The impact of COVID on the real estate market is significant and has forever changed the way our industry operates. This change, while disruptive and uncomfortable for some, has provoked the rapid adoption of real estate technology, the likes of which we haven’t seen before.
Agents, teams and brokerages are now seriously reconsidering the technology platform, tools and services needed to effectively do business today. The imminent need for innovation and automation is now a requirement to not only survive, but thrive. In these uncertain and volatile times, successful agents have learned how to lean in to the power of technology to help them stay focused on what they do best.
Over the past few years there have been sweeping changes – from the advent of virtual brokerages to increased investments in operating system technologies from mega franchises and small brokerages alike, to the catalyzation of remote working tools and live streaming capabilities– driving innovation and reshaping the entire real estate landscape.
The broker business is more competitive than ever before and as we look ahead to 2021, it will be those agents who rely on real estate technology who will forge ahead successfully. But to truly modernize and automate the time-consuming, manually intense processes that have plagued our industry for years, we need to look beyond trendy apps and siloed point solutions.
This next evolution is about being able to extend technology and automation to create efficiencies across the entire buying and selling process and most importantly, drive growth.
The advent of AI-powered tools and solutions has been instrumental in automating many of the mundane processes that distract agents from revenue-generating activities. Innovative AI-powered tools can be the linchpin to optimizing efficiency, driving down expenses and creating real value for agents in 2021 and beyond.
AI can be used to help Realtors automate the entire hand-holding process – nurturing, concierge, tagging, scheduling, follow-up – essentially becoming an intelligent virtual assistant working for Realtors 24/7 to ensure they work smarter, not harder.
By relying on AI-powered chatbots, for example, potential clients can interact and ask questions via a broker web site while a chatbot intelligently handles the request. As chatbots are fed information over time, these tools become smarter, honing responses to efficiently boost conversion and support more closed deals. And when the time is right, an agent is notified and can step in to offer the kind of white glove, hand holding service only a real human can do!
This leads me to the most important lesson we’ve learned this year: Real estate technology, while an invaluable asset in an agent’s toolkit, will never replace the human, high-touch, personal interaction and connection clients need.
The home-buying and selling process is an emotional one and clients want to like and trust the agent who is working for them. No real estate technology can replicate the power of true human connection. Innovative tools and solutions will help to enhance the experience for both the agent and the client, ensuring the agent is 100% focused on the client and the details that matter, as opposed to being bogged down in the minutia of transaction management. As the market gets more competitive, focusing on what Realtors do best – manage client relationships – will be critical to keeping afloat during turbulent times.
The world was turned upside down this year and the real estate industry was not spared in the wake of this global pandemic. But from the disruption came the positive change and innovation our industry desperately needed. Agents shouldn’t fear this change, rather, harness the power of technology to support efficiencies and focus on honing irreplaceable client service skills.
Those that resist change will find themselves falling further behind the competition and scrambling to catch up. Technology and agents working together is the future of our industry and based on what we have seen so far, the future is bright.
This HousingWire guest blog features a company from HousingStack, which is a real estate landscape that follows the fast-paced changes in the real estate technology world. The HousingStack is exclusively available to HW+ members. To join the HW+ community, go here. If your company is featured on the HousingStack and you would like to submit a guest blog, you can email the editor of this article, Brena Nath, at [email protected]