Wow! How the internet has changed the world in the last 10 yrs. They say technology capabilities double every six months, meaning what you buy now in technology will be obsolete in actually 3 months. So, how has the world of real estate changed with the evolution of technology? Listing tips from a Charleston SC real estate agent using technology to his and his clients advantage.
As a licensed broker and someone who sells real estate in Charleston SC I have seen first hand how technology has changed my area and how homes are sold. Gone are the day of you working for a broker, and the broker owns or has the “stuff” as it pertains to marketing, leads, and office toys. In today’s real estate world most agents don’t even need an office because everything is digital. Even when I owned my mortgage company I rarely met my clients because everything was done with fax and then email. Now it’s even more streamlined. Don’t get me wrong I definitely have to meet clients to sell homes, but SOO much can be done with technology now that there is less effort in “prep” and “work” than was once the case. For Instance: Today’s buyers search the internet 90% of the time for homes for sale (and rent) versus looking in the paper or even one of those magazines in the grocery. For the most part agents really don’t need (in a lot of cases) to search their local MLS and send their prospects properties although if an agent cares about providing excellent service they still will do that. But it’s really not necessary if you think about it. Most buyers know what they want already and just tell you what addresses they want to see. However, where agents come in, is helping those buyers NOT familiar with the area. In fact; I have had clients tell me “We have seen that one already”.. After I have sent them homes to see via email. Which leads me to tell them,”just email me the ones you want to see and I’ll set up showings for you”. Buyer’s don’t necessarily have all the sold homes data and that’s where agents are still needed, to help them determine a price and negotiating strategy. Here in my local area, Charleston SC real estate agents are pretty tech savvy. One of the coolest things I love about the latest technologies are digital signatures. When I send out contracts I use (personally) services like Hellosign, or Dochub to send out my contracts and docs to clients for digital signatures. Which is SOO easy and helpful in saving me time, which we all know is money. Assuming the buyers or sellers have a computer and a little know how it’s so simple for me to set and for them to sign. Recently I showed a real estate in Wild Dunes and my buyers were from out of town as this is a beach resort so for many buyers it’s a vacation second home they are looking for. They came down to visit, we looked at a few homes, and I used my ipad to have them sign an agency agreement, and then a few days later I used Hellosign to send them the contract to sign once they were already back home. Never once actually touching or printing a piece of paper. Listings & Marketing with ease: Either when agents or “for sale by owners” wanted to market property for sale before the internet and smart phones it was a serious undertaking. Now the cameras on smart phones are SO good that they take phenominal digital high resolution images ready for publishing immediately. Furthermore, they are so user friendly that you no longer need to hire a professional photographer to take decent photos of a home. However, a professional is recommended because no matter how good the cell phone or digital camera, there are techniques with lighting, framing, editing, depth of field and so on that pros know that the average person will not. With that said someone on a budget can do a pretty good job representing a home well enough just by using their iPhone or Android OS device. Youtube and Vimeo the two most respected cloud based video publishing sites both make it really easy to put a video on the web. So you can now take a bunch of good photos (or video) with your device and easily use and app to edit it, or just upload to Youtube and edit it there. Boom you have just published a nice online walking tour of your home for sale.
A new company offering 3D Video walk-through cameras for virtual reality makes you feel like you’re standing in the home. SEE EXAMPLE.
Conclusion: Both buyers, sellers and agents can benefit from utilizing the latest helpful technologies like tablets, smart phones, and the internet to ensure the transaction is simple, quick, safe, fast, and reliable without sacrificing quality service.