It goes without saying that the Internet has changed just about every aspect of people’s lives nowadays and that includes how they acquire or put their properties up for sale.
I’m talking about social networking sites, blogs, and video-uploading sites giving home buyers and sellers more options to get information about the housing market.
Whether this boom in information at a click of a button is for better or worse is not a simple matter. At the very least, it has made things different and, in many ways, more empowering to the customers.
When the Internet went on high gear more than a decade ago, many thought there wouldn’t be a need for real estate agents anymore because of the huge interaction between buyers and sellers and available information online.
Although studies have, indeed, shown that majority of home buyers start their search online now, realtors have not yet been outmoded and are always here to stay. There will always be a need for educated professionals who have the know-how of the market, neighborhood, and accessibility to a network of other professionals. But while these have remained constant, there are many other aspects that have absolutely changed. Here are some:
1. More independent agents
Armed with modern tools at their disposal, more and more real estate agents have been setting on their own, choosing to work by themselves instead of joining bigger real estate companies. Aside from being their own boss, they get to choose the properties they want to “handle” and work in a more flexible schedule.
2. More intellectual customers
Because of the information available on the web, home buyers had become more informed, giving them the upper hand and allowing them to make more informed decisions. Knowledge enables buyers to see more clearly where a certain property stands in the market.
3. Virtual tours
Without spending another peso on gas, real estate agents can now show a property to a potential buyer through virtual tours. This innovation complements property pictures and videos already available at a click of a button for customers. Best of all, it’s free.
4. Mobile apps
Potential home buyers can now make use of mobile applications. Users of iPods or iPhones can download a host of free “apps” which lets them view properties for sale.
5. Online shopping
Whether or not people are ready to buy a home online depends on the buyers themselves. Apparently, people are, indeed, buying because business is thriving. People get acquainted with real estate agents who can later show them properties physically and give the final push for a sale.
6. Online communication
With the advent of email, social networking sites and blogs, communication between buyer and seller has never been much faster and the waiting game shorter. Because online communication is more about words (rather than non-verbal cues during face-to-face interactions), it has taught real estate agents to always put the consumers ahead so as not to waste their time and money.