June 28, 2016
Most of the time, when you hear about the latest technology in any given industry, you hear a lot of praise. Everything from gadgets to software can help improve the way we do business, but not every piece of tech has a positive influence. Sometimes, technology that seems to improve things can be a disaster in the end.
The current state of technology in the real estate market is the perfect example. There are hundreds of ways that technology makes it easier to sell homes and gain clients. However, there are also a few ways that it creates confusion.
Data Isn’t Always Accurate
All anyone can talk about lately is data collection. There are thousands of bytes of data available for companies to translate and use to improve efficiencies and customer relations. Many companies have found unparalleled success with this data, delivering more effective advertisements and offering excellent customer service.
But not all data interactions are positive. People in real estate have found that much of the data available on the web is inaccurate or contradicts that of other data. When this happens, it doesn’t create efficiency or strong client relations. Instead, it creates confusion, and a lot of it.
The bigger problem is that this inaccurate data isn’t only privy to real estate agents. Clients can easily find this information with a quick Google search, and most of the time, it leads to faulty customer expectations. As a result, real estate agents spend a lot of time correcting misinformation and hoping they haven’t deciphered the information incorrectly themselves.
Client Relationships Become Out of Reach
Perhaps the largest complaint realtors make regarding technology is its ability to dehumanize relationships. One of the most impactful tools a realtor has is being able to connect with consumers on a personal level, but automation and robotic processing is challenging this bond.
Today, home buyers can search for properties in any area online. This almost eliminates the need for a realtor. Some home buyers even try to sell or purchase their homes independently because the use of a real estate agent seems obsolete. It’s not obsolete, however, since most people who purchase or sell a home go through far less hassle and save more money than those who try to go it alone.
Realtors attempt to resolve the issue of non personal connections by connecting on social media or keeping in contact through email, but the lack of face-to-face, personal connection is tangible. This personal contact is one of the most important steps in solidifying relationships between clients and agents, and there’s a lot less trust when you can’t deal with someone in person.
Online Listings Damage Expectations
Agents don’t get paid until a deal closes. Until that time, they’re essentially working for free. When clients peruse online listings in search of the perfect home, what they see can often damage their expectations of what a home really looks like, which in turn, lengthens the entire process.
A lot of editing and tricks are used in real estate photography. In many cases, photos make the home look much better than it is. When consumers visit the home in person, and see that it doesn’t quite match their dreams, they want to keep looking, which slows down the process for realtors.
Real Estate Tech Has Its Benefits
Even though tech has had a negative impact in some areas of real estate, there are plenty of benefits worth noting. To begin with, technology allows clients to significantly narrow their searches, helping them narrow their most important criteria. Clients can list what they really want, which makes it much easier for realtors to lead them to a home that will make them happy.
Tech has also been extremely useful for automating the appraisal process, which was once a highly labor and paperwork intensive process. Laser measuring devices, electronic documents, and automated email have significantly cut down on the time spent working through the appraisal process.
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