How Real Estate Agents Can Use Technology to Simplify the Buying and Selling Processes

Real estate experts give the scoop.

The real estate game isn’t known for being an easy one. The process of selling and buying a property is often a long and arduous one that requires a great deal of patience. Indeed, anyone who gets into the real estate industry doesn’t do it because they enjoy smooth sailing.

That said, there are things real estate agents can do to keep the buying and selling processes as hassle-free as possible for their clients.

ESTATENVY spoke with two real estate professionals who shared their thoughts on simplifying a client’s buying and selling journey.

Kati Spaniak, the founder and team leader of the Chicago-based real estate company The Spaniak Team, is an avid user of the video conferencing service Zoom for both buyer and seller consultations. When learning about what people are looking for, she enjoys being able to make that connection over a video call rather than just a phone call.

“That’s something I actually use in my business at least every other day,” Spaniak said. She added that she also uses Zoom for meetings with her agents and for training sessions. In addition to being convenient, the video service also saves Spaniak’s clients the hassle of having to physically be somewhere. She mainly uses it on her computer, but she’s also used it on her phone.

“It’s very versatile. You can record sessions as well,” she said.

Spaniak is also a fan of social media and believes it can be a huge advantage to real estate agents who are savvy in that area.

“Social media is a great route as well because a lot of that is free. Especially as an agent that’s somewhat tech savvy, you can reach a lot of people” she said.

Tyler Burlison, an agent at RE/MAX Synergy, believes that real estate professionals aren’t using technology enough.

“Technology has certainly helped the efficiency of the real estate business,” Burlison said in an email. “Truthfully, many agents are not taking full advantage of the technology available to them. In extreme cases, something as simple as emailing is oftentimes not utilized by agents. Personally, I try to use technology as much as possible.”

Burlison is a huge fan of digital signature software. Like Spaniak, he wants to be respectful of a client’s time and ease the process for the client whenever possible.

“All of my clients' signatures are obtained via online signature software,” he said in an email. “I also use an online showing service so agents can effortlessly schedule showings on my listings for their clients. My clients love it because they do not need to find a way to carve time out of their day to meet me for signatures. They have a million other things going on and I try to keep that in mind.”

That said, there are certain times when technology just isn’t going to cut it.

Spaniak cautions real estate agents against relying too much on automated emails to inform customers of available houses. While she does see benefits attached to automated emails, not every item listed may match what the buyer is looking for. She noted that an agent might get to see a house opened by a broker that may not appear in the automated email and might actually be a better fit for the client. The agent wants to make sure they are “pointing out those homes that might fit better” to the client, she said.

“Sometimes I think agents just put too much faith in putting an automated search together, and then they don’t check in with the client to make sure that it’s the correct homes that are coming through for them,” she said.

For Burlison, he’s focused on keeping the human element of real estate intact.

“I believe they should avoid relying on technology to generate business,” Burlison said of real estate agents. “Technology is incredibly helpful with servicing my clients, however, in order to generate business you must talk to people. Real estate has always been a people business and always will be.”