Property agents beware: 5 tech innovations that are putting agents out of business


Some observers say that technology will affect real estate in much more challenging ways than the logistics industry. This includes all players in the industry including real estate powerhouses.

Whether you like it or not, the real estate industry is rising to these challenges by fully embracing technology and if you are an agent, that may render you obsolete as owners and developers soon may be able to engage their customers directly, leaving you in the lurch.

But instead of retreating into a dark room reading anti-technology diatribes by John Zerzan or fighting against the tides like certain big hotels taking shots at the home sharing industry, fret not. If the findings of The National Association of REALTORS®’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey are anything to go by (more buyers are using agents now compared to 1981), you are not in any pertinent danger…yet.

Nevertheless, it won’t hurt to stay in the know about what you may be up against. Here are 5 technological innovations that you should be wary of.

1. Listing and Search

Let’s talk about the first part of your process, finding tenants.

With search and listing technology from 42floors to Liquidspace, listing your property on a property listing website is a no-brainer and SEO techniques as well as paid advertising mean that you no longer need to run around finding tenants.

2. Due Diligence

As if the owner sidestepping you wasn’t enough, tenants now no longer need an agent to tell them what they need to know. The real estate space now has digitized access to information. Just check out homesnap! Neighborhood statistics? No problem. With dwellr you can find out about schools nearby as well as crime rates.

3. Enhanced viewing

With YouVisit, Google’s instant street view and Pix4D , the viewing aspect of your job can now be handled by the customer online and virtually. Partnering with Matterport, Sotheby’s International Realty has introduced VR and 3D tours online. Virtual tours transport customers into the property where they can walk around and even stretch their limbs to get an idea of the space without having to be physically let in with a key. They can even customize the property by making structural changes or alter furniture.

4. Property Management

Using platforms such as AppFolio or ClickNotices, you may no longer be required for interfacing with tenants. Through technology, tenants can submit maintenance requests through mobile and owners get real-time updates and can manage rent rolls…etc. They can even incorporate smart home systems and IoT devices to control the facilities of a multistory office building, manage multifamily properties and more.

5. Digital Contracts

When it’s time to ‘seal the deal’, meetings to sign documentation (or even conduct home inspections) can be done digitally with digital contracts that can incorporate hyperlinks and other interactivity. Signing digitally also saves time.

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