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New: How Technology is Changing Real Estate

Posted on Feb 23, 2018


While writing this blog, I am listening to “productivity” music on Spotify. Earlier this morning, I drank my coffee while watching YouTube recaps of Olympic figure skating and texting my girlfriends about how much we love Adam Rippon. I also ordered household supplies to be delivered in two days through Amazon, budgeted with the app Mint, and communicated with clients via email. And yes, I did most of these things simultaneously. We truly live in the future.

As technology quickly and dramatically changes how we navigate our daily lives, here are four ways it’s also changing the world of real estate.

1. Real estate agents as the critical human connection

Many prospective buyers research and shop around for potential listings online. According to National Association of Realtors (NAR), 51 percent of home buyers in 2017 found their home through listings on the Internet. By the time buyers consult with an agent, they often already have an idea of the listings in which they are interested.

However, this does not in any way diminish the critical role of real estate agents in the home buying process. In 2017, 88 percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker, which is a significant increase from 69 percent of buyers in 2001. Also in 2017, real estate agents assisted 89 percent of home sellers.

Zillow’s chief marketing officer Jeremy Wacksman notes that “it’s not about the data; everyone has the data now.” Instead, technology is shifting the role of real estate agent from merely a data source to a local market expert and service provider. Buyers today also rely on real estate agents to help them figure out their financing options.

To find a real estate agent who can act as your real live human real estate guide in the world of technology, get in touch with Pickett Street at (425) 502-5397) or info@pickettstreet.com.

2. Online listings and virtual tours

Remember when printed real estate catalogs used to be a thing? Neither do I. Online real estate listings have been around for several years now, streamlining the house hunting process. Many real estate experts predict that online real estate listing will start to capitalize more on virtual home tours, allowing buyers to “walk” around in properties; this tool might be especially helpful for out-of-state or out-of-country buyers.

3. Social media

69 percent of American adults use social media. While social media certainly has its downsides, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter are also making it easier to stay connected to one another. In 2017, 91 percent of realtors used social media in their professional lives. With tools like Facebook Live, real estate agents can more easily show off properties and maintain personal connections with buyers and sellers.

4. Creative money-making websites

Websites like Airbnb are making it easier to make a little extra income and benefit from your real estate investments through hosting travelers. Additionally, companies like Fundrise are introducing new ways to engage in passive commercial real estate investing. Fundrise recently introduced an online version of an REIT (real estate investment trust), which is a company that owns or finances commercial real estate such as office buildings, retail spaces, apartments, and hotels. Investors can buy shares of the REIT, and in turn, the REIT uses that money to invest in more properties.

While technology presents us with many exciting new possibilities, I think most of us can agree that it will never replace real human connection. As always, it’s important to consult with a trusted real estate or financial professional before investing in real estate. To find someone who can help you today, contact Pickett Street at (425) 502-5397) or info@pickettstreet.com.

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