In 2020, a survey by global consultancy KPMG revealed just over half of real estate firms surveyed had a digital strategy in place. Yet, the years since have seen an acceleration of technology's role in real estate, even the most informed analysts could not have predicted.
Factors are converging to make technology more prevalent:
- Shifting Buyer and Seller Preferences
Even as the pandemic begins to recede, many of the changes it brought are poised to be permanent. This is especially true of virtual tours, video marketing, and virtual open houses. All saw high adoption in the early months of the pandemic — they have since grown into "must-have" capabilities.
- Unclear Future for the Real Estate Market
Record low interest rates brought millions of buyers into the real estate market during the pandemic. Gen Z was prominent, showing a focus on a home as an investment vehicle reminiscent of the Baby Boomer generation.
Now, the market shows signs of overheating as properties that would scarcely get a second look in 2020 spark bidding wars and sell "as-is." Combined with an uncertain timeline for the end of the pandemic, real estate pros are continuing to leverage technology to navigate change and deliver value.
- Bigger Players and More "Disruption"
Major players have grown more active in a bid to "Amazon-ize" real estate through self-service apps or business models that emphasize an automated, "done for you" approach. While none of these have gained significant market share so far, they are a persistent source of worry.
As a whole, these three factors have created two big pressures on agencies and brokerages:
- Real estate teams are using technology in new, ever-expanding ways on a daily basis
- At the same time, they wonder if that technology will eventually upend their industry
These concerns are understandable — especially in the era of rapid change and deep uncertainty we find ourselves in today. In the long run, however, real estate experts have much to gain and nothing to lose from embracing technology. While it can increase productivity, it can never replace the human touch.
Technology Facilitates What Real Estate Agents Do Best
The human factor has always been critical in real estate — and it always will be.
Whether you use an overflowing filing cabinet or a modern Customer Relationship Management suite for real estate, your goal is the same: Find good leads, reach out at the right times, and create a human connection. Relationships are built on trust, and that's what real estate success requires.
So, what's the real difference between the sleek CRM and the filing cabinet?
There are many, but they come down to three basics:
- Technology Helps You Do More in Less Time
In general, small teams and solo operators are feeling the most pressure from the way technology is changing the face of real estate – but they also have the most to gain. By automating routine tasks and delivering visibility into leads' behavior, the right technology cuts out hours of work every single week. That creates opportunities to spend more time in the social situations where you excel.
- Technology Combines Scalability with Consistency
You know you can make a good impression when you talk to one lead — but what happens when you need to address ten, a hundred, or a thousand? Technology makes it possible to speak to each one of your leads in a relevant, targeted, yet personal way. This is especially noticeable in email marketing drip campaigns, which can help you foster relationships for months until a lead is ready to move forward.
- Technology Expands Your Capabilities
There are certain things you just can't do without the right technology in place — and some of them can make the difference between "good" customer care and a memorable, branded experience. Virtual tours and virtual open houses are just two examples. A few years ago, you would need to spend weeks learning software or hire an outside expert for what you can now do in minutes with DeltaNET 6.
- Technology Makes You More Relevant
Done right, technology doesn't have to be an intrusion — for you or your customers. Consider how text message marketing is giving real estate agents a fresh way to communicate with humanity and heart that's welcomed by an increasing number of people, especially Millennials and Gen Z. That's far better than sticking with a familiar approach, like cold calls, that most customers already consider a nuisance.
Use the Right Technology to Bring Stability to Your Business
Let's be real: We are all a bit exhausted of the pace of change since 2020. But rather than "disrupting" everything, the right technology anchors your business, so you have repeatable and reliable processes. That shortens the time it takes to build the practice you've always wanted. Contact us to learn more.