Most people begin their real estate search online so it’s not surprising that the vast majority of agents are adopting technology tools that can help with marketing their listings and closing transactions.
According to the 2021 Real Estate in a Digital Age report by the National Association of Realtors, 41% of more than 6,000 executives and senior managers say one of the biggest headaches they will face in the next two years is keeping up with all of the new technology that has become essential to the way they do business.
The report, which looked at the way technology is being used in the real estate business, found that despite the headaches, most real estate agents can’t get enough of tech. In fact, most want more of it. Some of the most desirable tech tools that most brokerages don’t currently offer include cybersecurity tools, followed by lead generation and electronic notary services.
The survey also looked at the most popular tools being used now, finding that both residential and commercial real estate firms are heavily encouraging their agents to use tools for e-signatures, comparative market analysis, electronic contracts and forms and multiple listing systems. MLS sofware is probably the most widely used tech, with 61% of agents saying they use it on a daily basis, compared to just 39% who use electronic contract and forms software each day.
Besides software-based tools, the other kind of technology that’s regularly employed by real estate agents is social media. It’s used mostly for marketing purposes, and almost 60% of real estate firms say they now have guidelines for agents on how to use social media platforms.
Real estate agents say social media is one of the most useful tools for acquiring new leads. The most popular social network is Facebook, used by 90% of all agents surveyed, followed by Instagram with 52%, LinkedIn with 48%, YouTube with 24% and Twitter, which is used by 19% of agents.
Agents said they use social media to promote new listings, maintain relationships with existing clients and find new prospects, the report found.