A dramatic transformation of the real estate industry is underway, with consumers today exerting more control over the buying and selling process than ever before. In today’s digital age the consumer has options to use the internet for nearly all the stages of the home buying and selling process. Real estate agents have traditionally filled several functions including finding and matching home for buyers, marketing a property to attract buyer interest, closing a sale and conducting negotiations and paperwork.
However, according to data from the National Association of Realtors, 90% of home buyers use the internet to search for homes. Informed buyers and sellers today have a number of real estate tools and instant information at their fingertips. Real estate brokers are realizing that they cannot afford to continue charging high commissions and extensive fees for real estate related services.
Savvy homeowners and buyers are much more aware of the data and information available to them online, at far lower prices or even free of cost. Here are 5 internet technologies and online services driving real estate broker obsolete:
- Property Aggregators Websites and apps providing aggregate information have changed the real estate landscape. By giving people the search through hundreds of property listings for apartments, home buyers/tenants and sellers are much more empowered during the real estate transaction. Thanks to these online search directories, agents had to completely reshape how they built their business and got leads. Property search tools give buyers and sellers more control and more freedom over their decisions.
- Real Estate Rating and Research Tools: Home buyers need not bother with employing an agent to tell them about the neighbourhood, or give information on things like schools, hospitals, crime and pollution in the area. Many new internet companies provide buyers with virtual tours, videos and detailed data on neighbourhood and location driving extreme competition for real estate services.
- Property Valuation and Pricing Tools: Selling a house has become a much simpler and hassle free process thanks to several tools available to homeowners trying to find the right price. Valuation services can be done quickly and at low cost while other services provide market data and pricing calculators.
- Communications and Online Marketing tools: In the internet world, almost all documentation and communications can be handled by email and apps. Sellers can get far more exposure than most real estate brokers would provide, simply by paying a one-time fee for an listing on a website or online classified service. Many drag and drop online design tools even make designing attractive property listings simple.
- Social Media and Search Ads: Facebook ad campaigns can be targeted to display to the right buyers, and Google AdWords pay-per-click campaign for the keywords based on the locality and homes for sale will give results very few agents would be able to match for the price.
Agents who cannot figure out how the game has changed thanks to these internet tools, and don’t adapt their business to provide clients with transparency and excellent service will surely be on their way to becoming redundant.
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