they just go together. We live in a world of MLS photos, virtual tours, internet directories, press releases, and article submissions. It’s entirely feasible for a buyer to see every room of a home, in high quality vivid color, from the comfort of their own home, a coffee shop, or just about anywhere they can get an internet connection. I recently read that as high as 86% of home shoppers will view available homes as well as find their Realtor on the Internet.
As a result of this surge in internet use, many new real estate professionals are relying on the technological highway to improve their services. The successful sale of your listings will depend on how good you are at digitizing, synthesizing and electronically marketing yourself and your client’s homes. Curb appeal is no longer the view you get from your 1995 Chevy windows while driving down the street, instead it is the view you get of a home from digitized photos shown on your computer screen. Finding a Realtor or Home Stager is not a matter of checking with who your friends used in the past, it’s a matter of who comes up first when the phrase “Real Estate Agent, Indianapolis” is typed into your favorite search engine. And even when you come up high in the results of a search, internet users have learned that they can quickly check the multitude of claims made by eager, computer savvy business men and women, marketing themselves and their businesses.
As a buyer using today’s technology, I can quickly set the price range I want to pay and the area I want to live in and in seconds view every home that meets my criteria. From that starting point I can start comparing and eliminating with-in seconds. A home looks to be priced too high compared to others in this same price range and many others look better, well may not make their must see list. If your home looks dark and dated and your photos are dark, blurred and just plain horrible looking well, again you’re not even in the running. No photos, well that’s just not good at all. In much less time than it would take to physically visit just one property, I can view every home meeting my criteria and choose the winners. The National Association of Realtors even claims that homes with more and better photos are viewed exponentially more than those with a few or no photos. Also, it only makes sense that clients require the Realtors and Stagers that they work with are those that are technologically savvy. I am hearing from many experienced Realtors that their business has and continues to diminish as time goes by. These are agents that built their lively-hood on referrals. First year, 10 clients. Those 10 clients told 20 more and on and on. So what happened to their ever-dependable pyramid math? The Internet happened. Once again, a client can find an agent on the Internet quicker than it takes to make a phone call to a friend for a referral. The business diminished because the math just didn’t add up any more.
E-mail is also part of the changing technological landscape. E-mail has now grown to the point of being the communication tool of choice. We can instantly communicate with anyone, anywhere around the world. We can send our clients quotes, contracts, updates, inspection reports, offers, counter offers and even closing statements. And it can be done instantaneously and as sharp as the original.
My how things have changed! I struggled at age 38 to learn and become proficient at using a computer. As time went by I also struggled at becoming proficient at using the Internet. My son learned about computers at age 12 and easily moved into the whole Internet thing at about 18. Today my 10-year-old granddaughter can do a search and locate every home for sale in my community. My how things have changed indeed!
Moral of story; you have to diversify your services and your techniques in making a connection in today’s real estate world.