As a seasoned Realtor, you know all the tricks in the book. You know how to rearrange furniture to make a room feel bigger and what color paint a front door needs to really pop. And you know all this because you’ve been doing it for a long time, right? According to the National Association of Realtors, the average age of a real estate agent is 56 years old. That’s a lot of experience, which is a great thing. However, your average first-time homebuyer is just 31.
On its face, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, homebuyers in their late 20s and early 30s are almost certainly using all kinds of high-tech gadgets and social media platforms to help them find their home, and it’s essential that Realtors – yes, even you baby boomers – can keep up.
With that in mind, here are a few ways Realtors of all ages can incorporate more technology into every aspect of their work:
In 2014, it’s practically sacrilege for a real estate professional to not have a web presence. According to the NAR, 9 out of 10 homebuyers use the Internet at some point during the process. That’s an overwhelmingly large number, and if you’re not reaching those searching for their next home online, you’re missing out. Even if you’re not tech savvy, there are plenty of resources you can use to make the process of setting up a website easy. It’s a great place to compile your listings, give current and potential clients a place to contact you and show that you’re technologically literate.
Social media platforms increase your Web presence significantly, but they will also give your clients lots of ways to stay in touch with you. Announce successful home sales and real estate news items on your Facebook page, invite followers to open houses on Twitter and post gorgeous pictures from your latest listings on Instagram to stay on homebuyers’ radars. Social sites such as Facebook are beneficial because they open up two-way communications with potential clients. An agent has endless opportunities to get real time information and be able to respond and help immediately. If someone is thinking about moving (which might entail selling their current house), Facebook and other social channels will likely be where they will mention it first. If you are present, you can be the first to respond!
Now that your web presence is a force to be reckoned with, it’s time to invest in some high-tech gadgets that will both let your younger clients know you’re on-trend with technology and make your job easier in the process. Here are a few devices you should consider adding to your arsenal:
- Smartphone: This should go without saying. If you still have an old-fashioned flip phone, it’s time for an upgrade. First of all, your clients will see it as indicative of the fact that you’re out of the loop when it comes to technology. Plus, your clients don’t just call to get in touch with you anymore. They are more likely emailing, texting or even Facebook messaging, and if you don’t have a smartphone, you may miss out on important messages.
- Tablet: Through the use of a tablet, you’ll be able to pull up all kinds of information that’s pertinent to your clients. Before you even get to the house, you can show your clients pictures of the property on your tablet. Similarly, if you’re showing a house and want to explain how close the school is, just pull up a map of the area. Plus, you have quick access to programs like GLADiS, NexTitles’s online ordering service which allows you to order title or escrow papers right in front of your client and receive them in minutes. Not many real estate agents will be able to close a deal right in front of their clients.
- Apps: Ok so maybe apps aren’t a tangible gadget, but they are necessary to go along with your gadgets. It’s so true that these days no matter what you are looking for, there’s an app for it. Walking through a house with a buyer, and they’re having a hard time seeing past the terrible wallpaper? Try the Sherman Williams App called ColorSnap Studio™ for iPad. You can take a picture of the wall and paint it with any of the Sherman Williams colors to give your clients a fresh perspective on what the room could look like. Most Multiple Listing Services have an app, which you never want to be without. Holding an open house? Try the Open Home Pro app, which allows you to create beautiful listing pages for properties on which buyers can leave feedback or get in touch with you with one click. It also allows you to automatically follow up on leads using proven contact methods that get opened and read more than 2x the industry average. These are just a few – but the real estate apps are endless. Search ‘Real Estate’ in your App Store to find these and others that might work for you!
Even if you’re old enough to be the parent of your next client, it doesn’t mean you can’t relate to them and how they communicate with the world around them. By accessing and properly using technology, you can show your clients that you are relatable and have your finger on the pulse of all the latest trends.