The real estate industry is evolving quickly, and technology has changed how most customers find, view, and buy a property. The internet remains one of the most popular resources for home buyers, according to The National Association of Realtors; 95% of customers who recently purchased a home report that they heavily used websites throughout their search process, and a record 51% actually found their ideal home that way.
Using the internet as a key house hunting tool is not just a generational preference. About 85% of Baby Boomers and 65% of seniors (those 69-89 years old) also say they conducted online research while searching for their next home.
Browsing homes online is not just looking at pictures anymore. There is much to be gained while house hunting online when agents use the latest tools correctly.
Here are some examples:
Relocating: Say you are looking for a house in another state. It’s hard to plan showings for when you come to the area unless you can virtually tour potential homes first. Virtual reality and augmented reality are growing in popularity in the real estate world, since they allow real estate professionals to offer a detailed virtual perspective to potential buyers by digitally touring properties from anywhere.
For sellers: Real estate marketers have an enormous opportunity today to get their properties in front of more potential buyers through social media, content marketing, websites, and online advertising to the right markets. The ideal real estate agent and their agency is both capable and experienced in online advertising and marketing methods.
When time is limited: As technology advances, experiencing a property can be achieved in ways other than actually visiting it. Online access to pictures and the basic property information help buyers narrow down choices before scheduling a showing.
Buying new construction: Perhaps you are looking to buy in a new development. The houses are not completed yet, so envisioning the end result takes a little technological assistance. With a virtual, computer-generated tour, you can get a better idea of floorplans and the layout of the entire property as well as any add-ons you might wish it include.
Staying ahead of the competition in a tight market: If you are a buyer who wants fast access to new listing updates, as they happen, online alerts are your friend. Being able to save your searches, sign up for email updates and alerts, and bookmark your top favorite properties are all ways you can keep your search organized on the web. With improvements in online platforms and digital security, you even can have the ability to access documents online during your buying process. Look to an agency that is completely online savvy if these features are important to you.
You want your real estate agent, and the agency, to be knowledgeable and experienced in a variety of online tools that will make the buying and selling process easier for you. Top agencies, like Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Verani, can bring you experience, knowledge and a website filled with helpful shopping tools (like virtual tours, saved searches, and alerts) to make your home search easier.