Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Real Estate and the Internet - New Technologies Can Help (And Hurt) Agents

The Internet has been changing practically every industry and every professional-and the real estate business was not left unaffected. Of course, the changes in the real estate business, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, have all been good both for the realtor and the property buyer. With the use of online tools and techniques, real estate marketing has never been easier. And since an interested individual can simply search for his or her desired property with a click of a button, looking for property has never been easier either. But needless to say, the advantage and benefits brought about by technology can be felt more by the agents. After all, competition is becoming stiffer and stiffer by the minute, with the economic crunch and the number of agents engaged in the business.

For instance, a number of studies and researchers say that more than half of the current homebuyers look for property first online. This is the exact opposite of the current misconception that people avoid the Internet when purchasing property. Although the Internet is home to some scams and dubious plots, it is always easy to spot them-and homebuyers know this. Homebuyers are not exactly completely trusting, but they know who and when to trust. They also know the proper protocol when dealing with agents and brokers online.

The age of recent homebuyers also play a part in the importance of the Internet in real estate. Homebuyers of recent years are becoming younger and younger. And as younger customers, they are more adept with the Internet, unlike their older, more senior counterparts. While not totally reliant on the Internet, these young homebuyers know enough to use real estate websites as the starting point of their search for a property.

But why are homebuyers leaning more towards online realtors or looking for properties online? For one, the Internet affords them easy access not just to the basic information about the property; it also allows homebuyers to pose a question directly to a realtor without the need to see an agent personally. In turn, these realtors deal with these queries properly and honorably, since they know whatever they will say can make or break a possible deal. Online reviews and quick access to information about the area where the property is located are also among the reasons.

And why are real estate agents depending on the Internet and using online tools for their marketing campaigns? The most obvious answer is market: there's where the market is. With the use of social networking websites and web logs (or blogs), a real estate agent can easily put his best face forward instantly. The Internet also makes the task of working with potential clients easier.

Of course, the Internet can also pose as a threat to both real estate agent and homebuyer. But generally, the advent of this trend in the real estate industry is a welcome change, as especially now that the tough market has made efficiency and cost savings more important than ever.

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