Searching for Homes Online

5 Ways Technology is Changing the Real Estate Game

From social media to enhanced apps, two realtors break down how technology is impacting the home buying and selling process today.

In today’s digital-centric world, you’d be hard-pressed to find an industry that hasn’t been fundamentally changed because of technology. From social media to an unlimited source of information, technology is shaping the way that businesses are run. The real estate industry is no exception—the home buying and selling processes are continuing to change as more technology is introduced to the space.

To learn more about how—and what—technology is changing the real estate game, ESTATENVY spoke with Maria Cuadra, a real estate broker and owner of The Cuadra Group, and Dawn Bremer, who leads the Bremer Team out of Keller Williams’ North Shore West office in Chicago. Here are the top five ways in which they say technology is shaping today’s real estate industry.

Extended Reach Through Social Media

One of the biggest tools that realtors now have at their disposal is social media. Instead of their client bases being limited to referrals or their own networks, realtors now have the opportunity to reach potential buyers and sellers online. Social media also provides realtors with a way to publicize their existing listings, ultimately helping the buying process.

Cuadra said, “Technology is changing real estate I think in the way that we as realtors and brokers are able to communicate and advertise to a mass media with social media. This tool that did not exist before is key to how a top producer should work. If you’re not using social media, you’re missing out and getting outperformed.”

Paperwork That’s More Efficiently Managed

Another area in which technology is positively impacting real estate centers on paperwork. When realtors are getting contracts or other documents to and from their clients, there are easy and efficient ways to make those interactions happen.

“Technology to write contracts and send to international clients has modernized the way Realtors used to present offers. E-signatures, and the ability to write a contract at a showing or directly after can be the result of landing a contract for your client or losing a home. Speed and technology are key to a successful career,” said Cuadra.

App Enhancements

The importance of home searching apps is something that can’t be overlooked in today’s real estate industry. The integration of traditional real estate systems like MLS (Multiple Listing Service) with new and improved apps means that listings are being viewed by more people than ever before.

“The apps available for home search have broken barriers in the way we sell. I can list a home in the MLS and simultaneously it reaches a dozen sites, and media platforms,” said Cuadra. That level of activity then goes hand in hand with other technology like social media. Cuadra continued, saying, “In addition, when you are active in your social media, and use your resources like the applications and different kinds of technology, you are able to reach other colleagues who can help you market a home, sell a home or help you gain a referral in the long run; not to mention a long business relationship—not just locally, but internationally.”

A New Selection Process

Because technology is now an essential part of the real estate industry, the home buying and selling process has been fundamentally altered. There’s a new normal when it comes to the ways that people are finding their next major investment.

“Gone are the old days of searching on a computer or driving around neighborhoods to find a home. You can find a home just by using your home—there are real estate-based apps, including Keller Williams’ Home Snap app, that allow you to shop from your breakfast table, baseball games or even your car,” said Bremer. “This type of technology is amazing for realtors. Adapting new technologies has been an incredible help to my business this year.”

Future Possibilities

Technology is opening up the real estate industry to a lot of new opportunities and possibilities. And at times, it might be hard to keep up.

Cuadra said, “I do think that technology is advancing at a fast pace. Perhaps faster than we can keep up with. I enjoy technology, it makes my job easier but because of how fast it moves, I think that going forward we have to understand that buying a home is an emotional purchase and it needs a human touch. It needs a heartfelt feeling from buyer and seller and although the growth on technology is great, in this industry, going back to basics is just as important. The key is balance and not thinking you don’t need to connect with someone because ultimately, connection, communication and relationships are what helps us succeed.”

But even though that personal aspect will always need to play a role in real estate, there’s no denying that the opportunities that technology brings to the table are advantageous.

Bremer said, “Technology is ever evolving. Quite frankly, I can’t wait to see what’s developed in the future to help improve the home buying experience. With the contribution of apps—especially the home search and data apps that help people send documentation back and forth—technology is going to play a huge role in the real estate industry going forward.”