Here's our picks for the top 7 tech trends for real estate agents in our community:
1. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality, or VR, gives agents the power to create virtual tours of the properties they have for sale, giving prospective buyers an immersive experience that's second only to being there in person.
While VR technology is still a bit pricey for the average Realtor, experts predict this growing tech trend will be worth $2.6B by 2025. Sotheby's International Realty already uses VR to market high-end residential properties both here in the United States and abroad.
2. Augmented Reality
We all know that prospective home buyers want to picture what their furniture would look like in their new home, right? Thanks to Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, you can now superimpose a specific piece of furniture, a fixture, or accessory into any room, making it easy to see what a space could look like with some personal touches.
3. Smart Home Technologies
With the wide-spread adoption of 'smart', internet-connected devices like smart thermostats, smart alarms, and smart locks, look for old technologies like real estate lock boxes to disappear in favor of digital access codes and security apps.
4. Increased Mobile Growth
Use of internet-enabled mobile devices like smartphones and tablets continues to rise in the United States and beyond. According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 60 percent of all residential buyers found their home through a search on their mobile device, which is why a mobile-friendly website is a must-have for every real estate agent.
5. Drone Photography
Drones give Realtors the power to take impressive high-definition photos and videos from heights of properties that are available for sale or lease. Look for more listings to include images that deliver a birds-eye view that was previously only available by hiring a specialized aerial photographer.
6. Social Media Engagement
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provide real estate agents with powerful tools they can use to market their business, connect with clients, and establish themselves as a local subject matter expert in our community.
And if you think managing all those online accounts is simply too time consuming, social media management platforms like Hootsuite and Agorapulse are designed to automate content delivery, track mentions and shares, and stamp out online trolls.
7. Chat Bots
Even the most energetic real estate agent needs to take a break - that's why chat bots - those little pop-up boxes are quickly become a feature on many brokerage websites.
Also known as virtual assistants, chat bots provide personable, 24/7 customer service that can help capture leads and even answer basic questions - perfect for all those late-night online home shoppers.