How tech is changing the way we buy homes

real estate

Technology has been integrated into every part of daily life from sending emails to tracking shipping packages to finding your dream home. Real estate is one industry that has significantly changed in the past years.

Before “just Google it” was a common phrase, most people found real estate listings through local newspapers or by working with realtors directly. Today, the majority of people find potential homes online, expect to read a detailed description of the home’s features, and see stunning photos all before their first open house visit.

Technology has changed the speed and amount of information available to us. Use this to your advantage by listing smarter to get the most bang for your buck and ensure your home doesn’t sit on the market for longer than necessary.

Online real estate listing is the cheapest, fastest, and most efficient way to reach potential buyers. The same way you use Yelp and Google to check for restaurants, people are browsing home listings online. According to a report by Conctually, 80 percent of all home buyers are searching online and more than half of those buyers search for listings on their smartphones.

It pays to have your home listed on a website that’s accessible via smartphone and is easy to navigate. No one wants to struggle with poorly unloaded photos or a website that doesn’t resize to fit your smartphone. While it’s more than likely that you’ll have to field some calls from potential buyers, it’s important that they can contact you or get more information about the property with the click of a button or the tap of a finger.

Consider letting buyers book appointments online or fill out forms before they arrive. Scheduling apps and websites can make it easy to coordinate schedules and reduce the chance of no-shows. Google has many tools, such as online forms, that make communication easier. Consider sending a calendar invite to interested buyers before their appointment.

E-signing can be a simple, secure way to handle paperwork when buyers are interested in committing to your home. E-signing with companies like DocuSign can be a quick and easy way to make sure buyers don’t skip a signature page. They also facilitate record keeping and can automatically notify you when action has been taken on your document.

Similarly, having an iPad or tablet on hand when buyers visit your home can expedite the signing process. If you have an overwhelming number of potential buyers, keeping their details listed in a private spreadsheet can also be helpful.

But, in order to catch the interest of potential buyers enough to come to your property, your listing must be attention-grabbing and reach the right people.

What are today’s homebuyers looking for?

Online tools make it possible to map your future commute, check crime statistics, search for homes by keywords, and take 3D tours. Using the correct tags, search terms and keywords, photos and videos play an important role in making your home listing attractive to buyers.

In addition to having all the pertinent information available and organized in a logical manner, little details about the home’s history or area can make your listing more memorable. Consider including nearby parks, schools and points of interest to help buyers see themselves in your home.

Most importantly, a picture is worth a thousand words. It pays to make sure your interior and exterior photos show your home in the most flattering light. According to a recent study by Conctually, 83 percent of buyers want to see pictures of homes online.

Invest in professional photos and videography services. Prep for your shoot by clearing the clutter, staging your home and removing personal trinkets and items. In addition to still photos, videos, walkthroughs and drone videos can help give your listing an advantage in the competitive real estate market.

How can you make technology work for you?

The best way to get your listing in front of interested buyers is through an MLS or multiple listing service, gives sellers an advantage over others who are trying to sell their homes on their own.

The MLS system offers a large database where brokers representing sellers work with brokers representing buyers to connect interested buyers to homes on the market. Agents on the MLS belong to regional associations that can boost your online real estate listing to the most relevant people.

A listing on the MLS increases your home’s visibility to potential buyers and protects your privacy through encryption. For example, when receiving phone calls, buyers will be funneled through a call forwarding system which reduces span and prevents buyers from getting your personal cell phone number. Website inquires will be sent directly to your email.

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