More real estate professionals are adopting technology to better assist buyers and sellers, and practitioners' clients are eagerly incorporating technology into their purchasing behaviors. But technology can only drive a relationship so far in a real estate transaction, a new survey suggests.
Two distinct phases of a home purchase process are emerging: shopping and buying, according to a new survey by ERA Real Estate of about 1,000 consumers and more than 1,800 real estate professionals.
"While our survey reveals that real estate professionals have expanded their communication channels and adopted an 'always on' mentality to meet the changing consumer demands growing out of a technology-enabled shopping landscape, once consumers enter the buying phase of the transaction, they realize the benefit of the personal, face-to-face service a sales professional can provide to ensure a smooth transaction process," says Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate.
Consumers say they don't just value technology-enabled communication, but also flexible scheduling and informal meetings and personal advise and counsel, the ERA survey found.
Consumers reported the highest level of confidence at the onset of home buying or selling, at 84 percent. But once their search was underway, 43 percent of respondents say they struggled with a lack of market knowledge and not understanding the process. Ninety-one percent say their relationship with their sales professional was important to them.
"This technology 'blind spot' is perpetuated by the 'swipe-and-go' coffee experience, but as we all know, buying a home is far more involved," Young says. "The good news is that today's home buyers and sellers can access a wealth of information from a variety of platforms, whether that be desktop, mobile, or tablet. In this technology-assisted environment, well-informed consumers are collaborating with experienced sales associates to work together in achieving the dream of home ownership."