5 Ways Technology is Changing Real Estate… For the Better!
The world is constantly changing and evolving. Playing basketball outside and throwing a baseball is almost unheard of these days. Why get off your couch? All this can be done through technology and video games. Although most people notice technological enhancements mostly through entertainment, there have been a lot innovation in the business world that aren’t pertinent to the every day life. More specifically, here are 5 advanced tools that have been introduced to the Real Estate market to help make the home buying experience more convenient and environmentally friendly. These 5 must have Apps, programs and tools are game changers! Here’s a little break down of each one starting with Docusign.
Personally this is my favorite one of all! Agents can now use Docusign to get an official signature via email. Although the process of explaining and signing offers should still be done in person, any subsequent signatures or initials can easily be signed using Docusign. Online signatures have revolutionized and become a reality.
Before Docusign entered the real estate world, everytime you needed to sign something with your agent you had to meet at a Tim Hortons or some ones home to get a whole whack of papers signed. Understandably initials and signatures sometimes get missed… No one is perfect… requiring you to meet again sometime during the day. How inconvenient is that. Now with Docusign all you need is the clients name and email. If your client decides he wants to go to camp for the weekend and not have to worry about meeting for signatures, they can! As long as there is reception and they own a smart phone it can be done! As long as my clients feel comfortable using Docusign, as an agent I use this religiously. I bet you are wondering how this can be allowed, since they are not signing using a pen on paper. Well, Docusign thought of that. Each signature comes with a log that takes down the recipient’s email, IP address and Coordinates from where they signed. This acts as proof of who signed. It is accepted practice for any legal documents!
Drop box is another app/website that we use often. This service makes file sharing a lot easier! Have you ever tried sending 10-20 files or documents through email to a colleague, friend or family member?? It becomes a cluster and just a hassle. Drop Box is a program that acts as “the cloud”. It’s like having a shared hard drive with anyone you feel like sharing files with. For example: If you are sharing files back and forth between team members or colleagues, instead of sending emails to everyone and having attachments, Drop Box allows you to upload everything to “The Cloud” and then you can add people to the file. Then everyone can log into drop box at any time and have access to those files. Note: You must be invited to the file or folder in order to view it. It is a fast and easy way to share files and information with each other. Another cool aspect of Drop Box is working on a group project. Let’s say you have three partners working on a spreadsheet for rental investments. All parties that are logged in at the same time can all make changes to the spreadsheet simultaneously. As the changes are made they update on everyone’s screen.
Tablets / IPads / IPhones
Before I even become a Realtor I went and bought an IPad. I bring it to every showing and it really becomes handy for last minute showings. I am constantly charging it! Being in the age of technology there is a flood of new apps to help improve the effectiveness of business. So many options to chose from. Another important reason to own and use an Ipad is to be more environmentally friendly. Most Agents will bring two printed pages for each of the listings they show. One for them and one for their clients to look over the listing as they walk around the property. Over the years this uses a ton of paper. Being a nature enthusiast if I can go green I will! Instead I study the listing before going to a showing and hand over the Ipad to my clients for them to look at what they want! Not only can you hand over the Ipad to clients for them to look at the listing features, you can also look up past sales and current and past listings, local demographics and interesting info – all right there with them! What a great tool!
Social Media Marketing
HUGE! Social Media is Absolutely HUGE! This is the best way to create a buzz and have exposure for clients! Having a big online presence on social media is a great asset! Some of our listings have sold over asking because of the buzz we created on Social Media. Facebook ads, Twitter raves, and Instagram pictures of the home are just some of the advertising avenues that can be used! Canada is the country with the most active users on Facebook. With 91% of the millennia’s (Between 15-34 year olds) having an active Facebook profile. More people are on Facebook than people watch TV now days. I just can’t fathom the fact that some homes are listed and never get any Facebook Exposure or any other type of Social Media exposure! Basically every knows about social media but exactly how it is being used… Each of my listings gets minimum three Facebook/Instagram Ads. Each of these Ads can reach over 6000 people. More people that interact with the Ads the more Interest is generated.
Last but not Least a very useful tool that you may not think to be used that often is Face Time and/or Skype. I have had several clients from out of town and FaceTime has helped us immensely with the house hunting. In todays market, the nice home, priced right will be sold at hyper speed! If my client works out of town or lives out of town you cant make distance an excuse not to show them a home. If a home could be the right fit and the right price, showing them the house should be your first priority! So if being physically present is not possible for your client, the next best thing is Skype or Facetime. They basically get a personalized virtual tool. If the client wants a closer look inside a room or a closet you just point the camera in the right direction. Sometimes even a few hours could cause your clients to miss out on a house! Facetime and Skype are super convenient!
As stated above, the Real Estate game has been in constant improvement mode, even more so now that we are in the age of technology. If you are someone looking to Buy / Sell a home make sure your Agent is on top of all the helpful tools to make the house search process more than just a good experience but a great experience!
If you have any questions feel free to send me a personal message. Likes and comments are strongly encouraged if you thought this was helpful!!
Sales Representative – Team Kurt
Coldwell Banker Charles Marsh Real Estate