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The Average Cost of Technology Tools for Real Estate Agents

By Ben Shepardson | November 1, 2022

When it comes to real estate, having a good property on the market is only part of the battle; real estate agents also need to have effective marketing and advertising strategies to reach many potential buyers. With this, it comes as no surprise that agents use a lot of technology in their day-to-day operations.

However, investing in technology is certainly no small amount of money. It shows how important tech has become in the real estate agent's arsenal. The most successful agents invest in the latest digital marketing tools and are constantly exploring new strategies to attract new customers, which can translate into a significant return on their investment.

Smart phone character with real estate sign
Smart phone character with real estate sign isolated on white background. 3d illustration

Below, we provide an overview of what the average real estate agent spends per year on technology.

Why invest in technology?

To stay on top of their game, they need powerful, reliable technology to help them do their job as efficiently as possible. Even property investors find it essential to invest in real estate technology! Sometimes, real estate businesses need a technology overhaul to keep up with the latest technology trends. It is vital that real estate agents stay abreast of new technologies, which can enable them to engage customers in meaningful interactions and create personalized experiences.

How much does the average real estate agent spend per year on technology?

According to National Association of REALTORS® Research Group's 2021 Technology Survey, 36 percent of real estate agents spend between $50-$250 monthly on technology tools.

While 17% of respondents said they spend less than $50 monthly for technology, there is a whooping number of those who spend higher with 18% of real estate professionals spending between $251 - $500 and even higher 23% of respondents spending more than $500 monthly for technology!

Translated to annual spending, the data means that the average cost that real estate agents spend on technology per year was $600 to $3000. It could be lower than $600 for some but it's worthwhile to note that others spend as much as $6000 and even higher!

However, the cost of real estate technology varies from agent to agent, and from year to year. It's impossible to pinpoint a firm number for how much is spent when it comes to marketing a house. But for agents determined to succeed, the costs will be well worth the investment.

Common Technology Tools Used by the Real Estate Industry

The real estate industry is loaded with technology. It's practically impossible to list all of the tools that are used, but there are a few that stand out above the rest. Here are some of the most common:

Based on the results of the National Association of REALTORS® Research Group's 2021 Technology Survey, real estate agents reported that eSignature software (78 percent), local MLS apps/technology (54 percent), social media (53 percent), lockboxes (48 percent), and video conferencing (39 percent) were the five most valuable technology tools used in their business.

To give you an idea of the costs that real estate agents usually pay for technology, we checked how much each of them pays for the top three tech tools.

1. eSignature

The "Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act" was made legally effective for all transactions on October 1, 2000. No particular technology is required for electronic contracting; all parties must simply agree on a method of electronically authenticating the contracts or documents.

eSignature is one of the most helpful tools for real estate agents. It's not only useful for real estate agents and brokers, but also for their clients. The process of signing documents can be cumbersome and time-consuming, especially when it comes to legal documents. Additionally, physical signatures may be subject to fading or even damage over time if they are not stored properly. Electronic signatures allow you to sign your name on any device with an internet connection without having to worry about the document becoming damaged or lost.

DocuSign, one of the most widely used e-sign tools for Real Estate transactions, charges $10/month for its Starter plan and $20/month for DocuSign For Realtors.

2. Local MLS apps/technology

The multiple listing service (MLS) is a database that combines listings from many local brokers into one larger database. The platform charges user fees to any agents and brokers that access it to pay for the privilege of accessing information about homes for sale.

MLS apps and technology allow agents to access the MLS through their smartphones, providing instant access to the property information. Many MLSs offer free apps for real estate professionals, allowing them to manage client relationships as well as make offers on existing listings.

The cost of subscribing to the MLS generally ranges from $20 to $50 a month, depending on which MLS you choose. If you link your MLS listing to a website via IDX or RETS, the fees for that service will also increase. You will have to pay an additional fee.

3. Social Media

While social media use is free, real estate agents need to spend on ads—a well-planned advertising campaign can greatly enhance the appeal of your properties and quicken the sale.

Hence, when you're selling property, it's hard to do without online advertising. To sell your home quickly and for the highest possible price, advertise to as many people as you can. The more people you attract to your listing, the greater competition there will be among prospective buyers and therefore higher success rates.

Facebook ads are a great way to reach potential clients for your real estate business. The best part about the ads is that you can target specific types of people—like those who live in neighborhoods where you're looking to sell houses.) The ability to get hyper-local (super important for realtors) is made easy by the fact that you can set a radius of geographic area, as well as other criteria—when setting up ads on this platform.

Facebook lead ad campaigns work well for offer-based ads, such as a free guide or market report. With this kind of campaign, you can expect to pay around $2–5 per lead generated through Facebook ads.

You may agree with the figures we put forth in this post based on the survey findings by the National Association of Realtors. However, this is just a guide and you may find some agents spending significantly less or significantly more on different aspects of technology, and some may feel that certain categories deserve more importance than others. In the end, it's up to real estate agents to assess their needs and make a proper plan for their business. 

Ben Shepardson is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer and has a long track record of success in online marketing and web development. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he worked doing enterprise-level SEO and started an online business offering web development services to small business customers.
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