As technology in real estate has continued to become more prevalent, industry professionals consider it a more prominent part of their business – with several tech tools serving as their most valuable.
Excluding everyday items such as email and cell phones, real estate agents taking part in the National Association of REALTORS® 2018 Technology Survey listed local MLS websites/apps (64 percent), lock box/smart key devices (39) and social media platforms (28) as the three most valuable tech tools they use in their business.
None of those three are a surprise. But what’s unique is their selections represent a quick, high-level view of what’s important to real estate agents and how technology can help them in a variety of different ways.
- MLS websites and/or apps are crucial because they’re a one-stop shop for most everything a real estate agent needs, such as educational tools, services provided to members and support options.
- Lock box and smart key devices help ease the showing process and provide a sense of security for the property.
- Social media is an important advertising, marketing and prospecting avenue for many real estate agents.
Coming in fourth and fifth, respectively, was doc creation/editing software (19 percent) and doc storage/transaction management software (18), indicating another key area in which technology can help streamline workflow for real estate agents.
Not surprisingly, an increased reliance on technology in real estate has led many agents to spend more. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they’ve spent $251-$1,000 on technology in the last 12 months, while 26 percent said they’ve spent between $1,001-$3,000.
The technology provided by different real estate brokerages is also an important aspect for agents, and one of several things agents should consider when choosing a brokerage.
Overall, most agents are happy with the technology provided by their brokerage: 29 percent are completely satisfied, 35 percent are somewhat satisfied and 22 percent are neutral.
As for ease of use, 51 percent of respondents said their broker’s technology is somewhat easy to use, with 39 percent saying it’s very easy to use.
How agents are charged by their brokerages for technology also varies. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they’re charged a monthly technology fee, while 18 percent said a percentage of their commission split goes to technology products and services. Twenty-three percent of feeds are bundled into agents’ desk fee/cap.
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