The real estate industry is and has always been driven largely by people and interpersonal relationships. However, technology is slowly changing how the industry as a whole operates. That’s why it’s crucial for real estate professionals to understand the importance of tech and how to best utilize it for their business and customers.
Below, the members of Forbes Real Estate Council share 15 top tips for keeping up with technological disruption in the real estate industry. Follow their advice to ensure you’re always ahead of the curve when it comes to tech trends.
1. Find Good Online Sources
Get up to speed. If you’re reading this and can’t think immediately of what a current real estate technology disruption is in your life and business, you are behind. Targeted reading of good online sources you like for trends and industry news is an essential daily activity to stay in the know on the news. – Nathan Headrick, BluWater
2. Follow What Your Clients Are Doing
Follow what your customers and clients are using and doing today to research, monitor and communicate. This will help you separate what’s real from tech that is hyped but not relevant. Most of all, do well the things technology cannot do well, like keeping the transaction alive and getting the deal done, despite all the obstacles along the way. – Craig Cheatham, The Realty Alliance
3. Become A Thought Leader
There is a huge opportunity for commercial brokers to develop into thought leaders. Residential has led the way with individuals building a personal brand on social media platforms. People in the CRE industry are catching on, and it’s an incredible opportunity to leverage technology and build it differently. – Carrie Bobb, Carrie Bobb & Co
4. Learn How To Leverage Technology In Your Business Practices
Even if you don’t like it, tech disruption is happening in the real estate industry. The faster we all accept that, the more we can use it to our benefit. Figure out how you can leverage technology and include it in your business practices instead of complaining about it. Focus on the good it brings and just shrug off the bad. Stay plugged into what is changing and figure out how to leverage it. – Bill Allen, 7 Figure Flipping
5. Offer Tools And Services That Help Buyers And Sellers
Home sellers and buyers are eager for digital tools that make the process faster, simpler and more convenient. For example, we found that a full 75% of home buyers want to control more of the process with digital tools and 88% want virtual touring options even after Covid-19. Real estate professionals should offer tech tools and services that align with helping buyers and sellers. – Beatrice de Jong, Opendoor
6. Focus On Data Analytics
Access to data is a major disruptive element in the real estate industry. In the past, the real estate market has been very opaque and inefficient with only local experts possessing the information necessary to make attractive real estate investing decisions. Today, we are seeing the emergence of several data analytics firms offering high-frequency data that is making markets more efficient. – Spencer Gray, Gray Capital
7. Read Real Estate Trade Publications
Most agents are great at tracking local market information and changes, but not as many agents track trends in technology. New real estate technology can be a disruptor or a tool for agents to embrace and leverage. Read the real estate trades—Inman, RE Technology, RISMedia, The Real Deal—and, of course, Forbes for the emerging tech trends. – Kevin Hawkins, WAV Group, Inc.
8. Talk To Your Industry Peers
Keep abreast of the latest changes in the industry. Talk to your peers and look into the latest R&D that is out there. See which startup companies are receiving funding and from whom. You don’t have to use them all, but having a wide knowledge of what is available will ensure you find what works best for you. – Remy Raisner, The Raisner Group
9. Look For The Benefits And Improvements Technology Offers
Having worked in the real estate industry for almost 20 years, I can safely say that the technological changes that have occurred over time have improved systems and saved time. My one tip is to embrace it and extract all the parts that will make your business shine! – Cheryl Abrams, Re/Max United Real Estate
10. Write Guest Articles
Agents that are not able to take advantage of technology will likely be left behind in the industry. Local real estate professional expertise cannot be replaced by technology, but we can use technology to broadcast such knowledge and then link to a local real estate professional. Blogs and article contributions are a great way to have an agent’s name boosted in an online search for a local real estate expert. – Marco Del Zotto, LIV | Sotheby’s International Realty – Breckenridge CO
11. Build A Strong Social Media Presence
Social media is still the cheapest and most effective strategy to address technology advances. Its greatest power in business is making your connections comfortable with you as an expert in your field. If your customer trusts your voice and connects with you virtually, there is a better chance they will come to you for their needs over some of the virtual selling giants. – Ralph DiBugnara, Home Qualified
12. Attend Webinars And Conferences
Technology disruption is an ever-present fact in the real estate industry. By attending webinars and in-person conferences, you can help to stay current on the latest technological innovations. – Mark Tiefel, Capital Equity Group, Inc.
13. Invest In Digital Marketing Efforts
Often, real estate professionals will disproportionately allocate a much higher marketing budget for print marketing over digital marketing. Instead, put some marketing dollars towards social media ads on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and towards Google Adwords. Focus on key terms of local neighborhoods for a more targeted market approach. – Mor Zucker, Team Denver Homes – RE/MAX Professionals
14. Acknowledge And Embrace Technology
My best tip for industry professionals regarding technology disruption is to acknowledge it and embrace it quickly. Learning to leverage technology to better serve our clients is a must. Real estate will always be an emotional consumer experience that cannot solely be replaced by technology. The professionals that do not embrace it could be left behind with the next generation of consumers. – Julian Williams, The JW Group | Compass
15. Be A Continuous Learner
To keep up with the rapidly evolving real estate technology landscape, you need to adopt a posture of continuous learning. Lean into new technologies and look to automate wherever possible. Don’t use your busy schedule as an excuse. You’ll end up saving yourself and your clients much more time over the long term if you adopt new tech. Sometimes, you have to slow down to speed up! – Megan Micco, Compass