With the normalization of online shopping, smartphone technology, and virtual reality, technology is quickly evolving and changing consumer behavior. The marketing of real estate online with these technologies makes the process of finding an agent, viewing listings, and buying or selling a home faster and more convenient than ever. The following are the latest tech trends impacting the real estate industry; discuss this changing landscape with your students and share how they can use these technologies to be better at their jobs. Your students will be better prepared to enter the industry during this period of innovation.
Smart Home Technology
Smart home technology, and devices that once were only fantasies and props in science-fiction, are gaining momentum in American homes, especially for the millennial generation of new homeowners. Popular devices like the Amazon Echo provides voice control for other smart home technology to turn off lights and change the thermostat while away from home, which can save energy and money. It can also play music, look up information, check the weather, share the news, and make calls. As the consumer base for smart home technology increases, agents need to be more aware of their clients’ needs when it comes to smart home features.
Big Data and Predictive Technology
A big part of being a successful agent is doing your research and understanding your market. Marital status, income, age, family size, income, and so on, are all factors that may influence which homes a potential client will be interested in. Now with big data, agents can understand potential clients better than ever with analytics and algorithms, making it easier and faster to generate leads and increase conversions. CRM platforms like Zap can help you connect faster with potential clients. Furthermore, improved search engines assist sellers and buyers in finding the right homes and agents through their online research. Algorithms can make suggestions faster and more accurately than the human mind.
In addition to improved search and big data, technology allows us to research and understand online consumer behavior. Understanding online shopping trends allows real estate agents to improve their services and their websites to match clients’ needs as they move through the online shopping process. More than ever, online customers are getting automated offers and price guarantees. They can also find leases and sublet their homes on agents’ websites.
Many real estate agents have seen increased lead generation when they have simplified the filter for viewing their listings. Filters that are easy to use help customers find what they’re looking for faster. In fact, optimization is important for websites as a whole. Home buyers and sellers want to see information that is easy to find and tailored to their needs. For example, landing pages designed for specific segments of your audience are more successful.
Believe it or not, people are buying homes without ever stepping foot into them. They are exploring homes through virtual reality models first. Postmodern consumers are more accustomed to and comfortable with immersive and interactive marketing. Some consumers today purchase cars online without ever test driving them on the lot. Online home tours can be viewed with virtual reality technology like the Oculus Rift and headgear like Google Cardboard and Samsung headgear. Not every agent can produce 3D models of listings, but panoramic photos and videos of properties are also popular and effective.
Sotheby’s International Realty with Matterport released 3D home tours online, including 85,000 listings. Virtual tours are an impressive marketing tool, because they feel more like a real walkthrough of the property than simply swiping through photos online. Furthermore, these tours can be accessed remotely. It’s especially useful for those who cannot travel to the property before buying it, like those living overseas.
The importance of social media is widely accepted now, but having social media buttons on your website isn’t enough anymore. An agent’s business profiles have to reflect why they’re a good choice for working with clients and their professional knowledge and experience. But clients don’t just go to business pages to research and learn about an agent; they also visit business pages for customer service issues. Staying on top of all of these requests takes a lot of time; technology, such as bots for Facebook Messenger and text messages, speeds up the process of answering clients and leads in a timely manner. Rather than typing up each individual response to customers, the bot sends an automated message.
Clients may also make judgments about your professional knowledge based on your social media content and publications. Agents can begin to develop their online presence by blogging about market trends, neighborhoods, home improvement, interior design, and more. It’s common for agents to share these blog posts on all of their social media accounts.
Visual social media content performs better than text-based posts. Infographics are a visual mode of sharing information and data. They’re eye-catching, and they don’t take long to read. Pinterest is a photo-based social media platform where realtors post photos of listings. In turn, users on the website save photos of the listings on boards about their dream homes. But no visual content is as effective as video.
Videos posted to YouTube and Facebook gain momentum. Before posting, consider creating the option of playing the video without audio on a social media website. Videos that can be understood without the audio are more successful than others. Tools like Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories work well for real estate agents, allowing them to create a visual narrative.
Paid advertising on social media can open up doors, both with clients and with other agents. For example, running a Facebook Ad increases an agent’s reach and allows the agent to target the ad to the right audience demographic for the message. Just like with free posts, make sure the paid advertising includes compelling visual content.
Now that you know more about the largest tech trends impacting real estate agents in 2017, you will have a better idea of where your students need to focus their attention to be competitive and successful in today’s real estate marketplace.
Real Estate Experts, a full service real estate agency serving the Chapel Hill real estate market, has over 20 years of experience providing outstanding service to home buyers and sellers. Real Estate Experts is committed to keeping up with the latest technology trends in real estate to serve our clients.