Real estate is not the kind of work for the faint-hearted. The stakes are higher, the sums can be huge, the pressure is on, and if the market is behaving the way it has been since the beginning of the decade – there’s no room to catch one’s breath. That realtors need to be a steady bunch doesn’t mean they can’t use a hand now and then.
For a while now, the hand’s usually been made of ones and zeros, as tech has become essential for realtors’ everyday work. “Tech has significantly changed how we do our work,” says Steve Haid, a real estate agent focusing on luxury properties in Canada’s cottage country, Muskoka. “It continues to expand our opportunities, so we always have to keep up with the latest developments.”
Photo and Video Technology
Photo and video technology are the perfect examples of how the evolution of technology gave real estate agents and their clients’ new ways to do old things better. Once upon a time, a slideshow or an image gallery was as good for displaying property. It was better than describing it with words alone, but it still lacked transparency and interactivity. The shots tended to be boring, too.
Inexpensive drones gave realtors access to aerial photography, which was anything but boring. Video calls made live video tours possible. 3D cameras and 360 cameras gave realtors the ability to create incredible immersive tour experiences. “For our buyer clients that can’t come to the Muskoka Lakes area, or who are in the U.S. or Europe, I routinely create video tours and conduct live video calls,” Steve Haid explains. “For some, those tours are all they need to decide whether they want to buy a property or not.”
While the development in photo and video technology has made it easier for agents to present properties, increasingly, it’s social media that serve as the meeting point between clients and agents. On the one hand, social media gives agents a great place to post some nice visual content they’re creating, and it doesn’t hurt that social platforms have substantial advertising and targeting tools.
It’s also worth noting that having a solid social media presence can help with the realtor’s branding and help build trust between them and their clients. When clients look at Steve Haid’s Instagram profile, they can see the obligatory professional photo and the slices of his life that humanize him. The fact that he lives in the same cottage country where he operates as a realtor is just a bonus.
AI software might seem like something that the average realtor doesn’t have to worry about too much yet but looks can be deceiving. Even for realtors who aren’t too interested in the analytical side of AI and the benefits they could eventually get from those types of applications, there are still some AI applications that could make a world of difference today.
AI-powered chatbots are a great example. Easy to deploy on a website, they can serve as a handy lead-capturing tool. Sooner than later, however, one would expect to see more agents embrace artificial intelligence to assess clients’ purchasing power, for example, or trends in the local market.
“Without the use of technology, the scope of services we can offer our clients, and the clients we can access, would be greatly diminished,” says Steve Haid. “We must ensure that we’re always on top of the latest developments. We owe it to them if they can help us serve our clients better. The real estate game is almost completely online these days and when we are selling luxurious lakefront properties, we use the latest technology to gain an international presence.”
This post is based on the opinion of writers at Real Estate Today