The real estate industry has seen major technological changes in the last ten years. However, most people still prefer doing real estate business the old clumsy way as compared to the new tech savvy way. No matter where you stand, it is important to look into your options carefully. The old business functions somewhat like this scenario mentioned below.
Brokers set up offices and then go a step further and open more offices for their agents. Once this is done, potential agents are brought in, taken through a recruitment process to offer diverse services to clients. For the success of the agents and the brokerage firm, the agents are taken through a rigorous training and selection program to groom the best agents, ensuring success of the brokerage firm. Some brokerage firms even use very big brand names to bring in new agents to expand their reach.
In as much as the above traditional methods are pretty good, time has bypassed them as technology advances. They cannot be used to run the real estate industry any more. With information being readily available on the Internet, consumers can no longer afford to waste their resources calling and travelling to offices in order to seek real estate information. A company that wants to find itself on the top of the food chain of real estate must have a well-presented case in the net.
With this in mind, real estate firms have developed systems to inculcate technology into their day-to-day activities. Real estate agents and brokers are on the forefront of asking their respective firms to provide resources in terms of technology use and training. This has the effect of reducing the agent’s population as whereas one agent may reach about 50 potential clients in about two weeks, the internet can reach thousands in the same time frame.
Discussed below are some advancements that can be used to create the balance between traditional business approach and the modern technology way.
Real estate firms usually need and have to keep data and this brings in the need for an automated database. Files are no longer relevant as they occupy space and can be stolen, lost or completely damaged in case of fire. Documents can also be mixed up, leading to confusion that can result into potential lawsuits. With computers, a company can develop a database to hold all necessary information in a way that it remains accurate, safe and easily accessible incase it is needed for reference. With use of internet, this information can also be made available to individual clients as they can log in from anywhere.
The company can set up corporate faxing accounts, having one central place where information is sent to various fax accounts belonging to the firm’s agents, the agents can then retrieve the information in PDF format, print and use as required. This is easy as no time is wasted while attaching bulky documents. Again, the information is retrieved from email accounts, making it real time and fast. Technology has made it possible to filter the fax accounts meaning that every agent only gets the documents pertaining to him or her. In addition, the system keeps a record of everything sent and received by the agents.
This mainly works on the company intranet and goes a long way in sending out reminders and instructions to agents and brokers on activities, new developments and any new and upcoming events in the famous real estate world. This translates to a great saving of a huge amount of the money that would otherwise be used to communicate.
The web has so many applications that are for free and can be used extensively to keep records of every expense and the records can be extracted for use when reimbursements are being done. Once a company spends some time looking for and downloading these applications, they can take accounting records to the next level. When some of these tools are used, the agents become more successful in their job, leading to the general advancement of the broker and the firm.
Through the Internet and other means, leads are generating by:
- Recruiting and retaining agents
- Success assurance for the agents
- Taking the local business to a regional, national and international level
By use of the above technology ideas, a real estate firm does not lose its original niche, but becomes more successful as it no longer remains local, but reaches out globally.
Brian Taylor is one of the Stella Settlement Agents from Perth and licensed broker specializing in Residential Property settlements and commercial settlements.