The internet has affected our lives to the tiniest detail. Among many other things, it has changed the way the real estate market works. Fortunately, these changes are for the better, and therefore nobody actually misses the old ways of buying and selling real estate property.
Not so many years ago, people relied on huge outdoor signs and newspaper ads to find homes. Today, thanks to advanced technology, potential buyers have instant access to literally thousands of properties via a smartphone or computer screen. According to some studies, a whooping 90% of all buyers use the internet to search for their dream home.
How easy is it for us to find and buy homes, by comparison to our grandparents? Let’s see a few of the major ways online estate agents changed the real estate market for good.
1. Real Time Listing Updates
Back in the age of print media, updating listings was only possible once a day or even once a week. Today’s listings can get instant updates whenever needed, as they all sit in a database connected to a user interface. This means that both agents and buyers can benefit from real time, valid offers, rather than wasting their time with outdated or unavailable ones. A few years ago, such listings were only available to licensed agents to view. Today, on the contrary, the general public can view these offers in real time of a wide array of websites such as Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com. Your dream home can literally be only a few clicks away!
2. Social Media Promotion
Do you remember the time when you had to hand “For Sale” flyers on the streets? That’s another things long gone. Today, buyers and sellers can share their listings on social media, they can create open house events and invite their peers to join, and they can conduct video tours with the click of a button. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all amazingly effective channels to spread the word about the latest real estate offers.
3. We Live In A Visual World
The old adage that says a picture is worth a 1000 words is more actual than ever! The photos of your home you publish online can make it or break it for you. The most beautiful property of all, spotlessly renovated, listed on the top of the page, at a huge price can look dull if your photos don’t live up to the quality of your home. Great photos are definitely a very important part of the online real estate selling and buying process. Some agents even use drones to create stunning footage and virtual reality tours that help them attract potential buyers like magic.
4. The Future Belongs To Mobile Devices
Mobile devices have brought the internet closer to the millions of people who don’t own a computer. Today, you can shop for homes while waiting for the bus. According to official statistics, about 58% of Millenials and almost 50% of Generation X-ers found their home while browsing the web on their mobile device.
5. The Buying Process Is Much Easier Today Tan Ever Before
The internet has allowed general access to banking and information sectors. This made the closing process much easier. If a while ago finding the right mortgage and closing the deal took weeks or even months, it can now take less than one week.
Why do people still use agents, then?
Recent studies have shown that buyers work with an agent in about 88% of all cases. The main reason for that is the need for a professional to narrow down their options for them.