How New Technology Has Affected The Real Estate Markets

Technology is shrinking the boundaries and borders of the real estate market.  Where once a city might have been the local market, now the “local market” has gone global.  Technology such as virtual conferencing, social media, Skype, apps and the Internet has created a global real estate market that allows buyers, sellers and renters from around the world to connect quickly and easily.  Even the way agents do business is changing, in that many are going paperless and all documents are electronically signed or e-signed and delivered to all parties involved through email.

The Advantages of High Speed Internet Connections
High-speed Internet connections have made all the difference in how agents, sellers, buyers and renters market or shop for property.  Agents can post large high quality videos, instead of just pictures, featuring the properties for potential buyers or renters to see and review quickly, saving time for both the agent and the client.  Virtual conferencing allows for face-to-face negotiations and discussions, making it easy for someone in another location to purchase or rent property anywhere in the world.  Skype allows for free global calling, making it easier for communication as well as instant messagers, email and texting also allow for instant and faster communication exchange.
Social Media Connecting the Global Market
Social media is the relatively new form of advertising technology (so new many companies do not even have titles or people trained to use it) for many companies but not real estate agents.  Most have learned the value of how social media can help them sale and promote a property faster.  It also allows them to put the property into areas where millions of people sign in daily and check updates.  Using social media is free or inexpensive compared to traditional advertising and has been a huge tool for agents to connect faster with potential buyers or renters.
Websites and Apps Allow Faster Updates and Postings
Where agents used to advertise a property in the local paper, TV and through real estate property books, they are now turning to the Internet.  Websites and apps allow real estate postings quickly and easily.  Agents are still using the traditional methods of advertising to an extent but not in the numbers once listed.  Updates for listings on websites and apps are instant, instead of having to wait until the next publication, which allows buyers and renters to have the most current information on the property.  Buyers, renters and agents can also look up all relevant information such as tax history on the property without waiting.  Websites and apps are also generally more affordable then the print methods making it possible for agents to post more pictures without incurring the high costs of printing pictures in print ads and in color.
Easier Editing Ability
Photo and video editing technology has also changed since the invention of apps.  No longer do agents need expensive editing software to ensure they have the best photos or video for posting.  They can pull up an app on their smart phone, tablet or laptop (some free and some paid) and put together a video complete with voice recordings or improve the look of a photo with a few clicks of the mouse or touches to the screen.  The improved quality of both video and pictures also work to give potential buyers or renters a more accurate view of the property.
The Gadgets
The gadgets used for this technology used to be desktop computers but even that has changed as technology has allowed devices to become smaller.  Now it is smart phones, laptops and tablets that keep buyers, renters and sellers connected.  The phasing out of digital cameras, both still and video is happening rapidly as agents switch to those offered on smart phones and tablets as the quality of the cameras in these devices improve.  The cost of most of this technology is dropping as well, making it easier for people to connect globally.
It will be interesting to see where the advancements in technology take the global real estate markets over the next few years.  Already clients are demanding that agents be available on the client’s schedule instead of regular business hours as the younger generations used to having instant access to everything come into the marketplace.  One can only wonder if virtual agents are just around the corner.
Patrick Sullivan is the Communications and Marketing Manager at Real Capital Markets, a company that provides cost-effective solutions for Commercial Real Estate Sales, bank REO, non-performing/performing note sales and more