Design Fly Blog

The Virtual Realtor: How Technology Is Changing the Real Estate Game

Jon Knight - Monday, December 06, 2010

It didn't start with Facebook, but Facebook caused the paradigm shift. Before Facebook, people communicated over the Internet via email. Some, particularly the younger crowd, used IM (Instant Messenger) to chat. The tech-savvy experimented with My Space; but it was Facebook that brought social media into the mainstream and changed the way we communicate. Thanks to the comfort level we have developed with Facebook, people now turn first to the Web to interact with each other and obtain information. Facebook wove social media into the fabric of our daily lives and in so doing changed the way we communicate.

The paradigm shift isn't limited to personal communication; it cuts across commercial and retail interactions and is changing the way real estate agents and brokers communicate with home buyers and home sellers. Improvements in technology and social media make it possible for a real estate agent to generate real estate leads, contact potential home buyers, conduct virtual property tours, answer questions and provide additional information instantaneously, bargain with sellers, forward financing calculators and information -- in effect, we do everything except sign the contract via the Internet, and the day when that is possible is quickly approaching.

In the not so distant future real estate agents and brokers are likely to deal with home buyers and sellers almost exclusively via the Internet. In fact, an amazing amount of realtor-client contact already occurs over the Internet. Most leads and communication with potential clients occur via email. Open house videos and virtual property tours can be downloaded on any smart phone, iPad or computer. Interactive maps allow you to provide buyers with neighborhood snapshots. Smart phones already offer mortgage calculators and other helpful real estate apps. The only thing lacking is the bundling of all these different social media nuggets into one cohesive, easy to access package.

The day of the virtual realtor is quickly approaching. People are comfortable communicating at a distance and on the go. The combination of social media and mobile applications is driving consumer expectations for instant communication. Savvy realtors will harness social media applications and create their own custom social media packages to respond to consumer demand for more info NOW!

How do you feel about the future of real estate?